Feb 26, 2019

Donald Mackenzie GreenDonald M. Green, one of Canada’s most successful offshore sailors and a key figure in its America’s Cup campaigns of the 1980s, passed away Feb. 18, 2019 at the age of 86.

An inductee in the Canadian Sailing Hall of Fame (August 2018), Don was the recipient of many civic distinctions including Member of the Order of Canada (1980), the nation’s most significant civilian honour. “As well as being extremely active in community endeavours,” the office of the Governor-General noted of his membership, “he has brought honour to the country as a yachtsman, winning the Canada's Cup in 1978 with his racing yacht Evergreen.”

EARLY YEARS

Don GreenBorn in Hamilton, Ontario in 1932, Don grew up sailing at the Royal Hamilton Yacht Club (RHYC). In 1950, while in his teens, Don sailed around the world on Irving Johnson’s 96-foot brigantine Yankee and published a book on his experiences, White Wings Around the World. Later graduating from Ryerson Polytechnic University with a degree in mechanical engineering, he enjoyed business success as Chairman and CEO of Tridon, an auto-parts company headquartered in Burlington, Ontario, where he made his home.

Don developed a passion for racing sailboats when his son, Steve and daughter Sharon – junior sailors at RHYC – convinced him to race his cruising boat, the C&C 35 Motivation, in local keelboat races. With all Juniors onboard, Don and his ‘Motivation Super Crew’ went on to compete triumphantly throughout Lake Ontario. Bit by the sailing bug, he went on to challenge for the 1978 Canada’s Cup: the match race competition between Canadian and American yacht clubs on the Great Lakes.

CANADA’S CUP AND EVERGREEN

Don GreenThe Canada’s Cup had been contested since 1896, but no Canadian club other than Toronto’s Royal Canadian Yacht Club (RCYC) had participated. In 1978, when Don launched his campaign, the trophy had been held by Bayview Yacht Club (BYC) of Detroit since 1972, after a successful defense against an RCYC challenge in 1975. Don approached C&C Yachts of Oakville, Ontario, to design and build his challenger, christened Evergreen. As in the previous series, the contest would be held in IOR Two Tonners, approximately 41-foot. He gave the design department carte blanche to come up with a yacht that could win a match-race competition in the predominantly light winds of Lake St. Clair. Many of her innovative features would soon be outlawed or made prohibitive by changes to IOR, which made Evergreen one of the most technically advanced keelboats of its time.

A young design team led by Rob Ball, along with Steve Killing and Rob Mazza, responded with a radical design with a gybing daggerboard and tiller steering. Green recruited Californian Lowell North of North Sails as well, as crew and sailmaker, introducing one of the earliest Mylar sails in keelboat competition: a “garbage bag green” genoa. Killing also served as bowman and C&C project manager, while John Fitzpatrick was on board as mainsheet trimmer. The crew otherwise was comprised of club sailors from Hamilton, including a young Allan Megarry; who occasionally sparred off Don at the helm and would go on to compete in two Canadian America’s Cup programs.

The Evergreen program also launched the career of Don’s then-teenage daughter Sharon, whose job as team photographer burgeoned into a lifelong vocation, becoming one of the world’s leading yachting photographers.

Don GreenUnique to this high level of Canada’s Cup competition was Don’s position as skipper and helmsman, in addition to owner; accepting the challenge of steering a complex design in a match race rivalry that drew the sport’s most elite contenders. To reach the finals, Evergreen first had to win the Canadian challenge trials against two RCYC contenders. One was Mia VI, a new Scott Kaufmann daggerboarder owned by Paul Phelan and helmed by Olympian and sailmaker Hans Fogh. The other was a veteran German Frers design, Impetus. Evergreen prevailed convincingly over both.


In the September 1978 finals, Don and Evergreen faced Agape, a new Ron Holland design that had been converted during the American selection trials from a daggerboard to a fixed keel. The points-based series awarded one point for course wins, one point for its middle-distance race, and two points for the long-distance race. Evergreen won the first two course races, to go up 2-0; then had to retire from the middle-distance race when a grounding tore off the lead shoe of the daggerboard. Then, while leading the long-distance race, Evergreen’s chainplate broke, causing her to dismast. Now behind 3-2, Don would have to win two back-to-back course races to secure the trophy, which he did: in an at-times acrimonious conclusion to the series. BYC officials had a hard time believing Don was actually steering Evergreen, and monitored closely to be sure American tactician Tim Stearn never had a hand on the tiller, in contravention of the nationality regulations of the contest.
Back home in Hamilton, Don served as Commodore of RHYC in 1978 to 1979, and went on to compete as part of Canada’s 1979 Admiral’s Cup team, again as skipper of Evergreen. Changes to the IOR designed to discourage further daggerboard designs required Evergreen to be converted to a fixed keel. That year, the Fastnet Race in segment of the Admiral’s Cup series was marred by a storm that claimed the lives of 15 competitors. While Evergreen did not complete the course, Don brought Evergreen and crew safely back to harbour from the carnage in the Irish Sea.

