Allianz and Afloat - Supporting Irish Boating

Ireland's sailing, boating & maritime magazine

In association with ISA Logo Irish Sailing

Displaying items by tag: North Sails Ireland

North Sails Ireland are hosting a Sail Trim presentation at Greystones Sailing Club on Thursday 17th January @ 7.30 pm.

The evening will include a presentation by sailmakers Shane Hughes and Nigel Young and features the latest theory and techniques for improving and refining upwind trim and boat speed.

The presentation draws on the North U syllabus so successfully used around the world by North Sails representatives and includes the use of North’s proprietary Sail Trim Simulator to help illustrate some of these trim solutions.

Published in North Sails Ireland
Tagged under

Two years to the day that Ireland's Embarr team won the Melges 24 Worlds in Miami, Conor Clarke and Maurice 'Prof' O'Connell were back on the water for the 380–mile Round Jamaica Race on Mark Shield's Beneteau 35s5 "Breakaway". Mark is Commodore of the Royal Jamaica Yacht Club which is now Conor's home club. Prof takes up the story of a circumnavigation that ended suddenly

We were going very well, vying for first place on corrected time when, 15 miles from the finish in 25 knots of wind in tough upwind conditions, the starboard rod cap shroud failed at the turnbuckle and we were dismasted. We had a No. 2 genoa and a reef in the main at the time. It happened at 6 am yesterday morning.

We systematically cut all the lines, halyards, electrical cable and shrouds and sent the broken rig and the two sails to the ocean floor - including a brand new North Sails 3Di mainsail! Had we had more time, we would have tried to recover it all and bring it back onboard but we were drifting to a lee shore and had to move fast. It was an odd feeling - once the rig and all the bits had gone, there was an eerie silence which you wouldn't expect. Quite strange.

The good news is that it all went pretty smoothly, nobody was seriously hurt. En route home now via Miami.

Published in Offshore

North Sails Ireland want to congratulate Team ‘Mathilde’ on their podium finish at the inaugural Club Swan 50 World Championship in Porto Cervo. The Swiss-flagged yacht owned and helmed by Morten H Kielland is now in her second year of campaigning on the super competitive Club Swan 50 circuit.

Leading up to the Worlds, the team had already secured podium finishes in the other class regattas competed in 2018 thus far. A 2nd place finish at the first event of the year in Monaco last April followed by another 2nd place at the Palma Vela regatta in May and then a 3rd place finish at the Rolex Giraglia regatta in June. This delivered the team to the final class event of the year in confident mood and ready to take on the extremely talented International fleet.

swan 50 worlds

The Championship, contested by 12 talent-laden teams was held as part of the Swan Worlds in Porto Cervo, September 11 to 16th. Mathilde added a new J1 / Light jib and A2 (running Asymmetric) for the event. Both sails performed superbly in the predominantly light conditions alongside the rest of Mathilde’s full North Sails inventory. The extra speed the new J1, in particular, gave us was a game changer and gave us a small edge over some of our competitors in the light conditions. The J1 (3Di Raw 870) is very reactive to small adjustments in trim and allowed us to get every ounce of speed out of the boat. Add that to solid boat handling and some great tactical calls by Leigh McMillan and it produced a 3rd place podium finish for the team.

Actually Mathilde went into the final race tied on points with ‘Cuordileone’ and eventual winner ‘One Group’, all three boats vying for the championship win, unfortunately Mathilde finished on the wrong side of that result but overall the team was delighted with the progress throughout the year and to be able to fight for the championship right up to the last leg of the regatta. The finish replicated the competitive nature of the event. 7 different race winners in 10 races and the whole fleet finishing within 1 minute 45 seconds in all of those races. The One Design element and tight controls are producing very even performance in the fleet and like any great One Design class, the results are coming down to who makes the least mistakes and who can find the small gains out on the track.

A contributory factor for Mathilde is the support of North Sails Ireland and in particular, Shane Hughes who is sail co-ordinator and trimmer onboard. The team also had a larger Irish contingent onboard in 2018 with Howth sailor Sam O’Byrne and Schull duo Jay Stacey and Oisin O’Driscoll onboard for some of the events. The Mathilde CS 50 program represents a great opportunity for young sailors like Sam, Oisin and Jay to experience high-level international keelboat sailing and the guys performed very well and will hopefully be back for more in 2019. More generally the input from North Sails into the Club Swan 50 class has helped push our own standards higher. North Sails dominated the results with the podium teams all exclusively powered by North Sails and
using our standard CS 50 designs. The continuous development led by Arnd Howar and lead designer Juan Meseguer is relentless. With so many North Sails representatives sailing in the fleet and feeding into the product review and refinement process, the sails simply get better and faster and keep our customers at the front of the fleet.

