Hobie Alter inducted to Sailing Hall of Fame


Photo: Laguna Beach’s Hobie Alter receives his National Sailing Hall of Fame medal from Dick Franyo, President of the National Sailing Center & Hall of Fame.

Hobie Alter inducted to Sailing Hall of Fame


Laguna Beach’s Hobie Alter was inducted into the National Sailing Hall of Fame Oct. 23 at an invitation-only ceremony at the San Diego Yacht Club.

Alter was one of 15 inductees to the inaugural class.

Alter is widely remembered as the man behind the development of the foam-and-fiberglass surfboard. His label, Hobie, remains one of the top-selling surfboard brands of all time. He is also the creator of the Hobie Cat, the Hobie 33 ultralight-displacement sailboat and one of the finest mass-produced radio-controlled gliders, the Hobie Hawk.

Alter opened up Southern California’s first surf shop in Dana Point in the 1950s. Then in 1958, he and his buddy Gordon “Grubby” Clark (as in Clark Foam) began experiments making surfboards out of foam and fiberglass.

“After years of planning, we are so pleased that the heroes of our sport are getting their long-overdue recognition,” said Dick Franyo, president of the National Sailing Hall of Fame, in a press release. “The National Sailing Center and Hall of Fame will be a place to honor these heroes and provide inspiration for all sailors – young and old.”

The inductees are U.S. citizens 45 and older who have made a significant impact on the growth and development of the sport in the United States, in categories of Sailing, Technical and Contributor. Nominations of non-citizens were also considered if they influenced the sport, and posthumous nominations were also accepted…

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