Willie Meyers probably won't be a familiar name to many of you as he was an old school American Throttleman.
I am sure that The Fish can enlighten us with some of Willie's achievements but for most of the 70's and early 80's he was a staunch supporter of Cowes, often to be seen in Limit Up boats with Tim Powell.
I raced in the 1984 Round Britain race with Willie as throttleman, (not entirely sucessfully it has to be said!), he was such a character.
HE used to tape chewing gum on the dash of the boat and pre-peel all of the sticks and then bend them out for easy grabbing when he needed a new piece. (I know its hard to envisage but it was always very funny at the time).
He had a very interesting history of which I do know some snippets:
He trained "Flipper" the dolphin for the television programmes.
He was George Bush's personal boat driver and long term friend.
He was a legendary Throttleman in Thunderboat alley where he knew all of the major players, he was on of the first on the scene when Don Aronow was shot.
He lived in retirement very quietly in Fort Lauderdale.
He has a wonderful daughter Amanda, who lives in the Bahamas.
He had a very sharp wit and was a very generous person; when I was starting to race he brought me over his old Lifeline lifejacket as hand baggage from Miami as he said I needed a decent Lifejacket!
Willie hadn't been seen in Cowes for about ten years I guess, but he will be missed by all that had the fortune to know him.