Jonas Høgh-Christensen pays tribute to Don Nordquist who has died following an accident in Denia, Spain
Finn Class in grief.
It is with great sadness in my heart that I have to report that on Wednesday the 23rd of March 2011 the Finn class lost a great sailor, coach and friend.
In an accident during a training camp in Denia, Spain, Don "Donning" Nordquist lost his life.
Don and another coach had set out to check if the sailing conditions were suitable for training. A freak wave caught the coach boat and flipped it. Neither of the two coaches were wearing a lifejacket, but the second coach managed to swim ashore where she was aided by sailors and locals.
Don was rescued by a lifeguard helicopter but it was too late and his life was not saved. Don was 52 years old.
Don was one of our class greats. He had top 10 finishes at Gold Cups and continued as a highly respected coach. In his coaching career he did a lot of work with Fredrik Loof and for the Swedish federation while he managed to run the acclaimed sailing gymnasium in Motala, Sweden. In 2005 he started to work with the Danish federation and coached me to Gold Cup victory in 2006.
Don was a serious and good hearted man with a lot to offer. He was a typical great! The guy in the background making sure improvements kept happening. He was modest and had a great feel for creating great sailors without it ever being about him.
Don will be truly missed by all, especially sailors in the Finn fleet.
I hope everybody will send their thoughts to his family, who meant everything to him.
He was a true inspiration to me, as he was to many others.