On December 23, Jimmy Welsh left us to spend Christmas in heaven. He was most certainly warmly received by many fellow offshore racing friends gone before him. Jimmy was a joy to everyone. He loved people, he loved life and he loved boat racing.
Born 73 years ago in New Brunswick, New Jersey, Jimmy fell in love with offshore racing, never missing the week-long Jersey Shore event featuring so many legends of the late 1970’s like Betty Cook and Benihana’s Rocky Aoki.
Best friend to Randy “Mad Dog” Schleuss, Jimmy joined the Typhoon team in 1998, vowing to do “whatever you guys need me to do.” Following the initial shock of the list the guys needed done, Jimmy stepped up and never let his team down. In Randy’s opinion, Jimmy set the bar on the definition of a great friend. He will never forget the best friend he loved so much.
Jimmy hauled the Typhoon rig to Lake Havasu, to Canada, Puerto Rico, the Bahamas, Texas, Florida and anywhere else the boat needed to be. He was the constant in the team and the reason Team Typhoon was able to continue in the sport. Jim lived in the motor home at the races as well as while traveling to them, never asking for a hotel room. He always thought of others before himself and just plain loved people.
In 14 years, Team Typhoon was blessed with more than 200 starts in offshore racing. Jimmy only missed two of those races. Donning his signature skirt, Jimmy regularly appeared on stage to collect his team’s trophies, earning his affectionate nickname and becoming known throughout the offshore racing community as “Trophy Bitch.”
Jimmy was loyal, trustworthy, honest and faithful. He was kind, thoughtful, happy, fun-loving and sincere. There is no end to the positive adjectives that can describe Jimmy. There is no end to the lives he touched, the friends he had and the memories he made.
He rarely spoke ill of others, yet often was too hard on himself. He was selfless, tireless and dedicated in everything he did and everyone he helped with anything, which was many people and constantly. He was always very good about watching out for the ladies. He also made sure that if any of them wanted to dance, they got a dance.
Jimmy is dancing with angels now and spreading the love he shared with us. God’s speed, dear friend. And please put in a good word for Randy.
Editor’s Note: Janet Brunner is the chief scorer for OSS/ABPA. She knew Jimmy Welsh for eight years and they came to be great friends. To check out the Team Typhoon tribute video to Jimmy Welsh, click here.