This photo was published in the Wisconsin State Journal on January 18, 1952 as part of the Northwest Regatta coverage. The WSJ caption read, “Among the Madison entrants in the regatta is John Bluel in his Class E boat, the ‘Shadow’. The picture shows Bluel about to be pushed by his crewmen, left to right, Vic Hustad, Peter Barrett, Phil Town, and Herb Krogman. Bluel is in the cockpit.”
What makes this picture worth delving into is the presence of Peter Barrett who would go on to win national sailing championships, medal in the Olympics, design sailboats, and achieve a dizzying array of other accomplishments . He was inducted in to the National Sailing Hall of Fame in 2012.
Peter Barrett was well known for “his willingness to share his go-fast secrets with his nearest competitors, even during the Olympic trials,” a trait he had in common with 4LIYC Skeeter sailor, Bill Mattison. In the book she wrote about her father, Lynn Mattison Raley shared a story involving Peter and Bill.
Bill was quick to help or teach a fellow sailor as well. In the early 1960s, his good friend, Peter Barrett, was preparing for his Olympic campaign in the Finn class sailboat. At the Olympics, competitors received a rought-cut wood mast that they had to custom shape for their individual weight. Using skills gained form the years of building iceboat masts, Bill showed Peter how to shape his mast so that it would be just right. Barrett competed in the 1962 games and earned the silver medal in the 1964 games. [In 1968, Peter won Olympic Gold in the Star Class crewing with Lowell North-Deb.]