Sunday, November 6, 2016

8 Bells for J/24 Sailor Peter Bream

(Jacksonville, FL)-  Dr. Peter R Bream of Jacksonville, Florida passed away after his battle with cancer on October 24, 2016. Peter was born in Erie, PA on July 14, 1946. His family moved to Chapel Hill, NC not long after, where he grew up a Tarheel fan.

He started sailing in 1963 in Cape Cod on a Sunfish while visiting his cousins. His father purchased him a Sunfish, and Peter loved spending time on the water any chance he could. His first regatta that he attended was the Governors Cup in 1968, sailing a Jet 14. Peter moved to Birmingham, AL in 1976 and found his way to Lake Logan Martin and the Birmingham Sailing Club. At that time, he was sailing a Tanzer 16.

A local named Loy Vaughn convinced Peter to purchase a Thistle (#1658) and join their one-design fleet. A short time later, Peter purchased a wooden Thistle (#1321) that he raced with his wife Lynn and son Peter Jr around the southeast. In 1980, Peter accepted a job in Jacksonville, FL where he was active in the Thistle fleet and also the PHRF racing scene.

He purchased a J/24 (#2502) in 1982 and began racing it on the St. Johns River. He did very well on the J/24 in the river, but he would soon learn that there was a long way to go to do well on a national one-design level. Peter traveled to Key West for the 1997 Midwinters, bringing along his Thistle buddies to crew for him. It was a shock to see how all of the other boats were prepared compared to his. He had fun but finished in the back of the pack.

A goal was set! Peter was determined to build a team that could compete with the best. At that time, his boat (2502) was named Tarheel, but Peter, being the leader he was, renamed the new boat (5287) Team Tarheel to reflect that concept. Team Tarheel sailed well regionally, but lacked that national level result. It took many years, but Peter and Team Tarheel achieved Top 10 results in National, North American and World Championships, and won consecutive Midwinter Championships in the J/24 Class.

A few of his many other sailing accomplishments were a fourth place finish in the 1991 Thistle Nationals sailing with his wife and son, and winning the 2003 Thistle Midwinter East regatta as a forward crew at age 57. Peter is survived by his wife Lynn, son Dr. Peter Bream Jr. (Mary) and daughter Mary Chupp (Charlie). He has seven grandchildren, three step-grandchildren and one great-granddaughter. His Memorial service will be held Saturday November 5, 2016 at 10:00 am at Assumption Catholic Church in Jacksonville, Florida.