2008 Trophy Winner
2008 Harman Hawkins Trophy
Bill Bentsen (Chicago, Ill.)
US SAILING, national governing body for the sport, has announced it is presenting its Harman Hawkins Trophy for excellence in Race Administration to Bill Bentsen (Chicago, Ill.). US SAILING President Jim Capron and Race Administration Committee Chair Dick Rose made the announcement earlier today at US SAILING's Spring Meeting in Newport, Rhode Island. Unable to attend the US SAILING meeting, Bentsen will officially be presented with the award at a later date. Presented annually, US SAILING’s Harman Hawkins Trophy is awarded to an individual who has made outstanding contributions to the sport of sailing in the field of race administration (judging, race management, appeals and racing rules).
After an outstanding sailing career capped by two Olympic medals, Bentsen has made significant contributions in all areas of Race Administration. He has been influential in setting the direction for the US SAILING Judges program when that program was in its infancy and has become a highly respected US SAILING Senior Judge and an International Judge serving at all levels of the sport, including the Olympic Games. In the 1970s, working with the race committees at the national sailing center at Association Island, N.Y., Bentsen developed strikingly innovative and effective new race management techniques.
Bentsen's major contribution has been on the US SAILING Appeals Committee as well as both the US SAILING and the International Sailing Federation Racing Rules Committees. He served on those three committees for decades and his contributions are legendary. It is no exaggeration to say that Bentsen's knowledge of sailboat racing and his analytic and writing skills have affected every racing rule, every US SAILING appeal and every ISAF case. Following in the footsteps of Harold Vanderbilt, Gregg Bemis, Gerald Sambrook-Sturgess, and Mary Pera, Bentsen is the person who has made the most contributions to improving the racing rules of sailing in the last thirty years. (Photo courtesy Ellen Bentsen)