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EIGHT BELLS - William P. (Bill) Thorpe IV
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The Publisher
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Dec 3, 2012, 2:19 PM

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EIGHT BELLS
William P. (Bill) Thorpe IV (age 74), the 1999 Commodore of Bayview Yacht Club (Detroit), died peacefully in his sleep on Sunday, December 2, after a long, courageous battle following surgery earlier this year to remove a malignant brain tumor. He had been a member of Bayview since 1972.

Bill was a fiercely competitive sailor who raced big boats and small for decades. He was active in the International Etchells fleet at Bayview for many years and proud to be an “Old Goat”, an honor reserved for those who have completed at least 25 Bayview Mackinac Races. He sailed his first Bayview Mackinac in 1971. His scores of shipmates had nothing but praise for Bill as the news of his passing spread.

Bill never retired from racing sailboats, but in his later years he became a well-respected and much sought-after judge and umpire. When he left us, he was an International Judge (since 2006) and a US SAILING-certified Senior Judge (since 1999) and Umpire (since 2004). Bill was a US SAILING Regional Administrative Judge from 2007 to 2012 and a frequent instructor in its judges training and certification program.

He will be remembered as deeply committed to sailors and sailing with a strong, no-nonsense sense of fair play. Bill would have smiled at one shipmate’s description of his “curmudgeonly charm”.

A memorial service will be held at 4:00 p.m. on Friday, December 7, at St. John’s Episcopal Church, 2326 Woodward Avenue, Detroit, with a celebratory gathering at Bayview Yacht Club, 100 Clairpointe Avenue, Detroit, after the service.


giganticfizzy
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Sep 14, 2019, 1:52 AM

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EIGHT BELLS
William P. (Bill) Thorpe IV (age 74), the 1999 Commodore of Bayview Yacht Club (Detroit), died peacefully in his sleep on Sunday, December 2, after a long, courageous battle following surgery earlier this year to remove a malignant brain tumor. He had been a member of Bayview since 1972.

Bill was a fiercely competitive sailor who raced big boats and small for decades. He was active in the International Etchells fleet at Bayview for many years and proud to be an “Old Goat”, an honor reserved for those who have completed at least 25 Bayview Mackinac Races. He sailed his first Bayview Mackinac in 1971. His scores of shipmates had nothing but praise for Bill as the news of his passing spread.

Bill never retired from racing sailboats, but in his later years he became a well-respected and much sought-after judge and umpire. When he left us, he was an International Judge (since 2006) and a US SAILING-certified Senior Judge (since 1999) and Umpire (since 2004). Bill was a US SAILING Regional Administrative Judge from 2007 to 2012 and a frequent instructor in its judges training and certification program.

He will be remembered as deeply committed to sailors and sailing with a strong, no-nonsense sense of fair play. Bill would have smiled at one shipmate’s description of his “curmudgeonly charm”.

A memorial service will be held at 4:00 p.m. on Friday, December 7, at St. John’s Episcopal Church, 2326 Woodward Avenue, Detroit, with a celebratory gathering at Bayview Yacht Club, 100 Clairpointe Avenue, Detroit, after the service.


When Chris Corlett won the 1974 1/2 ton NAYRU Championship in Corpus Christi, Texas, I was picked up as local crew by Chris and was very fortunate to sail on that great little boat with a great crew including Dee Smith.

We won every race and even won the long distance race (approx. 250 miles) after starting over two hours late. We broke the headstay turnbuckle on the way to the start and had to make a 30 minute drive across a ferry from Port Aransas to Aransas Pass to find a machine shop to weld it. My job on the drive back was to use a coat hanger to hold the turnbuckle out the van window so it would cool enough to install by the time we got back to the boat.

We sailed in some very heavy conditions and throughout the regatta Chris kept the mood on the boat very low key and calm. The boat was easy to sail compared with some IOR monsters and the mood on the boat was lighthearted and fun, but very focused. I learned a lot about racing a sailboat that week and that regatta remains a very fond memory.








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