North Sails LOFT NEWS
NORTH SAILS & EVERGREEN
The Story of Don Green and Lowell North in The 1978 Canada’s Cup
Around the Great Lakes, Evergreen is a well-known name that reflects an exciting time in Canadian sailing history. Skippered by Don Green from Royal Hamilton Yacht Club, Evergreen went from being the underdogs in the 1978 Canada’s Cup to winners on September 25th, 1978.
North Sails involvement with Evergreen and the Canada’s Cup begun at the beginning of the campaign. Green recalls how Lowell was actively involved, always around during training sessions and out on the water looking at the sails. Lowell North was always fascinated with the shape of sails and technology used to gain the best design and shape. One could say the ‘Science of Sails’ really began with the Evergreen project. Green points out, “Lowell was always taking pictures, looking at the shape and seeing how things could be modified.” This method of photographing sails followed by analysis, carried over deep in North Sails following the 1987 Canada’s Cup and is still used today in the company.
In addition to Lowell’s photographing of sails, our history with the Evergreen projects always includes the infamous “green garbage bag” sail. This famous “green garbage bag”, as Green recalls, “was just massive and was heavy when wet”. For North Sails, this was a significant moment as it was a mylar laminate sail – the first to be flown at the time. Our sail material technology and design process has developed from this, leading to our 3Di Technology, and Lowell’s desire to combine the scientific method with photographs. Green comments how “Lowell was always analyzing the photo’s he’d taken and comparing them with science”.
For Don and the Evergreen crew, their contributed to Canadian sailing through both the 1978 Canada’s Cup and 1979 Admiral’s Cup is immense and should not be overlooked. At the time, the mayor of Toronto came out to celebrate the crew in the motorcade parade in the city – something that would not be seen in today’s post-race festivities.
This past August, Don Green was inducted, by Steve Killing, into the Canadian Sailing Hall of Fame. A well-deserved moment for Don and all that he has done for the Canadian sailing community.
Don is still an active sailor today when he has the time. He frequently sails with life-long friend and Executive Director of the True North syndicate in the 1980’s, John Bobyk, at Mimico Cruising Club.