After the 1979 Admiral’s Cup, Don sold Evergreen, and campaigned Evergreen II, a 45-foot German Frers design, very successfully offshore.

AMERICA’S CUP AMBITIONS

Don GreenIn 1982, Don was brought into the Canada 1 challenge for the 1983 America’s Cup, as an advisor. Around this time, he had become involved in the sailmaking industry, playing a role in bringing Hans Fogh and his Toronto loft into the North Sails system, and serving as a Director of North Sails Fogh Ltd.

Canada 1, designed by Bruce Kirby and Steve Killing, reached the semi-finals of the challengers’ trials. Then, after Australia II’s victory in 1983, Don mounted one of two Canadian challenges for the 1987 series in Perth. The True North syndicate secured Steve Killing as designer, Jeff Boyd (tactician of Canada 1) as skipper, and Terry McLaughlin (skipper of Canada 1) and Hans Fogh as helmsmen. A two-boat program was launched. True North I finished sixth in the 1986 12 Metre Worlds in Perth. A lack of sponsorship funding forced construction of True North II to come to a halt, and Canada’s two challenge programs merged. Canada II, a revamped Canada 1, was chosen as the Canadian challenger: the first Canadian contender in over 100 years.

 

 

 

 

INDUSTRIALIST, ENTREPRENEUR AND ALLY

Don GreenDon was an outstanding competitive sailor with a strong commitment – both on and off the water – to technology and scientific research as foundations of competitive advantage. He served as Chair of Innovation Ontario Corporation from 1986 to 1982, and as Governor of Ortech, the Ontario Research Corporation, from 1974 to 1984. In addition to a wide number of corporate directorships, Don gave generously of his time to public service, including serving as Governor of the Olympic Trust of Canada; President of the Greater Hamilton YMCA; Founding Chair of the Hamilton District Health Council; Chair of Hamilton Civil Hospitals and its School of Nursing; Director of the Canadian National Sportsmen’s Shows; Director of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce; and Chair of the Board of Governors of McMaster University, from which he received an honorary Doctorate of Law degree in 2008.

Don is survived by Sandy, his loving wife of 61 years; son Stephen and daughter Sharon; daughter-in-law Christine; and grandchildren Michaela, Kieran, Michael and Rachel. He will also be mourned by his best friend, ‘partner in crime’ and sailing buddy John Bobyk of Orillia, Ontario, and many others in the boating and local community.


A celebration of life will be announced in the coming weeks.

Related Articles
Current
  • 11 June 2019
  • By Ethan

Eight Bells: Ian Gow

Ian started his sailing life around 1972 when, as a young police officer, he was assigned to 55 Division and Patrick Lymburner was his training officer. Pat had just purchased a Thunderbird and...

Lifestyle

  • Prev
I am new to boating. Bought a 2019 Ranger Tug in April followed by taking a short boating course ...
Arie and Maribeth sent us this photo from their honeymoon departing Killarney…I think they were in ...
This shot was taken last week by Jessica Lee, a freelance photography pro, Albacore racer and part ...
On a sunny and windless day we led Alicia and another sailboat into New York Harbour. There were ...
It was a trip 2 or 3 years ago, and all 4 boats traveled up to the Killarney area in a ...
My name is Alexandrine GOVAN, mother of a 5 years old girl and I found your contact on internet. ...
John Booth, who passed away just a few weeks ago was one of the most amazingly gifted and ...
We left Vero Beach on Saturday morning with Alicia, a boat from Sweden, following close behind. The ...
At the end of last month, Canadian sailors gathered on the Palma Beach in Palma de Mallorca, Spain ...
In 2019, C-TOW celebrates its 35th anniversary of providing 24/7 “Peace of Mind Boating” for ...

DIY & How to

  • Prev
On the Friday before a weekend with a gorgeous forecast, I heard on the news that a boat had ...
A reader suggested we take a look at anchors. Anchoring seems simple enough. A weighted hook with a ...
If you’ve spent any time in a boat yard during spring commissioning season, you won’t find it out ...
As a busy marine mechanic, I tend to have the same or similar conversations often, and they’re ...
This time of year, great deals abound. That boat with the ‘for sale’ sign looks quite attractive. ...
For less than US$2,500, Jim Leshaw, a lawyer who lives and works in Key Biscayne, Florida, ...
Each spring, I tend to notice canvas. I wish it was because it’s been immaculately maintained and ...
I’ve had two emails over the past few weeks with a count-down to launch (47 days per the last ...
Last time we looked at making proper electrical connections – the tools, supplies and methods ...
Winter is a great time to look at some of the hidden spaces on your boat – to take stock of what is ...

