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8 Bells - Jack Lynch, Past Commodore and Advocate.

Updated: Nov 29, 2023

A lifelong focus on mentoring and guiding sailing’s future.

With a heavy heart, we announce the passing of Jack Lynch. As a stalwart for One-Design and Junior sailing, Past Commodore of West River Sailing Club (73), and longtime Sailing Director at Annapolis Yacht Club, his legacy will be long-lasting for our sport and within the AYC & WRSC communities.

While Jack has won many world championships, particularly in the Star Class, and been a part of three Olympic Trials, he will be remembered not only for his sailing skill but his ability to mentor and guide the future of sailing at the local and national level.

A recipient of US Sailing’s One-Design Service Award, the John H. Gardiner, Jr. Trophy, in 2018, he has been recognized nationally as a sailor, judge, race committee PRO, and mentor. In the seventies, he founded Chesapeake Cutters. It was among the first companies in the world to laser-cut sails and helped develop the one-design sails for the Laser Class.

At the Annapolis Yacht Club, his vision and efforts led to the purchase and creation of their one-design sailing center in Eastport. During his tenure as Sailing Director, the facility transformed from a marina into a hub of one-design sailing on the Chesapeake. He transformed their race management, always adopting the latest technology and methods like on the water scoring. His involvement in the J/22 and Etchell classes helped both become among the largest fleets in the country.

Jack got his start in sailing at West River Sailing Club, and it always held a special place in his heart. He served on the board for five years and was Commodore in 1973. He sailed Lightnings and Chesapeake 20s, owning #31 Contrary, out of West River until he brought in and built the Star Class at the club. He brought many high profile events to our club, including the 1995 Star North Americans.

His support for WRSC, AYC, and the sport never ceased, always there to mentor and assist. In West River’s case, he would visit a few times a year to speak with our Director of Education and a few others. Jack was always interested in the growth of Junior Sailing, and well-being of WRSC. His knowledge of our club’s history and its members was second to none. For those fortunate enough to talk with Jack, it was enlightening and clear that reliving those memories brought him great joy.


In honor of Jack’s extraordinary legacy and impact on West River Sailing Club, Annapolis Yacht Club, sailing on the Chesapeake Bay, and throughout US Sailing, WRSC Commodore Ken Reid has ordered club insignias be flown half-staff for one week until sunset on December 3RD.

Memorial services and details are still in the works.


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