San Diegans Among Sailing Hall Of Fame Inductees

Dennis Conner, Lowell North, 13 Others Inducted Into Sailing Hall Of Fame's First Class

The National Sailing Hall of Fame inducted its first inaugural class – which includes two San Diegans – at the San Diego Yacht Club on Sunday.

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San Diegan Dennis Conner – who is known as "Mr. America's Cup" – has won the America's Cup four times. The America's Cup is a trophy awarded to the winner of the America's Cup races between two yachts. On Sunday, he was inducted into the Sailing Hall of Fame.

"It's nice to be included with the best of the best here in San Diego at your own place," said Connor. "It means something special because the San Diego area is what afforded me the ability to become the best in the world."

Joining Conner with a hall of fame medal is San Diego's Lowell North, a four-time world championship skipper who used his aeronautical engineering degree to make scientific advances in the sport.

"It's very exciting and it's wonderful to be included in this group of people," said North. "It's a great group."

The two inductees joined 13 others to be honored for their contributions to the sport of sailing, which captivated San Diego during the America's Cup in 1988.

"[There was] a lot of nationalism because Dennis Connor was there with an all-American crew and so everyone was up watching in the middle of the night. You know… they wanted to see how Dennis was doing," said Bill Campbell, who is with the San Diego Yacht Club. "It was great."

The sport will try to reclaim the magic next month when the America's Cup series returns to San Diego, but Conner said he is not sure whether it will happen.

"We'll have to wait and see," said Connor. "We're going through a lot of changes in America and we don't know what will happen to the sport."

Other inductees on Sunday include media mogul Ted Turner, a four-time Yachtsman of the Year winner and Hobie Alter, whose name is legendary in the surfboard industry.

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