As a vice president at Morgan Stanley in Columbia, Jan Jernigan spends her workdays helping clients plan their financial futures. But on most weekends, the second-ever female commodore of the Lake Murray Yacht Racing Association (LMYRA) can be found on the water—either competing in, or officiating, sailboat races.
She began sailing 10 years ago when she took an all-female sailing clinic at the Columbia Sailing Club, fell in love with the sport and bought her first boat. Today, one of Jernigan’s priorities is to get more women interested in competitive sailing.
“There are more and more women getting involved. There are some really good women sailors,” she says.
Jernigan is certainly one of them, but she can remember a time when she wasn’t.
“When I first started racing, there were times when they were pulling the buoys up and we were the last boat out there,” she says. “So, believe me, every trophy I get now means something. I took a lot of time to learn how to win a race.”
A member of the Columbia Sailing Club, Jernigan was the driving force behind the group’s successful bid to host U.S. Sailing’s 2013 Championship of Champions. The prestigious race, featuring 20 of the world’s top sailors, is expected to draw sailing celebrities and international attention to Lake Murray. The three-day event is scheduled for the fall of 2013, though the exact date is yet to be determined.
“The winner will be awarded the Jack Brown Perpetual Trophy, one of the most prestigious trophies in sailing,” Jernigan says. “It’s going to be a big deal on our own Lake Murray, one of the true gems of South Carolina.”