Living , Modern



Clean Gene


Gene McCarthy is a contributor to the sport of sailing and growth of sailing in the Midwest and 57 time Chicago to Mackinac Race participant.


Gene McCarthy is a member of the Chicago Yacht Club, the Jackson Park Yacht Club and the Paw Paw Lake Yacht Club. McCarthy began sailing in 1938 at the Columbia Yacht Club in Chicago, at the age 15 and by 1955 he was Great Lakes Star Championship winning crew.

Among many highlights, McCarthy chaired the Pan American Sailing Games in Chicago in 1959, crewed on Gypsy in 1963 when she won Boat of the Year. He chaired the 1964 Star North American Championship in Chicago, won the 1968 SORC aboard Red Jacket, was 1971 Jackson Park Yacht Club Rear Commodore. McCarthy skippered the Great Lakes Star Championship in 1974, was the lead promoter of the Chicago In-Water Boatshow from 1976-1980 and was Commodore of the Lake Michigan Yachting Association in 1979. McCarthy brought the Milwaukee Clipper cruise ship to Navy Pier in Chicago.

Gene McCarthy was the founder and Commodore of the Lake Michigan Sail Racing Federation in 1981 and created the US Sailing Regatta Liability Insurance Program. He was also credited with raising membership from 350 clubs to over 900 club members of US Sailing and was later appointed to the US Sailing Safety-at-Sea Committee in 1981. In 1982, Gene served as president of the Yacht Racing Union of the Great Lakes in 1982 and has served on the US Sailing National Offshore Council, the Legal Committee, the Development Committee and was on the Board of Directors from 1996-2002.

Additionally, McCarthy has served as Jackson Park Yacht Club’s protest Chairman for 20 years. He was a US Sailing Senior Judge for over 31 years and currently serves on US Sailing’s Legal and Safety-at-Sea Committee. As Secretary of the Paw Paw Lake Star Fleet, and Director to Lake Michigan Sail Racing Federation McCarthy has contributed wholly to both American sailing and the progression of sailing in the Midwest.

Over this time, McCarthy has raced in 57 Chicago to Mackinac races, 29 Bayview to Mackinac races, he has won 10 section prizes in the Chicago-Mackinac on owned boats and has a total of 27 section prizes in 57 Chicago-Mackinac Races. McCarthy is currently racing in the Great Lakes 70, Pororoca and the Star6962, Cuba Bat. He has been averaging about 45 races a year.


Accomplishments and Honors:

  • 57 Chicago to Mackinac Races
  • 29 Bayview to Mackinac Races
  • 27 Section Prizes in the Chicago to Mackinac Race
  • 20 Years Jackson Park Yacht Club Protest Chairman
  • 31 Year US Sailing Senior Judge
  • 1955 Great Lakes Star Championship Winning Crew
  • 1959 Chairman of the Pan American Sailing Games
  • 1963 Crew on Gypsy, Boat of the Year
  • 1964 Chairman of Star North American Championship
  • 1968 SORC Winner
  • 1971 Jackson Park Yacht Club Rear Commodore
  • 1974 Great Lakes Star Championship
  • 1979 Commodore of Lake Michigan Yachting Association
  • 1981 Founder of Lake Michigan Sail Racing Federation
  • 1981 US Sailing Safety-at-Sea Committee Member
  • 1982 President of the Yacht Racing Union of the Great Lakes
  • 1996-2002 US Sailing National Offshore Council, Legal Committee, Development Committee and Board of Directors
  • 2009 Chicago Yacht Club Yachtsman of the Year
  • 2012 Freshwater Award, Island Goats Sailing Society

Chicago Yacht Club is with Helle Getz  and 2 others


Wishing Mr. Gene McCarthy a very special day, as he celebrates his 91st birthday with some of our finest CYC ladies at the Round Table Lunch at Monroe Station.
We are very grateful to have such wonderful and amazing members enjoying our Club year after year, cheers and happy birthday Mr. McCarthy!!

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