A fixture on the big boat circuits of the 1950s and 1960s, Jakob Isbrandtsen was a Commodore of the Storm Trysail Club and is credited with starting Block Island Race Week.
Accomplishments and Honors:
- 1961 served as Captain of the American Admirals Cup team on Windrose, winning over Great Britain, France, Holland, and Sweden.
- In 1965, when he was Commodore of the Storm Trysail Club, he and Everett Morris launched Block Island Race Week, combining competitive racing with shore activities bringing the concept of Cowes Week to the US. 2019 will mark the 28th Block Island Race Week which continues to be a premier regatta in the United States.
- In the late 60’s commissioned Sparkman & Stephens to design a racing sloop and in 1969 Running Tide made her debut. She won the the Bermuda race in 1970 and SORC in 1971. Ted Turner leased her for 6 months and her impressive performance sparked a bidding war for her purchase between Ted Turner and Al Van Metre. Van Metre ultimately won, and Ted Turner went on to purchase Dora IV (Tenacious) marking the beginning of a long-time rivalry.
- Sailed with Bus Mosbacher, Dick Bertram, Ted Hood and Don Mathews aboard Vim during the 1958 America’s Cup trials.
- Born in Brooklyn NY and remaining long connected to the port of New York, Jakob put life to Peter Stanford’s vision of a maritime waterfront development and was the founding chairman of the South Street Seaport Museum dedicated to the preservation of New York’s maritime history. Jakob negotiated the deal with Mayor John V. Lindsay for land south of the Brooklyn Bridge to Wall Street and committed $25mm during the 60’s to the development.
- Established the Ship Trust of New York Inc., in support of the volunteer restoration of historic ships which included the Museum’s full rigged ship Wavertree as well as a small fleet of working harbor and sailing vessels.
- In 1956, in efforts to streamline his commute from Riverside Connecticut to NYC, Jakob commissioned Ray Hunt to design a deep V Hull vessel. This boat Climax was the design that Dick Bertram used at Bertram Yachts to develop Moppie which won the 1960 Miami-Nassau Race and became the model for the now famous Bertram 31.
- In 1968 -69, Jakob financially backed Carter winches to develop the first 3 speed winch of its time.