Louis Sandoval has had two elements to his career in the sport of sailing – professional and volunteer – on Lake Michigan. Having learned the arts of business in the Biotech and Pharmaceutical industries, he established the marine dealership, Karma Yacht Sales. As a dealer for Beneteau Yachts he sold 41 Beneteau First 36.7 yachts and 16 Beneteau First 40.7 yachts. The Beneteau First 36.7 fleet is the largest offshore one-design yacht fleet globally and one of the largest to this day on LakeMichigan. His dealership’s sales activity made him a perennial winner of Beneteau President’s Top Gun Award for exemplary sales and service. Through service on the North American Dealer advisory council- Sandoval was influential in the product design and offering for the North American market for Groupe Beneteau.
He was awarded the Maestro Award for Entrepreneurship by Latino Leaders Magazine in 2018.
Lou served as a Fleet Officer of the Beneteau First 36.7 Fleet and was Chair of the 2004 and 2008 Beneteau First 36.7 North American Championships.
He was named to the Whitney Young Award by the Boy Scouts of America in 2015 for his service and impact to diverse and underserved communities.
Lou was winner of the Boating Industry Movers and Shakers Award in 2013-recognition for his involvement on numerous industry boards and councils including Sail America, Yacht Brokers Association of America, Recreational Boating Leadership Council and the Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation.
Louis Sandoval’s volunteerism is even greater. He created the Diversity and Inclusion strategy for US Sailing, implemented in 2020. He was a contributor to the US Sailing REACH Program Instructor’s Guide for STEM education. He served as a Council Commissioner and Vice President of the Boy Scouts of America, leading a four-council merger into one and driving the council’s Hispanic Initiative to create outreach to underserved communities and reforming the Sea Scout program in Chicago during his seven years in the role.
Through his work with youth organizations Lou has created a pathway to the water for many Latinos through programs at Chicago Yacht Club and the Chicago Park District and continues to serve as an advocate for diversity, equity, and inclusion to grow the sport of sailing.
At Chicago Yacht Club, Lou has served on the Board of Directors, as Chair of the Chicago-Mackinac Race Committee, and as Rear Commodore, Vice Commodore and Commodore. Lou’s steadfast leadership through the COVID-19 pandemic period helped keep the club viable, strong, and relevant.
Lou’s sailing record includes having competed in 21 Chicago-Mackinac races, two Transpacific Yacht Races, one Victoria-Maui Race, one Newport to Bermuda Race and many Lake Michigan sail races. Sandoval has nine section wins and numerous podium finishes in the Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac (eight aboard his yacht Karma and one on Eagle).
December 8, 2021
The Board of Directors of Lake Michigan Sail Racing Federation welcomes Louis Sandoval into the Lake Michigan Sailing Hall of Fame.
When Charlie Manning’s petition for nomination to the Lake Michigan Sailing Hall of Fame was being composed, many contributed information to his nomination. It was difficult to precipitate the information into this short document. Charlie Manning joined Racine Yacht Club, Racine, Wisconsin, at age 25 and has supported Racine Yacht Club and its activities through the years since.
He has served on the Hook Race Committee, been Entertainment Director, Sea Badge staff, Wood Badge Course Director, Rear Commodore, Nominating Committee member, Chair of the 100 Year Anniversary Committee, and Commodore for 2012 to 2015. He taught in the acclaimed Racine Yacht Club Adult Sailing Program.
Charlie is a strong supporter of youth sailing serving in the leadership role of Racine Yacht Club’s Sea Scout Ship 5750. This entailed teaching basic and advanced sailing skills such as navigation, towing, radio use, anchoring and sailing safety. These skills were applied in eight-day Lake Michigan cruises he organized with up to 16 coed Sea Scouts applying their lessons. His training activity would be continued in winter months with the Scouts building wind generators and land sailing carts, learning boat and engine maintenance, repair, welding, electrical components and amplifiers.
As a result of his tireless work as a Skipper in the Sea Scouts, Charlie has been awarded the prestigious Silver Beaver Award, Venturing Leadership Award and the Wood Badge.
In 2016 Charlie introduced the US Sailing STEM program into the Youth sailing program, as he serves as a Board Member of the Racine Youth Sailing Foundation.
