Top Seven Celebrity Sailors

Top Seven Celebrity Sailors

Through a very stringent process that involved a complicated algorithm, a set of dice, and the hair of a newt, we came up with our list of the 7 most interesting high-profile people who we consider true sailors. We ranked the celebrity sailors using a mathematical break down of the bandwidth of their fame divided by their admitted love and devotion for sailing. It’s inarguable. You can disagree, and we’d like to hear your thoughts, but remember this has been determined through a scientific means, so we are ultimately right. If you are a celebrity sailor and didn’t make the list you should probably hire a new agent! Since we didn’t know whether to separate dead from living we included both…

  1. Bob SegerBob Seger
    After writing and performing some of the world’s most classic rock tunes like “Night Moves” and “Like a Rock” superstar musician Bob Seger caught the sailing bug – big time. Back in the late 90s the rock legend started sailing, then racing and he’s no slouch. Seger is serious racer who has competed and won in the famous Mackinac Race multiple times aboard his Santa Cruz 52. “I just fell in love with (sailing),” he told the Chicago Tribune. “I like the no-noise aspect of it. I really do. It’s just so quiet without engines.”
  1. Stephen ColbertNews-2015-07-Celebrity Sailor-Stephen Colbert
    The well-respected comedian and successor to David Letterman’s Late Show is also a real sailor. While he has joked that he is the “world’s greatest sailor” after finishing dead last in the Charleston to Bermuda Race, no one can take away the fact that the C2B is a 777 mile journey. He’s done the race more than once and although he’s usually in a sizable boat, long distance sailing is tough stuff, particularly in racing mode. You might say that’s no joke!
  1. Humphrey BogartHumphrey Bogart
    Bogart defined what a movie star is – the perfectly dangling cigarette, the mandatory aloofness and a style that oozed confidence and dignity. As a sailor, Bogie rode the same way. His legendary 55-foot Sparkman & Stephens Santana was and is one of the most elegant and graceful yachts ever built. Bogart loved sailing as much as anyone. In fact, according to Cruising World magazine, in his will, he insisted on a service without a casket. Instead, a glass-encased model of Santana was displayed next to the lectern from which John Huston gave the eulogy. Now there’s a guy who’s serious about sailing!
  1. Albert EinsteinAlbert Einstein
    Not many know that Einsten loves to sail. Legend has it that the undisputed genius was arguably the worst sailor of all time. He would run aground and slam into things but apparently he absolutely loved the experience. He sailed a little 17-foot day-sailor called Tinef (German for worthless) for years and later his friends bought him a 23-foot boat for his 50th birthday that he named Tummler (porpoise in German). Einstein just liked to sail around with no particular intent and if he plowed into a dock, so be it – he was happy.
  1. Morgan FreemanMorgan Freeman
    He is the voice of God, but also a legit cruising sailor. He found his muse in land-locked Stowe Vermont aboard an 18-foot dinghy and knew he was a sailor. “I was not only smitten,” he said of the experience, “I was hooked for life.” Freeman has since cruised thousands of open-ocean miles, many aboard his Shannon 43, a solid blue-water cruiser. Word has it that Freeman spends most of his sailing time making his way around the Caribbean.
  1. Ted TurnerTed Turner
    Billionaire, media mogul Ted Turner, a true American character, created CNN and host of other television networks, but always made time to keep his sailing passion alive. He is famous for his defending of the America’s Cup against Australia in 1977, but many don’t know Turner was also a serious dingy sailor who made it as far as the Olympic trials in the 60s. He is in the Sailing Hall of Fame and has said his sailing achievements, in many ways, eclipse the Atlanta Braves World Series win when he was their owner. It was the sport that I participated in myself,” Turner said to ESPN. “It was great winning the World Series in baseball, but I was sitting there in the stands. In sailing, I was out there competing myself. It’s a totally different experience and I’m very, very proud and happy to be included.”
  1. JFKJohn F Kennedy (JFK)
    No one epitomized the image of laid-back glamour via sailing like John F. Kennedy. The 35th American President was a lifelong sailor and loved his a 62-foot Sparkman & Stephens Manitou. He was also a Star class sailor and even set a speed record at the 1938 Chicago-Mackinac Race. History books are filled with a smiling JFK sailing the waters of Nantucket in his gorgeous wooden Sparkman & Stephens cruiser/racer. So for this unabashed and public love of sailing, combined with an enormous quotient of fame – John F. Kennedy is our winner.
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ed selby
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ed selby

How can you leave off David Crosby??

Greg
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Greg

Another Great Lakes sailor and racer who wrote the ballad of the Edmond Fitzgerald…Gordon Lightfoot

Fifi
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Fifi

Would love to have gone sailing with Albert E. My kind of fun.

Ron
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Ron

How could you miss Walter Cronkite?

Matthew McCoy
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Matthew McCoy

Who ever put this list together must not sail. Where was Sterling Hayden, Errol Flynn, Walter Cronkite and David Crosby? To put JFK at #1 above Ted Turner are you kidding me? Just saying the list is less than accurate.

Allen Latham
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Allen Latham

Also Grace Kelly & Clark Gable, possibly the Clinton’s

mark
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mark

Really……..how could you leave off David Crosby!!!

juli
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juli

Amen!! And Dan Fogelberg!

