Please select your home edition
Edition
Marine Resources 2022 Salary Survey

Remembering Lowell North

by North Sails 3 Jun 2019 21:23 PDT
Lowell North, founder of North Sails, has passed away © North Sails

Lowell North, 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 win five Star World Championship titles and a gold medal at the 1968 Olympics. The foundation laid by Lowell in 1957 has permanently shaped the North Sails culture.

"Lowell's philosophy when building North Sails was simple," explains North Technology Group CEO Tom Whidden. "Get the best people, who he called Tigers, and commit yourself to the science and technology of making the best product. He pioneered new ways to make and shape sails. His clear purpose, creativity, and competitive spirit continue to drive North Sails todayeven as the company explores territories he never could have imagined."

Lowell sold North Sails in 1984 and retired from sailmaking. He continued to sail, racing his boat Sleeper for many years, as well as cruising the Pacific. He passed away in San Diego at the age of 89, with his wife Bea by his side. He will be greatly missed.

Related Articles

Jeremy Rogers MBE: 1937 - 2022
One of Britain's most successful yachtsmen passes away Jeremy Rogers, one of Britain's most successful yachtsmen, made a life out of sailing from an early age, from making model boats as a small child before making his mark in yacht racing. He was as skilled with his hands as he was at the helm of a boat. Posted on 18 Oct
Sam Richmond passes away
Remembrance Procession held at Antigua After being injured in training before the Superyacht Challenge Antigua, Sam Richmond has sadly passed away. Everyone involved with the regatta joins the worldwide sailing community in paying respects to a much-loved and highly respected sailor. Posted on 14 Mar
Laser designer, Bruce Kirby dies at 92 yrs
Bruce Kirby (92), best known as the designer of the Laser, now known as the ILCA, has passed away Bruce Kirby, best known as the designer of the Laser, now known as the ILCA, has passed away at the age of 92yrs. He was a three times Olympian in the Finn class, accomplished, self-taught designer from dinghies to 12 Metres, and a sailing journalist. Posted on 20 Jul 2021
8 Bells: Bob Fisher - Mr America's Cup
The larger-than-life yachtsman, journalist and author passes away at 85 Bob Fisher, the larger-than-life yachtsman, journalist and author crossed the bar peacefully on January 25 surrounded by family. He was 85. Posted on 26 Jan 2021
Simon 'Fumesy' Russell passes away
One of sailing's great characters has been taken from us by Covid One of sailing's great characters has been taken from us by Covid. Simon Russell, known by all as Fumesy, suddenly passed away on Tuesday. Posted on 6 Jan 2021
Vale Peter McEachern Campbell - 23.10.30 – 1.9.20
Yachting correspondent and commentator Peter Campbell, died in Hobart yesterday, aged 89 One of Australia's longest-serving sports writers, the yachting correspondent and commentator Peter Campbell, died in Hobart yesterday, aged 89. Posted on 2 Sep 2020
Wayne Penn Schafer passes away
An absolute evangelist of all things Hobie We have lost a true legend in the passing of beloved Hobie Cat Sailor and Icon Wayne Schafer. Wayne was one of Hobie Alter's biggest supporters and lifelong friends, and was an absolute evangelist of all things Hobie. Posted on 8 Jun 2020
Olaf Harken passes away
Co-creator of the hugely successful rope handling business which bears his name Olaf Harken and his older brother, Peter, created the hugely successful rope handling business that bears their name, by working hard, delivering excellence, and having fun every day. Posted on 22 Oct 2019
Mark "Wilko" Wilkinson passes away
Sailing and the marine industry lost a characterful and popular figure Sailing and the marine industry lost a characterful and popular figure with the unexpected passing of Mark "Wilko" Wilkinson on Sunday 28th July at his home in Warsash. It is believed from a heart attack. Posted on 7 Aug 2019
Paul Heys passes away
Hamble-based Key Yachting MD greatly admired in the sailing community Hamble-based yacht sales business Key Yachting Ltd, have made the truly sad and shocking announcement that Paul Heys, co-founder and Managing Director, has passed away. Posted on 27 Feb 2019
Coast Guard Foundation FOOTER 3Upffront 2020 Foredeck Club SW FOOTERRooster 2020 - Impact BA - FOOTER