In 2016 Charlie was elected as a Trustee for the Village of Wind Point and was appointed Chair of the Wind Point Lighthouse. He is responsible for hiring the caretaker of Wind Point Lighthouse. He is quite knowledgeable of all Lake Michigan lighthouses.
While giving of himself to the training of others, he races his own sailboat Winter is Coming in the Queen’s Cup Race, Hook Race, doublehanded and Wednesday night races, and many other regattas.
When Charlie sails and races his own boat he reminds his crew, “Stay in the boat, don’t hit nothin’, no injuries or hurt feelings, we got to use this same equipment tomorrow.”
The Board of Directors of Lake Michigan Sail Racing Federation welcomes Charlie Manning into the Lake Michigan Sailing Hall of Fame.
November 16, 2021
Charlie Manning was nominated by the Racine Yacht Club to the Lake Michigan Sailing Hall of Fame.
Jean and Don Bergman met in the mid-1970s at Sheridan Shore Yacht Club in Wilmette, Illinois. Each had been involved in the sport of sailing for many years before: Jean as Director of Winnetka Yacht Club’s Junior Fleet sailing program and Don’s exposure from his father’s involvement as a founder of Sheridan Shore Yacht Club.
They married in 1976 and established their home in Winnetka, Illinois. They were very active in Winnetka Yacht Club activities, being key players in the “Super Sail Regatta” and club planning. Sailing off the beach was very popular and the Bergmans were leaders in this formation. Jean was Chair of the 1985 Sunfish Womens North American Championship sailed on Lake Michigan off Winnetka.
Many different stories are told describing what brought people to the sport of sailing. Here’s another. Seymour Padnos’ father traded a wood planer to Jesiek Brothers shipyard in exchange for a wooden boat from a fleet being constructed by Jesiek’s. Seymour and his brother joined Macatawa Bay Yacht Club in 1938 to begin their sailing careers. After World War II they bought a Tripp 33 designed Medalist from Peter Grimm of Chicago. This began Seymour’s uninterrupted involvement in sail racing that lasted for over 76 years.
Seymour recognized that sailing was an activity which was clean, safe and worthy of life-long involvement. He led local development of youth sail training at Bay Haven (now Bayshore Yacht Club), facilitating the construction of a fleet of wooden Optimist dinghies in 1959. He freely gave his time serving the Lake Michigan Yacht Association, eventually serving as Commodore of the sail fleet. Continuing service to the sport, he was nominated as Rear Commodore of Macatawa Bay Yacht Club, continuing on to Commodore in 1970.
The state of Ohio lost the talents of Tom Atkins in 1987 when he elected to move to Sheboygan, Wisconsin. He had started a Junior sailing program at Toledo Country Club, helped initiate the University of Toledo Sailing Club, and established a sailing program for the Aquatics Department at the University of Pittsburgh.
In Sheboygan in 1989 he established his own marketing business, using his skills successfully and applying those skills to create, improve and manage sailing programs. Sheboygan Yacht Club’s Commodore asked Tom to Chair a committee to start a Junior sailing program. This entailed setting a budget, financing, fundraising, sponsorship, site location, and establishment of a 501(c)(3) Foundation. Initially, the Foundation acquired a fleet of ten Optimist Dinghies. The organization matured into the Sheboygan Youth Sailing Club, which now has fleets of J/24s, Lightnings, 420s, Lasers, a high school sailing team, and adult sailing lessons, now serving several hundred people per season.
Jerry O’Neill has had an outstanding sail racing career. He has competed in 48 Chicago to Mackinac Sail Races as of 2019. Of those races he has won Overall four times and has accomplished twelve first in Section wins. In his 50 plus years of racing on Lake Michigan he has won the National Offshore One-Design-Chicago Regatta, The Verve Cup Regatta and Boat of the Year. He has been victorious in many other LMSRF Area 3 races through the years.
Jerry has developed two generations of O’Neill’s as crew members and has mentored and developed many other persons into very capable crew members.
He is respected as a safety conscious skipper and an expert in his seamanship and possesses impeccable sportsmanship.
He reports that he is looking forward to competing for many more years, be the Good Lord willing.
December 11, 2019
Jerry O’Neill was nominated by the Board of Directors of Chicago Yacht Club to the Lake Michigan Sailing Hall of Fame.
