Newport Shipyard Personality: John Thomson
Johnny Thomson is an amazing waterfront personality who has been having a rough go of it for several years with ALS, Lou Gehrig's Disease. He’s a friend to so many of us, and has done so much for everybody along the way… never asking a thing in return, as his daughter Victoria points out in her letter below. Johnny participated and succeeded racing sailboats as one of the original Farr 40 owners with # 4 Solution and # 135 Infinity, with top honors in the first two North American Championships in 1998 and 1999. He’ll Chair (honorary) the Rolex Farr 40 North American Championship, which will be held at Newport Shipyard this summer, and present the trophies this year.
From Vicky Thomson, Johnny’s daughter, to the Farr 40 Class:
Unfortunately there is nothing anyone can do for him as at this point there is no cure. So my brothers & I put together a team to do "The Walk to Cure ALS" in his honor in New York on Saturday, May 5th.
It's kind of funny, he's such a private person and really tends not to tell anyone what has been going on with him, so we weren't sure how he would feel about us doing this. So we put the team together & quietly got to work on it. When we took the opportunity to mention it to him, he was so touched it brought him to tears.
It's such a cruel disease, especially for someone like him who was such an active & vibrant person. He's pretty incapacitated at this point. But he expressed his desire to go do the walk with us (in his power wheelchair), which given his condition & how he's been feeling, is a huge feat!
… He touched so many people, and never expected anything in return, I can't help but feel this is a (very) small way of giving back to him & promoting a good cause at the same time. I know that if he could help, or find a cure so that no one else has to go through what he has, he would do it.
The Farr 40's were such a big part of his life, not only for the competition, but also for the camaraderie, so I understand why he made this request (to get the word out and help fund-raise during The Walk to Cure ALS).
As of May 7, the Farr 40 Class Association's Virtual Team, F 40 Class Team, raised $9,600! To make a donation to this team, click here. As of May 7, John's Team, Team Juliet Bravo Tango Infinity raised a total of over $37,000! (Their goal was $21,212.21 - John's sail # on the 50-foot Infinity was USA-21212). To make a donation to this team, click here.