Gary Alan Jobson
“What you learn is more important than how you finish.”
July 17, 1950 -
Birthplace: Hackensack, New Jersey
From a stellar college sailing career followed by an America’s Cup win in 1977, Gary Jobson has gone on to become the voice of sailing in the United States, President of US Sailing, and the pre-eminent global ambassador for the sport.
He started in his father’s cat boat on Barnegat Bay, New Jersey, and later sailed E-Scows and Lasers. Jobson had a knack, and he applied himself, keeping notebooks from the outset on race conditions and tactics that worked. At age 16, he was voted Barnegat Bay’s Outstanding Junior Sailor. At New York Maritime College, during a slump, Jobson took the words of his coach, Graham Hall, to heart: “You’re forgetting to have fun out there.” He went on to be a three-time All-American and two-time College Sailor of the Year.
The fun factor served Jobson well in 1977, when the irascible Ted Turner signed him on Courageous as tactician. Jobson’s calming influence in the cockpit was as important as his good calls in the course of winning America’s Cup XXIV. In 1978, he started Jobson Sailing, to promote the sport of sailing at all levels.
Jobson’s stint at ESPN in 1987 as the on-air analyst for Dennis Conner’s come-back, America’s Cup win in Perth, won him a Cable Ace Award, and launched his career in broadcasting. Jobson has produced 17 books on sailing, countless DVDs, and, most recently, his autobiography. In the last 35 years, the ubiquitous Jobson has given over 2400 lectures on the sport.
Jobson is National Chairman of the Leukemia Cup Regattas, events that he conceived. To date the regattas have raised $40 million. He continues to race his Etchells whenever he can find the time.
- Roger Vaughan