Henry Jackson is a former NYAC rower, Commodore of the NYAC Yacht Club, founder of the NYAC Block Island Race and a 1983 Hall of Fame inductee.
Jackson joined the NYAC in 1895 as an athletic member on the rowing team, although he is best remembered for his contributions to the NYAC Yacht Club. In 1904, he and Commodore Robert Rathbourne organized the first running of the NYAC Block Island sailboat race. The sailors began at Huckleberry Island and finished in Block Island Harbor.
Jackson served as the NYAC Commodore from 1907 through 1911. During his tenure, Jackson saw the Block Island Race become the largest and most significant race on the East Coast, with as many as 35 entrants a year. The race has since been shortened significantly; now, racers must sail around Stratford Shoal Lighthouse, rather than to Block Island. Nevertheless, it is the now the oldest distance race on the Long Island Sound.
Jackson died on October 5th, 1943. In his will, he bequeathed the Club all of his medals and trophies, in addition to $5,000 for the annual Block Island Race.
In his memory, the Club started the “Jackson Memorial Race,” which is now known as the Jackson Day Sail: an annual tradition at Travers Island.