Looking forward; the review and refinement process will continue at pace and we look forward to supporting team ‘Mathilde’ into the 2019 season and beyond.

Published in North Sails Ireland
Tagged under

Shane Hughes from North Sails Ireland will give a winter talk to Waterford Harbour Sailing Club has at its Dunmore East clubhouse on Friday, 16 November.

WHSC skipper Robert Marchant says Hughes, who played a key role in the success of the Greystones based Grand Soleil Eleuthera this season, will be giving a presentation on Upwind sail trim and boat speed. 'The fire will be lighting and the bar open', says Marchant. 

The club is open from 6:30 pm and the talk starts at 7 pm. It's a free event and all are welcome.

Published in North Sails Ireland
Tagged under

North Sails Ireland clients dominated the recent J109 Irish National Championships in Howth Yacht Club. The top six places were hoovered up by J109's flying 100% North Sails inventories. Conditions were tough, with winds always in excess of 15 knots and often gusting to 25 knots. J109's flying North Sails 3Di / 3DL upwind and V-Series downwind sails marched away from the competition, demonstrating superior speed and unmatched reliability.

The North Sails Ireland team were very busy supporting the event onshore and afloat. Nigel Young and Maurice "Prof" O'Connell shot tons of video footage and hosted an entertaining and informative post-race de-brief, which judging by the numerous messages they received afterwards, was much appreciated by the teams.

Prof WOWing the J109 crowdProf O'Connell at the J109 North Sails Ireland debrief at Howth Yacht Club

Speaking after the event, Irish J109 Class Captain Andrew Craig said, "North Sails videoed the racing on Saturday and Prof O’Connell and Nigel Young debriefed the fleet – no boat could hide their mistakes from the video or Prof and Nigel! This was the third event at which we had North videoing on the water and the fleet gets a huge benefit from it. The common themes were sail trim and being overpowered, late drops at the leeward gates and not enough hiking which Prof calls “free speed". A million thanks to the North Sails team for all their support afloat and onshore".

Here is a sample!

Messy leeward Gate 

"Juggerknot" Upwind Video

"White Mischief" Downwind Video

"Storm II" Windward mark Approach

"Jedi" Downwind Video

North Sails Ireland also provided holdalls and hats for the top five places overall and also headfoil flags for the race winners.

North sails team 3165The North Sails team at the J109 Nationals Photo:

"We are delighted to continue our association with the J109 class for both their championships this year and we look forward to working with all the J109 sailors in the 2019 season. It's already shaping up to be a good one!", said North Sails Ireland's Nigel Young, speaking in Howth Yacht Club after the event.

Published in North Sails Ireland
Tagged under

In the second part of North Sails Ireland's sponsorship of the two flagship Irish J109 events in 2018 (see here), North Sails Ireland's Maurice "Prof" O'Connell and Nigel Young team will be on the water this weekend at the National Championships at Howth Yacht Club

They will be narrating and shooting video and for an entertaining post-race de-brief ashore in the club after sailing.

Below is a video clip from the J109 East Coast Championships in Dun Laoghaire in May from 'Prof'.

North Sails will also be providing prizes for the top five boats overall and in addition, each race winner will get a specially designed winners flag to be flown off the headfoil.

Aboard White Mischief flying her 3Di Main and Code 2 JibTim and Richard Goodbody's White Mischief flying her 3Di Main and Code 2 Jib

Speaking this week before the event, J109 Irish class captain Andrew Craig (and skipper of contender "Chimaera") said, "North Sails' support of the J109 class here has been wonderful and a huge assistance to the success of our events. We are looking forward to Prof and Nigel's de-brief and, of course, the North Sails prizes and goodies are always welcome".

Andrew Craigs Chimaera flying her new 3Di Code 1 Jib and Inshore mainAndrew Craig's Chimaera flying her new 3Di Code 1 Jib and Inshore main

Published in North Sails Ireland
Tagged under

On the 19th June 2018, an email landed into my inbox from Darragh McCormack making an enquiry about Mermaid sails from my loft, North Sails Ireland writes Nigel Young. I have been corresponding with Darragh since 2014 but in most cases, we talked about the J/24 rather than the Mermaid. This time things were going to change.

