John Kostecki

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John Kostecki
Personal information
BornJune 7, 1964 (1964-06-07) (age 54)
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, U.S.

John Paul Kostecki (born July 7, 1964) is an American competitive sailor of Polish descent. He was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He started his sailing career in the San Francisco Bay, California.


World Championships[edit]

Kostecki won a number of world champion titles in different sailing classes known titles include:

Title No. Role Boat Boat Name Title Location Ref
1 1982 Sunfish World Champion [1]
2 1986 Soling Class World Champion [2]
3 1988 J/24 World Champion
4 1988 Soling Class World Champion [2]
5 1989 6 Meter World Cup
6 1996 Mumm 36 World Champion [2]
7 1997 Mumm 36 World Champion [2]
8 1998 Mumm 36 World Champion [2]
9 1998 Farr 40 World Champion [2]
10 2008 Farr 40 World Champion
11 2011 Farr 40 World Champion
12 Ngoni 2014 Soto 40 World Champion [3]
13 Catapult 2016 J/70 World Champion [4]
14 Illbruck 2016 Melges 20 World Champion [5]
15 Tactician Platoon 2017 TP52 World Champion [6]


At the 1988 Summer Olympics in Busan, South Korea, he finished in 2nd place in the Soling class along with his partners William Baylis and Robert Billingham.

Volvo Ocean Race[edit]

He also sailed the Whitbread Round the World Race in 1997/1998.

In the Volvo Ocean Race 2001/2002 he led Illbruck Challenge that was based in Leverkusen to an overwhelming victory in the arguably toughest sailing race around the world. Of notable interest was the fact that Illbruck set the world 24 hours speed record for monohulls. The record of 484 nautical miles was completed at 20:02 on April 30 during Leg 7 of the Volvo Ocean Race and was confirmed by the World Sailing Speed Record Council. This sparked an unprecedented sailing boom in Germany that led to thousands of sailing fans and Illbruck supporters awaiting Kostecki and his crew finishing their last leg from Gothenburg to Kiel.

He did the Volvo Ocean Race (2005/2006) with Ericsson he was also designated skipper for Ericsson’s in the next Race (2008/2009) but resigned from his position in August 2007 for family reasons

America's Cup[edit]

He sailed with America3 at the 1992 America's Cup.[7]

After a short employment with the BMW Oracle America’s Cup Team in the early 2000s he left for the 2005 VOE.

In 2008, the then three times America’s Cup winner Russell Coutts, who had just recently been appointed CEO of Larry Ellison's America’s Cup Team BMW Oracle Racing, hired Kostecki for his afterguard. The next America’s cup match took place between the defender, the Swiss team Alinghi, and BMW Oracle, in Valencia (Spain) in February 2010. With Kostecki as tactician, the American team won both races against the defender and thus brought back the oldest trophy in sports history to the United States after 15 years.


In 1997, he won the One Design 48 Championship, and the Malaysia Challenge Grand Prix. Kostecki became very popular in Europe as skipper and helmsman of the German yachts all called "Pinta" owned by the Illibruck family.


In 1988, he was then named United States Rolex Yachtsman of the Year

In 2002, Kostecki was named United States Rolex Yachtsman of the Year for the second time [8]

In 2002 he was shortlisted for the World Sailing - World Sailor of the Year Awards.[9]

2012 US Sailing Hall of Fame Inductee [10]


  1. ^ AmericaOne. "AmericaOne - John Kostecki". Retrieved 20 September 2017.
  2. ^ a b c d e f "John KOSTECKI (USA)". Retrieved 20 September 2017.
  3. ^ "Convincing victory for Ngoni at Soto 40 Worlds". Retrieved 20 September 2017.
  4. ^ "Catapult Wins J/70 World Championship >> Scuttlebutt Sailing News". 1 October 2016. Retrieved 20 September 2017.
  5. ^ "Illbruck the New 2016 Melges 20 World Champion, Savoini Claims Corinthian". Retrieved 20 September 2017.
  6. ^ "Super Steady Platoon Win Rolex TP52 World Title". TP52 Class. Retrieved 2 March 2018.
  7. ^ "Yachting". 1 May 1991. Retrieved 27 July 2017 – via Google Books.
  8. ^ Illbruck Sets 24-Hour Monohull World Speed Record, Cruising World magazine, retrieved 2011-01-10
  9. ^
  10. ^ Walker, Dan. "Kostecki, John - 2012 Hall of Fame". Retrieved 20 September 2017.

External links[edit]