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Bob Curry

Hall of Famer - Bob Curry

Bob Curry, the undisputed world's king of unirigs and sloops as well, just this fall captured the highly competitive North American Championship for the Nacra 5.5 Uni. And this was against a fleet of experienced sailors in the class that all sported carbon fiber masts and rudders. Curry sailed with a stock aluminum mast and stock rudders -- and still won handily.

This is just an example of how savvy Curry is as a sailor. But, why not? He is a weatherman for the U.S. Air force - he should be able to tell where every shift is, every gust, every front, every hole. And he seems to be capable of seeing all of those, by the way.

Curry has been the U.S. National Champion 17 times on Hobie 14s and 17s, World Champion on a Hobie 14 and Mystere 6.0, Alter Cup Champion, and Nacra 5.5 Uni North American Champ. The list goes on and on from there.

When asked how he got into the sport, he said, " I started sailing in 1976 on a Laser unimaran. My next door neighbors moved from Connecticut and brought 5 with them. I lived in Tampa at the time, literally with a dock on the bay. I sailed these Lasers for about 3 months when a kid down the street brought his Hobie 14 to their dock for a week. One Saturday morning, I took

Bob Curry

the H14 out of the canal and into the open bay. With a gentle breeze blowing, I took off for the middle of Tampa Bay. Soon, the wind died and I was surrounded by a group of dolphins. They played and jumped and I never in my life felt any closer to God than in that moment. It was at this point I knew I had to have one of these boats! Two weeks later, I purchased a bright yellow H14."

Curry ran track and played football in junior high and high school. He started as point guard playing basketball in 5th-6th grade. But, keep in mind that Bob is not exactly a big, husky guy. He soon found the sailboat was a great equalizer in replacing physical size with a smart brain. Curry said, "Also, it is a many faceted game with wind shifts, wind gusts, current, boat tuning, etc." He went on to say, "The best thing I like about sailboat racing is the chance to match my skills with the best sailors in the world."

When asked what accomplishment of all his many World, National and North American Championships he was most proud of, he answered, "I'm very proud of my victory in the 1987 Hobie 17 National Championship. It was the way I went after it. I didn't buy a 17 until one week prior to the '87 Mid Winters East. And I got first place. With the nationals in mid-June, I sailed every day up to the event. I sailed at night, I sailed when I got off work in the afternoons, I sailed when I got off mid-shifts. When I had a full day off or sometimes two or three in a row, I would spend the night in my truck at the beach. I tried to utilize every moment for training and racing. I figure I had close to a year of sailing under my belt. When I went to the nationals I was so confident in my ability to sail the boat, I knew nobody was going to get close! So, I didn't have to sail the last race, that was the plan. When I was at work, I would visualize my winning races, first off the line and even accepting the 1st place trophy. Talk about being TOTALLY FOCUSED!!"

Bob Curry

Bob Curry (right) and Kirk Newkirk (left) at Put-in-Bay, Ohio where they won U.S. Sailing's Alter Cup Multihull Championships together.

Curry also said, "I really like to teach. Doing the Seminars with Rick and Mary(referring to Rick White's Sailing Seminars) has been a highlight of my career. I want to coach a USA Tornado team in the future."

Curry does feel that small multihull sailing is in trouble in the U.S. It is now getting expensive to by a 20 foot cat these days. He said, "We must be nice to the folks coming into the sport and must continue to support the youth as role models."

When asked how long he will continue to race cats, he replied, "I will continue to sail beach cats until I die."

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