Richard Reichelsdorfer, popularly known as Rich, was born March 3, 1968 into a sailing family. Cruising with his family at an early age and sailing and racing with the Sheboygan Sea Scouts he learned early on the pleasure of sailing and racing. Rich learned the rules of sail racing and practiced them, earning the respect of his competitors and observers. He has dedicated his life to the sport.
At every opportunity to advance sail racing in Sheboygan he was at the front making it happen. He was the First Director of Sail Sheboygan and is the current Director of Sailing Education Association of Sheboygan. Additionally, Rich is a national race officer, having served the 2011 Nations Cup, the IFDS Blind World Match Racing Championship, the 2014 Lightning North American Championship and the Buddy Melges Challenge, a part of the Women’s International Match Racing Series. His work with the Blind World Match Racing Championship inspired IFDS to make significant changes to future blind match racing events.
Jerry got his start in sailing in the late 1960’s, when he purchased a small, Styrofoam boat from the Sears, Roebuck and Company store on West North Avenue in Chicago. As time passed, Jerry eventually moved on from daysailers and stepped into keel boats: a Bristol 22, a Bristol 26, and an Ericson 35. The Ericson 35, Providence, was acquired in 1981 and remains the family craft to this day.
Gene’s long life has allowed him to contribute a great deal of time to administer and improve the sport of sail racing. He was race chairman for the 1959 Pan American Sailing Games, chair of the 1964 North American Star Class Championship, was Commodore of the Lake Michigan Yachting Association, was a founder and first Commodore of the Lake Michigan Sail Racing Federation and a continuous Director of same for 34 years. He has served as President of the Yacht Racing Union of the Great Lakes, a member of the Board of Directors of US Sailing. Gene has served on US Sailing’s National Offshore Council, Safety At Sea Committee and Legal Committee. He was race chairman of the first two National Sea Explorer Championships.
As a trader, Don Wilson's success has been made in developing the strategies and tactics necessary to understand and outmaneuver others in the highly competitive financial markets. So, it's no wonder Wilson has also found success in his life-long passion for competitive sailing, where these concepts are also in constant use, especially so in match race sailing. This most aggressive form of the sport resembles gladiatorial combat, where two teams in command of equally matched boats face off against each other in a head-to-head struggle to win at all costs ... because in this game, there is no second place.
Dick Stearns, known the world over for his sail racing success, quietly worked to make the sport better.
Lynn Williams, born January 6, 1909, had no realization of the impact he would have on the sport of sail racing. Williams graduated from Yale University in Spring 1929, then went to Harvard University and acquired in law degree in 1931. Feeling the want of more understanding of mechanics, he went to Massachusetts Institute of Technology, receiving a degree in Mechanical Engineering in 1932. While drinking in all this education and knowledge, he spent time cruising in his father's motor yacht in the northern Great Lakes. Williams' father built and owned the Alden schooner Elizabeth in 1928, which began his development in the sport of sailing.
If you wanted an individual to plan and execute a sailing event, you turned to Jack Kelley. He had some limited cruising experience, when, in 1971, he bought his first sailboat, an Alberg Typhoon keelboat. He later bought a Pearson Triton and ventured into offshore racing – sailing the Triton in the 1981 William Tripp Memorial Race, now known as the Tripp Cup. His earlier training was demonstrated as he won his division and placed 2nd overall in this major East Coast of Lake Michigan event which went from Muskegon, MI, to Milwaukee, WI.
A young lady walked into the Chicago Yacht Club Belmont Station one day in the early 1980s, recently after the man had suffered a massive stroke. She was astounded at how people were reacting and the concern about the recovery of this man she had heard so much about. The respect and love that was exhibited by his competitors was overwhelming. She was taken aback by the esteem that his peers held him in—this man embraced his sport and was well respected by all his peers. It was only after learning of his amazing accomplishments and contributions to the sport of sailing that she finally understood why.
John was born into a family which had extensive experience with the waters of Lake Michigan. His father, Harvey, had been a commercial fisherman for many years on the lake before changing his life to become a real estate broker in Muskegon. Harvey, winner of many events himself, owned a series of boats named Romahajo on which John crewed until Harvey passed away. It was then that John began skippering his own boats. John was recognized early in his life that he knew what he was doing on a sailboat. Wally Stenhouse, owner of Aura, had John crew with him during Wally’s campaign to win the World Ocean Racing Championship and Chuck Kirsch, owner of Scaramouche, had John aboard when Chuck won the Southern Ocean Racing Circuit, these adventures occurring in the 60’s.
Malcolm was born in 1888 and passed away in 1976, however his presence is still felt here at Ephraim Yacht Club. His efforts, training and influence on sailors is well known to the current membership of EYC. A bit of history: He was a founding member of Ephraim Yacht Club in 1906 along with his father and two brothers. He became Secretary and Fleet Captain in 1910 and was Commodore of the club the first time in 1936.