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THE PASSING OF ARTHUR J. 'TUNA' WULLSCHLEGER
Thursday 20th December 2012

Arthur J. ‘Tuna’ Wullschleger

It is with sadness that we report on the passing of Arthur Wullschleger, fondly known as Tuna, in his mid-nineties on Sunday, November 25, 2012.

Tuna was a prominent and highly respected member of Antigua Sailing Week’s International Jury for over 30 years.  He had been a well-known, admired and esteemed fixture of yacht races, yacht clubs and almost anything else associated with boats for most of his life.

Tuna was born in New York City and joined the US Navy before the outbreak of World War II.  As a young officer he had been charged with establishing US bases on the remote Aleutian Islands off Alaska.  The experience was invaluable when he was later asked to set up another remote operation in a distant part of the world as part of the America’s Cup.  After the War, Commander Wullschleger retired from the Navy and began a long association with the yachting world.

He and his wife campaigned their beautiful 48-foot S&S yawl for many years in the Bermuda and transatlantic races and in endless US east coast regattas and on extended ocean passages.  In 1954 Tuna joined the New York Yacht Club, in 1955 the Storm Trysail Club and soon afterwards the Cruising Club of America.  He served actively in many clubs over many years.

In 1977 Tuna became an International Judge and had served as chief judge for the Newport to Bermuda Race for years and for many other prestigious regattas including Antigua Sailing Week.  He took a two-year break from judging to set up, organise and direct the America’s Cup base camp in Perth, Australia for the New York Yacht Club’s challenger, America II.

In 2008 Tuna was awarded the Jan Santos Trophy by Antigua Sailing Week for distinguished and sustained service to the regatta.

Where did the name Tuna come from?  Apparently during the frostbite regattas out of Larchmont Yacht Club in New York he would say:  ‘I’m never going out there!’, thus fondly being named by his mates ‘Chicken of the Sea’ – or Tuna!

When asked about fond memories of Tuna, Antigua Sailing Week’s current International Jury Chairman Peter Jolly said:  ‘I hope I am still around in 20 years’ time and able to answer questions with respect to my health with Tuna’s immortal words ‘Never Better’!  The world is a poorer place for his passing; it was a privilege to have known him.’

Arthur J. Wullschleger (‘Tuna’) - rest in peace!

Article excerpts from Antigua Sailing Week Magazine 2009.
Photo compliments of Cliff Black, ASW International Jury member.


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