Newport Shipyard Personality: Donald Tofias
What to say about a guy who created the W-Class, a veritable stable of stunning thoroughbred sailboats? Donald's dream to design a fleet of modern classics, reminiscent of the designs of Fife and Herreshoff, was carried out by the late designer Joel White and took form in the 76' beauties, Wild Horses and White Wings. Subsequently, the series of Stephens Waring & White designed W- 46's Equus, Arion, Mustang and Zebra joined the fleet followed more recently by the latest W-37. Donald has enthusiastically and generously campaigned these boats in the Med, England, the Caribbean, and the East Coast. His crew shirts with a large W are coveted by all who sail with him.
Donald's sensibilities hark back to a traditional era... from his Downeast Peapods to the W-Series, and even to his recent restoration of the old Clock Tower as his home. All are about his incredible vision. If you can keep up with all his posts of images on Facebook, you get insight into what makes him tick.
Donald has been a welcome fixture and unquestionably a 'personality' at Newport Shipyard, conjuring up a vision in khaki vest, cargo shorts, several lanyards around his neck, French Foreign Legion sun hat... slathered in serious sunblock. He never tires of racing his "beauties" with a bevy of beauties aboard as well. Easy to tease The Donald, but beware; he gives as good as he gets!