Eight Bells for long-time J/24 sailor David Ashton of Bermuda

Family and friends are grieving the death of well-known sailor David Ashton, who passed away on November 21. He was 62. Mr Ashton died from complications following surgery in a Boston hospital. He was a veteran of multiple Newport Bermuda Races, including the 2012 race aboard the Spirit of Bermuda. He was also co-founder of the local J/24 fleet in Bermuda and represented Bermuda at the J/24 World Championships in the United States. In the 1970s, Mr. Ashton owned a boat rental company and also operated a performance keelboat sailing school, using J/24s as the design of choice. More recently, he was a member of the International One Design Class of Bermuda and owner of the IOD sloop, Slingshot. Paul Doughty, a former business partner of Mr. Ashton, described the late sailor as a “reckoning force” in competitive sailing. “He was a very good racing sailor because obviously he earned the right to go the J/24 World Championships,” Mr. Doughty said. “Usually when he skippered a boat, he was fiery and we used to have a saying ‘which one is it today? Is it Sugar Bear or is it Grumpy Bear’ because he was very bear like. David is a great loss to the local community and was always a supporter of any sailing event. My condolences go out to his family.” At the time of his death, Mr. Ashton was joint-owner and manager of Greenbank Guesthouse in Paget. A statement on the guest house’s Facebook page read: “It is with great sadness that the family of David William Ashton announces his passing on November 21, 2014. The Ashton family has owned and managed Greenbank Guesthouse since 1952, and David dedicated his time, love and energy to Greenbank and its guests for over 20 years, along with his wife, Cindy. Many of our guests will remember David sharing the history of the property and of Bermuda, and his passion for his Island home. David will be greatly missed by his family, friends and many of Greenbank’s loyal guests.” Any comments welcome here: https://www.facebook.com/GreenbankGuestHouse.

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