Charles Chapman Award
The Charles Chapman Award honors individuals or groups within the marine industry who have made outstanding contributions to the sport of boating for the benefit of the recreational boating industry and boating public.
2012: Geoff Eisenberg, President and CEO, West Marine; and Randy Repass, Founder, West Marine
Randy Repass is the founder of West Marine, Inc. and Chairman of the Board of Directors, graduated from Duke University with a BSEE in 1966 and began his career in engineering and marketing with Fairchild Semiconductor. In 1973, he founded Semiconductor Engineering Associates, specializing in programming of computer-controlled testers for complex integrated circuits. Earnings from this business provided the initial financing for West Marine.
In 1968, Mr. Repass founded West Coast Ropes, later to be renamed West Marine, a mail order purveyor of quality three-strand rope. The first retail store was opened in Palo Alto, CA in 1975. Mr. Repass’ sailing background includes frostbite sailing, dinghy racing in FJs and lasers, club racing, coastal cruising in New England, the Northwest and Mexico and several ocean races to Mexico and Hawaii. He has also cruised extensively in the Northwest aboard a traditional New England lobster yacht. He is a former commodore of the Santa Cruz Yacht Club.
For the past few years, Randy and his family have been “product testing” in the Mediterranean aboard their Wylie 66 performance passagemaker Convergence.