Richard C. Braisted, retired researcher, yachtsman - The Buffalo News
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Richard C. Braisted, retired researcher, yachtsman

Feb. 13, 1922 – Sept. 3, 2013

Richard C. Braisted, of Williamsville, a retired Calspan researcher and yachtsman, died Tuesday in Millard Fillmore Suburban Hospital, Amherst. He was 91.

Born in Englewood, N.J., he attended elementary school and high school in Buenos Aires, Argentina, where his father worked in the import-export business. He worked there briefly in advertising before returning to the United States in 1943 to enlist in the Army.

He served as an infantryman in World War II in France and Germany, attaining the rank of sergeant. Struck by shrapnel during battle, he was awarded the Purple Heart.

Returning from service, he attended Harvard University on the G.I. Bill, graduating in 1950 with a degree in economics.

He and his brothers dominated sailboat racing in Buenos Aires. At Harvard, he was active in the Harvard Sailing Club and competed against other Ivy League schools.

After graduating, he organized a group that chartered a 50-foot yacht and competed in the 1950 race from Newport, R.I., to Bermuda.

It was the first of 12 round trips to Bermuda he completed in his sailing career. He also crossed the Atlantic Ocean twice, racing to Cork, Ireland, in 1969, and sailing to the Azores in 1985.

Mr. Braisted and one of his brothers purchased a 56-foot yacht and operated a charter business, running excursions from the U.S. and British Virgin Islands, Nova Scotia, Maine and Cape Cod, Mass.

After the yacht struck a sand bar, he moved to Connecticut and worked for Calspan’s predecessor, Cornell Aeronautical Laboratory, in Manhattan. He came to the Buffalo area when Cornell Lab moved to Cheektowaga in 1962. He retired in 1987 as director of field operations.

He sailed locally as a member of the Sandy Beach Yacht Club on Grand Island.

Survivors include his wife of 58 years, the former Martha Flynn; and five sons, Christopher, Michael, John, Brian and Tom.

Services will be private.

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