Photo Credit: FRIED ELLIOTT /


Malin Burnhan wins US Sailings Nathanael Herreshoff Trophy

Human Interest - Author: US Sailing - February 06, 2018

Malin Burnham (San Diego, Calif.) was honored by US Sailing with the prestigious Nathanael G. Herreshoff Trophy for his extraordinary contributions to the sport of sailing.

At the age of 17, Burnham became the youngest ever to win the Star World Championship in 1945. However, that’s only part of his identity as a sailor. His true place in the sport is spelled out in the seven virtues he expounds upon to sailors in the junior sailing program at San Diego Yacht Club: Commitment, Dedication, Hard Work, Teamwork, Follow Through, Playing by the Rules, and Planning Ahead. Burnham was a major contributor to a new junior sailing center at the yacht club and these the seven virtues are not only taught here, but permanently imprinted on the building.

Burnham has been praised for his nearly three decades of enthusiastic hands-on involvement in America’s Cup Competition. In 1977, he was helmsman and skipper of Enterprise in defender trials. In 1980, he sailed frequently as helmsman of the trial-horse boat for Dennis Conner’s winning Freedom campaign. In 1983 he did the same for the Liberty campaign. In 1987 he founded and served as President/CEO of the Sail America Foundation, which funded and provided logistical support for Dennis Conner’s winning Stars & Stripes campaign. And In 1988 he chaired San Diego Yacht Club’s successful defense.

A proud civic leader with a passion for community involvement, Burnham’s philanthropic zeal is reflected in his support of numerous charities and benevolent organizations ranging from the Boy Scouts to the Burnham Institute for Cancer Research. He is a long-time member and supporter of numerous professional and civic organizations. His participation and leadership in America’s Cup competition reached its zenith in 1992 when he served as General Chairman for the overall America’s Cup Regatta in San Diego.

Burnham’s passion for sailing and love of America’s Cup competition has helped him make a unique personal contribution to the sport.