Lynne Shore with Olympic Medal

Lynne Jewell Shore

November 26, 1959 -

Studio City, CA

Lynne Jewell Shore was out on the trapeze wire with skipper Allison Jolly in the final race of the Olympic Games. The wind was blowing 30 knots,  and the wire holding the jib snapped after the boat fell off of a 20 ft. rogue wave. The team was in 4th place.

The sailors had three options, capsize the boat and swim out to the mast to fix the halyard, leave it alone and probably finish last, or lower the jib and try to re-tie it. The two American sailors were in contention for a Gold Medal if they could find a way to make the fix. Jewell Shore made the decision to stop the boat parallel to the huge seas, while Jolly stabilized the boat pitching side to side and kept tension on the jib halyard.  Jewell Shore held her foot against the base of the mast so it would not jump out of the partners while taking a spare piece of small line to tie the sail on to the halyard. The fix worked and they rejoined the race, nearly in last place. With the sail secured they battled back. The most dramatic decision was deciding to set the spinnaker on the run. They risked capsizing. The other boats elected to sail downwind without spinnakers. The American crew came back to finish ninth in the race to win the Gold Medal. It was an historic moment, the first time in the Olympics dating back to 1896 that there was a class specifically for women. After the race an exhausted but jubilant Jewell-Shore said, “I’m really happy, but it was a nightmare out there. It was impossible to tell if we were 10th or 20th.” Allison added, “Emotionally, it was pretty hectic.” With a lifetime of experience, the resilient sailors found a way to prevail.

Jewell Shore was one of the top single-handed sailors in the world in the early 80’s. She won the Women’s Laser World Championship twice in 1980 and 1984 and the US Singlehanded Championship in 1980 and 1983. For her outstanding accomplishments she was named the Rolex Yachtswoman of the Year in 1980 and again in 1988 with Allison Jolly. One of the toughest but challenging moments in her life was to transition from racing alone to learning how to crew and trapeze on a 470. Her experience training as crew for the Olympics has allowed her to fully appreciate the extra hard work  and strength required for the role. In fact, the intense training made her a better sailor which in turn allowed Lynne to compete in six world championships in six different class sailboats finishing in the top 10 in the J24, Etchell, Europe Dinghy, 470, Laser and Snipe.

Lynne Jewell Shore was a standout intercollegiate sailor at Boston University where she graduated with two degrees and two minors. She was awarded the Scarlet Key Award for Academics and Sports and became the first women to qualify for the Men’s Singlehanded Championship.

After coming home from the Olympics, Jewell Shore served as the Executive Director of Sail Newport in Rhode Island and was a member of the US Olympic Sailing Committee that was instrumental in introducing the Europe Dinghy and the training program for the 1992 and 1996 Olympics. Subsequently, Julia Trotman won a Bronze Medal in 1992 and Courtenay Becker-Dey won a Bronze Medal in 1996. She also worked on the Olympic Jobs Opportunity Program to help athletes provide a living while training for the Olympics.  In addition, Jewell Shore gave back to women sailing by being a role mode and apart of the development of the Claggett Championships for junior women’s single-handed and double-handed sailing.

Lynne Jewell Shore was inspired by her mother, Lydia, who was a crew aboard Irving and Electa Johnson’s “Yankee” for a circumnavigation of the world in 1953-54. The Johnsons were inducted into the National Sailing Hall of Fame in 2016. Lydia is quite proud of her daughter who paved the way for gender equity in Olympic sailing and creating a path for junior women sailors to pursue their own dream. ~Gary Jobson

Preserving America’s Sailing Legacy

Engaging Sailing’s Next Generation

Stay Connected to the National Sailing Hall of Fame