The Blue Jay continues to be one of the leading one-design, sloop-rigged sailboats in existence today. Fathered by Drake H. Sparkman, head of the New York designing firm of Sparkman and Stephens, Inc. after his tenure as chairman of a yacht club junior sailing program, the Blue Jay was pencil drawn in 1947. Designed as a “ baby Lightning” it became an all-around junior training boat and now has numbers over 7,200. It is used not only in novice programs in yacht clubs from Florida to Maine, but also in teen’s, men’s, and women’s events. Originally constructed of wood, the IBJCA voted in the early 1960s to allow fiberglass, however, wooden boats are still being made today. It is interesting to note that when a friend of Drake Sparkman suggested that he name the boat “Blue Bird” he decided on the “Blue Jay” which could effectively be marked by a blue “J” on the sail. (Perhaps he thought noting the junior aspect).