North Sails have been involved in the Mermaid for a number of years now and have enjoyed Nationals winning success with Paddy Dillon and several other teams have done well with our sails but we never really took much market share even after those Nationals win.

When Darragh got in touch, my initial feeling was he would just be checking out prices and getting a feel for what we might be doing in the class. Not for one moment did I think he wanted to order and do a total re-design on the Mainsail and Jib and take delivery in advance of the Nationals that were only 5-6 weeks away! After a chat on the phone, I quickly got the impression that Darragh was keen to try North Sails, so I jumped in the van the very next evening and drove to Foynes YC to go for a sail.

Darragh had some very strong feelings about the changes he wanted to make to the standard North Sails and of course specifically to fit his mast set up. On arriving in FYC that night, we looked at several sails on Darragh’s mast on shore and then took to the water. We flew more sails, took pictures of the sails in flight and I got a feel for the boat and the sail shapes. It has always been an eye-opener to sail with a new team and in the sport of sailing, there are many ways to make a boat go fast! Armed with about 50 pictures, notes, measurements and my own thoughts about the project, I headed home with an order for twelve sails… yes, twelve and they were all wanted for the Nationals!

I headed home with an order for twelve sails… yes, twelve and they were all wanted for the Nationals!

July is one of the busiest months in the sail making world and we had to re-design the sails, make sure everything was perfect and then have the sails built in our Sri Lanka facility and shipped to Ireland! Quite a tall order but the enthusiasm from Darragh was infectious so I decided to give it our best shot. Fortunately, I was able to work with Ruairidh Scott our One Design design expert in the UK, and very quickly and he worked his magic on the designs and we got everything boxed off in record time. The delivery dates were set and in theory, with no shipping hold ups Darragh’s new sails would arrive just in time for the warm-up regatta the weekend before in Skerries and the rest of the order would arrive on a just in time basis for the main event, fingers crossed!

National Champion powering downwind 900The National Champions power downwind

Like all the best-laid plans they do not always pan out perfectly! A slight shipping delay meant the sails for Darragh arrived a day late and he missed his chance to use the sails in Skerries. I was away at the time racing in the Dragon Gold Cup which was only adding to the stress of the sails being late! As it turned out, that was a windy regatta so I am not sure the sails would have been used anyway.

I landed home on the Monday and drove half-way to Foynes to meet Darragh and hand over the sails. I was off again the following day to Lake Garda for the Melges 24 Europeans so I could not even check out the sails with Darragh. Thank goodness for his confidence in us! He took the sails and spent the next two evenings ahead of the Nationals making sure everything was OK, sorting out the new Jib lead locations and wire heights.

I was phoning from Lake Garda every second minute like an expectant Father waiting to hear about the new-born Mermaid sails! Like all good Fairytales this one also has a very happy ending! The sails fitted well and more importantly proved to be very quick on their first outing. Oh, I almost forgot to say…. The other nine sails arrived the day of the practice race as well. Too tight for comfort especially as I was not about to help fit them all, which is something we always try to do here at North with a brand-new design. Fortunately, all was well and everyone got their new sails on time but only just. From conception to water in only thirty-three working days after taking the order! I think I might have lost a bit more hair during those days! Darragh went on to sail an amazing series at his home yacht club and took the overall Nationals to win in fine style, including winning the very first race the new sails were used in. I have to say, a wave of relief came over me when I heard the news after day one of the Nationals, the sails are FAST, that was all I wanted to hear!

Congratulations to Darragh and his crew of Mark McCormack and Johnny Dillon, a helm is only ever as good as his crew on this occasion the teamwork was exceptional to lift the Nationals trophy for the first time. North Sails Ireland was delighted to play a small part in this success and we wish Darragh and his crew and all the other North clients in the Mermaid class all the best for 2019.

Published in North Sails Ireland
Tagged under

The overall ISORA series was won for the second successive year by Peter Dunlop and Vicki Cox's J109 "Mojito" and she also took the spoils in IRC 1. Second overall was Chris Power-Smith's J122 "Aurelia" who also won IRC 0.

1st overall in IRC 2 was Denis Power's & Lindsay Casey's J97 "Windjammer".

So the overall winner, all three class winners and most of the podium places were taken by boats flying North Sails.

Aurelia_J122Chris Power-Smith's J122 "Aurelia" Photo:

All three flew 3Di upwind sails and V-Series downwind sails.

