Please select your home edition
Edition
A+T Instruments 2024 Leaderboard

Remembering Lowell North

by North Sails 4 Jun 2019 04:23 UTC
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

Russell Hodgson passes away
The marine industry lost one of its best-known yacht dealers and sailors The marine industry lost one of its best-known yacht dealers and sailors when Russell Hodgson died in April. Posted on 10 Jun
Derek Fawcett MBE passes away
An inventor who transformed the lives of millions of yachtsmen through his designs Derek James Fawcett, who has died aged 86, is well-known within the marine industry for his innovations which transformed the lives of millions of yachtsmen around the world. Posted on 20 Sep 2023
Multihull design pioneer Derek Kelsall passes away
The sailing world has lost a pioneering multihull designer and boat builder Derek Kelsall, the man who during his life created the modern day trimaran, who famously introduced Eric Tabarly to multihulls and who was one of the first to champion foam sandwich construction, died in hospital in Thames, New Zealand, aged 89. Posted on 2 Jan 2023
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
Yacht designer Don Pye passes away
Holman & Pye yachts took Fastnet and Golden Globe victories The flag atop the West Mersea Yacht Club was at half-mast this week noting the passing of yacht designer Don Pye who, following a heart attack, passed away on 20th August aged 93. Posted on 24 Aug 2019
John Channon passes away
Sailmaker, yachtsman and formerly MD of Hood Sails UK John Channon, sailmaker and yachtsman, formerly MD of Hood Sails UK, passed away on 12th January aged 66. Generations of yachties will remember him as an unfailingly cheerful and helpful man with a winning smile. Posted on 6 Feb 2018
Sailor dies at sea while delivering luxury yacht
A Queensland sailor has died after desperately clinging to a dinghy A Queensland sailor has died after desperately clinging to a dinghy with two friends for four days off the coast of the Philippines. Posted on 19 Dec 2017
Ocean Safety 2023 - New Identity - FOOTERStoneways Marine 2021 - FOOTERCrewsaver 2021 Safetyline FOOTER