Jim Malone
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Jim Malone

Making every effort to nominate JFK into the National Sailing HOF in in 2016. We need all sailors effort to get JFK nominated into the National Sailing Hall of Fame in Annaplois, Maryland.
http://www.nshof.org/

Norm
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Norm

Used to race against Vicki Lawrence in LA. Also Mark Spitz. Billy Campbell has a new schooner. I’m sure there are others. Cool that seger has a Cruz 52!

Doran Cushing
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Doran Cushing

Hey, what about our current celeb…Larry Ellison/Oracle? And Roy E. Disney? They both have pushed the limits of speed sailing

Video360
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Video360

I second the Sterling Hayden nomination, and need to point out an obvious omission, “Mr. America’s Cup,” Dennis Conner. Four AC wins, versus Ted Turner’s one win.

Ted
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Ted

Cobert? And not Cronkite, Buckley, Hayden?

Showing gross incompetence

Swanny
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Swanny

Mr. Jimmy Buffet did not make the list?!? How is that possible. He’d sail rings around Colbert.

Scott Henderson
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Scott Henderson

Mr. Buffet should not make any list.

joe
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joe

because buffet never really sailed anywhere

Ken Glidewell
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Ken Glidewell

What about Walter Cronkite?

Leonard Hudson
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Leonard Hudson

While Manitou won the Chicago-Mac race in 1938 – JFK did not sail her until he became president.

Tom
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Tom

You forgot to mention Simon LeBon singer of Duran Duran and multiple times competing on the Whitbred/Volvo and Fastnet Races. He has not only been a celebrity sailing, he also did a lot to promote the sport.

China Cat
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China Cat

Let’s not forget Buddy Epsen… a sailor named Jed.

Darroch
Guest

How about Peter Fonda’s 82 foot wooden Vic Franck sailing yacht: Tatoosh? You will often find the boat in Puget Sound and the San Juan Islands. I was aboard Tatoosh on a shake down cruise off San Diego, CA.

Byron Lambie
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Byron Lambie

While Working on my dissertation, I found that Einstein and Carl Jung had dinner together with a men’s group on several occasions at the turn of the century. I also knew they both enjoyed sailing the Swiss lakes. My intuition grabbed hold of me as I saw both as finders of ‘patterns of relativity’ (Jung’s was the Personality Types’ differing ways of knowing and acting on the world). But I found that they did not interact with one another. Perhaps if they had gone sailing together……..

D. Carr
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D. Carr

Hobie Alter… awesome sailor… inventor…lived the life!

D. Carr
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D. Carr

And Gilligan and the Skipper!

Len
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Len

Appearantly this was composed by a novice news person who like most fail to do a back ground check in HISTORY and only rely on Wiki, Facebook and the such for headlines. Get your facts straight or give up reporting news of any kind… Really the Clintons, ha, ha, ha

Nathan pablo
Guest
Nathan pablo

seriously? sterling hayden isn’t on this list?

Lt Col "Spike" Jones, USAF, Retired
Guest
Lt Col "Spike" Jones, USAF, Retired

Perhaps nominees should have been screened as:
Celebities who also happen to sail and:
People whose celebrity comes from sailing.

Gregg Bruff
Guest
Gregg Bruff

While we are at it, lets add Jack London, author of the Sea Wolf, the Cruise of the Snark and many other tales.

gil
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gil

Errol Flynn!

Clive Reece
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Clive Reece

What about Ted Heath,British Prime Minister and Admiral’s Cup racer on a series of ” Morning Clouds”

Chris Campbell
Guest
Chris Campbell

Let’s not forget FDR, one of the 20th century’s great heroes. I was close to weeping when I was wandering through the boats at Mystic Seaport and saw his boat, with the information that he had spent his last healthy day–the day before he was disabled by polio–sailing on that boat with his family. None of us have the foresight to choose such things, but if we did have, I think I’d go with spending the day on my boat. I do concur with JFK as no. 1, but with a chuckle. I’ve sailed the same boat since 1968–a 1961… Read more »

Lt Col "Spike" Jones, USAF, Retired
Guest
Lt Col "Spike" Jones, USAF, Retired

In my mind, smaller boats require more skill since crew weight and placement are huge factors in a balanced boat.

BMcCJ
Guest
BMcCJ

Chuck Jones, the cartoonist?

His Islander Freeport ’41 is still sailing in San Francisco Bay.

leah meredith godfrey
Guest
leah meredith godfrey

didn’t anyone happen to read “airborne” or “atlantic high” the accounts of two transatlantic sails skippered by wm.f. buckley, a true sailor?

Stan Jones
Guest

A Celebrity being a person whose life we should celebrate, my nomination would be easy. Frank Butler designed and/or built and/or sailed the primary sailboat brands in my life; including the Catalina-built Coronado 15 I currently own, the Catalina-built Omega 14 I previously owned, as well as the Catalina Capri 22 that I took my first sailing lessons aboard at an ASA Certified Sailing School in the California Delta, as well as the Catalina 30 that was one of the boats used when I took my second ASA class at another ASA Sailing School in my home-town of Richmond CA,… Read more »

Larry Cooperman
Guest
Larry Cooperman

Lists are fun & too much should not be made of any “rankings”. The point, as one viewer has made, is that the list should separate out those who sailed as recreation, apart from their “day jobs”, from those who made their fame as full time competitive or professional sailors.

Steve
Guest
Steve

Glenn Yarbrough. He interrupts his cruising to do concerts occasionally.