ISORA races are tough and the series is a marathon, not a sprint. It places a premium on both consistent offshore speed but also reliability. We are delighted to see our clients winning offshore using our 3Di upwind technology and V-Series downwind sails.

Congratulations to everyone in the ISORA community and roll on 2019!


1. "Mojito" J109 Peter Dunlop & Vicky Cox NORTH SAILS
2. "Aurelia" J122 Chris Power-Smith NORTH SAILS


1. "Aurelia" J122 Chris Power-Smith NORTH SAILS
3. "Rockabill VI" JPK1080 Paul O'Higgins NORTH SAILS


1. "Mojito" J109 Peter Dunlop & Vicky Cox NORTH SAILS
2. "Wakey Wakey" J109 Roger Smith NORTH SAILS
3. "YoYo" Sunfast 3600 Brendan Coghlan NORTH SAILS


1. "Windjammer" J97 Denis Power & Lindsay Casey NORTH SAILS
2. "More Mischief" First 310 Grzegorz Kalinecki NORTH SAILS

Published in North Sails Ireland
Tagged under

North Sails clients finished 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th overall in the recent Irish Dragon Championships held at Glandore Harbour Sailing Club.

As previously reported, it was a tough four day series with "Phantom", helmed by Neil Hegarty and crewed by David Williams and Peter Bowring emerging victorious in a tight final race.

An indication of how tough the racing was is that multiple Dragon Gold Cup, World Champion and Olympic medallist Paul Ricard Hoj-Jensen finished fourth overall.


1. "Phantom" - Neil Hegarty, David Williams, Peter Bowring - NORTH SAILS
2. "Jaguar" - Martin Byrne, Adam Winkelmann, Mark Pettit - NORTH SAILS (partial inventory)
3. "Little Fella" - Cameron Good, Simon Furney, Henry Kingston - NORTH SAILS
4. "Danish Blue" - Paul Ricard Hoj-Jensen - NORTH SAILS

Published in North Sails Ireland
Tagged under

North Sails Ireland congratulate clients Dave Cullen, Jonny Swan and both teams crews for taking first and second overall at the Half Ton Cup last week in Belgium writes sailmaker Nigel Young.

The Half Ton Cup has been well supported by Irish Teams for the last number of years and 2018 was no different. The week started with light winds and flat water and the breeze and waves slowly built throughout the week until the final two days saw some gusts of over 20 knots to test the crews.

Dave Cullen and his experienced team were a little slow out of the blocks in results terms early in the week but once the breeze came in there was no stopping them. Congratulations to Dave and all the crew for a great performance and dominating the racing as the regatta unfolded.

Harmony North SailsJonny Swan's Harmony Photo: Fiona Brown

I was lucky enough to be sailing with our latest Half-Ton client Jonny Swan who recently made the step up to North Sails. Jonny sailing with his regular Team from Howth with the addition of yours truly mirrored the performance of his club mates starting off a bit shaky in the light airs but again showing great form when the breeze was up.

Second overall Jonny's best HTC result to date since purchasing Harmony and his first major Half-Ton class regatta using North Sails.

Only three and a half points separated the top two boats in the end but to be fair we never really felt like we could beat Dave as he often had a tiny edge we struggled to match.

Both boats were sailing with 100% 3Di upwind sails and V-Series Symmetrical spinnakers downwind.

For more information about North Sails 3Di please take a look at the link here

Published in Half Tonners
Tagged under
Page 9 of 12
Who is Your Sailor of the Year 2020?
Total Votes:
First Vote:
Last Vote:

Featured Sailing School

INSS sidebutton

Featured Clubs

dbsc mainbutton
Howth Yacht Club
Kinsale Yacht Club
National Yacht Club
Royal Cork Yacht Club
Royal Irish Yacht club
Royal Saint George Yacht Club

Featured Brokers

leinster sidebutton

Featured Webcams

Featured Car Brands

subaru sidebutton

Featured Associations

ISA sidebutton dob
isora sidebutton

Featured Events 2021

vdlr21 sidebutton

Featured Sailmakers

northsails sidebutton
uksails sidebutton
quantum sidebutton
watson sidebutton

Featured Chandleries

CHMarine Afloat logo
osm sidebutton

Featured Marinas

dlmarina sidebutton

Featured Blogs

W M Nixon - Sailing on Saturday
podcast sidebutton
mansfield sidebutton
BSB sidebutton
wavelengths sidebutton

Please show your support for Afloat by donating