Derek Hatfield

Derek Hatfield

Aug 9, 2016

Canadian sailor Derek Hatfield passed away suddenly on the August long weekend. Derek on many occasions attended CPS-ECP events across the country and would share his amazing stories of his single handed around the world voyages. He was also the featured speaker at the CPS-ECP Annual General Meeting Luncheon in 2004. The following is Derek’s obituary as published by the Spirit of Canada Ocean Challenges.

 

Famed Canadian sailor Derek Hatfield has died in Halifax, Nova Scotia after a brief illness. He will be sadly missed by his wife Patianne Verburgh, his children Ben Hatfield, Sarah Hatfield, Devin Hatfield (Tara; Rowan and Duran) and Aron Hatfield (Kanako), his mother, Pauline Hatfield, his brother, Hal Hatfield (Barbara nee James) and his sister, Tammy Hatfield (Kirk Howard) and niece Rebecca McLellan. He is predeceased by his father Arthur Edwin Hatfield.

Derek was born in Newcastle, New Brunswick on August 30, 1952. He attended Nackawic High School in New Brunswick. Derek joined the Royal Canadian Mounted Police in 1971. He then graduated from York University in Toronto, Ontario with a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration. His ambition and skill catapulted him to the rank of Corporal in just eight years on the Force as he became a specialist in complex fraud investigations. In 1986, Derek joined the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSE) as the Manager of the Compliance Department, responsible for managing a professional team of auditors completing reviews of the Exchange membership. He was later employed Ontario Securities Commission and National Bank Financial and responsible for all regulatory requirements.

Derek was far more than his resume, though. He made friends easily and adored his family. His courage, strength, humility and love of adventure all found their expression when he discovered sailing, and specifically extreme, solo, offshore sailing competitions traversing oceans and circling the globe. Derek became an accomplished offshore racer and a pioneer of competitive ocean adventures – representing Canada in some of the world’s most challenging and notorious events. Derek was the first Canadian to complete two single-handed races around the world. His keen sense for business, sponsorship and unrelenting determination established the foundation for Spirit of Canada, a brand that was emblazoned on his competitive yachts and also later the platform for sail training, team-building adventures, and motivational speaking engagements.

Derek competed in three races around the world. The first was the Around Alone, where he finished first in his fleet and became the 126th person to ever race around the world alone. This earned him Canada’s Rolex Sailor of the Year Award. In 2008 Derek became the first competitor to ever fly the Canadian flag in the infamous Vendee Globe and in 2010 Derek once again took the podium in the VELUX 5 Oceans single-handed race around the world; a task he relished as it demanded skill, perseverance, survival skills and intense attention to details. He often faced adversity, such as being pitch-poled in hurricane force winds near Cape Horn, equipment failures, and the mental and physical trials of sailing alone for months on end. Derek often noted that his sailing accomplishments would never have been possible without the love, support and partnership offered by his wife Patianne and the “shore crew” which often included close friends and family.

Despite a love for competition and pushing himself to extremes, Derek was always approachable, friendly and generous. He showed great respect for the sea, as well as respect for his fellow sailors and those from all walks of life. Additionally, Derek worked with charity organizations like Earth Rangers to raise awareness of the environment and instill valuable life lessons for children. He truly believed that with a clear focus on goals and hard work that one could accomplish anything.

Memorial services will be held on August 17, 2016 at 2:00 p.m. at the Mactaquac United Baptist Church in Mactaquac, New Brunswick with visitation immediately following the service. A Celebration of Life will be held later in the month in Mahone Bay, Nova Scotia. For details please email memorial@spiritofcanada.net.

Memorial donations may be made to the Derek Hatfield Children’s Fund at any branch of Scotiabank (Account # 71613 0424080) or Etransfer to memorial@spiritofcanada.net. These funds will be used for immediate funeral and medical expenses, children’s education and other expenses the family deems appropriate during this difficult time. A donation link will also be available on the Spirit of Canada Ocean Challenges website.

CPS-ECP Fly the Flag Contest

 

Related Articles


New Boats: Beneteau Oceanis 34.1 – A Sleek, Good -Looking Delight To Sail

By Katherine Stone

There is nothing more that I enjoy than being with friends and messing about in boats. Messing about in brand-new boats on a champagne sailing day on Lake Ontario at the beginning of the summer doesn’t get any better. To have the new owner, Helmuth Strobel and Anchor Yachts dealer Pancho Jimenez aboard made it even more special, as they can also speak to what they truly enjoy about the boat. We keep our own boat in a harbour that has a long waiting list for boats over 35 feet, so this little gem would definitely fit the bill and feels like a much bigger boat. True to the spirit of the 7th generation Oceanis line, the 34.1 is built in Poland and replaces the 35.1. It is 1,000 lbs lighter, 14 cm narrower and has 29% more sail area.

Read More


Destinations

Telegraph Cove—from Resource Community to Tourist Delight

Text and photos by Marianne Scott

Telegraph Cove is a small indent situated on Johnstone Strait in the Salish Sea, 15nm southeast of Port McNeill and near Robson Bight, famous for its orca-rubbing beaches. The village has experienced many iterations with a long history—the harbour once served as a summer camp for the Kwakwaka’wakw who fished and hunted here beginning about 8,000 years ago. Many of their descendants still live in the area.

It’s a hopping place in the summer—winter only caretakers remain on site.

Read More