Doyle Design Files // Dave Armitage 

Doyle Sails Newport is home to Kiwi-born Doyle Sails designer Dave Armitage. “Armo” who is originally from the ‘City of Sails’ in Auckland, New Zealand, has an impressive career which has seen him sail at all variations of the sport from Optimist, through Lasers, keelboat racing and Match Racing. 

In 1995 Dave won the America’s Cup sailing with Team New Zealand. After moving to the USA in 1996, David joined Halsey Lidgard Sailmakers in Connecticut where he designed sails for a range of projects from dinghies through to America’s Cup and Volvo Ocean Race boats. In 2001, he joined Quantum Sails where he worked as a sail designer and trimmer for several successful one-design campaigns such as Farr 30’s, Melges 32s, Farr 40s and TP52s.

Dave has recently returned to the Newport R.I. area and is now working day to day in the Doyle Sails Newport, designing sails primarily for Grand Prix racing teams, such as Interlodge and Deep Blue, whom he regularly sails with. 

Armitage works closely with the global design network which Doyle boasts around the world, designing for cruiser racers, and larger cruising boats. No stranger to cruising vessels he is often enjoying his time away from racing on his 47ft Beneteau cruising boat. 

Armitage has been sailing with Austin and Gwen Fragomen for over 12 years now, their preferred sail designer as they made the shift to Doyle Sails when Dave joined the group. Sailing on board both of the Fragomen’s Grand Prix yachts, the Botin 44 and TP52, along with their most recent acquisition of the very famous Sparkman and Stevens designed yacht “Blackwatch” first launched in 1938.

Dave admits “We have had many good seasons with both boats and have just finished sailing the TP52 super series in Palma, achieving a very respectable 3rd place during the seasoning opening regatta.” Later this year he will be racing on Blackwatch in this year’s Newport to Bermuda race.

Alongside designing sails for Wendy Schmidt’s “Deep Blue” Botin 85 for her Grand Prix racing schedule Armitage sails with this crew frequently, but also both designs and sails onboard her other yachts.  “Elfje” a 46m Hoek designed Superyacht, Swan 80 “Selene” and Classic yacht “Santana”. 

“I have been sailing with Wendy for over 10 years, and it’s always a pleasure to sail with her,” says Dave “Its programs like this are a real testament to owners and their passion for the sport” 

It’s not always Super Yachts and Grand Prix racing, when time allows Dave spends time racing dinghy’s and is looking forward to getting back into the Newport weekday sailing scene over the coming summer.

ABOUT DOYLE SAILS //  Doyle Sails strives to deliver success through high-performance, high-quality, custom sails that continue to redefine the boundaries of sailmaking technology and innovation; whilst connecting sailors to inspire, support and encourage sailing.

Our obsession with sailing takes us to every corner of the world and onboard every yacht. We become part of teams, share in the adventures of friends and families, sharing our knowledge and experience with those with the same passion. Sailing is in our DNA, and we are the custodians of a legacy that has been supporting sailors for four decades and counting.

By sailors, for sailors.

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