The sailing community lost one of its best owner/drivers and a pillar of the sport when John B. Thomson Jr., of Sands Point, N.Y., succumbed to the effects of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease, on Sept. 10.
Thomson, 70, was a beloved figure in his hometown and around the world, reads his online obituary. “Husband to wife Adrienne, father to three children and grandfather to more, he was also the steady and kindhearted owner of the Infinity yacht racing team, which won many regattas around the world through the course of 40 years of buoy and ocean racing, spanning from the early 1970s into the 21st century.”
Thomson began sailing at the age of 8, and later in life he would go on to own a series of yachts named Infinity. Among the many regattas he and his team won: the Kenwood Cup, SORC, Block Island Race Week, Key West Race Week, Antigua Race Week and the Around Long Island Race.
Thomson was a member of the New York Yacht Club, Manhasset Bay Yacht Club, Royal Cork Yacht Club and the Storm Trysail Club, which he served as commodore.
He was past director of the U.S. Naval Academy-Fales Committee and one of the benefactors that helped the New York Yacht Club purchase a satellite clubhouse in Newport, R.I.
Thomson founded one of Long Island Sound’s greatest regattas, the Manhasset Bay Fall Series, in 1979.
A tribute and celebration of Thomson’s life will be held Sept. 26 at Manhasset Bay Yacht Club in Port Washington, N.Y., from 3 to 8 p.m.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations in Thomson’s honor be sent to The ALS Association Greater New York Chapter, 42 Broadway, Suite 1724, New York, N.Y. 10004, or online at www.als.org.