Sailor of the Week: August 19-25
More than two dozen sailing and boating-related organizations, including the U.S. Coast Guard, Special Olympics Maryland, and US SAILING, recently joined together to honor James P. Muldoon, former president of US SAILING, avid sailor, and community leader, for his commitment, leadership, and achievements in the field of recreational boating and boating safety. Muldoon, who lives in Washington, D.C., and Bethesda, is founder and CEO of METCOR, a government relations and high technology training company.
Sheila Hixson, chair of the Ways and Means Committee of the Maryland House of Delegates, presided over the surprise tribute, which was held at St. Mary’s College of Maryland on Aug. 7 during the Governor’s Cup Yacht Race weekend. “We have no doubt that Mr. Muldoon will make many more contributions to the recreational boating community in years to come, but we wanted to take this opportunity to thank him for all he has done over the past four decades,” Hixson said.
As evidenced by the many groups that gathered to honor Muldoon, he has made tremendous contributions to the boating community. Among the more than 30 leadership positions he has held over the years are the following: chair of the Department of Homeland Security’s National Boating Safety Advisory Council, member of the Board of Directors and chair of the Development Committee for the Coast Guard Foundation, founder and president of The Brendan Sailing Training Programs for Youths with Learning Differences, founding board member and vice president of the National Sailing Hall of Fame, and president of US SAILING. He also has served US SAILING in numerous capacities, including as vice president of the Government Relations Committee, administrative division director, and chairman of the Training Committee.
Current US SAILING President Gary Jobson, and executive director, Charlie Leighton commented on Muldoon’s achievements: “He has been, and always will be an outstanding asset to US SAILING,” said Jobson. “Jim has made a huge impact on the sailing community, especially in the area of safety,” added Leighton. "He has also been a medalist donor to our sailing teams."
Captain Mark Rizzo, chief of the Office of Auxiliary and Boating Safety for the U.S. Coast Guard, called Muldoon “one of the Coast Guard’s most caring and compassionate partners.” He went on to praise Muldoon’s support for the Coast Guard Foundation and his 11 years of service as chairman of the National Boating Safety Advisory Council.
Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot represented the Governor in presenting Muldoon with the Chesapeake Bay Ambassador Award. “You have selflessly shared your knowledge and passion,” Franchot said of Muldoon, “and in so doing you have brought enlightenment and opportunity to many young people, tomorrow’s stewards of the Bay.” Franchot also presented an award from his office recognizing Muldoon’s service to numerous charitable boards.
Among the representatives of those young people were members of the St. Mary’s College sailing team who, along with Coach Adam Werblow, presented a framed team burgee signed by members of the school’s 2010 national championship sailing team. Muldoon, chairman of the Board of Trustees at St. Mary’s College, is a longtime supporter of the school’s sailing team. His generosity enabled the school to build its new sailing center, the James P. Muldoon River Center, which opened in 2009.
Muldoon also was recognized by Special Olympics Maryland for his numerous contributions to its sailing program, including his initiative to train Special Olympians and their coaches to sail large yachts in addition to small craft. This year, for the first time, a boat crewed completely by Special Olympians competed in the Governor’s Cup Race.
Also on hand to pay tribute to Muldoon was Pat Ewing, program director of Brendan Sail Training Program for Students with Learning Differences, a program founded by Muldoon. Ewing participated in Brendan nearly three decades ago. Now he passes those lessons along to a new generation of youths.
Muldoon grew up in Gary, Ind. He didn’t learn how to sail until he finished his Air Force service and attended the University of Maryland. Jim’s fraternity brother introduced him to sailing and the Chesapeake Bay on a 27-foot Triton. “That was over 40 years ago and to this day sailing and the bay remain two of the greatest joys in my life,” said Jim.
He has long been actively involved in international sailing and boating-related organizations. He has captained his own 73-foot yacht, DONNYBROOK, with a highly competitive amateur team in hundreds of races and has accrued over 75,000 miles of blue water ocean racing. In 1992, he raced in the Grand Regatta Columbo Race celebrating the 500th year anniversary of Columbus’ voyage. They sailed from Cadiz, Spain to Puerto Rico in 13 days and five hours. “What a ride. I would love to do another Transocean race again,” he said.
Jim reflected on his sailing experiences: “I’ve witnessed first-hand how sailing can change lives. Through the Special Olympics, the many wonderful community sailing programs around the country, and our own Brendan program for kids with learning differences, I believe sailing is transformative. For everything it has brought to my life, I believe I owe that experience to anyone who wants it. That’s why I am so committed to making sailing accessible for everyone -- regardless of economic status and physical or intellectual ability.”
For more information, contact Teddi Schulman of the Maryland House of Delegates at 410-841-3027.