Jerry got his start in sailing in the late 1960’s, when he purchased a small, Styrofoam boat from the Sears, Roebuck and Company store on West North Avenue in Chicago. As time passed, Jerry eventually moved on from daysailers and stepped into keel boats: a Bristol 22, a Bristol 26, and an Ericson 35. The Ericson 35, Providence, was acquired in 1981 and remains the family craft to this day.
Jerry joined Jackson Park Yacht Club in 1974 and soon after began serving the sport. He was Jackson Park Yacht Club Treasurer for three years, and moved up the Jackson Park Yacht Club bridge, eventually serving as Commodore from 1979-1980. He then became the club’s Race Committee Chair and representative to the Lake Michigan Sail Racing Federation Area III Steering Committee for seven years, including a term as Fleet Captain (chair). His work there concentrated on increasing cooperation among yacht clubs on Lake Michigan. Coincident to that service, Jerry served the Chicago Yachting Association including a term as Commodore (and King Neptune) in 1982. In the late 1980s, Jerry expanded his involvement in the sport by joining Chicago Yacht Club where he served as a member and Chair of Chicago Yacht Club’s Offshore Committee and served a term on the club’s Board of Directors. Notably, Jerry was Lake Michigan Sail Racing Federation Commodore from 1992-1993.
Through all the time of Jerry’s service to the sport of sailing, he has focused on delivering a quality experience to both the sailors and volunteers. For example, as a Commodore, Jerry made sure that members and their families were comfortable in their club, being known to draw members to be part of boisterous, fun parties that had members singing together late into the evening. As a Race Committee Chair, Jerry made sure the racing was good, the trophies awarded were memorable, that his committee members were well trained, and that the committee members were rewarded by a good meal and refreshments at the end of the day. While serving as Chair of the Chicago Yacht Club Offshore Committee, Jerry held “town hall” meetings to listen to sailors’ concerns and ideas. That feedback was instrumental in developing many applications in use to this day: drop marks, multi-day race weekends, and a “one-stop” entry for racing with multiple yacht clubs. Jerry is also known for his efficiency, running meetings in a brisk, businesslike manner, allowing all participants to move on to socialize and break bread sooner.
Jerry is an accomplished racing sailor, having campaigned “Providence” since the early 1980’s. Jerry has won most distance racing contests in southern Lake Michigan, including two Section wins in the Queen’s Cup Race, two wins of the Hamilton Club Trophy for the best overall finish in the Tri-State Regatta, and four section wins and ten other podium finishes in the Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac. Notably, Jerry and his Providence crew took the overall trophies in the 2012, 2013 and 2014 Races to Mackinac.
Jerry is a proud member of the Island Goats Sailing Society, having completed 33 Chicago-Mackinac races to date. His boat, Providence, is a Goat boat, with 38 Chicago-Mackinac races under her keel at this writing.
Jerry Miareicki’s service, leadership and participation has been critical to the continuity, development and success of sailing and sail racing on Lake Michigan. His sportsmanship is beyond repute. The Lake Michigan Sail Racing Federation is honored to induct Jerry Miarecki into the Lake Michigan Sailing Hall of Fame.
December 9, 2015
Chicago Yacht Club, Monroe Station