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Having sailed in several WIORA regatta’s in the past, One Design Expert and founder of North Sails Ireland, Nigel Young looked forward to getting back into the fleet this year in Foynes on the Shannon Estuary last week and took the opportunity to sail onboard the X-332 Dexterity. Nigel talks here about their victory in the long race.

I had the pleasure of sailing the long race with Liam Madden and the crew on X-332 Dexterity. We had a cracking start and challenged for the lead around the course. Racing in the Shannon requires a good understanding of the tides and knowing when to change sides in the river to take full advantage of the currents. This is always tricky to get 100% right on the day, but the speed generated from the new North Sails fitted a few days prior to the regatta carried us through to the win. I was delighted to play a small part in the overall Class win for Dexterity.

More on this from Nigel on North Sails website here.

When not competing at Foynes, Nigel and son James were on the water videoing the racing, using this footage to run a post-racing debrief session for competitors. James shot some fantastic drone footage of the fleet coming through the narrow channel between the club and Foynes Island.

James youngJames Young

Published in North Sails Ireland
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The local interest part for me in this year's Fastnet Race is Conor Doyle with Freya the XP-50 and Derek Dillon and his Son Conor in the two-handed division sailing Big Deal the Dehler 34 writes Nigel Young of North Sails Ireland.

Also from Dublin, Conor Fogerty on RAW and Brendan Coghlan Sailing YoYo. All these teams are 100% North Sails.

All these teams are flying full North Sails inventories with 3Di upwind and a blend of Nylon and Aramid downwind sails.........Good Luck to the Teams from us here in North Sails Ireland, we will be watching progress with great interest.

I personally have only sailed the Fastnet once back in 1981 on a 3/4 tonner. I was working on the theory that there was no way it could be as bad as it was in 1979! I was right as we flew spinnakers from Cowes all the way to the Rock. On the way home, we used every upwind sail on the boat including a period under No 4 Jib and three reefs.....This race is not to be underestimated.

Good Luck to all,

Nigel Young

More on the Fastnet Race on the North Sails website here

Published in North Sails Ireland
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I am just back from a very successful VDLR regatta for our North Sails clients. Four days of racing on a very tricky Dublin Bay was a real test for the sailors and crew and as always, the fastest boats rise to the top writes Nigel Young.

The large majority in 2019 were powered by North Sails…

North Sails is a technology-based company producing the Worlds most advanced sails. Our unique 3Di technology could be seen onboard the class winners in 2019 and many of our visiting friends from across the water could not believe the sheer numbers of 3Di Sails in evidence at the regatta. For a more detailed view of this very special product take a look here at the link: 3Di Technology

3Di Afloat pic

For 2019 I had the pleasure of sailing with the Kelly Family on Storm, a very successful J-109 sailing in IRC Class one. Arguably one of the most competitive IRC classes with 26 boats competing for the title. This was going to be a real test for North Sails and our clients.

My colleagues Maurice (Prof) O’Connell and Shane Hughes were also racing at the regatta and we had our full-service operation set up in a local sports hall ready to keep our clients at full strength with any sail repairs they might need. The service operation is run by Richard Marshall and we have been offering this overnight repair service to sailors in Ireland since 2004 when North Sails Ireland was founded.

Service Team in Action

We are extremely proud to share our clients results with you for 2019:

