OK DINGHY sailors and Drummoyne Sailing Club members last week farewelled Bill Tyler, a 45-year stalwart of the class, who died from multiple myeloma on December 6 after a two year battle with the disease.
With the OK National Championship being hosted by the Drummoyne club, the timing was right for those who wanted to bid farewell to their mate shortly after 11am with a sail past.
Victorian sailor Andre Blasse, a class stalwart himself, organised his fellow sailors on the bay in front of the Club to sail past to honour their mate.
ÒBill spent so much of his life with the OK Dinghy class,Ó DSC Commodore Grant Wakefield remembered.
ÒHe was responsible for getting me and many others into the OK.Ó
Bill was just the sixth person to be inducted into the International OK Dinghy Hall of Fame. He sailed in the OK Dinghy regularly and was involved with the administration of the class at state, national and international level.
Such was the 76 year-old’s dedication, he organised and managed the 2006 OK Dinghy World Championship at Belmont on the NSW Central Coast and was recognised with the prestigious Services to Yachting Award at the 2007 Australian Yachting Awards.
ÒHe was excited that the Club (DSC) was hosting the OK Nationals something we hadn’t done since 1994 and he fought hard to come and race (his sail number was AUS692), but it wasn’t to be,Ó said Wakefield, who described the dedicated man as Òuncompromising but with a heart of gold.
ÒHe had a lifetime commitment to the class, which meant he and wife Jan made lifelong friends around the world,Ó Wakefield added.
Bill’s passion for sailing started in the late 1950s in VJs and then 16-foot Skiffs at Middle Harbour, Mosman Amateurs and then Manly.
He moved across the harbour to Woollahra where he bought a Moth his first foray into single-handed sailing which would last his lifetime.
Bill was responsible for creating and maintaining the OK Dinghy Chronicle a chronological history of the OK Dinghy in Australia since 1962 to the present.
He was also one of three directors of the Clive Roberts Trust Fund that was established in the 1970s to help with the development of Australian OK Juniors. Bill was able to help send many Australian Juniors to international events over the years, and this enabled some of them to bring home the Junior World title.
For all information: www.drummoynesailingclub.com.au