Authors JJ and Peter Isler have been sailing for most of their lives. JJ grew up around boats in San Diego, California, learning to sail in a little 7-foot dinghy called a Sabot. Peter started out loving powerboats and fishing (boys can be so strange!), but took up sailing after his family moved to Connecticut when he was 13 years old.
The Islers are well known throughout the world of sailing as top competitors and teachers. They both have taught sailing to people of all ages and experiences. Peter played an important, early role in developing US Sailing’s educational program. He also coached at the Olympic level and helped found the American Sailing Association, which accredits sailing schools and certifies sailors and instructors.
Peter has twice won the America’s Cup, serving as navigator aboard Stars & Stripes with Dennis Conner in 1987 and 1988. An accomplished small-boat sailor, Peter was Intercollegiate Sailor of the Year while at Yale University. He was the top-ranked U.S. sailor on the professional match-racing circuit for five years and has won many of the world’s major ocean races, including the Bermuda Race and the Transpac (where he navigated Morning Glory to an elapsed time record in 2005).
Peter has also been very active in the media. In the 1990s, he shifted his America’s Cup energies to television, where he was a featured analyst in ESPN’s Emmy Award-winning Cup coverage in 1992 and 1995. More recently, he covered sailing for the Outdoor Life Network (OLN), including its coverage of the 2003 America’s Cup. He is the author of several books on the sport and is presently Editor at Large of Sailing World magazine. In his spare time, Peter enjoys playing guitar and keyboard with his band, The Water Brothers.
JJ is the only American female (so far) to have won two Olympic medals in sailing, and she is the first female inductee in the Sailing World Hall of Fame. With crew member Pamela Healy, JJ won the Bronze Medal in the Women’s 470 class in the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona, Spain. In the 2000 Olympics in Sydney, Australia, she and crew member Pease Glaser won the Silver. JJ is a four-time Rolex Yachtswoman of the Year (in 1986, 1991, 1997, and 2000) and has won three World Championships and numerous national titles. She was the first female to compete in a number of events on the international matchracing circuit. And in 1995 she was the tactician and starting helmsman for the America3 Women’s America’s Cup team. She graduated from Yale University where she was captain of the sailing team and a collegiate All-American.