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Small Stuff – New England

ISAF inducts six into inaugural Hall of Fame

The International Sailing Federation announced Paul Elvström, Sir Robin Knox-Johnson, Dame Ellen Macarthur, Olin Stephens, Barbara Kendall and Éric Tabarly as the first six inductees for the ISAF Sailing Hall of Fame.

Many of sailing’s stars were in Portugal to celebrate the achievements of the six inductees at a gala dinner. Over the past 100 years, sailing has seen many heroes and legends, and the ISAF Sailing Hall of Fame has been created to recognize the achievements of those who have made the sport what it is today.

King Constantine, ISAF President of Honor and Honorary Chairman of the ISAF Sailing Hall of Fame, said: “The six inductees are all legends of the sailing world and are heroes to thousands of sailors around the world. They represent the very highest level of achievement across various aspects of sailing.”

The inductees were presented with the ISAF Sailing Hall of Fame trophy — designed by renowned Portuguese artist, Cristina Leiria.

The ISAF Sailing Hall of Fame has been launched in ISAF’s Centenary year to celebrate sailing achievement, greatness and contribution to the sailing world.

Baird named World Sailor of Year

The ISAF named France’s Claire Leroy and American Ed Baird as the Rolex World Sailors of the Year.

The award is recognized as one of the highest honors a sailor can receive in recognition of his/her outstanding achievements. The official award ceremony took place Nov. 6 in Portugal.

Leroy has been the No. 1 skipper on the ISAF Women’s World Match Race Rankings since May 2005.

Leroy, skipper of “Team Ideactor,” has taken her love of the elements and dominated the match racing circuit both this year and last, winning the 2006 ISAF Nations Cup, the IX International Women’s Match Race Criterium, the 2007 ISAF Women’s Match Racing World Championships in her hometown of St. Quay Portrieux, France, and the 2007 Women’s Match Race European Championship.

Baird took home the award for his achievements as helmsman aboard Alinghi, winner of the 32nd America’s Cup.

“There are all kinds of things that come into your mind as wanting to say for something like this, but ‘wow!’ is the big one. Wow, it’s just amazing!” exclaimed Baird as he accepted his award from ISAF President of Honour His Majesty King Harald V of Norway and Arnaud Boetsch of Rolex SA. Baird had no qualms about showing his appreciation, saying that Alinghi’s win was “not just me — it was a massive effort by a big, big team. It certainly is the most wonderful thing that has come along; to win the America’s Cup with this team and to have such a fantastic year and then to be recognized like this — it’s magical.”

Baird has a long history of triumphs in the world of international match racing both in and outside of the America’s Cup. He is the only American to have ever won the ISAF Match Racing World Championship — in 1995, 2003 and 2004. Baird is the only American ever to have ranked number one on the ISAF World Match Race Rankings list and in 1995 was named Rolex Yachtsman of the Year. Baird also coaches sailing and has repeatedly said that he tries to keep his thinking clear and simple on the water.