2017 marks the 50th anniversary of the launching and first successful defense by the 12 meter “Intrepid”. It also marks the second successful defense by the 12 meter “Courageous”. Each boat successfully defended the America’s Cup twice. Only one other boat can lay claim to that fact. That was “Columbia” 1899 & 1901. She is no longer with us.
A reunion of the crews from 1964 and 1974 America’s Cup defenders was a wonderful event filled with tales of the past. All made possible by Jimmy Gubelmann, as I like to call him the glue that binds. I heard stories that I had not heard before and a few I knew.
Mariner, Courageous, Intrepid, Valiant were represented from 1974 and Constellation and American Eagle from 1964.
I will keep fond memories of sailing with Gerry as, I am sure, will many others. The words of the obituary seem meager to describe a life that was so much fuller.
The attached photos were taken by Paul Mello in 1979. “Intrepid” belonged to Baron Bic; we were a trail horse for “France III” being sailed by Bruno Trouble. We, or I should say Gerry won every start and we failed to reach the windward mark ahead only once all season. The hope was that if Gerry could find the financing, he would come back as an American contender. I will add that while the miracle of 1974 was not likely to be repeated, but Gerry as always could push the competition hard.
John Gerald Driscoll III, Gerry, passed away Saturday evening (March 12th)
in his sleep at his apartment in La Jolla, CA. He was 87 years old.
His sailing career highlights include winning the Star Class World
Championship in 1944 and winning the Congressional Cup match racing
championship in 1965 and 1966 with an 18-0 record those years. Gerry’s
involvement with the America’s Cup began as tactician for New York Yacht
Club Commodore Robert McCullough on the twelve meter Vim12-US-15, which was
the trial horse to Columbia 12-US-16 in the 1964 America’s Cup trials. He
then went on to sail the twelve meter Columbia in 1967 in the America’s Cup
trials and was skipper of the twelve meter Intrepid 12-US-22 in the 1974
Gerry was instrumental in the organization and fund raising for Rod Davis
and the twelve meter Eagle 12-US-60 syndicate in 1987, and in 1992 he was
San Diego Yacht Club’s liaison to the challengers for the 1992 America’s
The Driscoll name is prominent in the San Diego marine industry. Gerry
founded the family’s first boat yard in 1947, and now there are multiple
repair and maintenance facilities, marinas, and brokerage services
throughout San Diego and Mission Bay.