Fiddler's GreenApr 4, 2014
Warren Luhrs, co-founder of Hunter Boats, died at age 69 following a heart attack on Sept. 18, 2013.
Luhrs began building boats with his brother John and father Henry, a German immigrant at Henry Luhrs Sea Skiffs. The first Hunter sailboat, the Hunter 25 designed by John Cherubini, was launched in 1973.
He became well known in the solo trans ocean race circuit, starting with the 54-foot monohull Tuesday’s Child which he and his brother John sailed to second place in class in the 1982 two-man Round Britain Race.
In the 1984 Observer Single-handed Trans-Atlantic he sailed his innovative ultralight Open 60, Thursday’s Child, and was the first monohull to finish the race just 16 hours behind the first trimaran, Yvon Fauconnier’s Umpro Jardin V, with an elapsed time of 16 days, 22 hours and 27 minutes.
In 1985 Luhrs competed in the Round Britian Race with crewmate Ola Wettergren in a new boat designed by Paul Linderburg. They finished as top monohull.
In 1989, Luhrs sailed Thursday’s Child (re-named Hunter’s Child) from New York around Cape Horn and up to San Francisco in 80 days and 20 hours, breaking the record set by American clipper ship Flying Cloud.
Stanley Bishoprick, founder of Legendary Yachts, died Oct. 25, 2013. He was 76.
Born in Portland, Ore., in 1937, Bishoprick earned his degree in forestry and business at Oregon State University in Corvallis.
He established a number of businesses including Exterior Wood in 1977, Windy Ridge Farm, a Thoroughbred racehorse training and breeding facility, and the classic wooden boat building business, Legendary Yachts, in 1994.
In 1996 he retired to sail his L. Francis Herreshoff designed 72-foot ketch, Radiance.
Annapolis yard owner Bert Jabin died Nov. 9, 2013. He was 83.
Jabin, born and raised in Miami, sailed into Annapolis as a teenager where he dropped out of high school to work as a deck hand on sailboats.
Jabin earned a high school diploma and, after serving in the Korean War, went to college on the GI bill. He returned to Annapolis and worked at Maryland Shipbuilding in Baltimore.
He opened Bert Jabin Yacht Yard in 1959 on a small plot overlooking Annapolis’ Back Creek. Over the years he acquired other properties and by the 1980s the yard covered nearly 20 acres — the largest yard in the area.
Edwin Arthur Shuman III
Capt. Edwin Arthur Shuman III, USN (Ret), passed away on Dec. 4, 2013. His death follows complications from a fall on his boat.
Shuman’s career included selection as a test pilot at the Naval Air Test Center, NAS Patuxent, Maryland, and later was shot down over North Vietnam and spent time as a POW.
Shuman assumed command of Naval Station Annapolis in April 1978 and oversaw major growth of the Naval Academy sailing program.
Two of his sailing accomplishments were a Trans-Atlantic Race to Ireland in 1979 on the Naval Academy’s Alliance (former S&S 54 Charisma), with winds to 55 knots (first in class, first in fleet on corrected time); followed by the deadly Fastnet Race of that year.
He regularly sailed his sloop Snap Roll between Annapolis and Newport, R.I. Shuman competed in over 20 Newport to Bermuda Races, and maintained active memberships in the New York Yacht Club, Annapolis Yacht Club, the Storm Trysail Club and the Cruising Club of America.
Conny van Rietschoten
Conny van Rietschoeten, the only skipper to have won the Whitbread Round the World Race (now called the Volvo Ocean Race) died on Dec. 17, 2013, following a stroke.
Born March 23, 1926, van Rietschoten grew up in the Netherlands.
In 1977-1978 he skippered Flyer I (S&S 65) to win the race on corrected time. He returned in 1981-82 and again won on overall time with Flyer II (Frers 76), beating Kiwi adversaries Ceramco New Zealand. His record of two wins hold to this day.
Van Rietschoten is also the only Dutch skipper to win the race and since the 1980s the Conny van Rietschoten Trophy has been awarded to the best Dutch competition sailor. Volvo Ocean Race competitor and America’s Cup winner Simeon Tienpont was the 2013 recipient.
Ted Hood, yachtsman, sailmaker, designer and entrepreneur died in Middletown, R.I., on June 28, 2013. He was 86 years old.
Born in Beverly, Mass., Hood grew up in Danvers and Marblehead, Mass., and built his first boat at the age of 7. He served in the U.S. Navy during World War II and upon his return began repairing sails at his family home in Marblehead.
At a time when sails were made of cotton canvas or hemp, the young Hood found them to be poorly cut and heavy. Cotton and hemp were quickly being replaced by a new synthetic, Dacron, and Hood, along with his engineer/chemist father Ralph Hood, developed a new process for making sailcloth.
Together they founded Hood Sailmakers and went on to build what were at the time the most competitive sails available along with Hood’s innovations in rigging and hardware. From 1958 to 1977 Hood Sails were aboard every America’s Cup winner including Courageous, the cup defender that he skippered in 1974.
Hood was also a legendary yacht designer. He designed the 39-foot Nefertiti and American Promise, for Dodge Morgan’s 150-day solo circumnavigation in 1985-1986.
In the mid-1980s Hood sold Hood Sailmakers and focused his efforts on designing both power and sailing yachts; he founded Little Harbor Yachts and developed a major marine complex in Portsmouth, R.I.