Hall of Fame

Clay Bischoff

Graduation Year


Induction Year


Hall of Fame

Harvard Athletic Achievements

2003 ICSA Everett Morris Memorial Trophy recipient as the College Sailor of the Year … 3-time ICSA Co-Ed All-American (2003, 2002, 2001) … 2003 ICSA/Gill Coed National Champion with record margin of victory … 2-time ICSA/APS Team Champion (2003, 2002) … 2-time ICSA Sloop/Match Race Champion (2001, 2000) … 2-time New England Co-Ed Champion (2001, 2000) … 3-time ICSA Men’s Singlehanded Nationals placewinner (2002 2nd place, 2001 3rd place, 2000 5th place) … Academic All-Ivy League (2003) ... 2-time World Team Race Champion (2009, 2007) … Finalist for U.S. Rolex Yachtsman of the Year (2007).

Hall of Fame

Remembering Harvard Athletics

It is a great privilege to be inducted into the Harvard Varsity Club Hall of Fame, and a thrill to walk down memory lane. I want to thank the school, the athletic program, my coaches, my teammates and my incredible parents who raised me and patiently waited until I fell in love with the sport of sailing. My first memory of Harvard sailing was my visit to campus as a high school senior. When I met the team, I knew it was an incredible community - something special I wanted to join. Since then, Harvard sailing has in many ways been the foundation for the next 20 years of my life.

First, the relationships: I remain close with the coaches - Mike and Bern - and with so many teammates, many of whom married one another! In fact, I made friends with the Çlass of 1999 seniors during my recruiting weekend who I would never see again on campus, but I speak to regularly today.

Second, the experiences: Sailing was a very time-consuming sport that spanned the Fall and Spring seasons and required that I sacrifice other experiences. I fondly remember many of them...convincing my parents to skip Parents’ Weekend in Cambridge and join me on a miserably cold rainy Fall day watching boats sail around buoys in Rhode Island. In May of our Senior year, we went to the National Championships and had to skip out on Class Day and Commencement! We knew we had to make it worthwhile and sailed the regatta of our careers to sweep the Nationals. In fact, to this day, my teammate (and groomsman) Cardwell Potts ’04 and I regularly mention this regatta to anyone around us at social events. My collegiate crew Lema Kikuchi ’02 signed up for sailing as a freshman out of curiosity and then over time, it became her passion. Lema and I were able to attend the U.S.-Japan Goodwill regatta and just last year raced together again.

Third, the learning: I became a better person as a varsity athlete at Harvard. Sure, it taught discipline and time management and focus. Perhaps more importantly, I learned about how to work in a diverse team with many complex dynamics, and how to deal with failure and pressure. In college, my coaches Mike and Bern prepared me well for the challenges and opportunities I have seen since graduating.

It is a great feeling to share this honor with other incredible student-athletes. Admittedly, I was focused on my commitments while at school and did not have time to be a “fan” of other athletes. Now I am thrilled I can better appreciate the accomplishments of other athletes who were at the top of their sports during my time at Harvard.

Harvard is a special place and always will be. Looking ahead, I commit to doing what I can to help others who want to pursue this opportunity, by supporting the school and young kids who want to be student-athletes at the highest level.