Eight Bells: Marcel Leeman

Published on May 11th, 2015

The Royal Belgian Sailing Club sadly announced that Marcel Leeman passed away on May 3rd, at the age of 90. As a former Member of the Committee and Honorary Secretary General of the Royal Belgian Sailing Club, Marcel Leeman not only helped to shape the history of the club, he spent a decade committing it to writing.

After long searches in national and international archives and interviews with the descendants of former commodores, he compiled the story of the Royal Belgian Sailing Club with great care, which resulted in the beautiful book about the 150-year history of the club.

Within the RBSC, Marcel pioneered many activities, including the Cadet Week that was held every year in Zeebrugge. For an entire generation of RBSC members this was the origin of their sailing experience and their first introduction to racing.

Outside the RBSC, Marcel also made his mark on the national and international history of sailing. Far beyond the borders of Belgium, he was praised for his competence and versatility as a RBSC ambassador. He was a very well known and much sought after International Judge for many renowned international races.

He served as the Chairman of the Jury of events including the Whitbread Round the World Race, the Copa del Rey, and the Louis Vuitton Cup. As a judge, Marcel had the reputation of always being decisive but conciliatory at the same time. Even if you lost the argument at his jury table, you still left the judges’ chamber feeling that a wise man with sharp insight had passed judgment fairly.

In addition to being an International Judge, Marcel was also very technical. For over 3 decades, he was a member of the Offshore Racing Council, where he helped to develop international rating systems such as the IOR, IMS, and ORC Club. Even today, he is named as a member of the Committee of Honour on the ORC’s website.

Deepest condolences are offed to his family and loved ones.

Mr. Leeman’s distinguished career including the following positions:

Measurer, Chief Measurer, Measurer Instructor
Secretary General, Chairman Offshore Section & Chairman Appeal’s Committee of KBYV-FRBY
Member of the Committee, Secretary-General & Honorary Secretary General of RBSC Secretary General of LBWB
Yachtsman of the year 1993
Lifetime Achievement Award Honorary Judge 2006

Member of the Offshore Racing Council 1969-2001 Member of the International Measurement Committee Member of the International Technical Committee Chairman Special Regulations Committee Chairman Level Rating Classes Committee
Member of the Racing Officials Committee of ISAF
International Judge until 2005
Chairman of the Jury of the Louis Vuitton Cup
Chairman of the Jury of the Whitbread Round the World Race Chairman of the Jury of the Copa del Rey
Chief Measurer and Member of the Jury of the Admiral’s Cup
Arbitre honoraire à titre exceptionnel de la Fédération Française de la Voile (FFV)

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