Eight Bells: Luiz Kahl
Published on September 27th, 2021
Luiz Eduardo Kahl, an innovative software developer, passionate sailor, longtime member of Bayview Yacht Club and founder/owner of Yacht Scoring with friends around the globe, unexpectedly passed away on September 25, 2021 in Detroit, MI. He was 60.
Born in Houston, Texas while his father was in graduate school there, Kahl and his family members returned to their native Brazil when he was an infant. They lived in Campinas in the state of Sao Paulo for two decades. Kahl celebrated his Brazilian heritage, introducing Michigan friends, for example, to Brazilian barbeque in his backyard.
With a grandfather who was a pilot in the Brazilian air force, as a child Kahl was fascinated with airplanes as well as the ocean. He took up scuba diving and sailing, the latter a passion that eventually would translate to his hobby, lifestyle, and professional career.
Kahl started college in Brazil as an engineering student and moved with his family to Buffalo, New York in 1981. He attended the University of Buffalo, University of New Mexico and graduated from Canisius College with a Bachelor of Science degree in marketing in 1986. His family owned a boat called “Business,” that the family sailed on Lake Ontario.
After college, Kahl first worked for Trico Products Corp., a Buffalo-based windshield wiper company, and began teaching himself coding. In 1988, he joined The Hoosier Magnetics Group in Toledo, Ohio, and then moved to Spiralock Corp. in Madison Heights, Mich. in 1992 where he worked for six years before launching his company, Interactive Creations, in 1995. His work won award for both its interactive software and website development. He would leave corporate work for full-time self-employment in 1998.
In 1995 he joined Bayview Yacht Club in Detroit and became an active racer and invaluable volunteer. He was the 2005 and 2022 Bayview Mackinac Race Chair, a two-time assistant chair, the 2017 chair of the club’s nominating committee and chair of the 2007 National Offshore One Design regatta.
Kahl volunteered for countless hours of local race committee work and regatta administration. With a cap on his head, a twinkle in his eye and possibly a rum drink in hand, members could often socialize with him at his beloved Bayview clubhouse where he was always eager to provide wise counsel about event management, website design, and other sailing-related matters.
In 2006, Kahl combined his yacht racing experience, software coding skills and event management work. He launched Yacht Scoring, a regatta management platform that grew to include some 400 events in 2019. The company became the leader in online, real-time sailing event management for scoring, registration and communication. Yacht Scoring is used by regattas around the world, impacting thousands of sailors each year.
In addition to Bayview, Kahl was also a member of the Storm Trysail Club in Larchmont, New York, where he served on the board of governors from 2008-2009, and the Royal Ocean Racing Club, in London. He was the executive director of the US-IRC Foundation from 2008-2011 and served as the director of the Southern Ocean Racing Conference beginning in 2007.
In 2011 Luiz reconnected with his college sweetheart Claudia Mori who brought his Brazilian side back to life and with whom he has shared the last several years.
Kahl is survived by his mother, Sonia Kahl, his sister, Cristiana (Kahl) Collins, his brother and sister-in-law Gui and Janet Kahl, and their sons, Justin, Matthew and Christopher.
A viewing will be from 4 – 8 p.m., scripture services at 7 p.m., Thursday, Sept. 30 at Verheyden Funeral Home, 16300 Mack Ave., Grosse Pointe Park. The funeral mass is at noon, Friday, Oct. 1 at St. Paul on the Lake Catholic Church, 157 Lake Shore Rd., Grosse Pointe Farms followed by a Celebration of Life from 3-7 p.m. at Bayview Yacht Club.
The family asks that donations be made “In Memory of Luiz Kahl” to the Bayview Yacht Club Renovation Fund, 100 Clairpointe, Detroit, MI 48215.