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North Sails Ireland have announced a sponsorship package for the two Irish J109 class events in 2018. The package will cover the J109 East Coast Championships in the Royal Irish Yacht Club on May 19th & 20th and the National Championships on October 6th and 7th in Howth Yacht Club.

The package will included "North U" style on the water support, video analysis and de-brief after racing and prizes and goodies for competitors.

North Sails RIB 2991A race start at the 2017 J109 Nationals on Dublin Bay Photo:

Maurice "Prof" O'Connell from North Sails Ireland said, "North Sails have worked closely with J-Boats, going all the way back to the launch of the J24 in 1975. Our 3Di upwind sails and "V-Series" downwind sails are proving to be a fantastic investment for J109 sailors and are more durable and faster than ever. We look forward to supporting the class at this year's Nationals and East Coasts".

Speaking at the announcement, Irish J109 Class Captain Andrew Craig said, "the Irish J109 class are delighted to continue our partnership with North Sails. Last year's "post-match" de-brief by Prof and Nigel Young was both informative and entertaining and the North goodies were very much appreciated by all competitors."

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North Sails Ireland are reporting an 'epic' start to the Dublin Bay Sailing Club season with a fine turnout for the third Saturday race in medium southerly winds and a good Dublin Bay chop. The sailmaker recorded the following IRC and cruiser class results: IRC 1: 1, 2;  IRC 2: 1,2; B21.7: 1,2,3;  IRC 0: 2, 3 and B31.7: 2, 4 Here Maurice 'Prof' O'Connell of North Sails Ireland, who was racing aboard Brendan Coghlan's SunFast 3600 "YoYo", brings this update:

Whte mischief j109 1317Tim Goodbody, on "White Mischief" flying his new new 3Di mainsail, his three year old 3Di Code 2 jib and V-Series asymmetric stamped another win in IRC 1 and the J109 class Photo:

Tim Goodbody, on "White Mischief" flying his new new 3Di mainsail, his three year old 3Di Code 2 jib and V-Series asymmetric stamped another win in IRC 1 and the J109 class. Prof spent an afternoon with the "White Mischief" team on Friday helping set the boat up for their new sails. After his DBSC race, Tim said, "We went like a rocket, over four minutes ahead of the next J109 in a 100–minute race – not bad!"

XP 33 Bo exemple 1535 loColin Byrne's XP33 "Bon Exemple" flying his 3DL main, 3Di Code 2 jib and V-Series asymmetric spi Photo:

Colin Byrne on "Bon Exemple" flying his 3DL main, 3Di Code 2 jib and V-Series asymmetric spi chased "White Mischief" hard around the course and finished second giving North-Sails powered boats 1,2 in the class.

Jim McCann racing his evergreen Mustang 30 "Peridot" flying his 3DL upwind sails won IRC 2 by over two minutes. The North-Sails-powered J97 "Windjammer" (Denis Power and Lindsay Casey) finished 3rd.

Rockabill VI 1500Rockabill VI (Paul O'Higgins) with her 3Di upwind sails Photo:

Paul O'Higgins "Rockabill VI" flying her 3Di upwind sails, finished 2nd in IRC, beating Vincent Farrell's "Tsunami" flying her 3DL upwind sails and V-Series Symmetric spi into 3rd giving North sails-powered boats two podium finishes in the class.

Prof is keen to stress that North Sails do more than just 3D sails though! They were delighted to supply sails to all manner of craft on Dublin Bay.......

Hugh Kelly and Jacqueline McStay on "Small Wonder" flying their new North panelled laminate main and all-purpose jib won in the Beneteau 21.7 class. "By the end of last season we felt that our 2010 North Sails jib had more than done it's work. So during the winter we talked to Prof again in North Sails and upgraded to a new polyester laminate main and aramid laminate jib. We've had three out of three DBSC wins so far this season so, needless to say, we're absolutely delighted with the performance of the new sails", Kelly said.

In the Shipman 28 class, the North-Sails powered "Barossa", flying her NorDac main and No. 3 jib won by over 90 seconds - a large margin in any one-design class.

In the Beneteau 31.7 class, the North-Sails - powered "Levante" flew his new North panelled laminate no. 3 to take 2nd in class.

Beneteau 31 Levante 1898 loThe Beneteau 31 Levante flying her 3–year–old 3DL upwind sails Photo:

All in all, a great bank holiday Saturday day for North Sails-powered boats on Dublin Bay!

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Shane Hughes from North Sails Ireland is the sailing team manager and a trimmer onboard the Swiss Club Swan 50 ‘Mathilde’.

