Local sailing icon and Olympic Gold Medalist Bill Buchan was inducted this week into the United States National Sailing Hall of Fame in Annapolis.
Buchan’s 1984 Gold Medal-winning appearance in the Los Angeles Olympics racing Star class was just the cream on top of a long career sailing the one-design boats; Buchan won the Star world championships in 1961, 1970, and 1985.
“If it wasn’t for Seattle Yacht Club arranging for the 1948 Star North Americans, I wouldn’t be standing here today,” said Buchan, crediting Seattle’s flagship yacht club with launching his racing career at the tender age of 13. Captivated by the championship races on Puget Sound and Lake Washington, Buchan quickly convinced his father to help him build one of the 22′ keelboats. A succession of Stars later, Bill was a builder of record for the class, eventually originating a hull shape that became standard in the fleet.
Buchan has raced, and won, in other classes, but it’s the Star to which he has always returned. And to the Seattle area–Bill still lives in Medina. After an exceptionally long and winning career, it’s hard to think of a more deserving inductee.