Sunday, September 22, 2019
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The Founder of North Sails Shaped Our Business and The Industry

Lowell North, the founder of North Sails, has passed away. Nicknamed “The Pope” by his peers, Lowell began his sailmaking career at the age of 14 when his father purchased a Star with cotton sails. The father and son team came in last in every race, motivating the young Lowell to recut the mainsail. The rest, as they say, is history.

As an aeronautic/aerospace engineer, Lowell knew he could build a better sail through rigorous testing and incremental improvement. His methodical and scientific approach to sailmaking changed the industry forever, and it also helped him prevail in the sport.

In 1945, at the age of 16, he won the Star World Championship when he crewed for his friend Malin Burnham. Lowell had made the sails for the boat and it was clear even at his young age that he had a sailmakers eye. Lowell went on to dominate the Star class and over the following 24 years garnered an additional four gold medals, five silver medals and two bronze medals. He also won a bronze medal in the Dragon class at the Olympic Games in Tokyo in 1964 and a gold medal in the Star class at the Olympic Games in Mexico City in 1968. In the 1977 America's Cup defender series he skippered the 12-meter yacht Enterprise. In 2011 he was inducted into the Sailing Hall of Fame.



Lowell originally . . .

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