EIGHT BELLS: Thomas C. Piper

Published on September 16th, 2013

It is with heavy heart that I inform you of the passing of Thomas C. Piper. Tom left us on the morning of September 9, 2013. We remember him as a formidable competitor in many regattas both offshore and around the buoys.

Tom first sailed with his brother Scott on a six week cruise in the Bahamas. It was 1954. Scott was 14 and Tom was in a bassinet. Offshore he sailed in multiple SORCs, Newport to Bermuda Race, the Transpac Race, Montego Bay Race. He skippered the racer PIPE DREAM transatlantic and also cruised in the Caribbean, in the Med and in Alaska.

His sailing love though was the International Etchells Class. Tommy was a keen competitor on the water, owning various Etchells, most recently USA 1371. He campaigned in the Etchells Class all over North America and abroad.

Tom was also a huge contributor to and leader of the Class off the water. He was a founding force of the Etchells Jaguar Cup Series which draws 75 plus boats from all regions to Biscayne Bay Yacht Club, where he was a past Commodore. This is a series that is held through the winter each year in Florida, a series that rivals the Worlds. He was Fleet Captain of Fleet 20 receiving the Fleet 20 Corinthian Yachtsman’s trophy for his service. He served as a governor of the International Etchells Class and served a term as our Class Chairman.

The first regatta of the Jaguar Cup to be held in December of this year will be dedicated in memory of Tom C. Piper.

Tommy will be deeply missed by all. – Gary D. Gilbert

A Memorial Service for Tom Piper will be held at the Plymouth Congregational Church in Coconut Grove on Wednesday, September 25th, at 4 PM. In lieu of flowers donations can be made to the University of Miami Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Photo below of Pipe Dream from the 1984 SORC during the St. Petersburg to Ft. Lauderdale Race. Photos by Larry Moran.

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