Yacht Club Commodore elected into Hall of Fame

Gail M. Turluck, Executive Secretary of the Lake Michigan Sail Racing Federation (LMSRF), presenting Thomas Atkins with a plaque recognizing his election to the Federation’s Hall of Fame. Atkins was cited, among other accomplishments, for his lifelong dedication to sailing education. — Photo by Jane Gapinski

Thomas Atkins, the Commodore of The Sheboygan Yacht Club, was recently elected into the Lake Michigan Sail Racing Federation’s Hall of Fame.  The Lake Michigan Sail Racing Federation is a not-for-profit charitable association of individual Yacht Clubs, sailing groups, and individual sailors located in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, and Wisconsin.

Atkins was recognized for his lifelong participation and dedication to the sport of sailing, especially for his role in introducing people of all ages who were inspired by his enthusiasm and interest in teaching sailing to others.

Tom has been actively involved in sailing for nearly his entire life.  He created a junior sailing program at the Toledo Country Club, helped initiate the University of Toledo Sailing Club, and established a sailing program for the Aquatics Department at the University of Pittsburgh.

In 1989 he established his own marketing business in Sheboygan, applying his skills to create, improve and manage sailing programs successfully. The Sheboygan Yacht Club’s Commodore asked Tom to chair a committee with the directive of starting a junior sailing program in Sheboygan.   

Tom’s Foundation acquired a fleet of ten Optimist dinghies and the organization matured into the Sheboygan Youth Sailing Club, which now has fleets of J/24s, Lightnings, 420s, Lasers, a high school sailing team, and adult sailing lessons, now serving several hundred people per season.

Atkins becomes the fourth SYC member to join this select company of recognized great lakes sailors, preceded by SYC members Terry Kohler (2010), Peter W. Reichelsdorfer (2013), and Rich Reichelsdorfer (2016).

In addition to intensive local involvement in local youth and adult programs, Tom serves as a U.S. Sailing National Judge and PRO. He attends and speaks at several U.S. Sailing Symposiums and serves on the appeals commission of the LMSRF.

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