Sailor of the Week: March 18 - 24
Pete started sailing when he was 15. As a member of the Alamitos Bay Yacht Club (ABYC) in Long Beach, Calif., he raced in national one-design and Snipe classes. Pete was involved in a number of protests early in his racing career, and quite a few of them did not go his way. This sparked his interest in learning the rules inside and out, but that wasn’t enough for Pete. He later became a US SAILING Certified Judge.
In 1988, he was in the right place at the right time. Pete was the chief judge at the Long Beach Yacht Club (LBYC), and served as the umpire for the first race of the LBYC Congressional Cup. Soon after, Pete became an ISAF umpire and judge.
Pete’s race administration resume is long and distinguished. He was the Principal Race Officer for the 1984 Olympic Games. “This was a wonderful, unforgettable experience,” Pete said. “Overseeing a committee that had 110 members who came together and acted as a team was very satisfying. I was fortunate to have been surrounded with excellent people who took their jobs very seriously and were easy to manage.”
He also fulfilled his dream of umpiring the America’s Cup, a job he performed on three occasions (1992, 1995, 1999). “Having the chance to spend months with some of the best in the world, and concentrating every day on the rules and their execution was an experience unlike any other event in which I have been involved,” Pete stated.
For years, Pete mentored aspiring race officials, who would later officiate at major sailing events such as the America’s Cup, Olympics, and world championships. Pete’s sons, Jeff and Keith are both avid sailors. They both own Cal 20s and race year round. Keith is a two-time winner of US SAILING’s Offshore Championship (1996, 2000).
“Dave Perry once told me it’s not about the sport of sailing, it’s about the people… I heartily agree,” added Pete. “I hope I have given back to the sport, a small part of what I have gained.”