Oct 1, 2008, 9:46 AM
(October 1, 2008) The sailing world lost a pioneer journalist today. John Biddle was an internationally recognized filmmaker and lecturer who passed away in his sleep this morning. The cause of death was from cancer.
From 1956 through 1997, John Biddle, 82, dazzled over 3,000 audiences with his beautiful show films and informative, witty narration. During this period, Biddle filmed ten Americas’ Cup Race events (1958-1987).
Among the thousands of images he captured, by being in the correct place at the precise moment, included:
· Gretel surging past Weatherly in 1962
· The fatal crash of a press helicopter
· Baron Bich taking the helm of his challenger
· President’s Eisenhower and Kennedy watching the Cup races in person
· Alan Bond unveiling his secret winged keel of Australia II
· Exclusive footage shot onboard 12 meters with Ted Turner, Dennis Conner, Bus Mosbasher and Bill Ficker
In addition to the America’s Cup Races, John Biddle filmed many Bermuda Races, the Tall Ships including the infamous collision between four sailing ships in 1976. He was aboard the Christian Radich. His audiences ranged in size from 100 to over 3,000. For many sailors throughout the United States the only time they got to see the America’s Cup Races is when John Biddle came to present his films.
In the summer of 2007, he re-edited his America’s Cup films for the reunions of both the Courageous crew (1977) and the Intrepid crew (1967). Biddle’s experience and knowledge of sailing was a major asset in his presentations.
John Biddle graduated from Trinity College, Hartford, Connecticut in 1950. He worked for over 40 years as a professional cinematographer and lecturer. His film archives is one of the most comprehensive and important yachting libraries in existence.
John Biddle was scheduled to be inducted into the Herreshoff Marine Museum America’s Cup Hall of Fame on October 23, 2008. The induction ceremony is being postponed until the Spring of 2009.