Jack Lynch

Jack Lynch

for the
John H. Gardiner, Jr. Trophy
presented to
Jack Lynch, Annapolis, MD

Jack Lynch, recipient of the John F. Gardiner Jr. Trophy for service to the class has promoted one-design sailing for 50 years. He has served as a mentor to an entire generation of sailors, race committees, judges, and even commodores.

Jack competes in the Star Class and sailed in all the big regattas including many world championships and three Olympic Trials. He won the North American Laser 28 and the Northern Ireland Dragon Championships.

Jack is recognized throughout the country as both a National Race Officer and a National Judge. He has judged at the Star North Americans, Star Class Olympic Trials, J/22 Worlds, and J/24 East Coast Championship. As PRO he has run several Star District 2 Championships, the Star Miller Series, J/22 Worlds, and the 2001 US SAILING Rolex International Women’s Keelboat Championship.

Jack began sailing Lightning and Stars in the 1950s and is a past commodore of the West River Sailing Club in Galesville, MD. While there he introduced the Stars to the club and built a fleet that is active to this day.

In the early 1970s, Jack founded a company called Chesapeake Cutters which installed one of the first computer driven laser sail cutting machines. Jack helped develop the early sails for the Laser Class and cut thousands of sails helping put this class on the map.

As member of the Annapolis Yacht Club (AYC), Jack encouraged AYC to acquire an adjacent marina property and began to convert it into a one-design center. The use of this facility was his vision, and he was recruited by the club to be the Sailing Director.

During his tenure as AYC’s Sailing Director, Jack

  • managed the yard and staff
  • oversaw the development of new bulkheads and conversion to one-design friendly floating docks
  • implemented many creative ideas in regatta organization and support from on-line registration to pre-arranging borrowed boats.
  • used on-the-water wireless scoring uploaded to the internet by the race committee, allowing friends and families at home to follow their favorite competitors in near real time while completely doing away with the wait for results at the end of the day.
  • brought many regattas to AYC including Star Worlds
  • served on committees including Building & Grounds, Membership, and Special Events.
  • chaired AYC’s Models Committee.
  • is the go-to guy when any boat has a problem during a regatta and nearly always gets sailors back on the water for the racing.

As a member of AYC, Jack recognized the growing interest in one-design keelboat racing and urged the AYC to support it. Nine years ago, Jack led the charge to build a fleet J/22s and with a small group committed to buy a boat to launch the fleet. Over the past 10 years, the local J/22 class has grown from just a few members to over 75 boats. After that success, Jack was instrumental in building the Etchells fleet. AYC’s Etchells fleet has grown to over 30 boats racing weekly and is now the largest Etchells fleet on the East Coast.

Jack retired as Sailing Director last year but remains active on and off the water. According to AYC Race Committee Chairman Chip Thayer, “Jack has been a teacher, mentor and role model for virtually every race officer and judge we have.”

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