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Jack Lloyd

Sailing world mourns the loss of Jack Lloyd

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Sailors always walked into a jury room confident of a successful outcome if they had Jack Lloyd on their side.

Lloyd was one of the world's most knowledgeable and respected rules officials and his standing and reputation opened doors at all levels of the sport. He was a two-time Ocean Race race director (and involved in seven editions of the round the world race), as well as rules advisor to multiple America’s Cup teams and the New Zealand Olympic sailing team.

Sadly, Lloyd passed away on Friday.

"He was one of the most honorable, moralistic, true gentlemen I’ve ever met," said Hamish Willcox, who was involved in two Olympics Games, two America's Cups and three youth sailing world championships with Lloyd. "The guy had so much integrity and instilled trust in people.

"He was fun to be around and a great influencer. Everyone respected him and admired him for his integrity and honesty and that got doors opened.

"You were also confident as a sailor when he was helping with rules that you weren’t going down the wrong alley. You knew if he said it was a good position to take, then it was a good position to take. You could take a lot of confidence from his understanding of the rules and the game."

Lloyd was rarely far from boats and the ocean. He turned his passion into his work, running his own sailmaking and rigging businesses in New Zealand for 30 years before becoming more involved as a rules advisor for various teams and events.

He was involved in two America's Cups (Oneworld in 2003 and Emirates Team New Zealand in 2007) and two Olympic Games (2012 and 2016) but his longest association was with the Ocean Race.

He found himself on the jury for the 1997/98 Whitbread Round the World Race and helped out for all six editions of the Volvo Ocean Race, eventually being appointed race director from 2008-2016. He also developed and managed the event rules as well as the class rules for the VO70 and VO65 classes before returning to New Zealand in 2018.

Beside him throughout his journey was wife Joss, who also took on various roles within teams across the years.

"Joss was a big player in all of this and was staunchly by his side throughout his career," Willcox said. "The two of them were a team."

Lloyd also played a massive role at a more local level.

Not only was he a long-standing member of the Onerahi Yacht Club but he was also active in sailing in the wider Whangarei area and involved with the Northland Yachting Association for many years. He was rear commodore and patron at Onerahi at the time of his death and had many plans to develop the sport in the area.

"He loved working with and helping kids and adults, no matter what their ability," Yachting New Zealand chief executive David Abercrombie said. "He was an approachable personality who carried a great deal of mana from his national to international involvement with sailing.

"Jack made friends the world over, was incredibly thoughtful and always had a smile on his face. Since returning from Spain, he was looking forward to working with us and the Whangarei clubs to reinvigorate sailing and race management in the north. He will be sorely missed."

Lloyd is survived by his wife, Joss, as well as the couple's two children Ria and Koby. Funeral details are still being worked through.

  • Pic: Jack Lloyd was a long-standing member of the Onerahi Yacht Club. Photo: Ian Roman.