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The “Centurian of Sail”

Sparkman & Stephens … America’s Cup … S&S Maxi Yachts. All of these bring to mind one name: Olin Stephens.

A giant in the boating design world will celebrate a century of success on April 13, and various boating industries all over the nation will be toasting Stephens, hailing him as the “Centurian of Sail,” according to a press release on

Olin founded Sparkman & Stephens with his brother, Rod Stephens, in 1929 and still maintains its location on 5th Avenue in New York City. The World War II DUKW (pronounced “Duck”) that was a six-wheel drive truck that could convert into a boat and the Cup yachts Ranger, Columbia, Constellation, Freedom, Intrepid and Courageous are just a few of the groundbreaking yachts the company has been responsible for.

Indeed, summer 2008 proves to be all in Stephen’s honor: From May 30 through June 2 there will be an honorary regatta and a long weekend of festivities during the annual general meeting of Sparkman & Stephens Association in Holland. Stateside, the New York Yacht Club will host a classic yacht regatta in Newport, R.I., July 19 and 20. Meanwhile, Stephen himself will be celebrating at the Eastern Yacht Club in Marblehead, Mass., at a party thrown for him by S&S, Doyle Sailmakers and the Castine Yacht Club, according to the release.

Stephens resides in a retirement community near Hanover, N.H., on the banks of the Connecticut River, never far from his first love – the water.

-Elizabeth Ellis