The Bay Area Sports Hall of Fame (BASHOF) announced yesterday that local sailor Paul Cayard will join its 2020 induction class this May. In doing so, Cayard becomes the first sailor to be recognized by the BASHOF, joining sports-world greats such as Joe Montana, Jonny Moseley, Billie Jean King and Willie Mays.
“I grew up in this city and graduated from San Francisco State, so I’ve spent my entire life following the greats of Bay Area sports,” said Cayard. “To have earned a place among the heroes of my hometown is a tremendous honor for me. I am also extremely proud that the sport of sailing is being recognized in this arena.”
Cayard is a seven-time world champion and seven-time America’s Cup competitor. He has circumnavigated the world twice, becoming the first American to win the Whitbread Round the World Race in 1998 on EF Language. He placed second with Disney’s Pirates of the Caribbean in the 2005–2006 Volvo Ocean Race. Cayard is a two-time Olympian in the Star class (1984, 2004). He’s thus one of the very few sailors who have competed at the top level in these three diverse disciplines.
Cayard’s accolades include induction into the National Sailing Hall of Fame (2011), and US Sailing’s Rolex Yachtsman of the Year award (1998). He is a member of San Francisco Yacht Club and St. Francis Yacht Club, and currently serves as chairman of the board of the latter club. Cayard also serves on the board of US Olympic Sailing.
The 2020 inductee class will be honored at the 41st Annual Enshrinement Banquet of BASHOF on Monday, May 11, 2020, at the Westin St. Francis Hotel in San Francisco. Cayard will be inducted alongside Baseball Hall of Famer Rickey Henderson (Oakland A’s), Super Bowl champion Bryant Young (49ers), 12-time Olympic swimming medalist Natalie Coughlin and three-time World Series-winning manager Bruce Bochy (S.F. Giants).
When nominating Cayard to the BASHOF, SFYC director David Walker said, “Paul represents the best in competition, sportsmanship and sailing. He competes and wins at the highest level and is a great ambassador for the Bay Area.”
San Francisco Chamber of Commerce’s Sports Committee and Lou Spadia, former president of the San Francisco 49ers, started the BASHOF in 1979. Each year, the organization solicits votes from major media outlets in the Bay Area to select its new inductees.
Through 2019, the Bay Area Sports Hall of Fame has inducted 180 athletes. “Now, I am pleased to welcome our first sailor,” said BASHOF vice president Anthony Savicke.