Rich Wilson


Holds 3, Long Distance, World Sailing Records
Honored as Athlete with Asthma
Award-Winning Author
Exciting, Inspiring Speaker

Pioneering, Award-winning K-12 Educator
Educated at Harvard, M.I.T., and
Harvard Business School
Non-Profit Trustee

Rich Wilson is Skipper of Great American II and President and Founder of sitesALIVE!, an online, interactive, learning adventure series of 75 live programs for K-12 education. He has set three world sailing records challenging the great clipper records: from San Francisco to Boston by way of Cape Horn in 1993 (California Gold Rush); New York to Melbourne by way of Cape of Good Hope in 2001 (Australian Gold Rush); Hong Kong to New York by way of Cape of Good Hope in 2003 (China Tea Trade).  In 1990, off the Horn, he suffered a disastrous double capsize in 65’ seas, but lived to challenge again in 1993 to complete that goal.

Born in 1950 in Boston, Rich began sailing with his Dad at age 3. Steadily learning, he skippered his Dad’s boat in the 1980 Newport – Bermuda Race and won Overall against 161 boats. In 1988, in the Carlsberg Singlehanded Transatlantic Race, he won Class V.

Educated at Harvard College, and with Master’s Degrees from M.I.T. and Harvard Business School, Rich has led a diverse and accomplished life: a math teacher in Boston during the first year of school desegregation; a Washington defense analyst on B-52s and cruise missiles; a writer for the Dukakis for President Campaign; and an author whose book Racing a Ghost Ship won the 1997 Scientific American Young Readers Book Award. His M.I.T. Thesis on the Antarctic Krill Fishery spawned legislation in Congress to build an Antarctic capable fisheries research vessel. Suffering severe asthma since age 1, Rich was named "SuperAchiever" by the American Lung Association, and was awarded the First Annual Christmas Seals "Hero" Award by ALA-Mass.

Rich founded sitesALIVE!, a K-12 program that connects live expeditions to classrooms. On his 1993 voyage, he pioneered interactive learning adventures online with Prodigy, and full run publication for a Newspaper in Education program written from sea. Rich followed that success with a menu of programs from accredited field schools worldwide, so students would be connected to peers in the field. sitesALIVE! has produced 75 full semester programs (over 800 weeks of live programming), won the 2001 First Annual Newspaper Innovators in Education Award from the Newspaper Association of America Foundation and was named Finalist in both the Children’s and Education categories for the 1999 Ziff-Davis Global Information Infrastructure Award.

Rich and his voyages have been featured by Reader’s Digest, Sports Illustrated, NBC, CNN, The Today Show, NPR, New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Harvard Business School Bulletin, and others.

Articulate, descriptive, philosophical, humorous, and modest ("Having been upside down in a trimaran 400 miles west of Cape Horn in 65' seas, I know my place in the universe, and it is small."), Rich has an uncanny ability to connect to people in his talks, and make them feel as if they were with him on his voyages. Audiences worldwide love sea stories, and Rich can tell those stories, and connect the lessons learned at sea to our lives on land.