Eight Bells: Jim Plaxton

Published on October 1st, 2021

Jim Plaxton, 83 years, passed away peacefully on September 26, 2021 in London, Ontario.

The youngest son of ten Plaxton children in the Rosedale neighbourhood in Toronto, Jim was a navy man, a pilot, an engineer, a sailor, a scholar as well as a very successful entrepreneur and businessman, and he was highly respected by his peers and business associates.

Jim constantly strove for excellence as a matter of course, not for personal gain or glory. As an entrepreneur, Jim’s accomplishments included ownership in Great Lakes airlines/Air Ontario and subsequent to that, the purchase of C&C Yachts in the early 1980s.

In the world of competitive offshore racing, Jim, known as “JR” to sailing friends and competitors alike, sailed his Silver Shadow yachts (C&C43, C&C41, and C&C44) in the 1980s to victories in Great Lakes, SORC, NYYC Spring & Fall series races, as well as being a key part of Canada’s victorious 1982 Onion Patch/Bermuda Race team along with Don Green’s Evergreen and Bob Heron’s Amazing Grace.

Jim also represented Canada in the 1991 Admirals Cup in England. Jim’s Silver Shadow campaigns were also instrumental in the early days of Doyle Sails with Robbie Doyle being closely involved in sail development and inventory, as his company began to establish itself as a successful global sailmaker.

Jim’s approach to competitive sailing was very much one of team building through inspiration, fairness, and above all great laughter and good times. In doing so, Jim had an immeasurable impact on the lives of many sailors both in Canada and internationally.

Jim is survived by daughters Patty Plaxton (John Sheedy), and Tamsin Plaxton; son James Mark Plaxton (Gillian Plaxton); and grandchildren Callum and Kate Sheedy, Gabrielle Plaxton Collingwood as well as Amanda and Olivia Plaxton.

Details about visitation, words of remembrance and funeral mass, reception, and wake, including full obituary, tribute wall, and flower/donation information is available at https://donohuefuneralhome.ca/tribute/details/10560/James-Plaxton/obituary.html.

Source: Sail Canada

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