IRC Class 0

1st Eleuthera Grand Soleil 44 Frank Whelan*

2nd Forty Licks First 40 Jay Colville

3rd Signal 8 Ker 40 Jamie Mc William*

IRC Class 1

1st Joker 2 J-109 John Maybury

2nd White Mischief J-109 Tim Goodbody

3rd Storm J-109 Pat Kelly

John Maybury and crew Joker 2John Maybury and the Joker 2 crew

RC 35 Class

1st Storm J-109 Pat Kelly

3rd Animal Beneteau 36.7 Debbie & Kevin Aitken

IRC Class 2A

1st Checkmate XVIII Half Tonner Nigel Biggs

2nd Checkmate XV Half Tonner Dave Cullen

3rd Harmony Half Tonner Jonny Swan

IRC Class 2B

3rd Impetuous Corby 25 Fergal Noonan

IRC Class 3

2nd Running Wild Impala Brendan & Sarah Foley*

3rd Cartoon ¼ Tonner Ken Lawless

IRC Class 4

1st She Too She 31 Jonathan Fawcett

Non Spinnaker 1 IRC

1st Bite the Bullet Elan 333 Colm Birmingham

3rd Shearwater Dehler 36sq Eamon Doyle & Peter O’Toole

Non Spinnaker Class 2

3rd Menapia UFO 31 James & Susan McSweeny

Coastal Class A-IRC

1st Mermaid IV First 50 Seamus Fitzpatrick*

3rd Rockabill VI JPK 10.80 Paul O’ Higgins*

 Coastal Class B-IRC

1st Mojito J-109 Peter Dunlop

2nd Jet Stream J-109 Nigel Ingram*

3rd Windjammer J-97 Lindsey Casey & Denis Power

Beneteau 211 Irish Championships

3rd Small Wonder Hugh Kelly & Jackie McStay

Beneteau 31.7 Class Scratch

1st Eauvation Jason & Debbie Corlett*

2nd Final Call John Minnis*

3rd Crazy Horse Frank Heath

Dragon Class

1st Sir Ossis of the River Denis Bergin

2nd ZinZan Timothy Carpenter*

3rd Whisper Peter Bowring

J-80 Class

1st Jabs Jonathan O’Dowd*

3rd Robert Dix*

Mixed Sports Boat

2nd Jabs J-80 Jonathan O’Dowd*

Ruffian 23

2nd Shannagh Padraig MacDiarmada*

Shipman 28

2nd Jo Slim John Clarke & BJ Maher* 

Sigma 33

1st Leaky Roof 2 Alan Harper/Robertson, Eric Robertson & Kirsty Robertson

2nd Mayrise James Millar*

IDRA 14

2nd Starfish Alan Carr

Mermaid

1st Three Chevrons Vincent McCormack

3rd Jill Paul Smith & Pat Mangan

Waterwag

1st Swift Guy Killroy

2nd Mariposa Cathy MacAleavey*

*denotes partial inventory

Congratulations again to all the North powered boats at the 2019 VDLR, it was a great event and we are looking forward to the next one already!

Sail FAST

Nigel Young, North Sails Ireland

Published in North Sails Ireland
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North Sails Ireland service crew will be on hand in force for the VDLR regatta 2019. Since way back in 2004 North Sails Service Team have been on hand at every major Irish regatta to keep our clients and any other competitors on the water racing wherever possible writes loft manager Nigel Young.

In the last 19 years of service, we have only missed repairing one or possibly two sails overnight which is a record we are very proud of. We are not fussy however our first priority is always North Sails clients but over the years we have repaired hundreds of non-North Sails in an attempt to keep the show on the road.

Our dedication to this cause is mainly down to one man, Richard Marshall. He has a personal record to keep intact and this year will be no different.

Two years ago we were the only sail service on site at the VDLR regatta and we looked after everyone. My North Sails Ireland colleague Shane Hughes and I worked late into the night to look after every team possible with Maurice (Prof) O'Connell looking after the sail collection and delivery after sailing.. Its a challenge we are delighted to pick up and 2019 will be no different.

A small tear or a major blow out? Give us a call and we will move heaven and earth to keep you sailing and your sails in one piece.

This year the full squad are on site so please call any of us or meet us at the top of the marina ramp next to the North Sails box after sailing and we will take good care of you.

Enjoy the regatta and you know where to find us if you are in need.

Sail Fast!

