North Sails NEWS


North Sails introduced this award in memory of Sam Richmond, who passed away in 2022 after a tragic yachting accident

Ruaridh Wright, based at our Gosport, UK loft, is the recipient of the inaugural Richmond Award. North Sails introduced this award in memory of our friend and colleague Sam Richmond, who passed away in 2022 after a tragic yachting accident. The Richmond Award is peer-nominated and given in Sam’s honor to a North Sails employee under 35 who exudes many of the same traits as Sam.

Wright was selected for this year’s award from 42 candidates.

The selection committee included North Sails CEO Richard Lott, President Ken Read, COO John Welch, Grand Prix Leader Paul Westlake, and Sam’s wife, Colette Richmond.

North Sails COO John Welch commented:

“For those lucky to work alongside him, Sam was the best of North Sails and an example of confidence and leadership in the loft and his community. He spotted Ruaridh early in his career and brought him into our sales team.

Ruaridh always goes beyond expectations to help out customers and colleagues alike, whether it’s working through the night to repair a sail or driving across the country to a yacht club. He’s been a fantastic addition to the NSUK team. and it seemed fitting that the first recipient of the award had close ties to Sam.”

Colette Richmond on the meaning of this award and Sam’s legacy:

“Sam was immensely proud to work for North Sails, and whilst he had earned his achievements through hard work, he was grateful to the role models and mentors who had supported him throughout his career. Sam found it highly fulfilling to do the same for others and motivate those around him. He thrived off other people’s energy in all areas of his life. It was these supportive and aspirational characteristics that were reflected in Ruaridh’s nominations that made him stand out to me.

I hope the Richmond Award continues to inspire the younger employees of the business as Sam would have done and maintains his legacy of championing others. I found all the nominees extremely impressive and think Ruaridh is a worthy winner. ”

Ruaridh Wright’s passion for sailing began at age seven when he first raced with his dad on a Swan 44 in Largs, Scotland. He has since gained valuable experience from Sydney Harbour and San Francisco Bay to his current home on the Solent. Wright joined North Sails in 2018 after graduating with a degree in Naval Architecture. He started as a Laser Plotter Operator and later moved onto the loft floor as a sailmaker, working in both Production and Service. In 2019, after a summer of professional sailing on TP52s, Fast 40s, and a Z86, Wright moved to Sydney, Australia to work as a Service Sailmaker at the busy North Sails loft in Mona Vale. Whilst out there, he also raced some noteworthy events onboard the JV62 Chinese Whisper, including a fifth overall in the Sydney to Hobart and Port Lincoln Race Week.

In 2021 Wright returned to North Sails Gosport as a sailmaker and by September he was asked by Sam Richmond to join the sales team. Wright is now focused on the club race segment and is very active in the Solent sailing community. Wright now manages the Performance 40 class and races in the Grand Prix 0 and Cape 31 classes. He also competes offshore in the RORC series as well as the Volvo 65 class.

Ruaridh Wright on the honor of being named winner of the 2023 Richmond Award:

“I am shocked and deeply grateful to receive the Richmond Award. Sam was someone who looked after me wherever I went. Whether I was working for North Sails in Gosport or Sydney or traveling around the world sailing on various boats, he always kept an eye on me. He encouraged me to throw myself at whatever challenge lay ahead. He brought me back into the Gosport loft as a sailmaker after the pandemic and eventually brought me into the sales team. I now find myself in a job that I love at the heart of a great company. In repayment, I hope that I have gone some way to emulate those good qualities Sam embodied.

I hope this award might encourage those eligible to win it and everyone within North Sails to continue to work with each other as a team. To compete with each other in the most positive way, and to push each other to be better than we were yesterday. Thank you to my colleagues for this nomination and the selection panel, especially Sam’s wife, Colette. This really is an honour.”

About The Richmond Award:

North Sails is proud to introduce the annual Richmond Award in memory of our friend and colleague Sam Richmond, who passed away after a tragic yachting accident. The award will be given annually to an under-thirty-five-year-old employee within any division of North Sails companies who showcases passion and expertise and has exceeded expectations. The Richmond Award highlights our brightest young stars who exude confidence, dedication, hard work, and leadership on or off the water- all of the attributes Sam carried with him.

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