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Eight bells toll as our fellow member Bjorn Johnson has sailed his last voyage. It is with utmost sadness and a heavy heart that I report this news. Bjorn has been a vibrant member of the club since January 2000.
As a sailor, Bjorn was the consummate Corinthian Yachtsman, in fact and in spirit. He gave generously and tirelessly of his time and knowledge to the sport of sailing. Bjorn Johnson epitomizes the ideal CCA member.
Bjorn was a proud member of the Cruising Club of America, New York Yacht Club, Storm Trysail Club, Atlantic Highlands YC (past commodore) and the North American Station. He was past chair of the Bermuda Race Organizing Committee and also served as the leader of the BROC’s sub-committees for inspections committee, sponsorship, and race-entry management.
Bjorn Johnson was a champion racing sailor and a passionate cruiser. As a lifelong sailor his racing accomplishments are too numerous to list. Among the highlights are the almost 20 Newport Bermuda Races, winning the overall trophy on Shere Kahn in the 2001 Bermuda One-Two, and winning with Larry Huntington on Snow Lion in the 2015 Transatlantic Race. As a cruiser, Bjorn sailed with many CCA members, and in 2018, he had planned to race in the Newport Bermuda Race and follow on with a cruise to Europe.
Professionally, Bjorn served as the executive director of the Offshore Racing Association, a not-for-profit organization that, among other things, owns, promotes and maintains the Offshore Rating Rule.
Bjorn could do anything on or around a boat, and he would generously help anyone who asked. I frequently heard marine electronics pros and boat builders tell him: "You could do this for a living!"
He was not just a Norwegian from Jersey—Bjorn was a renaissance man. He was an engineer, an athlete, a husband to Kristine, a father to Kirsten and Tatiana. He was a great cook, an artist, painter, plumber, and decorator, too. He loved his family, boats, real estate, cars—more or less in that order.
Bjorn was 62. We have not only lost a champion but a champion of our sport. We have lost a fine friend and an extraordinary shipmate.