Hughes has been working with the team since the boat arrived new from Nautor in early 2017. The project is exciting, a brand new One Design 50 footer, designed by Juan Kouyoumdjian (Multiple Volvo Ocean Race winning designer) that has gained instant traction with 20+ boats already sold. 

Monaco was the first event in the Swan One Design Mediterranean League and while all the teams were dusting off the boats for the first time in 2018 the competition was extremely close with multiple place changes making for compelling racing. Mathilde lost out on victory by a single point in the end but to very deserving victors in ‘Cuordileone’. Result here 

All 5 CS 50’s at the event used exclusively North Sails Inventories, with 3Di Raw used for upwind sails and a mixture of North Sails laminates and Nylon downwind.

Mathilde took delivery of a new J2 (medium Jib) and A1 (Light Asymmetric) for the event. The development process within the North Sails group is ongoing in classes like this, with multiple North Sails representatives competing in the class, so both sails had significant upgrades applied from the previous years specification. Hughes says this kind of internal collaboration allows them to push design limits and refine material choices and cosmetics detailing. 

The next class event is Palma Vela in Early May where up to 10 teams are expected which will add even more to the competition and close racing. 

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The North Sails Ireland team of Nigel Young, Maurice 'Prof' O'Connell and Shane Hughes (scroll down for sailmaker details below) were busy at three sailing events last weekend, each winning races with clients on the Irish Sea, Howth and Kinsale.

As the sailing season gets into full swing, Shane Hughes was a part of Frank Whelan's ISORA winning team on "Eleuthera" taking victory overall and in Division 0. Shane was trialling a new North Sails 3Di Code 2 jib that day and says 'the boat flew upwind'. Read the report of ISORA's first race of 2018 here.

Grand soleil 44 Frank whelan 0608Shane Hughes is the spinnaker trimmer on the ISORA winner, the Grand Soleil 44, Eleuthera above and below an onboard view of the new J2 medium jib used in the race win

North sails jib ISORA

Howth Yacht Club Spring Warmer

Nigel Young raced on Mike Evans half tonner "The Big Picture" on Saturday. Nigel was trialling a new 3Di mainsail, Code 2 jib and SuperLite Code S1.5 spi and took a 2nd and 3rd in their class.

Big picture Howth half tonnerMike Evans half–tonner, 'The Big Picture' flying their new 3Di upwind sails

Prof was on the water in Howth also providing coaching support from the RIB. Prof's HYC coaching movie is below:-

Kinsale Yacht Club April League

On Sunday, both Prof and Nigel were racing in Kinsale Yacht Club's April Series.

In owner Conor Phelan's absence, Prof steered "Jump Juice" to victory in Race one but a headfoil problem dropped the team down the standings in Race two.

Prof steered Jump JuiceProf steered Jump Juice in Kinsale. Photo: Bob Bateman

Nigel was racing aboard Denis Murphy's Grand Soleil 40 "Neulargo" and they pounced on the "Jump Juice" headfoil issue to win race two, following up on their second in race one.

Grand Soleil 40 Neulargo"Neulargo" flying her new North Sails 3Di Endurance mainsail and Sk75 S2 kite. Photo: Bob Bateman

Read's report of the April League with lots more photos by Bob Bateman here.

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North Sails Ireland sailmakers Shane Hughes and Maurice "Prof" O'Connell were afloat in the coaching RIB at the first day of the Key Capital sponsored Spring Warmer Series in HYC on April 14th.

Also in Howth was NS colleague Nigel Young who was on Mike Evans half-tonner "The Big Picture". They were trialling both new 3Di upwind sails and a magnificent new S4 kite logo'd up by North Graphics.

16–20 knots southerly breeze blew with a short chop kicked up due to the ebb tide. Shane and Prof got around to all boats on the water, offering advice on rig setup, sail trim, helming technique and crew work.

They shot plenty of live video for use in the de-brief afterwards in HYC. Shane's drone took to the sky too for one start which was enthusiastically received!

See below some short video clips of the day:

Start Race 1 

J97 "Lambay Rules" Upwind

Maximus Broach

Corby 27 Kodachi Downwind in 20 Knots TWS

Drone Footage

The North Sails Ireland team will be on the water again in HYC next weekend for Day 2!

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North Sails Ireland's Maurice "Prof" O'Connell had a chilly evening's test sail on Friday April 13th, unlucky 13th for Prof, as he had no foul weather gear!

The occasion was the unveiling of new sails on the Beneteau First 31.7 "Camira" in anticipation of the new DBSC season starting later this month.

Camira's new mainsail and light/medium no.1 genoa were both designed and constructed using North proprietary '3Di' technology.