Cables SecuredOn the Friday before a weekend with a gorgeous forecast, I heard on the news that a boat had exploded at a local marina; the boat’s operator was seriously injured. At the time, I heard that authorities were investigating and were attempting to determine the cause of the explosion and fire.

What would I do if an explosion occurs on a boat that I was working on? What was the cause? How could this happen?


 

 

Read more about Safe Starts............

 

  

Boat Reviews

  • Prev
The Canadian Yachting test crew last week had the opportunity to run the Bavaria S36 HT at St ...
ILCA is seeking new builders to complement its existing network of manufacturers, the International ...
Nelson Gilbert (1854-1921) began building canoes in Brockville in the 1890s, a time when the sport ...
I have heard a lot of talk lately about trends in yacht clubs where senior membership is getting ...
To get you in the mood for cruising the Boat Show then launching in spring, here’s a boat that ...
Quite simply, the styles of boats have changed. Where in past years a buyer might have been looking ...
At the boat shows, the Ranger Tugs’ classic tugboat lines always grab the crowds, with the wives ...
Sometimes a great idea requires an encore, and French yacht builder Jeanneau got that with the ...
Tactical Custom Boats announces the sale to a North American client of a custom Tactical 77’ – Fast ...
Bruce Elliott is an inventor. And when he sold the technology he developed to build utility poles ...

Beneteau Oceanis 30.1The Oceanis official US debut will be at the upcoming Newport International Boat Show in September and will be featured at the United States Sailboat show in Annapolis in October.

With an overall size under 30 feet and a light displacement of less than 8,805 lbs., the Oceanis is easily trailerable without a wide load permit. If you prefer to access your sailing grounds by canals and rivers, the lifting keel and rotating mast open a world of endless possibilities. Perfect for sailing on lakes or for coastal hopping, this new Oceanis is, nevertheless, a robust category B sailing yacht, fitted for offshore sailing. The smallest of the range offers the biggest choice of programs! 

Read more about the Beneteau Oceanis 30.1............................

 

Grady White Freedom 235 Dual ConsoleBy Jill Snider

Once again, I had the pleasure of joining CY’s test guru Andy Adams on a boat review. This time, out on Georgian Bay, we put the Grady White Freedom 235 Dual Console to the test. There are so many great things to tell you about this classic beauty.

Andy
If I were required to compare Grady White’s Freedom 235 Dual Console to an animal, I would tell you that she has the character of a Labrador Retriever. Here are a few reasons why...

Read More about the Grady White Freedom 235 Dual Console......................

Destinations

  • Prev
Provincial Boat Havens are those special places to drop anchor in British Columbia’s West Coast and ...
NW Explorations, a Bellingham, Washington-based yacht charter, brokerage, and marine services ...
If you haven’t cruised the Rideau Canal before, you have missed a special treat and even if you ...
At the 2019 Vancouver International Boat Show I had the pleasure of meeting up with Allyson and ...
Following the harsh impact of Hurricanes Irma and Maria, The British Virgin Islands is making an ...
For the adventurous boater Bunsby Marine Provincial Park is a special place, situated due south of ...
There is good anchoring in Cowichan Bay and nearby, and salt water enough to make any boater happy. ...
We’re gliding through green-blue waters, colours so vivid and bright they hurt your eyes. We’re set ...
The Halifax waterfront has been attracting more and more large yachts in recent years. However, a ...
Ah Canadian simplicity at its finest; small town, big marina. Little Hilton Beach (population ...


Coal Harbour MarinaVancouver is ranked one of the most liveable cities in the world. You can explore much of the cityscape by water and moor at several marinas. The city offers the marine visitor a panoply of fine dining, waterside pubs, shopping and cultural amenities.

English Bay and False Creek, one of the choice urban boating destinations in North America, bring you into the heart of the city. Good moorage and anchorages are available and there is lots happening both on the water and all along the shoreline.

 

 

Read more about Vancouver...........

 

Marine Products

  • Prev
The Seabin device part of the Oak Bay Marine Group trial, has had promising results so far while ...
When I took the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV down to Wednesday night racing, the people that came over ...
Protecting your boat from scratches and dents isn’t always easy. That’s why the Big Bumper Company ...
Rancho Santa Margarita, CA - Forespar has just introduced a new smaller size version of their ...
As boaters we all have a very unique connection to the water and all the opportunities it presents. ...
Edited by the Quebec Marine Association under the direction of L'Escale Nautique (producer of the ...
Blue Guard has announced the general availability of the BG-One, a solid-state bilge pump switch, ...
With the introduction of the Ion Power Basic, a safe Lithium Ion battery formulated with Lithium, ...
Finding a car brand that you enjoy while it does what you need can be tough, as they can be ...
Yikes! No boat refrigeration? You’ve Got to be Kidding me!! But then again, true campers don’t use ...