Mark Jeffery Reynolds
“Fifty three years later, it’s still special — I just really enjoy sailing the Star Boat.”
November 2, 1955 -
Birthplace: San Diego, California
As a young Star sailor, Mark Reynolds says he would always have a song in his mind on the race course. One of his favorite lyrics was from Bob Dylan’s Subterranean Homesick Blues : “You don’t need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows.” That could have been Reynolds mantra.
He was fated to sail Stars. His father, Jim Reynolds, won the Star World Championship crewing for Dennis Conner in 1971. But Mark Reynolds went further, becoming a skipper and winning 10 Continental Star Championships, seven Bacardi Cups, two Star North American and two Star World Championships, three Kiel Weeks, and three Olympic medals – two gold, one silver – in seven campaigns.
Reynolds has ventured away from Stars a few times. He won Kiel Week in a Flying Dutchman in 1979. In 2002, he was Farr 40 World Champion. That same year he raced the 875-mile Miami/Baltimore leg of the Volvo Race. “I got more sailing in on that leg than I normally do in a year,” he said afterwards. But his Star was always on the trailer, prepped and ready.
“Mark has always started well, been one of the quickest upwind, and he’s mentally tough as rocks,” said Steve Ericson, who crewed for Reynolds in the 2004 Olympic Class Regatta that they won. That year, Reynolds changed an old habit. He and Ericson ate lunch going upwind so he and Ericson wouldn’t miss precious downwind training. It paid off.
A sailmaker and life long resident of San Diego, Reynolds’ sails have won 13 of the last 15 Olympic medals in the Star class. “In this business, I have to be real open with everybody,” Reynolds says, “but that seems to work out. I learn from them as well, so it helps my sailing.”
At 57, Reynolds still has the touch. His latest win was in the Master category of the Zagarino Star Masters in 2012.
- Roger Vaughan
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