Bob “Buddha” Billingham, an accomplished sailor who competed in the 1988 Olympics and the 1992 America’s Cup, died March 30 after a lengthy illness at his Grass Valley, Calif., home. He was 56.
Billingham’s record included representing the United States at the 1988 Olympics, winning the silver medal in the Soling Class with John Kostecki and Will Baylis, according to scuttlebutt.com. He is a five-time world champion in Solings, Etchells, J/24s and Maxis.
Billingham had also served on the management side of the U.S. Olympic team for 20 years.
His involvement in the America’s Cup included crewing on the 1992 America’s Cup winning team America3 before assuming roles as chief operating officer for Paul Cayard at AmericaOne 2000 and Artemis Racing. Prior to the 34th America’s Cup, Billingham worked for the America’s Cup event organizers in San Francisco, preparing facilities to host Cup racing in 2012 and 2013.