Eight Bells: Bruce Deeter

Published on January 26th, 2022

Bruce Deeter

International yachtsman Bruce Deeter passed away on January 24, 2022.

When Bruce walked in a room, women swooned and men wanted to be him. A white-hot talent, he made a mark in the Maxi boat fleet and America’s Cup. A journeyman carpenter from Lancaster, California, Bruce joined the Kialoa program with no offshore experience but rapidly grew into an essential part of the crew.

From Kialoa, he joined Dennis Conner and the Stars & Stripes crew when they successfully recaptured the America’s Cup in 1987 at Perth, Western Australia. He served in the ’92 campaign with Il Moro di Venezia and again with Stars & Stripes in ’95 managing the rig programs.

Bruce was talented at everything he touched. His intellect, physical prowess, and engaging personality made him universally beloved and revered. Bruce was the source of many great adventures and shenanigans. His mischievous smile and escapades both on and off the water were the stuff of legend.

In 1986, the entire team was longboarding Stars & Stripes ’85 in the scorching Hawaiian sun. Bruce rocked up about half past one in the afternoon only to meet the wrath of our crew chief. We put down our longboards to watch (this was shootout at the OK Corral drama) and heard Bruce, “Bill, you’re paying me what $10 dollars a day? Pay me six today and we’ll call it even.” The entire compound erupted in laughter, even Bill managed a smile as Bruce and his mystical charm diffused the situation.

A dear and cherished friend, he is survived by his brother Allen and family.

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