Steve Colgate, designer of the Colgate 26, the backbone of our Sail Chicago fleet, will be inducted into the National Sailing Hall of Fame on October 4.
Steve Colgate has not only impacted recreational boaters, he has steered his own yacht, Sleuth, to impressive wins and sailed thousands of miles of blue water racing and round-the-buoy competitions as helmsman, tactician and crew on sailboats he helped bring to the winners’ circle. Colgate started his racing career at age 19 on his first of six Transatlantic Races, racing from Cuba to Spain on the winning yacht 72’ yawl Mare Nostrum. He immediately went on to participate in his first of seven Fastnet Races; and in 1979, on his Frers 54’ Sleuth, he won his class in the 1979 Fastnet where winds hit more than 80 knots, 15 died, and many yachts retired.
In 1964 he turned his love for sailing into bringing more sailors to the lifestyle, and sport, of sailing. He started Offshore Sailing School with one location in New York City, and gradually expanded to its current eight locations in Florida, the British Virgin Islands, New Jersey and New York. With his wife and Offshore Sailing partner Doris (CEO and President of Offshore Sailing School), vowing to never get in the way of Colgate’s love for racing, he continued on to compete in two America’s Cup Trials, the Pan American Games, the Olympics, 20 Newport to Bermuda Races, 2 Sydney-Hobart races, 5 Antigua Race Weeks, and a host of other racing and sailing adventures too long to list here. Additionally, Colgate designed the school’s training vessel, the Colgate 26, with Naval Architect Jim Taylor. The Colgate 26 is the official training vessel of the U.S. Naval Academy, U.S. Coast Guard and Maine Maritime Academy.