2014 Events

  • John B. Thomson, Jr.
  • Skipper Alex Roepers steers Plenty to victory
  • Fleet pays respects to Bernardo Minkow

johnthomsonFormer Owner/Chairman of Thomson Industries & Pillar of the sailing community passes away at 70

The sailing community lost one of its best owner/drivers and a pillar of the sport when John B. Thomson, Jr., passed away in the evening of Wednesday, September 10, surrounded by family and loved ones after succumbing to the effects of ALS. He was 70.

Thomson Jr. was a beloved figure in his hometown and around the world. 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.

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sept14 bbs1 sSAN FRANCISCO - Alex Roepers has been a Farr 40 owner for seven years and has yet to capture a world championship. The New York skipper certainly feels a lot more confident about his chances of achieving that elusive goal after his team's performance this week on San Francisco Bay.

Roepers had a hot hand on the tiller and got nearly flawless crew work in posting a wire-to-wire victory at the St. Francis Yacht Club's prestigious Rolex Big Boat Series, which celebrated its 50th anniversary this year.

America's Cup veteran Terry Hutchinson called tactics for Roepers, who won five of eight races and finished no lower than third in the four-day regatta. In a fiercely competitive class that is famous for having its regattas come down to the last leg of the last race, Plenty pulled off a rare and remarkable feat. With an amazingly low score of 13 points, the New York entry finished 24 points ahead of runner-up Enfant Terrible, skippered by Alberto Rossi of Ancona, Italy.

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sept13 bbs1 sSan Francisco -  Day 3 of the Rolex Big Boat Series began on a somber note for the Farr 40 class, which paid tribute to a fallen family member prior to racing. All 15 boats in the fleet flew a black flag from the backstay and before going into sequence for Race 5 circled sailed one-by-one past Flojito y Cooperando to show support for the team and pay respect to the memory of co-owner Bernardo Minkow, who died suddenly on Thursday night.

"It was a very touching ceremony, tremendously respectful and just beautiful to watch," said Geoff Stagg, manager of the Farr 40 class. "Flojito stopped in the middle of the start line and all the boats lined up to leeward then sailed past with the entire crew on the rail with their heads bowed or their hands over their hearts."

Co-owner Julian Fernandez chose not to race on Friday out of respect for his close friend and partner. However, the entire Flojito y Cooperando crew felt the boat should race on Saturday to honor the memory of Bernardo. The Mexican entry put forth a strong performance, posting results of seventh and eighth in strong winds on Saturday.

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