Ireland's sailing, boating & maritime magazine

'Outrajeous' New J109 Arrives into Dublin

4th December 2018
'Outrajeous' New J109 Arrives into Dublin

Continuing their 2018 development programme UK Sailmakers Ireland are working with John Murphy and Richard Colwell’s new J109 which arrived into Howth last month.

After successful development and testing of the ‘JX’ headsail design on Dublin Bay the UK Sailmakers Ireland team have shifted focus on to improving the class mainsail design – using data gathered from the ‘JX’ development programme.

“This is the next logical step” - explains UK Sailmakers Ireland’s Graham Curran – “it is all about percentage gain now. The class has reached a level where the big gains of crew work and boat preparation are gone. The skill level in the class is high – you have to chase the percentage gain – you can’t sit and wait for it to come, because it won’t.”

Mark Mansfield continues – “For years turning the corners effectively and going the right way resulted in race wins – now it is not so easy. To beat the guy to leeward you need to be faster, to hold that tight lane of the start line you need to have an edge. Small advantages are more crucial than ever in the J109 class – we’re not looking to be fast, we plan to be faster.”

Fig 1The UK Sailmakers Ireland team aboard Brian Jones’ “Jelly Baby” in Cork Harbour on the second day of testing

Mark Mansfield has been heavily involved in the development process and testing – as a multiple National and J109 Class Champion aboard John Maybury’s “Joker II” Mark is arguably one of the most knowledgeable J109 sailors in the country. His input and experience with the J109 has been essential in moving the project forward and, despite his busy sailing schedule (Mark is racing Etchells in Miami this week) his enthusiasm and drive are unwavering.

“You can always be better, faster, and smarter“ - says Barry Hayes, head of development at UK Sailmakers Ireland – “we’re not doing this development work to match the status quo, we’re going to break and exceed it.
“Our customers are already at the forefront. John and Brian Hall’s “Something Else” are regulars at the top both at home in DBSC and abroad, pushing “Storm” all the way to the last race at this year’s Scottish Series.

Simon Knowles and Colm Buckley’s “Indian” showed impressive pace during the HYC Autumn Series, and the charted “JEDI” finished third in the competitive Beaufort Cup during Cork Week – with our continuing development programme we’re taking the next step in performance. Fast simply isn’t good enough, we plan to be faster.”

The sail development process will continue both on and off the water into early 2019 – after which Outrajeous will feature the newest developments in the J109 class in her 2019 sail wardrobe.

Fig 2Post testing aboard "Outrajeous" off Howth. Left to right: Mark Mansfield, Graham Curran, Barry Hayes
Murphy and Colwell have an extensive 2019 schedule planned for “Outrajeous” – including the ICRA National Championships on Dublin Bay, Sovereigns Cup, and Dun Laoghaire Regatta.  The pair achieved considerable success nationally with previous campaigns - notably several National Championships with their Corby 25 “Kinetic” and later Richard with “Fusion”. Now once again as a combined team, with a talented crew pool and Mark Mansfield serving as tactician for some major events, they will be a boat to watch during the 2019 season.

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About the Loft

UK Sailmakers Ireland brings modern professional sailmaking to Irish Sailing.​ Formerly known as McWilliam Sailmakers; the company was started 47 years ago to bring the latest technology to Irish sailors - we continue this mission today.

Under new leadership in 2018; our loft is dedicated to fulfilling the needs of all Irish sailors. ​As sailmakers, we do not just design sails for boats. We design and build sails for your boat. Our extensive and versatile product line allows us to produce sails to suit your requirements and expectations.   

​As a core loft within the UK Sailmakers Group, we are uniquely placed to draw from a worldwide pool of knowledge and experience - these ties have been recently strengthened with the return of Barry Hayes and Claire Morgan from Hong Kong. ​Barry held a key role in our primary production facility on Hong Kong Island for the past fifteen years. With their return comes a renewed focus on technology R&D on Irish waters.  

​With a wide variety of sailing conditions and an impressive pool of talent, the Irish cruiser racing fleet is the ideal testbed for new technologies.​ 

​As with all things in sailing; the secrets will be closely guarded - but for the first time in decades Irish sailors will be at the forefront of sail technology development.​

Although much has changed; some constants remain. The same great sail and customer service we have provided in the past will continue, as does our commitment and passion for growing the sport of sailing all over the country. 

Barry Hayes [email protected]

Contact Information:

UK Sailmakers Ireland

Hoddersfield Mill


County Cork

P43 EY26

Republic of Ireland

Tel: +353 21 4831505

Fax: +353 21 4831700

Email: [email protected]

Graham Curran

About The Author

Graham Curran

Email The Author

Graham Curran is a sailmaker and director of UK Sails Ireland

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