Another sad passing:
Tom Kennedy, Blu Interlude owner dies

Sadly, there have been a series of death-related posts here on I was hoping to change the theme, especially in light of the holidays and hopes for a new year of sailing adventures.

But, unfortunately, circumstances have included the loss of too many Chicago area sailors in recent months. It is with sadness and respect that we give recognition to these individuals, in priority over other less somber sailing news.


Blu Interlude - small


Tom Kennedy passed away suddenly at the end of 2007. He was the owner of Blu Interlude, Beneteau 47.7, sail number GBR 7237. According to sources, Tom was unexpectedly stricken with a heart attack. Paramedics were called to his home after Tom felt chest pains, but he suffered a massive attack prior to their arrival and could not be revived.


Marty Bernstein raced regularly on Blu Interlude and shares this memorial tribute in remembrance of Tom Kennedy:

Tom was one of the nicest gentlemen on Lake Michigan or anywhere. It was a tremendous shock for his crew, his family and friends. Hundreds turned out for his send off at St. Clement Church, and spent nearly three hours at an open mic at the reception following, telling stories and remembering a true sportsman.

His first boat was Q-11, Robin, back in the day when Chicago had a sizable Q-Boat fleet. That was followed by the new Robin with the Shields fleet in Belmont Harbor. When his business prospered, he added the Ben 47.7 Blu Interlude, doing the last five Mac races on her.

His generosity knew no bounds; he frequently implored the crew to take the boat out sailing when he was out of town. Tom couldn’t bear to have her just sitting on the mooring and the crew missing all the fun. Though fiercely competitive on the race course, the object was fun, no raised voices, no harsh words.

If you met him just once, you were his friend. The Chicago fleet won’t be the same without him.

Fair winds and gentle seas, sailor. We will miss you.


About the Blu Interlude photo (

Unfortunately, I did not get to know Tom, but sailed against Blu Interlude in the 2007 Tri-State Regatta. I shot the picture above during the St. Joseph, Michigan to Michigan City, Indiana leg of the race. Blu Interlude, Raven and St. Francis were the only three boats who ventured out into Lake Michigan, as the rest of the fleet all took a shore route. Raven passed Blu Interlude to windward, forcing Blu Interlude to tack into shore. Raven soon followed her in, but St. Francis continued on. After a period of little or no wind, the wind filled in with a change of direction, and St. Francis finished the race without ever tacking once, remarkably enough, finishing second-to-last in her section, but winning a moral victory by finishing ahead of Raven. Blu Interlude finished somewhere ahead of both of us.

I was new to St. Francis and the racing section, and thus not well-acquainted with Tom or Blu Interlude, but the owners and crew of St. Francis all had good things to say about Tom and his crew. He will be missed and remembered fondly.


11 January 2008 | Boating Disasters, Tri-State Regatta | Comments

3 Responses to “Another sad passing:
Tom Kennedy, Blu Interlude owner dies”

  1. 1 Jacki Krych 7 December 2008 @ 5:45 pm

    I took this picture during the summer of 2007. I was at Navy Pier looking out in the lake when I saw this sailboat. It looked so pretty so I took a picture of it. Over a year later, more specifically today, I was looking through the pictures on my computer and came across this picture. It is a nice picture so I though that maybe the owner would like it so I googled the registration number. (I would have googled the name of the boat but I could not read it from the picture) I came across this site and I find it really sad that the owner has passed. I wish I would have thought of doing this earlier but being a full time college student puts a lot of thoughts on the back burner so I can manage school.

  2. 2 Jacki Krych 7 December 2008 @ 5:46 pm

    I am sorry, I did not realize that the picture would not show up.

  3. 3 Richard Kennedy 15 December 2008 @ 3:53 pm

    Tom was my Counsin. We grew up with his twin brother Jack playing on the beaches of Lake Michigan each summer. We had sailed together on his boats since college when none of really knew how to sail.There was some interesting stories — flipping me off the boat when he released the sail after he’d put the sail in the water for the first time. He was generous –well he came back and got me — he was a joy to be with. There were always laughs and good stories. We sailed freqently on his Q boat Hope. Racing the Tri state year after year. Of course interesting stories there too — leaving Chicago and sailing the entire race without an engine, fun trying to get into the harbors.

    He is truely missed by so many. I planned on getting old with him. I had talked about coming back the summer of 2008 and sailing the Mac with him, something I’d never done. The saddness returns as I write this. I really miss him.

    Richard Kennedy

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