Camiras new 3Di Light Medium No. 1 GenoaCamira's new 3Di Light Medium No. 1 Genoa on test on Dublin Bay

Dublin Bay Sailing Club skipper Peter Beamish, his team and Prof fitted the sails, set the correct mainsail batten tensions using built-in "wingtip" adjusters and headed out on a light airs Dublin Bay evening.

Camira's new mainsail and light/medium no. 1 genoa were both designed and constructed using North proprietary "3Di" technology

Control systems (halyards, jib car positions, outhaul, cunningham) and rig adjustments (cap shrouds, lower shrouds, forestay) were adjusted with plenty of lively debate onboard.

Commenting after the session on "Camira", skipper Beamish said "Thank you, Prof for a fascinating few hours and see you next Friday" (when a further session with the North Sails man is planned).

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Kinsale sailor and naval architect Jeremy Elliott is heading up North Sails Design Services giving him a key role in making the latest technology available to the North Technology Group companies and their clients. Based in Gosport, he’s worked on everything from dinghies to the America’s Cup, Volvo Ocean Race, and super yacht projects. readers will recall Elliott was responsible for the sail programme on Eamon Rohan's Class Zero Blondie campaigns and more recently Elliott looked after Conor Phelan's Jump Juice programme.

Elliott has been involved in many of the North Sails Ireland projects over the years and he was a regular crew member on Rohan's successful Blondie teams.

After completing a Masters in Naval Architecture at the University of Southampton, Elliott worked with the Wolfson Unit for Marine Technology and several America’s Cup teams before joining the North Sails design team in 2005. The bulk of his work is in performance simulation and structural assessment, to ensure North clients get the most from our state-of-the-art research capabilities. His breadth of experience gives him a solid grasp of both the technology and reality of modern yacht design, backed up by as much time on the water as the job allows.

The North Design Services headed up by Elliott is a team of sail design-engineers who specialise in optimising a yacht’s total performance

In his down time, Elliott sails International 14s. He has recently taken to kite-boarding for the days when all other sailing is blown off. 'He is a fantastic asset for North Sails Ireland to use and its always good to work with him and fill him in on the local sailing scene in his home town of Kinsale', says North Sails Ireland's Nigel Young.

Nigel young Jeremy ElliottNigel Young (left) and Jeremy Elliott repairing an A-Zero on a charter First 40 in St Barts in the Caribbean

The North Design Services headed up by Elliott is a team of sail design-engineers who specialise in optimising a yacht’s total performance. 

“We’re getting invitations from yacht designers to help them look at different optimisation options,” says Elliott. “Some underwater, some over the water, some both, our team is tasked with figuring out how to get the most performance out of these boats. It’s a real privilege for us to be trusted by the designers, owners, and teams to help optimise performance of their projects.”

Read more about Jeremy Elliott's role at North Sails here

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2016 Melges 24 World Champion Maurice "Prof" O'Connell & Nigel Young from North Sails Ireland were invited to Bergen in Noway to run a 'Speedcamp' for the Scandinavian fleet last weekend. 

Over 50 sailors took part over the three day event.

The clinic focused on boathandling techniques (tacks, gybes, sets, drops, acceleration and deceleration) and straight line boatspeed (upwind and downwind).

Prof was using his experience from the successful five year 'Embarr' campaign that led to his World Championship win in December 2016. Nigel has been racing at a high level in the class since the mid-90s.

Video footage was shot each day and the de-briefs in Askoy YC were 'packed to the doors', according to Prof.

Practice start video: 

Nigel & Prof Interview in Norway video: 

This weekend the North Sails Ireland team are looking forward to coaching on the water in Howth YC for the Spring Warmer series. Again, video analysis will be used on the day to assist in the de-briefs ashore after sailing and it is expected that sail trim, crew manoeuvres, race strategy and starting techniques will be hot topics! First gun in Howth is at 1057 this Saturday.

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Brendan Coghlan's new Dublin Bay based Jeanneau Sunfast 3600 took to the water recently for her maiden voyage.

North Sails Ireland's Maurice 'Prof' O'Connell and Nigel Young and were afloat with Brendan's team, testing the full inventory of sails that they supplied with the boat.

As reported in March, the Sunfast 3600 was delivered and launched by MGM Boats in time for the 2018 ISORA and Bay season that kicks off later this month.

YoYo Main and Code 2 medium air jibYoYo's Main and Code 2 medium air jib

The session was broken into two sessions - in the morning the mainsail and Code 2 (medium air) jib were checked and tested. The A2 (light medium asymmetric running spinnaker) was also tested with the North Graphics-applied "Coghlan's Artisan Bakers" logo displayed on the 0.75oz sail.

