We are saddened to report the passing of Allegra (“Leggie”) Mertz Torrey on April 13, 2024 in her beloved Newport, Rhode Island. Daughter of James M. Mertz and Allegra K. Mertz, Leggie was born on February 5, 1944 and spent her childhood in Rye, New York.

Leggie sailed Blue Jays (notably #94 Rosy Future) in the sailing program at American Yacht Club. After graduating from Rye High School in 1962, she attended Vassar College before moving to New York City, where she worked at the New York Junior League’s International Children’s School and then later for Compugraphic.

In August 1970, she married Owen Cates Torrey, Jr. The couple subsequently moved to South Norwalk, Connecticut, where Leggie worked at MBI as a member of their Customer Service team. She retired in 2019 and moved to Middletown, Rhode Island.

Leggie was an active member on the Race Committees of the American Yacht Club, New York Yacht Club, and the Storm Trysail Club. Leggie reigned over American Yacht Club’s Spring and Fall series for as long as anyone can remember, as well as other marquee events such as Key West Race Week and Block Island Race Week, and she even traveled annually for many years to be the timer for Hamilton Island Race Week on Australia’s Great Barrier Reef. Leggie was the “gold standard” of Race Committee excellence and precision and was incredibly generous in sharing knowledge, experience and expertise with others.

“Leggie was a good friend for almost seventy years, and contributed to sailing in so many ways,” said Bill Sandberg (Essex, Connecticut). “She served with me on the membership committee at American for many years. It seemed that if we had a member applying from Antarctica, Leggie knew them. She was always a lady and had a wonderful sense of humor. She will be greatly missed.”

Leggie’s dedication to our sport, her skills and guidance were rare, but an inspiration to us all. The family is planning a memorial event for late May or June. ■

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