Club News

Doug Peterson Inducted into the America’s Cup Hall of Fame

By Emily Willhoft | April 17, 2017

In March 2017, Naval Architect Doug Peterson became the fourth SDYC member to be inducted into the America's Cup Hall of Fame. The designer responsible for two America’s Cup winning boats and endless other victorious designs, Peterson joins SDYC legends Dennis Conner, Malin Burnham, and Jack Sutphen in this accomplishment.

Doug Peterson is known as one of America’s most accomplished yacht designers of his generation. Peterson has produced countless successful designs, ranging in size from 8 meters to over 30 meters. For decades, sailors have excelled racing boats designed by Peterson under International Offshore Rule, International Measurement System, Midget Ocean Racing Conference, and International Rule Measurement System. Especially after the early 1970s, sailors who raced a Peterson design boat in any class would have a good chance of winning.

Peterson boats have won multiple world titles, national titles and major regattas. However, many would argue that his designs for the America’s Cup boats were the pinnacle of his naval architecture career. Peterson was the lead designer behind Team USA’s 1992 boat America³ and Team New Zealand’s 1995 America’s Cup boat Black Magic, which became one of the most powerful and prevailing boats in America’s Cup history. Black Magic was successful because Peterson included a narrow beam and positioned the mast further aft than traditional America’s Cup yachts at the time. It was also the way he approached the design of the boat, by thinking about the boat as a whole rather than separate parts, which made the design different from previous America’s Cup boats.

His extensive resume includes many regatta wins all over the world on many different levels of sailing; yet, not to be forgotten is his significant impact at San Diego Yacht Club. Five of his designs were awarded “San Diego Yacht Club Yacht of the Year”- Vendetta in ’75, Cadenza in ’76, Tin Woodsman in ’77, Dust ‘Em in ’80, and America³ in ’92. Many of his designs can be found on the walls of the trophy room at SDYC. Additionally, six of his boats were Yachting Cup class winners in the 1970s. In the late 1970s/early 1980s, Peterson boats won most of the top three places at the Lipton Cup, a signature event now hosted by San Diego Yacht Club.

The induction ceremony will take place in early October 2017 aboard the U.S.S. Midway in San Diego, California. Peterson will join over eighty legends who have been inducted into the America’s Cup Hall of Fame since it was founded in 1992.