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Jim Dempsey of Skerries Sailing Club

21st January 2021
Mermaid sailor Jim Dempsey of Skerries Sailing Club Mermaid sailor Jim Dempsey of Skerries Sailing Club

Jim Dempsey, one of the sailing greats from Skerries passed away last night. He had been unwell for the last few years but he did not allow his illness to adversely impact on his good humour and his ability to engage with his friends. A Chartered Accountant by profession and a respected businessman, Jim had his heart in sporting activities, proving to be a high-quality scrum-half for many years with Skerries Rugby Club and subsequently, as one of the finest sailors in Skerries Sailing Club.

He learned his racing skills crewing for Harry Grimes, another of the outstanding sailors produced by this North County Dublin club.

Jim initially sailed Enterprises but his true love was the Mermaid Class in which he successfully campaigned his beloved Elisabeth No 36, winning several National Championships, including one in a borrowed boat, the mark of a true Champion.

He was a canny sailor with a lovely touch hardly ever seeming to move the tiller. No matter the boat or the crew, for many years, Jim always managed to finish at the top end of, what was then, an extremely competitive and talented large fleet.

As a former Commodore of Skerries Sailing Club and a previous President of the Mermaid Sailing Association Jim was actively involved in ensuring the constant healthy development of sailing in novel and adventurous ways. He was a gently persuasive person who never had an unkind word to say about anyone. If advice or help was needed, Jim could always be relied upon to help generously.

We shall all miss his company as his reputation, as a polished raconteur and occasional rabble-rousing singer, ensured that there would always be the best of craic to be enjoyed in his company.

Our heartfelt sympathies go to his wife Pam and his children. He will be sorely missed by the entire Irish Sailing Community, not the least by the extensive Mermaid network, nearly all of whom will have great stories to tell about their friend, an absolute gentleman.

RB

Published in Mermaid
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