Nigel Young

Published in North Sails Ireland
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North Sails Ireland was on and off the water, last week in Kinsale for the biennial Sovereign's Cup supporting our customers and all the competitors writes Maurice O'Connell

My colleague Shane Hughes raced aboard the Wright's "Mata", winning the super-competitive Irish Half-ton Cup and finishing second overall in IRC 2. This adds to their victory in the ICRA's in Dun Laoghaire two weeks ago and their 2nd in the Scottish Series - well done guys. What a season so far!

Nigel Biggs on "Checkmate XVIII" won IRC 2 with my friend and colleague from North Sails UK Neil Mackley aboard. Nice one Biggzee and Strapper!

Nigel BiggsNigel Biggs on "Checkmate XVIII"  Photo: Bob Bateman

I was racing aboard Conor Phelan's "Jump Juice" in IRC 0 but we couldn't stop Frank Whelan's GS 43 "Eleuthera". "Eleuthera" won IRC 0 with straight bullets and took home the overall Sovereign's Cup Trophy for the week. Well done guys.

Eleuthera Grand Soleil Frank Whelan Eleuthera crew celebrate Photo: Bob Bateman

A million thanks to our North Sails service team Richard and Chris Marshall for looking after the overnight sail service to keep everyone going the next day.

Alpaca tingleThe Tingle's Alpaca Photo: Bob Bateman

We'd like to offer our special congratulations to the Tingle family in finished 2nd overall in IRC 1. This family Corinthian crew nearly delivered a huge upset, finishing only three points off 1st overall and won two races in fine style. Congratulation also to Brian Jones, his family and teammates on "Jelly Baby" for finishing 3rd overall.

Six-time Paralympian John Twomey (and my teammate from the 2004 Athens Paralympics) won White Sails 2 in his Blazer 23 "Shillelagh", also scoring the perfect score of four bullets. Well done Tomb Raider! Steffi and Windsor The Wonderful finished 2nd in "Demelza" and "Valfreya" finished 3rd to round out the full podium in WS 2 for North Sails-powered boats.

John Twomey ShillelaghJohn Twomey's Shillelagh Photo: Bob Bateman

The Dragon class saw a clean sweep for North Sails-powered boats with "Phantom", "Jaguar Sailing Team" and "Serafina" filling the podium positions.

Martin Byrne Dragon2 Martin Byrne's Dragon Jaguar Photo: Bob Bateman

Other North-Sails -powered podium finishers were Conor Doyle's beautiful Xp50 "Freya" (2nd in IRC Coastal), Dave Cullen's half-tonner "Checkmate XV" (3rd in IRC 2), Denis Murphy's GS 40 "Nieulargo" (3rd in IRC 1), David Riome's Sigma 33 "Valfreya" (3rd in WS 2) and Tom Durcan / Clive O'Shea's "T-Bone" (3rd in the 1720 class).

Well done and thank you to our customers, all the competitors and the KYC organising team led by Bobby Nash. It was great seeing you all and we look forward to catching up at the next big event - Volvo Dun Laoghaire Week on July 11th.

North Sails Results at 2019 Sovereign's Cup

IRC 0

1. "Eluethera" GS 43 Frank Whelan *
2. "Jump Juice" Ker 36.7 Conor Phelan
3. "Nieulargo" GS 40 Denis Murphy

IRC 1

2. "Alpaca" Paul & Deirdre Tingle X34
3. "Jelly Baby" Brian Jones & Family J109 *

IRC 2

1. "Checkmate XVIII" Nigel Biggs Half-tonner
2. "Mata" Wright Brothers Half-tonner
3. "Checkmate XV" Dave Cullen Half-tonner

Half-Ton Class

1. "Mata" Wright Brothers Half-tonner
2. "Checkmate XVIII" Nigel Biggs Half-tonner
3. "Checkmate XV" Dave Cullen Half-tonner

