Born August 21, 1928, Lindy Thomas did not have the privilege to begin as a youth in sailboat racing. He began his sailing career at age 23, but that did not keep him from being very successful in this field.
Lindy started out in Seagulls, then progressively moved up through Arrows, Snipes, Dolphins, Flying Scots, Yankees, Solings, then the Tartan 10, Thomas 35, Tripp 47, Nelson/Marek 50, and finally an Andrews 70; most of them named Goblin. He has won trophies in most of the events in which he has raced: 24 of 41 Chicago to Mackinac races, 7 of 18 Port Huron to Mackinac races, Tartan 10 Nationals in 1978, three Tartan 10 Midwinter Championships and the 1975 Centennial Race from Port Huron to Chicago in his division by over 5 hours. Lindy’s vessels have been Lake Michigan’s Sail Racing Federation’s Area III Boat of the Year 16 times. His many victories in the seasonal LMSRF Area III races are too numerous to detail here.
Lindy purchased a Tartan 10 in 1978 and was primarily responsible for the development of the Chicagoland Tartan 10 fleet, which maxed out at over 40 boats in a couple of years. Due to the lack of some comfort elements in the Tartan 10s, he commissioned Graham and Schlageter, Inc., Yacht Designers to create the Thomas 35 of which 42 were built and sold. Lindy still owns one of them, which he sails in San Diego, California, winning first place in his 16 boat section season championship on San Diego Bay in 2016.
Later in life he opted to live in the warm climes of southern California where he berths his Andrews 70. He has raced San Diego to Cabo san Lucas seven times, San Diego to Puerto Vallarta three times, and one Transpac Race (from Los Angeles, California, to Honolulu, Hawaii). He has also sailed and competed in the Mediterranean, the Bay of Biscay, Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean. He has competed in the Rolex Race Week in Antigua and has won the Heineken Cup three times in St. Maarten, in 1996, 1997, and 1998.
Not all of his effort has been directed on the water. He has served on the Boards of the Chicago Maritime Museum, Chicago Yacht Club and the Ancient Mariners Society of San Diego. His philanthropy for sailing has occurred through his donations of an Arrow and Soling to the Mariner Girl Scouts and his Tripp 47 to the Chicago Sea Scouts.
Lindy taught many boys and girls, men and women the sport of sailing and most remain in the sport today. Lake Michigan Sail Racing Federation is proud to induct Lindy Thomas to its Lake Michigan Sailing Hall of Fame.
December 14, 2016
Chicago Yacht Club