Death of Seabird Class founder

Norman Owen, who established the Seabird Class of racing yachts, has died aged 91. In his earlier life he worked as a diver for British Rail maintaining their jetty at Holyhead, but had to cut off his own fingers when they became trapped while demolishing some old piles.

He was unable to cut through the bones, so having cut through the flesh he signalled to the surface attendants to pull him up. They did so ripping two fingers from his right hand.

He sailed Tsulamaran, then one of the world’s largest catamarans to the West Indies. He leaves a daughter and two sons: David who is master of the cruise liner Saga Rose and Eddie, an international helmsman and chief executive of the Royal Ocean Racing Club.