Offshore Sailing won both the Kennedy and McMillan Cups this past fall.
First event of the spring season.
By John Rousmaniere
Tihansky was a big part of hosting the U.S. Offshore Sailing Championship.
Jahn Tihansky is entering his 10th year as the varsity offshore head coach after many successful years of racing and being on the water his entire life. He grew up sailing on Tampa Bay and spent his early days knocking around on a home-built Optimist pram followed by a Sunfish and Laser.
Tihansky has led the Navy offshore sailing team to three Kennedy Cup titles (2007, 2011, 2012) during his tenure at Navy. The Kennedy Cup is Intercollegiate Sailing's Big Boat National Championship. He also guided the squad to the 2007 McMillan Cup, the Intercollegiate Big Boat East Coast Championship.
Tihansky was named the 2012 USNA Foundation Fall Coach of the Year.
He began crewing on MORC-sized boats at age 13 and within a few years was working summers in a sail loft and rigging shop. He became a full time sail maker working first with Johnson Sails and then Hood Sails. In 1981, he bought the first of three J24s which he campaigned extensively throughout Florida, winning the district championships on multiple occasions and finishing 13th in his first Midwinter Championships in 1982. He continued actively sailing J24s through 1986, skippering at two World Championships and crewing in a third. His position as a sail maker provided an entry into big-boat sailing and he competed in far-flung regattas such as Block Island Race Week, the MORC Internationals and his first of many SORCs in 1981.
In 1984, at age 22, he opened his own sail making company in Tampa, Fla., and spent most of his on-water time sailing with customers. In 1987, he married his wife, Patricia, and moved to Connecticut to work at the headquarters of Sobstad Sail makers International. While in New England, he was part of the winning team at the 1987 J35 North Americans. The following year, he relocated to Annapolis doing a short stint as a yacht broker followed by four years back in sailmaking working out of a local loft. This opportunity opened the door to grand prix big-boat sailing opportunities including the Corum Japan Cup, Kenwood Cup, Key West Race Week and 50-foot regattas with some of the world's top sailors.
In 1993, Tihansky accepted the position as manager of the newly opened J World Sailing School franchise in Annapolis. Over the following winter, he acquired Ownership of J World and has managed it up until taking the job at Navy. While running J World, Jahn developed numerous specialized training programs including regatta competition with students crews in events such as Key West Race Week, St. Marten Heineken Regatta, the SORC, Chesapeake Bay's Screwpile Regatta and the Ft. Lauderdale to Key West Race. His teams often finished in the money and have won a few of these events. More recently, he raced in the 505 class including the 2004 world championships in Santa Cruz, Calif. In the summer of 2007, he crewed with a boyhood friend helping win the Lightning World Championships in Athens, Greece. He recently acquired an A Class catamaran which he plans to race in the local area.
Jahn holds a 50-ton Master Coast Guard license, is a US Sailing certified instructor trainer and also has his private pilot's license. He and his wife reside in the West River area just south of Annapolis.
# GO NAVY #