Bentsen's record of service to the International Sailing Federation includes membership on its Racing Rules Committee for 25 years until 2004, at which time he was Vice-Chairman of the committee. He chaired the Racing Rules Committee's first Race Management Sub-committee, which introduced the new Sailing Instructions Guide, now Appendix L of The Racing Rules of Sailing, and worked with Göran Petersson and Bryan Willis to draft the first ISAF Call Book for Match Racing (1992).
|The Beppe Croce Trophy © ISAF|
|Bill Bentsen sailing with Buddy Melges at the US Olympic Trials in 1964.|
As an ISAF International Judge, Bentsen has been a member of international juries for the world or continental championships of many international classes, two ISAF Youth World Championships, the 1979 Pan American Games Regatta, and the 1988 Olympic Regatta.
In US SAILING, Bill Bentsen is a member and past chairman of the Appeals Committee, was a member and chairman of the Racing Rules Committee, was a member of the Race Management Committee and the Olympic Yachting Committee, and helped initiate the US SAILING Judges Certification Program. From 1974 to 1976 he was responsible for the United States Sailing Center at Association Island, New York, site of the 1976 U. S. Olympic Yachting Trials and many world and national championships. It was there that Bentsen and his race management staff developed procedures for repositioning marks while a race is in progress, and produced a Standard Sailing Instructions template that became the basis for the first ISAF Sailing Instructions Guide.
In 1994, Bentsen received the US SAILING Nathanael G. Herreshoff Trophy for outstanding contributions to the sport of sailing, and in 2008 he received the Harman Hawkins Trophy for excellence in race administration.
As a competitor, Bentsen won Olympic medals as crew for Buddy Melges at the 1972 Olympic Games (gold medal, Soling class) and the 1964 Olympic Games (bronze medal, Flying Dutchman class). In the US he competed in all of the Inland Lake Yachting Association scow classes and in International DN and Class A iceboats. He is the author of The Yacht Racing Rules Today (1974) and numerous articles for sailing periodicals about boat speed and tactics, course design, scoring, and the racing rules.
Bill Bentsen lives in Chicago, Illinois, and Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, where he is a member of the Lake Geneva Yacht Club.