Disappearance of the founder of the North Sails sailmaker

Peter Barrett and Lowell North at the 1967 World Star Games in Denmark © North Sails Collection

Lowell North, founder of the North Sails sailmaking company, passed away. Reactions and feedback on the master sailmaker's journey to the top of the list of outstanding sailors.

Death of Lowell North

The founder of the North Sails sailmaker died on June 2, 2019, at the age of 89 in San Diego, USA. Nicknamed "The Pope", Lowell North has left its mark on the yachting sector, as has its competitor Paul Elvstrom, who died in 2016.

Lowell North, the founder of North Sails, in the middle of a Star regatta

A high-level Star sailor, he created his sailmaker in 1957 in a garage in San Diego. He produces sails for the Snipe and Star. Bronze medal in dragon at the 1964 Olympic Games in Tokyo, he was crowned Olympic Star champion in Mexico City in 1968. At the same time, he is continuing the development of the sailmaker's workshop to find high-performance solutions thanks to the study of materials. Since 1962, he has been working on sail faseying, elongation and tissue fatigue. It simulates the process by attaching samples to a car antenna driven by a rotating wheel.

Machine for faseyement test

Developments continue with the arrival of the first laminated sail in 1977 for the America's Cup and the 12 M JI Enterprise. In 1980, North Sails launched NorLam, a Mylar Polyester laminate. He finally sold his sailmaker in 1984, but the brand continued to grow after the founder's departure, thanks in particular to 3DL technology, a pioneer in filamentary sails on 3D moulds. Lowell North continues to sail in regattas on his Sleeper sailboat.

North Sails salutes its founder

The CEO of the North Technology group, owner of the sailmaker, Tom Whidden, praised the spirit of Lowell North. " Lowell's philosophy in building North Sails was simple. To have the best, whom he called tigers and to dedicate himself to science and technology to make the best products. It paved the way for new ways of building and new sail shapes. His clear purpose, creativity and competitive spirit continue to guide North Sails today, even as the company explores areas he could never have imagined. The CEO of the North Technology group, owner of the sailmaker, Tom Whidden, praised the spirit of Lowell North. "

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