Deceased , Modern

Bjorn

Johnson

19552018

Bjorn Johnson, a former Executive Director of the Offshore Racing Association, is a champion racing sailor and a passionate cruiser.

From Bjorn Johnson’s nomination:

 A lifelong sailor, Bjorn learned to sail at the age of eight at Camp Seagull on the coast of North Carolina. He honed his skills sailing at Viking’s Marina owned by his family in Sayreville, New Jersey and racing and cruising in the Bayshore area where he lived as a young man.

Bjorn was a proud member of the Cruising Club of America, New York Yacht Club where he served on the Seamanship Committee, Past Commodore Atlantic Highlands Yacht Club and a member of the North American Station of the Royal Scandinavian Yacht Clubs (NAS).  He was past chair of the Bermuda Race Organizing Committee and also served as the leader of the BROC’s sub-committees for inspections committee, sponsorship, and race-entry management.

His passion and vigor for the sea were evident in the way he spoke about racing or his lifelong sailing buddies. Bjorn was the consummate Corinthian Yachtsman in fact and in spirit. Some of Bjorn’s lifetime highlights (more details below) are the fifteen Newport Bermuda Races he participated in, winning the overall trophy on Shere Kahn in the 2001 Bermuda One-Two and winning with Larry Huntington on Snow Lion in the 2015 Transatlantic Race. As a cruiser, Bjorn sailed with many CCA members, and in 2018, he had planned to race in the Newport Bermuda Race and follow on with a cruise to Europe delivering a boat to Cowes England.

Professionally, Bjorn served as the Executive Director of the Offshore Racing Association, a not-for-profit organization that, among other things, owns, promotes and maintains the Offshore Rating Rule. ORA is an organization that makes rating rules easier to use for race organizers and boat owners.

Bjorn loved the sport of sailing so much that he wanted to give back and served as a volunteer for many committees. Bjorn served on the Offshore Committee for Bermuda 1-2 for numerous years, helping with safety standards and doing many safety checks for the Races. Bjorn raced five Bermuda 1-2’s on his own boats and three return races with fellow crew members.

In 2018 Bjorn served on the CCA Safety and Seamanship Committee. He was Quartermaster and registration Chair in 2018.

The 2019 Bermuda 1-2 Race was dedicated to Bjorn and Jeff Spranger, past Event Chair. In the same year, Bjorn was inducted into the Bermuda Race Roll of Honor. The 15 “thrashes” were a fraction of Bjorn’s contributions to the Newport Bermuda Race. He served as Race Chairman in 2010.  Bjorn personified the dedicated volunteer spirit that has sustained the race since its founding in 1906.

Bjorn was a man who knew how to unlock the full potential of his mind. Bjorn was a good dancer, he played the piano and loved Opera. He was an artist, a cook, an engineer and a historian. He was an accomplished man with no showy behavior. He was kind and compassionate and always put his family first. He was a true Renaissance man. In May 2016, Bjorn passed away at the age of 62. He is survived lovingly by his wife, Kristine and daughters, Kirsten and Tatiana. He is undoubtedly off sailing in his next phase.

A Partial List of Honors and Accomplishments:

  • 2019 – Inducted into the Bermuda Race Roll of Honor
  • 2018 – served on the CCA Safety and Seamanship Committee
  • 2010 – Bermuda Race Chairman
  • Multiple years serving on the Offshore Committee or Bermuda 1-2
  • Bjorn R. Johnson Castle Hill Trophy: Presented for the first time in 2018 by the Bermuda Race Organizing Committee (BROC) In honor of its late member, past Bermuda Race Chair Bjorn Johnson, who fathered the addition of a Multi-Hull Division to the Race the same year.
  • Offshore 160 Award – William Dubuc Trophy (First to Finish):1998 Shere Khan, 2000 Shere Khan, 2006 Valkyrie
  • 1999 New England Solo/Twin: Class G Monohull /Solo / Spinnaker, 2nd, Shere Khan
  • 2000 New England Solo / Twin: Class E Monohull / Solo / Spinnaker,3rd, Shere Khan
  • 2001 New England Solo/Twin: Class C Twin Monohull Cruising Canvas, 5th, Shere Khan
  • 2002 New England Solo Twin: Class 6 Solo Monohull Spinnaker, 1st, Shere Khan
  • 1985 Raritan Yacht Club Race: 3rd Memorial Day Race PHRF A
  • 1988 Keyport Yacht Club, Old Orchard Race: 1st, Degage PHRF A
  • 1988 Stars and Stripes Regatta, New York Harbor: 2nd, Degage Division 4
  • 1991 Atlantic Highlands Yacht Club, Highpoint Trophy: Perpetual trophy, New Jersey Governor’s Cup
  • 1992 Raritan Yacht Club, Red Grant Regatta, 2nd, PHRF A 2
  • 1993 Round Long Island Race: 1st, Division 10
  • 1995 Bermuda 1-2, Newport Yacht Club, Class One Third combined
  • 1997 Bermuda 1-2, Newport Yacht Club, First to Finish, 2nd, class 1 combined corrected time finish, Ocean Navigator Award
  • 1998 Stamford Yacht Club, Vineyard Race, Cotton Blossom Performance Trophy
  • 2001 Bermuda 1-2: Town of St. George’s Trophy, 1st, Best corrected overall single-handed leg
  • 2007 52nd Edlu Race, Second in Class
  • 2015 Transatlantic Race, 1st with PC Larry Huntington on Snow Lion

 

Club Affiliations:

  • Atlantic Highlands Yacht Club / Commodore in 1992
  • New York Yacht Club, Served on Seamanship Committee
  • Cruising Club of America / BROC, Quartermaster
  • Ocean Cruising Club
  • Storm Trysail Club
  • Royal Bermuda Yacht Club
  • The North American Station of the Royal Scandinavian Yacht Clubs
  • Royal Ocean Racing Club
  • US Sailing
  • World Sailing Speed Record Council / Speed Commissioner in Newport

Cruising

  • 2007 CCA Bluenose National Cruise
  • 2008 NAS / CCA Oslo Cruise
  • 2017 Sailed in Sweden assisting David Tunick in shadowing the plan for 2019 CCA Stockholm Archipelago Cruise
  • Bjorn participated in 2 New York Yacht Club cruises

 

 

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