Few of the inductees to the Lake Michigan Sailing Hall of Fame have had the opportunities to expose so many young people to sailing as Joseph "Joey" Harris. He was Director of Sailing for Columbia Yacht Club from 1993 to 2001, Head Sailing Coach at California Maritime Academy in 2001, Director of Sailing at St. Francis Yacht Club in 2002 and 2003, Director of Sailing at Grosse Pointe Yacht Club from 2003 to 2005, Director of Sailing for the City of Lake Forest from 2005 to 2009 and became the Manager of Sailing for the Chicago Park District in 2009 continuing through this date.
These opportunities had an inauspicious beginning. Joey’s mother, a Chicago school teacher, decided to teach summer school when Joey was about 10 years of age. To keep him on the good road, she enrolled him in the Columbia Yacht Club’s junior sailing program. Although trying hard, in the final race of the season Joey placed last. Beginning that fall he read every book about sailing he could find. In the following season’s championship he beat all other students. This action began his sailing career.
Richard “Dick” Rodseth, like so many others, began his sailing career as a young boy in the Chicagoland area as a crew member. As he matured he retained the knowledge of each adventure aboard which was preparing him for one of the most successful sail racing programs on Lakes Michigan and Huron. He was also preparing himself for a very successful business career.
His success in business allowed him to enter the stage of sailboat ownership. He bought Bangalor and raced it a few years. He moved on to various sailboats which were named Vagary. His last vessel was a Peterson 43 which he purchased and was delivered with only the hull, a deck and bulkheads. Dick finished this Vagary to his own specifications, helped by digging a hole big enough to hold the vessel so he could walk from yard surface onto the deck of the boat.
Dick relocated himself, family and business to West Michigan in 1983 and joined Muskegon Yacht Club. There he introduced many young people to the sport of sailing and racing. Some of those persons became regulars in his crew. He was intense about his sail racing, never stopping until Vagary crossed the finish line or the time limit was reached.
Gary Comer was born December 10, 1927, into a family of very modest means residing on the south side of Chicago near Jackson Park Harbor. As young people will do, he explored his area and found the waterfront of Lake Michigan and the harbor. He hung around the Jackson Park Harbor, offering his help to anyone desiring assistance in cleaning or moving their boat. Edgar “Bud” Tohlman, owner of the 46’ sailboat Taltona, asked Gary to be of help to him one day and that led to Gary and Bud sailing together for 20 years. Bud wanted Gary to learn how to sail and gave him a small sailing dinghy. Gary proved to have natural talent and excelled in sailing the dinghy.
While doing his dinghy sailing, Gary saw that the Star Class sailing fleet was active and interesting. He found the means to buy a Star and began a very successful career racing Star boats. All the Stars were moored in the water in the harbor. Gary went to the Chicago Park District (CPD), who controlled and issued permits to moor, to seek permission to install a small boat hoist immediately north of the harbor parking lot. This area was full of weeds and scrub bushes which when cleared could hold about 12 Star boats on their trailers. Gary convinced the CPD to allow this. This became the first “dry sailing storage lot” which set the stage for the CPD to open such areas in all harbors. This improvement led the Star Class to become the largest one design class sailing on the Great Lakes.
While this was occurring, Gary was honing his racing skills, winning the Great Lakes Star Championship in 1953 and 1954. He won the Tulip Tune Up in 1955. Finally, with a good boat and new sails, in 1959 Gary won the Star North American Championship, placed 2nd in the Star World Championship, and won the Bronze Medal in the Star Class in the Pan American Games.
Since David Rearick was a 12-year-old boy, a major part of his life has revolved around sailing. Once he experienced the joy of being around water, he immersed himself in learning how boats harness the wind and waves. He had big dreams and got involved in local races, setting courses, encouraging others, and creating opportunities for people to learn and to race. His focus expanded from races hosted by Michigan City Yacht Club, Michigan City, Indiana, to those held across the Great Lakes, encompassing crewed and solo opportunities.
Dave has sailed Sunfish, Hobie Cats, Lasers, J/24s, Open 50s, Class 40s as well open pulling boats, large schooners and many other sailing vessels. Dave is most often associated with the well-known boat Geronimo, and more recently, with the J/V 67 Defiance.
A continual leaner, he became a good project manager, whose approach helped streamline race management, boat management and racing campaigns. When he lost his good friend Mike Silverthorne during the 2002 Lake Michigan Solo Scramble, he advocated for stronger communication and safety standards for solo races.