Menu
Allianz and Afloat - Supporting Irish Boating

Ireland's sailing, boating & maritime magazine

In association with ISA Logo Irish Sailing

North Sails To Be Exclusive Sails Supplier For Next Volvo Ocean Race

18th February 2016
Team Brunel rounding Cape Horn
Team Brunel rounding Cape Horn in the most recent Volvo Ocean Race Rick Tomlinson / Team Brunel / Volvo Ocean Race

#VOR - The Volvo Ocean Race has appointed North Sails to be the exclusive official supplier of sails to the Volvo Ocean 65 one-design fleet in 2017-18.

North Sails supplied the sail wardrobe for the last Volvo Ocean Race, which saw the first ever one-design Volvo Ocean 65 fleet finish in June 2015.

According to VOR organisers, the durability of the Volvo Ocean 65 has already become a byword in the industry for its reliability – and North Sails' 3DiTM product has developed a similar reputation for its durability, powering six teams over 40,000 nautical miles in the last race with a "ground-breaking" limited sail wardrobe.

Nick Bice, who heads The Boatyard maintenance centre at the Volvo Ocean Race, explained that the success of North Sails in renewing their partnership with offshore sailing’s leading event was no foregone conclusion.

“North Sails was chosen against a lot of different criteria and not necessarily because of a long history in ocean racing and the Volvo Ocean Race,” he said.

“Many elements have contributed to the final decision, including the simple fact that the North Sails 3DiTM product is very good. The company has a strong commitment to the next edition of the race, not only from a product but also a personnel point of view.”

North Sails president Ken Read, added: “The Volvo Ocean Race has been and remains a big part of my life having participated in three editions. North Sails also has deep roots in this race, powering eight of nine race winners since Steinlager 2 in 1989.

“Performance and durability are a prerequisite for every part and piece of the new one-design boats. Proven as the highest performing and most durable sails ever made, North Sails’ patented 3Di product fits the bill perfectly.”

The next step is to finalise designs for the sail wardrobe, which will be carried out once the 2017-18 route is confirmed by mid-2016. After that comes the manufacturing process, followed by the delivery of the sails to the 13th edition teams in April 2017.

Currently, practicing crews may use new or used ‘generation 1’ designs for independent training as well as two-boat testing. Race rules will not permit two-boat testing when the new inventory is delivered next April.

“The idea is that all teams will match up for the first time on the start line in Alicante, all with the same amount of knowledge,” said Bice.

As for what improvements can be expected with the next generation sail wardrobe, he added: “The sails will continue to be reliable, that is a big factor. There will be improved flying shapes based on what has been learned about the boats and a customised wardrobe depending on the race route.”

Published in Volvo Ocean Race
MacDara Conroy

About The Author

MacDara Conroy

Email The Author

MacDara Conroy is a contributor covering all things on the water, from boating and wildlife to science and business

We've got a favour to ask

More people are reading Afloat.ie than ever thanks to the power of the internet but we're in stormy seas because advertising revenues across the media are falling fast. Unlike many news sites, we haven’t put up a paywall because we want to keep our marine journalism open.

Afloat.ie is Ireland's only full–time marine journalism team and it takes time, money and hard work to produce our content.

So you can see why we need to ask for your help.

If everyone chipped in, we can enhance our coverage and our future would be more secure. You can help us through a small donation. Thank you.

Direct Donation to Afloat button

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
ICRA
isora sidebutton

Featured Events 2020

Wave button for Afloat new dates

Featured Chandleries

CHMarine Afloat logo
osm sidebutton
viking sidebutton

Featured Sailmakers

northsails sidebutton
uksails sidebutton

quantum sidebutton

Featured Marinas

dlmarina sidebutton

Featured Blogs

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

Please show your support for Afloat by donating