Jerry Dykstra is not at all like a sailor. From the outside it may seem that this modest bespectacled man with tousled hair works as a professor somewhere at a local university. But it is not so. Even though “retiring,” Dykstra still spends about the same amount of time on water as on land.
“Jerry is a true innovator. He is a rare demiurge in the world of imitators, ”says his fellow worker Rob Doyle, who collaborated with Ron Holland to create large yachts for Perini Navi. – He never refused complex or unusual projects. He always sought to find an unconventional solution to any problem. I, like many other naval architects, look with envy at his impressive portfolio. ”
In the Netherlands – a country where sailing is highly respected – Dikstra is known not only as an outstanding designer, but also as a veteran of solitary regattas like the transatlantic OSTAR. He was a Flyer navigator – a yacht from Sparkman & Stephens, which won the 1977 prestigious Whitbread Round the World Race.
His idols were naval architects Nathanael Herreshoff and George Lennox Watson, so it is not surprising that he was so attracted to the representatives of the J-class, in accordance with the “universal rule” Herreshoff for the America’s Cup.
Since 1984, when the American yachtsman Elizabeth Meyer began the five-year-long reconstruction of the JK4 Endeavor, Disctra actively participated in the revival of classic America’s Cup yachts. He rebuilt the JK3 Shamrock V and JK7 Velsheda, modernized the J5Ranger and designed the “new buildings” JK6 Hanuman and JH2 Rainbow.
But his main work was, of course, the Maltese Falcon. This yacht, built for Tom Perkins, an American venture capitalist, stood out with DynaRig’s revolutionary sailing weapons, which consisted of three self-supporting carbon fiber masts and 15 straight sails that retracted into the masts. In 2006, this Perini Navi masterpiece made a splash.