Ross O'Leary and Joss Walsh from MGM boats were aboard for the morning session.

Yoyo Furling Code Zero in North Aramid Laminate Yoyo Furling Code Zero in North Aramid Laminate

At the break, rig tune and control systems adjustments were made before heading back out on the water.

In the afternoon, the Code 1 (light air) jib, Code 3+ (heavy air reefable jib), A4 (heavy runnng asymmetric spinnaker), A5 (very heavy air all-purpose spinnaker) and "Code Zero" (light airs close reaching sail) were all hoisted, checked and tested.

The Upwind sails were manufactured using North proprietary "3Di" technology. The Code Zero was manufactured in North Fabrics aramid laminate. The spinnakers were manufactured in premium Contender Superkote coated nylon. The sails were custom designed specifically for the "YoYo" team usage using North's proprietary design software.

All the sails were photographed for analysis.

Here is a short downwind video from onboard:-

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A North Sails Ireland 'Sail Trim simulator' will be used during post race de–briefings at the ICRA Nationals this August in Galway. The new tool helps to 'make sense of sail trim, fundamentals of sail shape, and understand how these variables impact performance', according to Nigel Young of North Sails in Cork Harbour.

North Sails Designer Max Tringale, based out of Portsmouth, Rhode Island, USA is working on the exciting new project that will help to better educate sailors on sail trim. Max has a very defined background in boat building, marine systems engineering, and yacht design. Along with the North Sails design team, Max is building an easy-to-use application called Sail Trim Simulator. 

The North U. Sail Trim Simulator is being developed to help clients visualise how sails and rig interact together and how that relationship is manipulated by the different sail controls to achieve desired sail shapes. “We currently have two sail models, the TP52 and J/35, loaded into the simulator,” explained Tringale. 

The Sail Trim Simulator is particularly suited for one design sailing, where it can be used as part of North Sails tuning guide to further explain rig set up and tuning. When supplied with various rig settings and tensions, the tool provides a visual aid to show why North recommends particular settings. The app provides targets for rig adjustments and trim settings before even getting on the water.

User optionality for viewing angles to see the slot of the genoa and mainsail and what the leech looks like from the top down view, showing flatness of the sail when the trim is applied.

“We’re looking at seven different control factors; mainsheet, backstay, traveler, cunningham, jib sheet, jib lead, and jib luff tension,” explained Tringale. “For each one of those controls, we are developing optimum sail shapes. We identify the optimum for each control point, understand how it is correlated with the other points, and then define optimum sail shapes for each wind speed. Other controls like rig tension and mast rake are left standard at this time to simplify the tool.”

When the user opens the application they will notice that each control point has a working range. For example, if you want to pull on more backstay tension, you can adjust in millimeter increments and watch as the output numbers change. The app has a function called the Magic Wand, allowing the user to set a desired TWS [true wind speed] and having the app find the optimum upwind boat trim for that wind speed. Also shown is the VMG [velocity made good] and TWA [true wind angle] the boat is sailing at, showing optimum sail trim.

For more on the simulator click here.

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Page 11 of 12

The Irish Cruiser Racing Association (ICRA) Information

The creation of the Irish Cruiser Racing Association (ICRA) began in a very low key way in the autumn of 2002 with an exploratory meeting between Denis Kiely, Jim Donegan and Fintan Cairns in the Granville Hotel in Waterford, and the first conference was held in February 2003 in Kilkenny.

While numbers of cruiser-racers were large, their specific locations were widespread, but there was simply no denying the numerical strength and majority power of the Cork-Dublin axis. To get what was then a very novel concept up and running, this strength of numbers had to be acknowledged, and the first National Championship in 2003 reflected this, as it was staged in Howth.

ICRA was run by a dedicated group of volunteers each of whom brought their special talents to the organisation. Jim Donegan, the elder statesman, was so much more interested in the wellbeing of the new organisation than in personal advancement that he insisted on Fintan Cairns being the first Commodore, while the distinguished Cork sailor was more than content to be Vice Commodore.

ICRA National Championships

Initially, the highlight of the ICRA season was the National Championship, which is essentially self-limiting, as it is restricted to boats which have or would be eligible for an IRC Rating. Boats not actually rated but eligible were catered for by ICRA’s ace number-cruncher Denis Kiely, who took Ireland’s long-established native rating system ECHO to new heights, thereby providing for extra entries which brought fleet numbers at most annual national championships to comfortably above the hundred mark, particularly at the height of the boom years. 

ICRA Boat of the Year (Winners 2004-2019)


ICRA Nationals 2021

The date for the 2021 edition of the ICRA National Championships is 3-5 September at the National Yacht Club on Dublin Bay.

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