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New twist for America’s Cup Hall induction

The America’s Cup Hall of Fame, located in Bristol, R.I., is planning a special format for its annual induction dinner. To emphasize the grandeur of the America’s Cup — past, present and future — Gary Jobson, John Rousmaniere, and John Biddle are scheduled to present a unique program.

Jobson, one of the event’s honorary chairmen, is organizing previously unviewed video to convey outstanding elements of the Cup event, now 157 years old. Film themes include “The Best of the Cup in Film and Video” and “The Cup’s Top 10 Greatest Moments.”

Biddle of Jamestown, R.I., who excelled at filming and presenting films during the 30-year 12-Meter era, will be inducted into the America’s Cup Hall of Fame to join a select few previously chosen as chroniclers of the Cup. The black-tie induction dinner, supported by Rolex Watch U.S.A., will be held Oct. 23 at the Metropolitan Club at 1 East 60th Street in New York.

“The induction of John Biddle recognizes the importance of those who preserve and present the special traditions of sailing’s greatest competition — the America’s Cup,” says America’s Cup Hall of Fame President Halsey C. Herreshoff. “John Biddle was the absolute leader of this activity all during the 12-Meter era of the Cup. He filmed every race in Newport, and made more than 1,000 presentations to audiences worldwide. As we celebrate 157 years of racing challenges, it is an honor to congratulate John Biddle and his family on behalf of the America’s Cup Hall of Fame.”

Biddle pursued a life of sailing, travel and adventure, while at the same time making a living as a film-lecturer. Lean and fast, he was proficient at all things nautical including one-design racing and offshore cruising or racing. He was thus able to combine his love for the sea and knowledge of sailing with a talent for filmmaking, resulting in 40 shows in 40 years, often highlighting the America’s Cup.

Biddle’s 40-year film archives are capped by comprehensive film coverage of each America’s Cup event from 1958 to 1987 in 10 season-long episodes from early trials to the final races, during the 12-Meter boat years. Excerpts from these films will be featured at his induction into the Hall of Fame.