John Kostecki could be considered the favorite son of San Francisco at this particular point in time. His current resume boasts a Grand Slam – an America’s Cup title, a Volvo Ocean race title, and a silver medal in the Olympic Games. Now in his sixth America’s Cup, Kostecki is an 11-time world champion in a range of one-design classes.
Having grown up in San Rafael, California, “JK” won his first world title in the Sunfish class when the Worlds were hosted on the San Francisco Bay, right under the flight path to San Francisco International Airport.
“A good friend of mine was a sunfish sailor so he encouraged a bunch of us to get into it. So we did – we got some boats and did some training and did the Worlds here, right down in Coyote Point.”
He knows the Bay’s intricate windy and tidal conditions well.
“I look at our sport as one of the most complex there is because there are so many variables involved every day. You have the elements of San Francisco Bay – the waves, winds, currents – then the boats are always very complex that we sail as well. I don’t think people really realize how many factors we have to deal with as sailors to compete in our sport.”
Kostecki’s evolution through his sailing career started with more traditional monohulls and very tactical types of sailing. It was a short leap from the Soling class to the multihulls. Along with famous local sailor Tom Blackaller, he started sailing catamarans shortly after the Olympic Games and basically never looked back.
“I think it’s pretty cool that we’re racing catamarans in the America’s Cup.”
- America’s Cup World Series Venice, Fleet Racing Championship, 2nd place
- America’s Cup World Series Venice, Match Racing Championship, 3rd place
- America’s Cup World Series Naples, Fleet Racing Championship, 2nd place
- America’s Cup World Series San Diego Match Racing Championship, winner
- America’s Cup World Series San Diego Fleet Racing Championship, winner
- America’s Cup World Series Plymouth Fleet Racing Championship, winner
- Farr 40 World Championship, Transfusion, winner
- America’s Cup World Series Cascais Overall Championship, 3rd place
- 33rd America’s Cup, BMW ORACLE Racing, winner
- RC 44 2010 World Championship, Yacht 17, winner
- International C Class Catamaran Championship, runner-up
- Volvo Ocean Race, illbruck Challenge, winner
- Louis Vuitton Cup, AmericaOne, finalist
- Whitbread Round the World Race, Chessie Racing
- Louis Vuitton Cup Young America
- Soling World Champion
- Seoul Olympics Regatta, Soling class, Silver medalist
- Soling World Champion