Eight Bells: Dick Newick

Dick Newick

Courtesy of Sailingscuttlebutt.com

Dick Newick, the legendary designer of multihulls, and the most admired probably, sailed bound for the Fiddler’s Green on the night of August 29, after spending some days in a California hospital. He died apparently from a cardiac problem. Dick was 87 years old.

Last May, Newick had been invited by the Multihulls Golden Oldies to the French Sete harbour on the Med. How great was his surprise when he discovered that fifteen of his most famous creations were moored in the canal and waiting him for a sail! Pat's, his own trimaran at one time; Lady Godiva, a tiny and pretty proa; and Moxie were some of them, all in perfect shape. The Golden Oldies are a small French association reuniting some owners and sailors keen to save the multihulls of the 70-80′s. Dick was in great shape then and he had a sail with five of his boats.

His international fame started with the astonishing performance of the proa Cheers in the OSTAR of 1968, where his skipper Tom Follet finished third. Then the small Val, The Third Turtle, skippered by Michael Birch, arrived in Newport on the heels of Eric Tabarly, winner of the 1976 OSTAR. The victory of Phil Weld on Moxie in the same Transatlantic race in 1980 was the consecration. Weld had built no less than three Newick's designs in order to win that race one day (Gulfstreamer, Rogue Wave and Moxie).

I suspect all the world multihullers will now feel fatherless. This is what I feel right now.