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Chicago Yacht Club names on-the-water director

The Chicago Yacht Club hired Jay Kehoe as the new on-the-water director.

Kehoe comes to Chicago from Oakcliff Sailing, a US Sailing Team Sperry Topsider Training Center, where he was director of training.

Kehoe also has been waterfront director at the Annapolis Yacht Club and he has held head coaching positions at Stanford University, Kings Point and Yale University.

A 2010 US Sailing Coach of the Year, Kehoe was the pro of the FX, 49er and NACRA 17 national championships at Oakcliff Sailing, and last spring he ran the IC 24 and cat circle at the Rolex in St. Thomas.

Kehoe said he was “humbled” when he was offered the position by the Chicago Yacht Club’s general manager, Dwight Jenson.

“I’ve been to Chicago for many events, including the recent Farr 40 Worlds and the Etchells 22 Worlds, and I’ve been impressed with the racing and organization,” Kehoe said in a statement. “I feel that Chicago YC has set a high bar with its waterfront programs for its members. I hope I can continue to grow the waterfront experience and bring some new members to the club.”

At the Annapolis Yacht Club, Kehoe brought in stand-up paddleboards, kayaks and windsurfing to give members unique experiences at the waterfront. He also led the club to the New York Yacht Club Invitational and a second place in the 2010 qualifying series, followed by a third in the Cup in 2011.

“That was an event that brought the whole club together. It was amazing to have members texting me while I was at the event asking what was happening,” Kehoe said. “I have a feeling that the same type of excitement can happen here at Chicago.”

Kehoe plans to move to Chicago in mid-May, with his family following in late June. He is married to Amy Gross-Kehoe, an accomplished sailor and coach in her own right — she was a US Sailing Coach of the Year in 2000. The couple has a 10-year-old daughter, Merrick.

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