Bruce Kirby, the man who designed the Laser, considered the most successful production sailboat design in history, passed away July 18, 2021, at 92 years of age.
Kirby was a journalist before he turned to yacht design. His first boat design was the Kirby Mark I version of the International 14 dinghy, which led to a revolution in the class. While working in newspapers and magazines, he raced in the Olympics for his native Canada and then went on to design, among others, the Sonar, Kirby 25, Ideal 18, America’s Cup Twelve Metres, the San Juan 24 and 30, offshore racing boats and Sharpie designs for home construction.
You can read more about Kirby’s life in this 2019 interview with Soundings.