Industry mourns West Coast sailboat designer

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George Griffith, a passionate West Coast sailor and the man behind the Cal 40 design, died Tuesday aboard his 48-foot powerboat at the age of 91.

His son was at the helm of Sarissa, which Griffith had helped design with Michael Peters 25 years ago and they were en route to Long Beach, Calif.

Griffith was a well-known competitive sailor and cruiser and a member of the Los Angeles Yacht Club, the Cruising Club of America and the Transpac Yacht Club.

A memorial service is scheduled for 5 p.m. Sunday at the Los Angeles Yacht Club in San Pedro.

“George Griffith rocked my world,” wrote friend Kimball Livingston, former senior editor of Sail magazine and now the editor of BluePlanetTimes.com. “The man had a vision for a next boat and he didn’t care about the doubters. The result was the Cal 40, arguably the most influential raceboat of the second half of the 20th century.”

Click here for Livingston’s tribute to Griffith.

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