White Sails 2

1. "Shilelagh" John Twomey Blazer 23
2. "Demelza" Windsor Laudan & Steffi Ennis Shamrock
3. "Valfreya" David Riome Sigma 33

Coastal IRC

2. "Freya" Conor Doyle Xp50

Dragons

1. "Phantom" Peter Dowring/Neil Hegarty/David Williams
2. Jaguar Racing Martin Byrne
3. "Serafina" Brian Goggin

1720s

3. "T-Bone" Tom Durcan & Clive O'Shea

North Sails Ireland acknowledge with thanks Bob Bateman's photography in this article

Published in North Sails Ireland
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The D2D race was, in many ways, similar to the 2009 race which I did on the X41 "Legally Blonde" writes Maurice O'Connell in this post-race review. Similar to then, strong northerlies made for a very very fast trip with downwind sail changes the order of the day. The race started at 6 pm, we were at the Tuskar Rock at 2 am and at the Fastnet at 6 pm the next day - unreal!

Congratulations to Paul O'Higgins and his great team on "Rockabill VI" for winning. They sailed an outstanding race, blasting past us on Chris Power-Smith's "Aurelia" at 2 am a few miles from the finish - flying their North Sails A3 asymmetric and 3DL offshore main to keep us in 2nd overall to them. Well done guys - respect!

Rockabill SpinnakerRockabill VI flying her North Sails "Leinster" SK 75 A3 Photo: Afloat
On "Aurelia" we flew our 3Di offshore mainsail, 3Di Code 1 and 2 jibs, our A2 running asymmetric, our new Code Zero and also flew our 3DL "jib top" (high clew headsail reacher). When we were not flying a kite / Code Zero, we were constantly triangulating jib sheeting angles, backstay, outhaul and vang tensions to keep the boat "lit up" until the next sail change. It was great to race with you again guys! 2nd overall in the 2019 D2D, 3rd overall in last year's Round Ireland Race - let's keep the trajectory going!

AureliaAurelia flying her North Sails SK90/SK75 A2 and 3Di 780 Endurance Offshore Mainsail with North Sails Ireland's Maurice "Prof" O'Connell at the helm Photo: Afloat

Well done and huge congratulation also to John O'Gorman and his team on his beautiful SunFast 3600 "Hot Cookie". Their 100% North Sails inventory included a new A4 and A5. In John's words after flying it for the first time, "the new A5 is the business and we were off like a robber's dog when we put it up". They finished strongly at 6.30 am flying their new A4 to score third overall on IRC. Nice one guys.

Hot CookieHot Cookie flying her North Sails SK 75 A2 and 3Di 780M offshore mainsail Photo: Afloat

My North Sails colleague Shane Hughes had a great race too on Rupert Barry's Jeanneau 35 "Relativity" winning IRC 2 by a massive 3hrs and 20 mins. Well done Rupert, Shane and all the "Red Alert" team.

Michael Cotter's majestic "Windfall", flying her full NS inventory was a magnificent sight at the start, flying her 3Di mainsail, 3Di large genoa staysail and A2. That was the last we saw of her! We are delighted that Mick Cotter and his team broke the race record that they set in 2009 on "Whisper".

Windfall D2D Race start 1840Mick Cotter's Windfall flying her 3Di mainsail, 3Di large genoa staysail and A2 Photo: Afloat

D2D North Sails Results

Line Honours

1st "Windfall" Southern Wind 94 Michael Cotter
2nd "Freya" Xp50 Conor Doyle

IRC Overall & ISORA Overall

1st "Rockabill VI" JPK 1080 Paul O'Higgins *
2nd "Aurelia" J122 Chris Power-Smith
3rd "Hot Cookie" Jeanneau Sunfast 3600 John O'Gorman
4th "Ruth" J109 Shanahan family

IRC 1

1st "Rockabill VI" JPK 1080 Paul O'Higgins *
2nd "Aurelia" J122 Chris Power-Smith
3rd "Hot Cookie" Jeanneau Sunfast 3600 John O'Gorman

