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The Kirby Torch

For information regarding the rebranding of The Laser to The Kirby Torch, please refer to the website

Bruce Kirby inducted into U.S. National Sailing Hall of Fame


Peter Barrett (Madison, Wis.)
Bob Bavier (New Rochelle, N.Y.)
Gregg Bemis (Boston, Mass.)
Stan Honey (Palo Alto, Calif.)
Bruce Kirby (Rowayton, Conn.)
John Kostecki (Reno, Nev.)
Mark Reynolds (San Diego, Calif.)
Rod Stephens (New York, N.Y.)
John Cox Stevens (New York, N.Y.)


Annapolis, Md. (August 15, 2012) – The National Sailing Center & Hall of Fame (NSHOF) has announced the nine sailors who will make up its 2012 class of inductees into the National Sailing Hall of Fame. Following a two-month period last spring during which sailors from all corners of the country nominated their choice for induction, a selection committee – made up of representatives from the national governing body, the sailing media, the sailing industry, community sailing, a maritime museum, NSHOF founding yacht clubs and the 2011 class of inductees – reviewed the broad spectrum of nominations.

Inductees are American citizens, 45 years of age and up, who have made significant impact on the growth and development of the sport in the U.S. in the categories of Sailing, Technical/Design and Contributor (coach, administrator, sailing media). Nominations of non-citizens were also considered if they influenced the sport in the U.S., and posthumous nominations were also accepted. The undertaking to recognize Americans who have made outstanding contributions to the sport of sailing is central to the mission of the NSHOF which was formed in 2005 and has completed phase one of its plan to establish a permanent facility on the historic waterfront of Annapolis, Maryland.

Emphasizing the national scope of the NSHOF, the 2012 class of inductees will be honored on October 14, 2012, during an invitation-only ceremony at Southern Yacht Club (New Orleans, Louisiana), the second-oldest yacht club in the country.

National Sailing Hall of Fame 2012 Inductees: navigator Stan Honey (Palo Alto, Calif.), winner of the 2006 Volvo Ocean Race as well as the 2010 Trophée Jules Verne for fastest non-stop circumnavigation of the globe; prominent yacht designer Bruce Kirby (Rowayton, Conn.); 1988 Soling Olympic silver medalist, winning Volvo Ocean Race skipper and America’s Cup tactician John Kostecki (Reno, Nev.); and three-time Star Olympic medalist and two-time Star World Champion Mark Reynolds (San Diego, Calif.).

National Sailing Hall of Fame 2012 Posthumous Inductees: Olympic gold and silver medalist Peter Barrett (Madison, Wis.); America’s Cup competitor and journalist Bob Bavier (New Rochelle, N.Y.); preeminent rules expert Gregg Bemis (Boston, Mass.); yacht designer and Medal of Freedom winner Rod Stephens (New York, N.Y.); and founder and first commodore of the New York Yacht Club John Cox Stevens (New York, NY).

News Archive

Sharpies on the Edge

Recently one of our 23 foot Norwalk Islands Sharpies sailed from the Australian mainland just east of Melbourne across the Bass Strait and down the east coast of Tasmania to Hobart. This piece of ocean is hairiest part of the course for the annual Sydney - Hobart race and is notorious for its boat busting gales and rough seas.

Future of Sailing

When discussing the Future of Yachting the question immediately arises “The future for whom? It’s one of those YOUR GUESS IS AS GOOD AS MINE topics.

More than ever before the sport is a strange mixture of dissimilar parts. We have the pure professionals tearing around the world in the Volvo 70s with square-topped mainsails, bowsprits, double rudders and twin dagger boards; the really high priced help in the America’s Cup; and there are the pros who stand behind their owners and instruct them on every move - I think they’re called tacticians.

As seen in Canadian Yachting.

The Pixel, is designed for beginner and intermediate junior sailors and made its maiden voyage recently from the Norwalk Yacht Club near Kirby's home in Rowayton Connecticut.

"I really have a good feeling about the Pixel," said Kirby,. "It is doing what I want it to do and what I hoped it would do and what the calculations said it would do."

Knowing Kirby he knew full well how this new creation would perform. In 20 knots of breeze the Pixel began planing upwind with its occupants hiking out. There is no trapeze on the Pixel and its ability to plane to windward with hiking straps only is unusual.

Off The Deep End...

Recently Australian Michael Blackburn sailed a Laser from Tasmania to mainland Australia - blasting downwind for 115 miles and averaging 8.6 knots for the distance. The wind was fresh and well aft and the seas were big - rolling in from the deep reaches of the Southern Ocean, so Blackburn, an Olympic medalist in Lasers, got some great rides during his 13-hour cruise. Blackburn said he was inspired to make the voyage when talking to other Laser fanatics about the possibility of sailing a Laser in really big seas for a film, "and we decided the film needed a big ending like sailing Bass Strait."


LARCHMONT, NY (October 19, 2005) ‰ The Junior Sailing Association of Long Island Sound (JSA of LIS) announced today that it has chosen the 14-foot Pixel as its new doublehanded training and racing sailboat. The decision was made after a three-year process that included extensive research, boat testing and feedback from JSA of LIS members.