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Long Beach yachtsman, innovator Norman ‘Pete’ Ives dies at 93

Norman “Pete” Ives, a former Long Beach Yacht Club commodore who helped implement on-the-water umpiring at the Congressional Cup and was an international regatta judge, has died. He was 93.

Ives, who was also a Korean War veteran, died last week of natural causes at a care facility in Westminster, according to his wife, Mary Beth.

Ives, a Rossmoor resident, was a competitive sailor and owned multiple sailboats over the years. He always raced with his wife and sons as his crew.

Ives joined the Long Beach Yacht Club in 1971 and soon volunteered on race and protest committees.

During the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles, Ives was selected to be the principal race officer) for the “Charlie Circle,” running the small open keelboat class races — which use Star, and Soling boats.

He steadily moved through the ranks of club leadership, becoming LBYC commodore in 1987. In 1988, thanks to Ives’ efforts, on-the-water umpiring began at the Congressional Cup, the granddaddy of match racing, to eliminate lengthy protest sessions. That was also the first year ESPN filmed the regatta.

“Pete was a quiet tower of power,” international yachting veteran Tom Ehman wrote in a text message. “He was key to helping convince LBYC to let us try umpiring the 1988 Congressional Cup. It was a big success.

“Then Pete was among the first America’s Cup umpires,” Ehman added. “Today all match racing, team racing, and even Olympic medal races are umpired — thanks to LBYC and people like Pete who saw the future.”

Norman “Pete” Ives was born July 5, 1929, in Denver.  His great-grandfather, grandfather and father were all named Norman. To avoid confusion, he was nicknamed Pete at a young age.

The Ives family moved to Long Beach in 1931, just three years after the future commodore was born. Ives attended Lowell Elementary and Rogers Middle schools while living in the Adelaide Tichenor House, next to the former Pacific Coast Club on Ocean Boulevard.

Ives graduated from Wilson High School and also attended Long Beach City College before transferring to USC in 1950, from which he received a bachelor’s degree in business.

After Ives graduated, he accepted a commission onboard the attack transport USS George Clymer and fought in the Korean War. He received two battle stars during his servives and was discharged in 1954.

After completing his tour of duty, he began his career in the lumber business. He owned United Lumber in Temple City until he sold it in 1970. He then moved his family to Rossmore to be closer to the water — and sailing.

Ives was an All-American beach volleyball player, an avid golfer and excellent woodworker.

But his passion was sailing – and, in particular, racing. In the 55 years he spent as an active racer, his fascination became the “rules” of the sport.

Ives, who died Aug. 22, was presented with an honorary Crimson Blazer, awarded to distinguished yachtsmen who have contributed exceptionally to the advancement of yacht racing and the success of Congressional Cup. He also received the Arthur Knapp Jr. Yachtsman of the Year and Southern California Yachting Association’s James Webster Award over the course of his yachting career.

Ives was a well-respected and sought-after international judge and umpire who traveled the world teaching and honing his craft. He worked three Americas Cups,  in 1992 and 1995 in San Diego, and in Auckland, New Zealand, in 2000.

He served as an umpire for many Louis Vuitton Cup Challenger Races, the Knickerbocker Cup in New York Harbor, the Santa Maria Cup (a women’s match race) in Annapolis, Maryland, and the Gold Cup in Hamilton, Bermuda.

Ives also founded the Charity Regatta, put on by the yacht clubs of the Greater Long Beach Harbor, in 1987. The series of events raise money for The Children’s Clinic in Long Beach, which provides health care for underserved children.

“Pete was a gentle giant with a great deal of compassion,” Mike Van Dyke, president of the clinic’s board, said. “Providing the less fortunate with access to medical care was the inspiration for him to bring all the area clubs together with a common goal.”

Ives is survived by his wife of 54 years, Mary Beth; sons Keith and Jeff; and grandchildren Ethan and Chloe. Family members will hold a private memorial at sea.

Source: Orange County Register

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