In recognition of his outstanding commitment and contributions to the International 8-Metre Class, over a period extending 40 years, the 2005 General Assembly of the International Eight Metre Association unanimously elected Gaston Schmalz as honory life member of this association.
For almost 50 years Gaston has been sailing his beloved 8-Metre France from the port of Cannes. In 1983, with his Gaulois, he initiated a series of 5 modern 8-Metres designed by Jacques Fauroux. He campaigned his yachts on both sides of the Atlantic. Gaulois participated in 7 World Cups, including the 1985 World Cup in Rochester. With France he participated in 5 World Cups, including the 1991 World Cup in Port Credit. In 2002 he launched the first of a new generation modern 8-Metres. His Fleur de Lys was a sensation in Helsinki winning the event in a clean sweep. Fleur de Lys was campaigned in 3 World Cups, including this event at the Royal Canadian Yacht Club. Twice World Champion, participation in 15 World Championships. Any day that Gaston is in Cannes you can see him leaving the port at 11:00 for a sail in the bay. He is the true Primus inter Parus among the French 8-Metre Class promoters.
Gaston passed away in 2020.