Allianz and Afloat - Supporting Irish Boating

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Displaying items by tag: North Sails Ireland

Offshore Sailing Guru Casey Smith shares his thoughts on how to remain focussed during long periods at sea in this latest North Sails article. When we get back to racing later in the season this could be really helpful for all of the ISORA and Round Ireland racers looking to up their game.

Day after day, mile after mile, distance racing reminds us of that never-ending feeling of being stuck in one place for extended periods of time. Hear more from Casey Smith (CS) how to cope with those long periods of isolation where you can only do so much. Casey is a two-time Volvo Ocean Race veteran and was a key member onboard during all of Comanche’s record runs and race wins. Casey knows a lot about being stuck out at sea, but still finds humour in the little things and gets his job done, which is most important.

We hope you enjoy the read here

Published in North Sails Ireland

Greetings to all our North Sails Ireland sailing friends at home here in Ireland and around the world.

All of us are passionate about sailing and we can keep a calm head afloat when things get serious. Please join us in bringing that mindset into our lives on land these coming days and weeks. It is a tough time for us all. Stay connected everyone!

We will continue to provide you with customer service via the phone, text, email, Whatsapp or virtual meetings. Most of us are working remotely and ready to answer your questions and support you where possible.

We are preparing a schedule of content for you based on a variety of topics - cruising, technical topics, videos etc. We hope that you may find these interesting while we await getting back out on the water.

Our US colleague, Tom Davis, penned this informative piece about "What to Look for and How to Prolong the Life of the Material" in your spinnaker and ultimately when to replace it. We hope you like it. Click to read it here

From us all here at North Sails Ireland - stay safe and well, both mentally and physically.

Published in North Sails Ireland
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11th March 2020

Why are Racing Sails Black?

North Sails have been the market leader in sail technology for as long as I have been sailmaking, and that's a couple of years now! (started back in 1981). When a company like North Sails comes up with something new, the majority of the other sailmakers tend to try and follow. They cannot match the technology, so what's next? At least they can copy the colour!

Back in the '90s when 3DL was the leading race product with clear mylar films the sails were see-through. Then North Sails changed the film colour to a dark grey and the world followed, it took some time but the switch happened. The next step was to black mylar films and they all followed again......each time it took a while but eventually the market shifted to follow the leader.

When North Sails introduced 3Di sails roughly 10 years ago the look of sails changed dramatically to a matt black and this has continued across the majority of the North race product line today.

What we are now seeing in the race market is almost 100% Black sails.........North Sails are black for a reason, most of the others are only black to follow the leader with zero benefits to the client.

See what Per Anderson the head of 3Di development has to say on the subject here

Published in North Sails Ireland
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North Sails colleague and friend Neil Mackley has just written a really nice piece on the difference between racing and cruising sails that I wanted to share with Afloat readers writes Nigel Young of North Sails Ireland

Neil has been with North Sails since 1982 and as you might imagine knows a thing or two about sails...

Before I started North Sails Ireland in 2004 Neil was a regular visitor to Ireland looking after the clients here at that time. Neil attended the first few ICRA conferences with me when we were starting out here in Ireland and his experience in the industry is second to none. He can still be seen in Ireland often sailing with Nigel Biggs and the Half Ton fleet.

My own sailmaking career started in 1981 so we have seen all the industry changes together since that time. The big difference is that Neil was with North Sails for the full 38 years and I have been with three lofts, joining North Sails in 1994.

I hope you enjoy the article here and please do not hesitate to contact us with any questions you may have.

Published in North Sails Ireland
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North Sails have recently teamed up with Beneteau in the USA to work together and promote shorthanded sailing writes Nigel Young.

Our own company president Ken Read has been leading from the front and getting stuck into this existing segment of sailing.

Here in Ireland, the short-handed sailing is growing in popularity and we have been involved in quite a few projects in recent months.

The sail requirements for these boats are quite different to "round the cans" inshore racing sails and generally they have to cover a much wider wind range than an inshore sail.

This is an area where the 3Di sails really score over the opposition. For their strength, 3Di is lighter than anything else on the market so you can still have a sail that's happy to fly in its designed shape in 12 knots TWS and choppy water but it is also strong enough to be reefed and used right up the range.

Reefs in Headsails are not uncommon and all sorts of other little tricks to make it easy to handle the sails when you can hardly keep your eyes open!

3Di copes better with rough handling and of course as you all know there is no plastic film to crack in 3Di sails which keeps them out of the service loft.

