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Dougherty Tragedy


tough week

Dougherty Tragedy

After the surprise on-board death of Donzo Wilkinson this weekend, the Northeast’s sailors really didn’t need more bad news, but sadly, here it is:

Longtime Anarchist and one of the most positive people in the sport – Julien Dougherty – has passed away at the ripe young age of 37.  He crewed with many of us, brought even more in to crew on his Beneteau 36.7, and was the first to help any sailor anywhere – on the dock, in the yard, in the bar – wherever.

Folks often say "he’d give you the shirt off his back," but with Julien, nothing could be truer.  Not a lifelong sailor, he loved the sport more than almost anything, and Julien had a wisdom of sailing far beyond his age:  He knew he was always going to be learning, but found the time to mentor others less experienced than him.

Dougherty famously won the Gibbs Hill Lighthouse division a couple of years ago in the Newport-Bermuda race in his little shoal-draft Beneteau 36.7 Tenacious, the kind of victory that no one ever thinks will happen and the smallest boat ever to win the most prestigious of the Bermuda’s trophies.  But he never took a lick of credit for it, instead praising his crew for the win.  Humble, generous, passionate, and special – that’s who Julien Dougherty was.

Our deepest and most heartfelt condolences to the entire LIS community and beyond, to those he mentored and those who mentored him, and to his lovely wife Devra.  We’re so sorry for the loss that you, and the entire sailing community, has suffered.

We’ll have more news as it comes, so check back for info on Julien’s funeral and so on.  Add your own thoughts to the thread.