Jon Wilkins – Eight Bells for a World Champion

SinC Jon Wilkins

Apr 13, 2022

Here we see Jon on the bottom right corner being his typical self at ABYC c. 1977

Jon bought his Thunderbird, Wampum, sail #245, in the mid 70’s. Wampum was professionally built by Richardson Boats Works in Meaford Ontario. At the time, there were three active T-Bird fleets in the western end of Lake Ontario: Whitby, Toronto and Bronte Harbour. The North-East District Championships were held annually with 30 – 35 boats on the line. Jon won this regatta in 1977.

In 1981, Jon became the 9th Thunderbird World Champion winning the regatta which was held in Toronto. In 1983, Jon joined (yours truly) at the Worlds in Seattle defending his title.

In 1984, he went on to become the 16th Commodore of Ashbridge’s Bay Yacht Club, Toronto.

After he sold his T-bird he bought a C&C Corvette and named it Quoin. He left Toronto and moved to Picton, Ontario where he became a member of the Prince Edward Yacht Club. He spent many years helping to run the sailing school where he looked after maintaining the fleet and was always tweaking something to make sure that the boats were safe for the kids to sail. He was involved with the Pathfinder brigantine program, teaching sailing to cadets, maintaining the boat etc. Fitting for an ex-navy guy!

Jon will always be remembered as a true champion.

-Roger Renaud

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