Industry mourns noted multihull designer

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Ground-breaking multihull designer Richard C. (Dick) Newick died last week at the age of 87.

His designs, particularly his trimarans, revolutionized the world of multihull sailing in that they were graceful, simple, light — and remarkably fast.

“In a very real sense the history of multihull design can be divided into Before-Newick and After-Newick,” reads on online remembrance on TheOldSaltBlog.com. “Before-Newick, trimarans were ugly and boxy. Newick’s designs, when they first arrived in the ’70s and ’80s, seemed almost other-worldly, with sweeping lines and amas that rested lightly on the water.”

The first Newick design to catch the world’s attention was a proa named Cheers, which Newick designed for Tom Follett. It placed third in the OSTAR trans-Atlantic race of 1968, the first multihull to place in the race.

In 1980 Phil Weld sailed the Newick-designed trimaran Moxie to victory in the OSTAR, the first American ever to do so. He set a new race record of 17 days, 23 hours and 12 minutes.

Over his long career Newick designed more than 130 sailboats, ranging from the 60-foot Rogue Wave to the 23-foot Tremilino.

“People sail for fun and no one has yet convinced me that it’s more fun to go slow than it is to go fast,” Newick was quoted in discussing his design philosophy.

Click here for imagery and video of Newick designs in action and click here for a remembrance on ProaFile.com.

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