Paul Henderson took the Shellback Club through an entertaining personal history of his early sailing career sailing Sabot prams around Toronto Island, through his Olympic sailing and time in international sailing management (CYA, IYRU, ISAF Olympic Committee), and up to the present; including giving his views on the current selections of boats and events in upcoming Olympics. Paul's view is that Olympic sailing has headed too far into quirky sailing events in proprietary classes of boats and other sailing craft, and is taking the sport far away from what really distinguishes sailors on the race course: athleticism, handling strong winds, competition, and wind sense.
Also through Paul's talk were many references to his fascinating interactions with other sailing luminaries, Olympians, royalty, and celebrities.
Paul's pivotal role in sailing in Canada over decades has vastly improved sailing in Canada.
About Paul Henderson
Paul comes to Shellbacks with a huge background – far more than his ‘simple plumber’ status. It's not possible cover everything in this short bio, but here is a sketch of his achievements.
Paul graduated from the University of Toronto in Engineering and Business. He is a Master Plumber, Master Heating Installer, and Master Gas Fitter. He is retired as Owner and CEO of R.G. & Son Ltd. Mechanical Contractors. His company is known to be one of the most advanced and valuable service companies in its sector.
Most of us know Paul as an Honourary Life Member of the RCYC – a singular honour. He has held many positions in the sailing world, including being a member of the International Olympic Committee, President of the International Sailing Federation, and President/CEO for the Toronto 1996 Olympic Bid. He has been a Technical Delegate for Sailing in four Olympic Games, five Pan Am Games, and was ISAF President for Sydney & Athens.
His own sailing career has included being a member of the Canadian Olympic team for four Olympic Games. He was Canadian National Champion seven times, USA National Champion four times, and Champion in Bermuda, Holland, and North America. And more recently, Paul placed third in the 2017 Shark Worlds.
He has held various positions from President to Member and Founding Member in various organizations including the Toronto Racquet Club, Harbourfront Disabled Sailing Association, the Water Rat Sailing Club, and the Outer Harbour Sailing Federation.
Paul was inducted into the Canadian Olympic Sports Hall of Fame in 2001 and the Ontario Sports Hall of Fame in 2019. However, this bio is a sketch; many other achievements have been omitted.
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