Jordy Walker passes away

One of the original architects of the World Match Racing Tour dies

Monday December 13th 2010, Author: Brian Billings, Location: Bermuda

Brian Billings on behalf of the executive of the MRA writes: 

It is with deep sadness that the Match Racing Association have been informed of the passing of Bermuda's B. W. 'Jordy' Walker.

Three of his match racing disciples - Ted Weisberg from NY, London-based Scott MacLeod and Bermuda's Brian W. Billings were at Jordy's bedside shortly before his passing and we were able to see his sparkling blues eyes and smile as we told match racing stories that we shared over 25 years of involvement of the sport that Jordy loved.

Jordy was one of the founding fathers of the World match Racing Association, now know as the Match Racing Association (MRA), founded in 1985 as a California company. He was the force behind having the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club (RBYC) reorganize the Gold Cup from an amateur invitational event to a world class professional skipper event with prize money.

Jordy not only ensured the boats for the event (IODs, mainly his) but also put up the seed money to make the initial event take place. The RBYC then became one of the founding members of the MRA as a result of Jordy's push. Jordy brought the first professional team (Scott MacLeod) to organise a match racing event in Bermuda, with sponsors, which pointed the way for other events to follow.

Under Jordy and Scott's direction they brought the MRA championship to Bermuda in 1991 and also under their direction numerous innovative events took place, like starboard mark roundings, on water umpires, on shore viewing etc., all of which were not only picked up by other events but also incorporated by the America's Cup. Jordy was one of the original Directors of the MRA and became president (twice) and until his untimely death, Secretary. Jordy was also instrumental in ensuring that the MRA be incorporated in Bermuda, which it still is.

In summary, Ted Weisberg said it all by stating: "Jordy had an unwavering vision for the MRA and its mission. So much of what Match Racing is today is a byproduct of his vision. He was such a big part of the program from the very beginning. He was always there for the sport and the MRA and its member events through thick and thin. He was the compass of the MRA and most importantly the most wonderful person and we all feel that it was truly a privilege to be his friend."

The Match Racing Association sends its sincere condolences to Mary, his loving wife, son Blythe, daughters Samantha and Elizabeth and their respective spouses and his grandchildren.

Jordy Walker honored with the 2008 Llew Gibbons Trophy for his outstanding effort and service to the sport of sailing in Bermuda. Presented by 2008 Commodore Ralph Richardson. RBYC Photo

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