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Displaying items by tag: North Sails Ireland

RYA NI is hold its Cruising Conference in Royal North of Ireland Yacht Club in Cultra, Co. Down this Saturday Jan 26th starting at 9.30am.

As part of it, North Sails Ireland's Prof O'Connell will be giving a talk on "Cruising Sails - New Technologies And Developments".

"North Sails are industry leaders in advancing cruising sails design and manufacturing techniques. The "trickle down effect" from our winning Vendee Globe, Volvo Ocean race and Round The World record breaking campaigns greatly benefits our cruising clients and I am really looking forward to a good interactive session in RNIYC this Saturday, " O'Connell told

The video below is of an NSI trialling of new North Sails Tour Xi cruising sails on Strangford Lough recently on Peter Niblock's Moody S31 "Zeelander".

All are welcome at the conference!

Published in Belfast Lough
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North Sails Ireland will be hosting its successful Sail Trim presentation at Arklow Sailing Club from 7.30pm this coming Friday 25 January.

Following on from last week’s trim talk in Greystones, North Sails Ireland expert Shane Hughes will take Arklow Sailing Club members and visitors through the latest theory and techniques for improving and refining upwind trim and boat speed.

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

All are welcome to this Friday evening’s talk in Arklow, which will show how the angle of attack, depth, and twist combine to control upwind speed, pointing and balance; and how to change the trim (mainsail and jib) to improve performances as conditions change between light, moderate and heavy air.

Published in North Sails Ireland

Nigel Young, manager of North Sails Ireland (NSI), gives an overview of a successful 2018 sailing season for the sailmaker.

What an amazing year 2018 was for North Sails Ireland and its clients! We are extremely proud of these results and it's really great to play a part in the success of so many winning teams around the country and beyond. The depth of these accomplishments and the spread of classes is down to the hard work and dedication of the North Sails Ireland team, our products and of course our great clients. It is almost impossible to pick stand-out results from the 2018 list but I asked my North Sails Ireland colleagues Prof O'Connell and Shane Hughes for their thoughts. Over to you guys!

North Sails Ireland 3155North Sails Ireland team on the water with Prof (left) and Nigel Young at the helm of a support  boat at the J109 Nationals off Howth Photo:

Maurice "Prof" O'Connell (started with NSI Oct 2007)

"It was impossible to pick but I had to try. Stand out inshore boats for me were Dave Cullen's team on "Checkmate XV" and Andrew Algeo's team on "Juggerknot". Standout offshore results were in ISORA with "Mojito", "Aurelia" and "Windjammer" taking overall and class wins".

Mojito J109 0200J109 Mojito Photo:

Aurelia J122 3664J122 Aurelia Photo:

Windjammer 4362J97 Windjammer Photo:

Dave Cullen has been a North Sails client since 2007 and Andrew Algeo since his J24 days in 2001.

The Half Ton Cup was a particular highlight for "Checkmate XV" and of course their ICRA Boat of the Year award.

Checkmate XV Half tonner 0589Modified Half-Tonner Checkmate XV Photo:

Dave had these kind words to say............."North Sails have been powering "Checkmate XV" and my previous boat "King One" for many many years. I am constantly impressed with their superb quality and attention to detail in design, production and after-sales service. Our 2018 season was a great success - we are always fast. Keep up the good work Prof and the North Sails Ireland team".

Juggerknot 2443J109 Juggerknot Photo:

It was also fantastic to see Andrew and his team (including my Olympic Star class crew-mate Ben Cooke) taking the J109 Nationals 2018 title this year (in addition to winning the inaugural WAVE Regatta and the J109 East Coast Championships). It was the icing on the cake for him in a very competitive One Design class.

"We have no hesitation in returning to North for 'Juggerknot 2' in 2019"

Andrew said, “The team on Juggerknot enjoyed the 2018 J/109 and IRC1 season immensely. Better than expected results certainly helped in that and the advice and after-sales service from Prof O'Connell and the North Sails Ireland team played a large part in our achieving those. The products and after-sales support is fantastic, and we have no hesitation in returning to North for "Juggerknot 2" in 2019. Keep up the great work guys!"

Shane Hughes (Started with NSI Oct 2016)

"As Prof says its hard to choose but the standout result for me was with Eleuthera GS44 Owner Frank Whelan. Frank has been a North Sails client since 2014 and the turnaround from a slow start at Cork Week to finishing with FIVE straight wins and taking Class Zero / One victory was fantastic. He also lifted trophies in Dublin Bay and in Schull at GAS Calves week. The upwind boat speed was the difference and the new 3Di 780 J2 (Medium Jib) was a big part of that.”

Eleuthera 0580Grand Soleil 44 Eleuthera Photo:

Frank said, “Working with North Sails has offered the Eleuthera team some real advantages. The New 3Di medium jib performed really well for us in a variety of conditions and the service and support from the North Team is ever present and valuable to us.”

Nigel Young (Founded North Sails Ireland in March 2004)

"What an amazing list of results. Great credit must go to Prof and Shane for making so many of these happen. Stand out for me personally was the Mermaid "Innocence" owner Darragh McCormack who was a new North Sails client in 2018. We had the absolute minimum amount of time to meet, consult sail, photograph, re-design and build his new sails for the 2018 class Nationals. For Darragh to win the Championships was the highlight of the year for me. See the full story here.

Darragh mcCormack MermaidMermaid Innocence Photo: Ted Kelly OF Foynes Yacht Club

Darragh said: "When I contacted North Sails they treated me as an equal and when we discussed my needs, they listened. I quickly felt comfortable working with them and the sails worked amazingly well from the start. Winning the first race with the new sails gave me immediate confidence to go on and win the Nationals. Thanks guys for a great job"

The Final Word from Jonny Swan!

Jonny had this to add: "I made the decision in 2018 to move to North Sails Ireland. Nigel Young and Shane Hughes have been superb. I cannot thank them enough for all they have done and having Nigel on board in Cork Week and the recent Half Ton Cup in Belgium was a great addition to Harmony. His input contributed to the best result I have achieved out of the 4 half Ton Cups I have competed in and also a significant result in Cork Week where we won the prestigious Harbour Race by a comfortable 2 minutes from over 90 boats that started on the one start line. The expertise and quality of the North Sails product have significantly improved the performance of the boat"

Harmony Jonny Swan Half Tonner 3424Modified Half Tonner Harmony Photo:

What can I say except a big THANK YOU to all our clients and for their kind words. As one of my old mentors used to say, "nothing happens until someone sells something!", but the selling of the sails is just the beginning of the journey when you work with us".

Next time you are thinking about new sails there is only one place to go.........North Sails Ireland.

Take a look below for all our clients' results from 2018 or download the PDF file

Sail FAST.

7 NS IE VictoryList 767pxweb

Published in North Sails Ireland
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The recent North Sails Ireland Talk at Greystones Sailing Club (GSC) has been hailed a great success for the County Wicklow club and North Sails who enjoyed a full house for the Upwind Sail Trim & Boatspeed talk presented by NSI experts Shane Hughes and Prof O’Connell.

Hughes (a GSC Member) took the lead and focused on Upwind Sail trim using the exclusive North Sails Trim simulator.

The audience asked questions and got to see firsthand some of North's tutorial tools like the simulator.

"Rather than just talking about the effects on the rig when certain trim changes are made, the NSI simulator allows you to see them happen before your eyes!", North Sails Ireland boss Nigel Young told

As previously reported by, the lecture held on January 17th was open to all members and surrounding clubs. "We were overwhelmed by the feedback", Young said.

Published in North Sails Ireland
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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Page 9 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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