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Hall of Fame 2010, Terry J. Kohler


Terry was born on May 14, 1934, not knowing that his life was to impact so many people and the sport of sailing so heavily.  He started sailing at age five and continued annually into his teens when he was fortunate to be asked by Roman Brotz, owner of the 87’ M class sailboat Sabre, to join his crew.   Roman installed in his crew seamanship, Corinthian ethics and racing skills.  Terry learned them all and has never left any of them behind.

 Through a succession of yachts, he has won many sailboat races including first in section in the prestigious Chicago to Mackinac Race, 1984 & 1985.  In 1992, sailing in the Great Lakes 70 class on his yacht Cynosure, Terry and his crew were first to finish, first in section and first overall – a clean sweep!  In 2008, sailing his newer Great Lakes 70 class yacht Evolution, Terry and his crew were second in class and second in fleet in the 100th Anniversary Chicago to Mackinac Race.  Additionally, Terry has competed in the Canada’s Cup (1978), the prestigious match racing championship between Canada and the United States.  He has raced in 36 Chicago Mackinac, 17 Port Huron Mackinac and many SORC’s (capturing the Baccara Trophy in 1984).

Terry’s time on the water is a fraction of the time he has contributed to the sport of sailing.   A founder and contributor to Sheboygan Youth Sailing Center, a founder and contributor to Sail Sheboygan Ltd., a leader in education and exposing of sailing to people.  In 2008, Sail Sheboygan became the fourth U.S. Sailing Center in the Untied States.  He has worked tirelessly in the Women’s International Match Racing Association, which succeeded in getting women’s match racing in the 2012 Olympics.  Terry is a founder and contributor to the Sail Yacht Research Foundation, which has taken over the Irving Pratt Study of the dynamics which allow sailboats to perform in water.  He has contributed to the US Sailing McCurdy Fund which tank tests vessel shapes for speed characteristics.  That work is currently recognized thru a measurement handicapping rule known as the Offshore Racing Rule (ORR).

In 2001 the Milwaukee Community Sailing Center recognized Terry for his outstanding contribution to youth sailing.  In 2009, US Sailing awarded the Nathanael G. Herreshoff Trophy, its most prestigious award to Terry.

Speed is something Terry knows about.  In the 50’, Terry was a pilot of the B-47’s. retiring from the Air Force with the rank of Captain and he crews on his Lear jet to assist his activities.  Terry is married and spends his working time mostly in Sheboygan.
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Terry is a member, past member and/or contributor to the following organizations:
Sheboygan Yacht Club, Chicago Yacht Club, Mackinac Island Yacht Club, Bayview Yacht Club, New York Yacht Club, the Royal New Zealand  Yacht Squadron, US Sailing Association, Great Lakes 70 Association, the Sail Yacht Research Foundation, the Lake Michigan Yachting Assn. (past commodore),  the Lake Michigan Sail Racing Federation (past commodore), Inland Lakes Yachting Association, America’s Cup Technology Foundation, US Sailing Foundation, Wisconsin Maritime Museum, the Herreshoff Foundation, the M.I.T. sailing program, the Roger Williams University sailing program, Dartmouth College sailing program and the Island Goats Sailing Society.

Terry’s business interests include his Windway Capital Corp., a holding company with multiple subsidiaries two of which are The Vollrath Co., LLC and North Sails Group, Inc.

When told of his election to the Sailing Hall of Fame he said:  “Good Grief, Why Me?”
Well it’s obvious.

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