In fact, we have seen a major reduction in service work on the 3Di sails, some clients have 4-5-year-old sails that have never even seen the service loft!

For the full story please take a look at the article here

Published in North Sails Ireland
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It was fantastic to see "Ichi Ban" win IRC overall in the Sydney Hobart race last week writes Maurice O'Connell. I raced this iconic race some years back on the IMX 40 "Nips 'n Tux" and it is a true classic offshore race.

"Ichi Ban" was powered 100% by North Sails and had NS colleagues Rob Greenhalgh and sail designer Dick Parker aboard. Here in North Sails Ireland, we have worked with "DP" on numerous projects over the years.

Most recently, these included including Brendan Coglan's Jeanneau Sunfast 3600 "YoYo", John O'Gorman's SF 3600 "Hot Cookie" and Seamus Fitzpatrick's Beneteau First 50 "Mermaid IV".

Rob Greenhalgh is also no stranger to Irish sailing having been a member of the Rolex Commodore's Cup-winning team on Anthony O'Leary's giant-killing Ker 39 "Antix" - also 100% powered by North Sails!

It was also great to see Howth man and "Ichi Ban" sailing master Gordon Maguire win his 4th "Hobart" - nice one Gordon!

Please click here for further info on "Ichi Ban"s Tattersall's Cup overall IRC victory.

Published in North Sails Ireland
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2019 was another fantastic year for North Sails Ireland. Our clients seem to be going faster and faster - for longer writes Maurice O'Connell.

Many of you are winning events with our sails that have seen many many seasons use already. Well done everyone!

The North Sails Ireland team would like to thank all our customers (and not just the winners) most sincerely for their great efforts on the water in 2019. We wish you all a very merry Christmas, a peaceful and happy new year and see you on the water in 2020.

Click on this link here to take you to our 2019 Victory List.

Sail FAST.

Nigel, Shane, Richard and Prof.

Published in North Sails Ireland
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I've just been looking at the results from the Moth Worlds and have been following the progress of the Irish guys all week, so I thought I would share this with you writes Nigel Young.

Earlier in the year, we talked about the trickle-down effect of 3Di in small boat sails. Here is a great example of 3Di excelling in small boats.

Tom Slingsby just decimated the fleet in Perth using the very latest 3Di deck sweeper mainsail and seven of the top 10 boats were using 3Di sails!  

Amazing to think how far this product has come in such a short time!  Super Yachts to Moths and anything in between.........If you want to win you need to be flying 3Di, there is nothing else like it!  Not even close.........

Check out the link here to get the thoughts of the new World Champion.

SAIL FAST and Happy Christmas from us all at North Sails Ireland

Published in North Sails Ireland
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Here in Ireland the Coastal, ISORA and short-handed sailing is growing rapidly in popularity writes Nigel Young.

Unlike Inshore racing these days in Ireland where I have not reefed in over 10 years the need to reef when sailing offshore or shorthanded is a different story altogether.

Sailing in big breeze can be fun, exciting, maybe stressful, and sometimes expensive when things go wrong. Shortening sail quickly and easily when the breeze comes on is key to looking after your sails and your crew. Last year’s Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race saw many teams forced to retire after suffering sail damage on the first evening’s southerly change. So in the lead up to this year’s race, one of my colleagues from North Sails Australia wrote a short piece on the subject and I felt it was well worth sharing. I hope you agree.

Here's the link to the story here

Sail FAST 

North Sails Ireland

Published in North Sails Ireland
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North Sails Ireland have enjoyed a strong connection with Bill Gladstone and the North U program over the last few years. 

Back in the early years of North Sails Ireland Bill came over and did two tours of duty around the Island of Ireland as our politicians like to say!

I was looking at the revamped North U website only this morning and thought it would be good to share this with all the Afloat readers.

North U has been in existence for many years now and these guys really know their stuff. There is so much information on the site its really worth a read to see if there is anything specific you and your crew can take from the North U Team.

There are also plenty of Free Downloads here to give you a real taste of what North U is all about.

Being part of the North Sails Family it's not all about selling sails and results. Education is top of the list for North Sails and you can see that online and in the field.

When you buy a North Sail you are working with experts and part of the fun of the job is educating our customers to improve their sailing and performance.

Thanks to Bill Gladstone and the team at North U we have some resources to share with you and your crew.


North Sails Ireland

Published in North Sails Ireland
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Page 5 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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