It is with sadness that the sailing community is notified that Bill Cheek, Canada’s longest current serving International Judge (1989) and International Race Officer (1991) passed away on Friday, July 6th 2012 after living with cancer for a number of years.
Bill was deeply involved with the development of race officials on many levels. As President of the Canadian Yachting Association (CYA) during the early eighties, through his support, the formalization of the Judges Program occurred in 1982 and the manual for the Race Management Program was finalized in 1988.
In 1988 Bill became a member of the ISAF (then IYRU) Race Management Sub-Committee. Bill taught seven Race Management Seminars during the next few years including the Louis Vuitton group in San Diego and Royal Yacht Squadron at Cowes. He was the IYRU Consultant for the Bravo Race Committee at the Korean Olympics in 1988 and participated in the 1996 Savannah Olympics.
Bill trained race committees for several Canada Summer Games as well as other organizations including the IMSC (International Military Sports Council - the second largest sports body in the world after the IOC organizing various sporting events, including the Military World Games for the armed forces of 133 member countries.)
Bill was a member of the CYA Rules Committee and the CYA Appeals Committee for many years. Appointed Emeritus status in both committees in 2003, until a few months ago he actively participated in discussions.
Bill Cheek was a Past Commodore of the Royal Hamilton Yacht Club, Hamilton ON and participated regularly in its affairs including mentoring many race officers over the years. A short time ago he wrote 'I get the most pleasure running my own club’s three annual events: RHYC Open Regatta, the Easter Seals Regatta; and RHYC Turkey Regatta held on the (Canadian) Thanksgiving weekend. I have been doing them for years, enjoying the company of my peers.'
Bill was respected on a national and international level and his counsel often sought.
He will be greatly missed by those who knew him; worked with him; and was mentored by him.
I was privileged to call him ‘friend’.
Leo Reise – CAN IJ
Chairman CYA Judges Sub-Committee
Chairman CYA Rules Committee