Hometown: Mantoloking, NJ
Education: Lehigh University, Economics, 1982
- Why do you want to be a member of US Sailing’s Board of Directors?
I have been fortunate to be part of the racing end of sailing for a few decades, following juniors, college and our e scow fleet with my daughters and their friends. My own sailing interconnects with all these great young sailors. I hope to create enthusiasm for all to see sailing as a lifelong hobby and journey.
- How can community sailing centers, yacht clubs and other sailing organizations collaborate with each other more on key initiatives to grow sailing?
On Barnegat Bay, we have 13 Yacht Clubs within 12 miles, all different scale programs and facilities. I am part of a group starting a sailing center focused on giving access sailing for all. Our direct work will be for mental, physical disabilities and also on those at risk or recovering from addictions, themselves or their family. We believe “repairs can be made at sea” and healing as a family will happen.
Awareness of sailing for new sailors?
While much of the concern and focus on growing sailing has been through reaching out to community centers, which I strongly support, I hope to reenergize current yacht clubs to look to the sailors whom they have already met. So many kids have simply left our sport, so many parents of juniors were never offered a chance for themselves to learn to sail concurrently with their children, those making that bond together. The sport has changed and many yacht clubs must consider buying small fleets of proper boats and have the members use club boats versus private owned. Change happens…
US Sailing – facilitate these changes.
I hope to learn about today’s US Sailing directives first hand and use my enthusiasm and passion to carry on these thoughtful initiatives and add a dash of seasoning where needed.
Russ has been a lifelong sailor and racer on Barnegat Bay in New Jersey. From early days racing Duckboats, his eyes were always drawn to the beauty, speed and expertise of the E-Scows. He was thrilled to sail with so many of the great sailors on the Bay such as Runnie Colie, Sam Merrick, Cliff Campbell, Dick Wight, and many more.
Through a life of racing with and against the best sailors, his greatest joy was helping create sailing passion for his daughters, Molly, Grace and Maddie. Being asked to crew for his father, George Lucas, while he races in the Bulls Eye National Championships at age 82 ranks amongst his favorites of continuing to build shared experiences with all family members.
- 10x Duckboat World Champion
- 2x E Scow Eastern Champion, 2x BBYRA champ
- E Scow Blue Chip Champion
- Melges 20 National Champion
- Melges 20 Winter Series Champion, 4th place, European Championship, 5th place, World Championship, 2x CRW Champion
- A Cat BBYRA champion
- National Sailing Hall of Fame Board Member
- BHYC former Trustee
- Member Bay Head Yacht Club, New York Yacht Club, North Shrewsbury Ice and Yacht Club
I have been lucky to come from a sailing family. My parents always ran the Jr Program in various buckets of time, but the dinner table was a place for racing lessons with the salt and pepper shakers, to bringing dinner to the sailing center in the dark to fix stuff. We also always heard my folks give suggestions and their experiences to help us all get over our fears and frustrations and celebrate those breakthrough days.
I care deeply for improving our momentum in the top end of sailing at the Olympic level. I was deeply connected to the hero’s I saw on the water and land. I believe those connections helped me race faster and enjoy/love being on the water more than any other part of my journey. I continue to learn through sailing with today’s hero’s, Harry Melges, Dave Hughes, Stu Mcnay and so many more.
I hope to use my connection with our Sailing Hall of Fame and our Olympic program to create awareness for sailors, new or coming back, to find their hero’s to follow, cheer and support.