Lynch is a huge loss to sailing
West End Sail Boat Club stalwart Rudy Bailey paid a moving tribute to late crew-mate Cal Lynch who passed away this week after a bout with illness.
Bailey, a heavyweight in the local Comet class, was influential in Lynch taking up sailing after giving up his other passion for motocross and powerboat racing.
“We were racing one Sunday and I pulled Cal off the sideline because I didn’t have a crew and he sailed with me until he bought my boat [Outlaw] from me,” Bailey said.
“He ran about the sailboat the same way as he did in motocross and powerboat racing. He was definitely passionate and put everything into it.
“He never dropped his head and started sulking, he just kept going. He never had a bad attitude.”
Bailey invited Lynch to crew for him at last September’s Comet International Championships in New Jersey which the experienced helmsman won for the third successive year and eighth overall.
However, Lynch declined the offer because of his failing health.
“Before the international championship, I was actually lining him up to go up there with me and crew and he informed me of his illness and where it was,” Bailey said.
“He said as much as he would love to do it he couldn’t and I realised at that stage how serious it was because he loved sailing.
“I was just hoping and praying he recovered but unfortunately he didn’t. He’s definitely going to be missed.”
Lynch won races as a helmsman in his own right and also served as a flag officer at West End Sail Boat Club.
After retiring from racing, the 70-year old remained active in the sport as chairman of the race committee right up until his death.
“That’s really how Cal was,” Bailey said. “Whatever he could do to try and keep the sailing going that’s what he did.
“He knew he couldn’t physically sail any longer but he still went out there and ran the races even with his illness.”
Gladwin Lambert, the Comet Class president and former West End Sail Boat Club commodore, added: “When Cal retired, I asked him if he could help me out with the race committee. He stopped racing ten years ago, and even when he wasn’t racing, he still wanted to help and right up until the 2018 season he was doing our races.
“He’s going to be a big loss on the race committee and it was a very important role that he played for the Comet class.
“It’s a great loss to the West End Sail Boat Club family and the Comet class island-wide because that just how likeable Cal was with all three clubs.
“Although he was a member at West End Sail Boat Club, East End Mini Yacht Club and Mid Atlantic Boat Club had plenty of time for Cal Lynch.”