Get Adobe Flash player

Hall of Fame 2011, Peter W. Reichelsdorfer


Peter W. Reichelsdorfer

Born on December 15, 1934, Peter displayed a glow that was served by his short term in nuclear engineering and the Space Shuttle program. His high speed early career propelled him further in his sailing career.  Peter was fortunate in that he started his sailing career at age 15 on Lightnings and was asked by Roman Brotz to join the sailing team on Sabre, the 87’ M class yacht converted from a sloop to a yawl for its Great Lakes sailing years.  He was recognized early on as a specialist who understood what made sailboats go fast.

Peter desire to learn the mechanics of speed through the water lead him to the University of Wisconsin – Madison,  where he earned two Bachelor degrees and finally a Masters
Degree in Mechanical Engineering in 1962.  The US Navy wanted his talent and had his service from 1958 to 1960 as a Damage Control and Asst. Engineering Officer, Lt jg and a Deck Officer when underway.  

Except for his service years Peter has always been active in the sailboat racing scene at Sheboygan Yacht Club starting as a Junior Member in 1954.  Through small boat sailing and big boat racing, the desire to own hit him in 1976 when he bought a C & C 35, Mark 1.  He and his family have enjoyed racing this boat in Mackinacs, 100 Milers and cruising the North Channel.  While engaging in these activities, his good friend, Terry Kohler, asked him to join the group at Vollrath Company in 1968 as Product Design and Marketing Manager.  He continued in this capacity until 1984 when he joined the Windway Corp as Director of Corporate Liaison.  Windway owns North Sails, Vollrath and other companies which Peter keeps on track to profitability.  Peter joined Terry in partnership in a Santa Cruz 70, Cynosure, and in 1992 they obtained a clean sweep of the Mackinac Race, 1st in class, 1st in Division and 1st Overall.  Peter now campaigns a Santa Cruz 70, Evolution, which is always in the top of the fleet in racing.

Peter’s racing career has to be the envy of most sailors – 45 Chicago Mackinacs, 26 Port Huron Mackinacs, 1 Trans Superior, 5 Saint Petersburg to Fort Lauderdales,  champion navigator on Apage Two Too in 1984 in the SORC and many races on Lake Michigan.

You would think that between making a living and his sailing Peter would have little time for anything else.  Listen to this!    

MEMBER:   Sheboygan Yacht Club, Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron, US Sailing IMS Committee, US Sailing Offshore Committee, US Sailing Americap Committee, US Sailing ORR Committee, ISAF/RORC/US Sailing Grand Prix Working Party.  He is a member of the Lake Michigan Sail Racing Federation’s Grants-In-Aid Committee, Island Goats Sailing Society(Lake Michigan), Society of Mackinac Island Old Goats(Lake Huron, Bayview),  joint societies Double Old Goats and Offshore Racing Congress Congressman (US Sailing Representative).

Peter has chaired the following:  Lake Michigan Sail Racing Federation Rating Rules Committee, US Sailing IMS Committee, US Sailing ORR Committee, Lake Michigan Sail Racing Federation’s Finance and Advisory Committees.

Peter has been a Commodore of Hoofer Sailing Club U of W, Madison, Sheboygan Yacht Club, Lake Michigan Sail Racing Federation as well as their Treasurer

Peter has the nickname of “Lucky Pierre”, reportedly given him by someone from Chicago.  I will add to that by saying that the sailors of Lake Michigan are fortunate to have such a giving and nice guy leading us in our sailing adventures.

Lastly, Peter has been a Trustee of the US Sailing Foundation and is currently a Trustee and Treasurer of the Sailing Yacht Research Foundation.  Sailing Yacht Research Foundation came into existence in 2005 because the ISAF/RORC/US Sailing Grand Prix Working Party could not agree on the substance of a new measurement handicapping rating rule which incorporated the VPP studies.  US Sailing concurrently stopped providing support to Offshore handicapping rating systems   Peter and Jim Teeters, a naval architect, realized that the good work which had earlier been done in the VPP should not be abandoned.  The result has been the Foundation works very hard at fund raising and has created the ORR, the Offshore Rating Rule , which incorporates the ever improving VPP research work being done by the Foundation.  The success of their work is recognized by the sponsors of the Chicago-Mackinac Race, the Transpac Race,  the Newport-Bermuda Race, the Marion-Bermuda  Race, the Marblehead-Halifax Race, the Pacific Cup, all Cabo races (sponsored by different clubs) and many local races everywhere.

Lake Michigan sailors and yacht clubs are indeed fortunate to have Peter hailing from one of our ports.  It is a pleasure to induct him into the Lake Michigan Sail Racing Hall Of Fame.

Copyright ©  Lake Michigan Sail Racing Federation. All Rights Reserved.