Induction Class of 2024

Josh Belsky


1966 -

Daniel Forster

Josh Belsky sailed with five America’s Cup teams, winning the Cup three times. Josh began sailing at age five with his family in his hometown of Rye, New York, as well as in Edgartown, Massachusetts, and Jamestown, Rhode Island. He grew up racing on Dyer Dhows, Blue Jays, Lasers, Solings, Shields, and J24s. In the summer of 1974, as an impressionable eight-year-old, Josh witnessed the America’s Cup for the first time; from that point on, he followed every Cup match in person during the New York Yacht Club’s defenses in Newport. In the mid-1980s, Josh studied at St. Lawrence University—where he graduated in 1989 with a B.A. in Sociology and Geography—and began sailing internationally aboard Maxi and IOR boats. Josh credits John Thomson, Jr., owner of the IOR50 INFINITY, as his most significant sailing mentor. Thomson guided Josh in the exciting, high-stakes world of grand prix sailing, which, in turn, led to his participation in the America’s Cup for the 1992 series in San Diego. Led by skipper/owner Bill Koch, and with Buddy Melges at the helm, Josh served as a pit person on AMERICA3 which successfully defended the Cup for the San Diego Yacht Club. In 1995, he sailed with skipper Dennis Conner on STARS & STRIPES, winning the Defender Trials but losing the match to Team New Zealand’s “Black Magic”. Tactician Tom Whidden recalls, “Josh is one of the most focused, hardworking, and competent sailors I’ve ever sailed with.” In 1998, Josh, sailing for EF LANGUAGE with skipper Paul Cayard, won the grueling Whitbread Round-The-World-Race. On the heels of that success, Cayard invited Josh to join the AmericaOne syndicate for the 2000 America’s Cup in Auckland. Although they managed to reach the finals of the Louis Vuitton Cup, the team lost a closely contested series to the Prada Challenge, 5-4. Josh closed his America’s Cup career with Ernesto Bertarelli’s Alinghi, representing the Société Nautique de Genève. With that team, he had the privilege of winning two more Cup matches, in 2003 as challenger and in 2007 as defender. Given his humble and team-focused personality, Josh not only served as a vital crewmember but also a liaison between designers, sailors, and builders. He facilitated the process of optimizing the deck layout of his team’s boats, balancing the designers' vision, the crew's needs, and the practicalities of construction. Retired from professional yacht racing, Josh is currently an avid skier and kite surfer splitting his time between Aspen, Colorado and Hood River, Oregon.