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Sailing enthusiast helped make 1984 Olympic Games a success

Sailing enthusiast helped make 1984 Olympic Games a success
From left, Nell Hinshaw, 1984 Los Angeles Olympics organizer Peter Ueberroth, and Ted Hinshaw.
(Daily Pilot)

As the 2012 Olympics sailing events begin Sunday, one Newport Beach family will be remembering the accomplishments of their father.

Ted Hinshaw was the 1984 Olympic Games yachting commissioner and organized the sailing events in Long Beach. Hinshaw died July 24 at Hoag Hospital fromParkinson’s-related complications, his son Marc said. He was 83.

From the world stage to Newport Harbor youth competitions, Hinshaw managed sailing events and organizations, drawing on his financial and business experience. Hinshaw spent more than 20 years as a top executive at Los Angeles-based The Capital Group Cos. Inc.

An earlier version incorrectly listed Ted Hinshaw’s son’s name as Mac. His name is Marc.


“He was a guy [who] got stuff done,” said Newport Beach sailor Mike Segerblom, the executive director of the Pacific Coast Sailing Foundation, which Hinshaw helped found.

Peter Ueberroth, organizer of the 1984 Los Angeles Olympic Games, selected Hinshaw to run the events because he was an efficient manager, Hinshaw’s friends and family say. With about 2,000 paid or volunteer workers, a fleet of more than 100U.S. Coast Guardsecurity vessels, and a temporary Olympic Village on the Long Beach shore, the sailing events were unprecedented in the Southern California sailing community.

“It was very politically challenging and you needed somebody with a very firm hand and a thick skin,” Segerblom said.

News accounts from that time said the races went smoothly, especially for the U.S. team. American sailors had a banner year, winning medals in all seven events — three gold and four silver.


“Drawing on his many friends, family and associates within the sport, Ted and his team went on to stage one of the world’s great sailing events, both on the water and off,” Hinshaw’s son Marc wrote in a tribute.

The family held a small memorial service Sunday.

Hinshaw didn’t start sailing until he was 38, when his family moved from New York to Newport. He bought an 11-foot Kite sailboat and later a Lido 14 sailboat that he named “Bombay Bender” after his favorite gin. His wife Nell was his long-time crew. Hinshaw learned to sail around the same time as his son Marc — in the 1960s — and Hinshaw became involved in Lido Isle Yacht Club’s junior sailing program, and in the general club.

He was the LIYC commodore in 1973 and then climbed the region’s competitive sailing administration ranks, culminating with a directorship with U.S. Sailing and then his position with the Olympics.

Hinshaw earned his MBA from Stanford Graduate School of Business and served as aU.S. Marine Corpscaptain in Korea. After the Olympics, and his retirement from The Capital Group, he sailed with his family in the Caribbean and built a custom yacht with Marc.

He also served various positions on the Girl Scout Council of Orange County and was the investment advisor for Hoag Memorial Hospital Foundation.

Hinshaw is survived by Nell, his wife of 60 years; one son; three daughters; and six grandchildren.


Twitter: @mreicher