Tuesday, July 29, 2014
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Mr. Rodney Wallace (Rod) is the major league yachtsman of Minnesota and a deserving candidate for the MORC Hall of Fame. His yachting history has contributed significantly in advancing the image of sailboat racing in Minnesota. On Lake Minnetonka he was instrumental in maintaining MORC keelboat racing at the Wayzata Yacht Club (WYC) by serving on the board of directors and holding several offices within the MORC Fleet. WYC is a member owned club and relies heavily on the Board of Directors to provide direction for the club’s future. During his tenure on the Board he held the position of buildings and grounds chair and provided the necessary leadership in constructing the WYC Clubhouse in 1980. In addition he supervised the acquisition of the West property to double the club area in 1983.

Rod1.jpg (81156 bytes)

 

WYC MORC Station 40 held the lead in the number of MORC members when Rod Wallace was Fleet Captain during the late seventies. This was the time period that Rod began to put together the Thunderbird/Thunderbolt Minnesota sailing team. His winning sailing record began at the WYC and is summarized in the table below.

1978 MORC 1 –C&C 29

3rd C Series

1st T Series

2nd Commodore Cup

1st Saturday Series

 

2nd Burton Cup

1979 MORC 1 – Evelyn 26

1st C Series

 

1st T Series

1980 MORC 1 – Evelyn 26

2nd B Series

3rd C Series

2nd Championship

1st G Series

1st T Series

3rd M Series

 

2nd Burton Cup

 

1981 MORC 1 – Evelyn 26

1st A Series

3rd B Series

1st C Series

 

1st Championship

 

1st G Series

1st T Series

1st M Series

 

1st Burton Cup

 

1983 MORC 1 – G&S 27

3rd B Series

3rd C Series

2nd T Series

3rd Burton Cup

 

3rd Saturday Series

1984 MORC 1 – G&S 27

2nd B Series

2nd C Series

2nd Championship

 

1st Regatta Weekend

 

1985 MORC 1 – G&S 27

2nd B Series

2nd Championship

1st T Series

1st Commodore Cup

1st Burton Cup

2nd Saturday Series

1987 MORC 1 – G&S 27

1st A Series

1st B Series

1st C Series

 

1st Championship

 

2nd G Series

1st Regatta Weekend

1st Saturday Series

3rd Burton Cup

 

1st Commodore Cup

 

rod2.jpg (24538 bytes)

 

Rod Wallace personally assembled championship teams of sailors from Minnesota. Included were Gordy Bowers, Bill Allen, Lars Hansen, George Pawlik, John Phelps, Willie Crear, Paul Giel, Dave Onan, Pat Hunt, Sean Gilmore and Dave Pepin to name a few.

Beginning in 1980 the Thunderbird/Thunderbolt team went on the National sailing circuit. On the Chicago-Mackinac Island race, Thunderbird (a Cook 35) took 1st place in their division and second overall – [1, St. Paul Pioneer Press, "Thunderbird’s accomplishments put Twin Cities on yachting map"]. From there the team headed to Florida for the Southern Ocean Racing Conference (SORC) to continue their winning record. This set them up for International Competition. Thunderbird was one of the three SORC boats selected (25 in contention) to represent the United States Team in the 1982 Sardinia Cup off the coast of Italy. Scaramouche from Michigan and High Roler from San Diego were the other two. The United States Team finished 2nd behind the Italians.

Competing in MORC International regattas was also on the Thunderbolt agenda. In 1985 in Detroit Thunderbolt (G&S27) won third place in Division 3 and third overall [2]. This was followed in 1987 by competing in the 1987 MORC Internationals in Milwaukee. At the regatta the other competitors followed Thunderbolt as the team took 1st in their division and 1st overall (67 sailboats were competing)[3].

rod3.jpg (54644 bytes)

 

The Thunderbolt sailing team knows how to celebrate as shown above. These winning team accomplishments were also celebrated and noted around Lake Minnetonka.

rod4.jpg (28623 bytes)

 

The above picture illustrates one of the many welcome home and congratulations signs. Newspapers also carried stories of their achievement [4].

Rod’s sailing accomplishments are very significant. His other accomplishments are perhaps even more significant. These include work ethics as President and CEO of the Thunderbird Hotel and Convention Center and dedication to people. His fellow sailing team members are an example of this dedication.

Mr. Wallace’s nomination to the MORC Hall of Fame is from the Thunderbird/Thunderbolt Sailing Team and WYC Station 40 members. Thank you for your consideration.

 

  1. St. Paul Pioneer Press, Friday April 30, 1982 – Dennis Anderson, "Thunderbird’s accomplishments put Twin Cities on yachting map".
  2. Yacht Racing & Cruising, November 1985 – "1985 MORC Internationals (3rd page MORC International Results)"
  3. Yacht Racing & Cruising, November 1987 – "1987 MORC Internationals"
  4. Minneapolis Star and Tribune, August 30, 1987 – "Minnetonka Boats strike like thunder in Milwaukee regatta"
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References:

  1.  

Thunderbolt Congratulations Sign

Thunderbolt 1987 Rudder Trophy Winning Team
Paul Giel, Pat Hunt, Rod Wallace, Bill Allen, Sean Gilmore and George Pawlik

Thunderbolt

Thunderbolt Team
WYC Racing Accomplishments

Mr. Wallace Provided the Leadership for
WYC Club House Construction and West Expansion

Rodney Wallace
1987 Rudder Trophy Winner and
MORC Hall of Fame Candidate from Minnesota


  

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