John Hoskins’ contributions to local sailing clubs seems tireless, serving in many different positions and always trying to improve members’ participation, while emphasizing fun sailing and making new friends to encourage new sailors to participate. He has served as Sail Racing Chair and Commodore of Anchorage Yacht Club, of Lake Forest, Illinois, and is a lifetime member and is a past President of the Great Lakes Singlehanded Society. He has been a US Sailing certified Sailing Instructor and Sailing Instructor for Instructors.
With just a few other members of the Anchorage Yacht Club, John helped with the development of a racing program that has increased participation and learning for the entire fleet. Within the time span of six years, between 2008 and 2014, this effort increased the weekly participation from an average of ten boats to an average of more than thirty boats on the starting line each week. He helped the club implement a set of Saturday distance races called “Solo/Double” each season to provide opportunity for shorthanded sailors to race with the club. Due to their popularity and the attraction of distance racing, in 2013 the club added an additional section for full crewed boats and now these races are called “All-or-One” to include solo, double-handed and fully crewed boats. In 2013, John collaborated with a sister club to create “Big Fleet Races” which provided more opportunities for racing and friendships amongst sailors in Waukegan Harbor. John has offered many suggestions on race course setup and sailing instructions to enable ease of race management and racer participation.
Experience has enabled him to provide tips and advice to friends and family on topics of navigation, weather, boat repair and solo/shorthanded sailing. He shares this knowledge for nothing in return but to promote the sport. He has made presentations on the topic of “navigation software” at the Chicago boat shows.
In an effort to better acquaint Waukegan boaters and local Waukegan businesses, John and his wife, Marian, founded the “Scoop the Lake Regatta and Poker Run” in 2012, an annual fundraising effort to improve the city of Waukegan. They recruited Anchorage Yacht Club, Waukegan Yacht Club, and a local tavern who have been sponsors every year.
In 1997, at the age of 20, John did a double-handed boat delivery from Key West, Florida, to Chicago with a friend who had no boating experience. They took the east coast route via the ocean to New York, then the Erie Barge Canal and on to Lake Michigan. For this he was awarded “Cruising Sailor of the Year” by Waukegan Yacht Club.
“There are a lot of people who helped me along the way learn how to sail offshore and how to give back to the sport,” Hoskins reflected. He has raced victoriously in the Mackinac Race, the Queen’s Cup, the Tri-State races, the Bermuda Race, the Transpacific Race, the Cabo San Lucas Race and the Pineapple Cup. These races and deliveries have provided him the pleasure of sailing over 1,500 miles a year since 1996.
In 2013-2014, John helped a friend navigate Bodacious Dream, an Open 40, around the world at all hours of the day and night from his home, suggesting courses and providing weather alerts via computer and satellite internet service. He states, “With my wife’s support I am able to continue to grow. My whole life has always come back to sailing.” John credits his father and grandfather for giving him the confidence to do all he has attempted in his life. John grew up cruising the Great Lakes, East Coast, and Caribbean with his family on trips ranging from two weeks to two months. His love for weather drew him to offshore races and grew his passion for navigation.
John has extensive experience yet looks forward to many more years on the water. It is with immense pleasure that John Hoskins is inducted to the Lake Michigan Sailing Hall Of Fame.
April 15, 2017
Anchorage Yacht Club, Lake Forest, Illinois
John Hoskins was nominated by the Board of Directors of Anchorage Yacht Club to the Lake Michigan Sailing Hall of Fame.