Eight Bells: Lambert Lai
Published on January 6th, 2015
The J/24 Class, and all who knew him, lost a great friend. Lambert Lai passed away on December 30, 2014 at the age of 66 years.
Lambert began his love for sailing and the sea in his native Hawaii as a young man. He arrived in upstate New York after his service to our country as an Army Medic in Vietnam. He finished his schooling and became a Physician’s Assistant. He joined Sodus Bay Yacht Club (Sodus Point, NY) and became an active participant in racing J/24s. He later joined Rochester Yacht Club (Rochester, NY) and purchased his current J/24, Dr. Feel Good, which he campaigned in District 7 and along the East Coast.
He sailed in all major regattas including two J/24 World Championships, three North Americans, several Midwinters and Charleston Race Week. He campaigned his boat in all District 7 events. Lambert was also a friend to big boat sailing, never missing a chance to help out others. Lambert also served on Race Committees for many events including women’s match racing, frostbiting and several other regattas.
He served as the President of the US J/24 Class, and represented Rochester Yacht Club as organizer of the 2012 J/24 Worlds as well as many other regattas. Lambert has won many sailing awards over the years, but his commitment to District 7, the J/24 Class, to sailing, and to his many friends was the gift he gave to us. A stranger to Lambert was just a friend he had never met.
Lambert leaves behind his lovely and dedicated wife of 31 years, Lynne Lai. We will all miss him dearly. Aloha, Buddy! – Jack DePeters and David Stoller