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So Long, Gary Clifford

Updated on November 2, 2016

Eight Bells: Gary Clifford

April 2 - Pt. Richmond

Gary and his two friends, Bruce Powell and Ward Latimer. Gary is in the middle.

Photo Courtesy Deb Castellana

©2007 Latitude 38 Publishing Co., Inc.

We're sorry to report that Gary Clifford passed away Saturday morning after a long battle with cancer. Gary, a former San Rafael sales executive, put thousands of miles on his Express 27 Light'n Up - perhaps the most legendary of those miles being the ones he and Jonathan Livingston sailed during the 1984 Pacific Cup race from San Francisco to Kauai, when the doublehanders kept the 27-ft boat in shockingly close range of the 67-ft TransPac record-holding Merlin. During the 25 years he owned Light'n Up, Clifford entertained - in his words - "gazillions of friends on the boat," giving many their first taste of sailing on the Bay.

He and his boat were both well loved, and there's no doubt he will be missed. As fellow Richmond YC member John Dukat noted, "RYC's motto is 'This club was built for fun.' No one at RYC ever made racing more fun than Gary." Plans for a memorial service are still in the works; we'll pass them along when they're finalized.

Remembering Gary Clifford

Gary receiving special award from Express 27 Class President Mark Lowry 10-06


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      Jason Crowson 10 years ago

      Gary was a great and fun individual and will certainly be missed.

      -Jason Crowson