IRC 2

1st "Red Alert" JOD 35 Rupert Barry *

ISORA 1

1st "Ruth" J109 Shanahan family
2nd "Mojito" J109 Peter Dunlop & Victoria Cox

ISORA 2

1st "Red Alert" JOD 35 Rupert Barry
2nd "Elandra" Sigma 33 Joe Conway

* denotes partial inventory

Published in North Sails Ireland
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It was a fantastic weekend for North Sails Ireland customers at the ICRAs (IRC Nationals) at the RStGYC writes Maurice O'Connell.

Our wonderful clients won four out of the six IRC divisions plus stacks of podium places, including an amazing first in IRC 1 for John Maybury's J109 "Joker II" for the fourth year running. "Joker II" won by a massive 8 points in this uber-competitive fleet.

Thank you, everyone, for your brilliant sailing.

Thank you also to our service manager Richard Marshall for overnight sail service in the school hall in Deansgrange - keeping our customers at the front of the fleet, day after day.

Finally, we'd like to congratulate the Royal St. George YC and ICRA for organising and running a great event. 

North Sails Results ICRA National Championships 2019

Rockabill VI 1618IRC Zero Champion - "Rockabill VI", JPK 1080, Paul O'Higgins * Photo: Afloat

IRC 0

1. "Rockabill VI" - JPK 1080 Paul O'Higgins *
2. "Forty Licks" - First 40 - Jay Colville
3. "Yoyo" - Sunfast 3600 - Brendan Coghlan

J109 Joker 3348IRC 1 champion "Joker II", J109, John Maybury Photo: Afloat

IRC 1

1. "Joker II" - J109 - John Maybury
2. "Storm II" - J109 - Pat Kelly

Mata Half Tonner 2269IRC 2 champion - "Mata", Half-Tonner, Wright Brothers Photo: Afloat

IRC 2

1. "Mata" - Half-tonner - Wright Brothers
2. "Checkmate XVIII" - Nigel Biggs
3. "Checkmate "Xv" - Dave Cullen

IRC 3

3. "Running Wild" - Impala - Brendan Foley*

IRC 5 (Non-spinnaker)

1. "Demelza" - Shamrock - Windsor Laudan & Steffi Ennis

* denotes partial inventory

Published in North Sails Ireland
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The North Sails Ireland regatta service team will be in Dun Laoghaire this coming weekend for the ICRA Nationals at the Royal St. George Yacht Club.

If you need any help with damaged sails or spares please do not hesitate to our Service Manager Richard Marshall who will be leading the North Sails Ireland effort.

Call Richard on 086 6686281 or Prof O'Connell on 086 2364200 and they will be ready to help you.

Come and chat to us at the North Sails box at Dun Laoghaire Marina after racing on Friday and Saturday. The van will be outside ready to take your sails to our overnight service loft.

Hopefully, you won't need us though!

Published in North Sails Ireland
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I'm just back home after a great day's sailing here with Darragh McCormack in Foynes Yacht Club on the Shannon Estuary at the Mermaid Munster Championships writes Nigel Young of North Sails Ireland.

I have to say the welcome you get in Foynes YC as a visitor is second to none......From the minute you arrive to the minute you leave you really feel part of the FYC family.

I had been invited to FYC by Darragh to crew with him and check out his National Championship winning sails with my own eyes.

You can read all about that regatta and the Fairy-tale as I like to call it here

This was a unique outing for me as it was only my second time actually racing the Mermaids and the first time racing in a three-man team with my eldest son. Seems like I now have a ready-made crew for any North Sails outings! Thanks Jack...

North Sails everywhere IMG 9454North Sails Ireland took the top three spots overall in the Munster Championships

The day went well with North Sails powered boats taking the top three spots overall in the Munster Championships. I was especially proud to sail with Darragh and my own son Jack finishing first overall. Great class, great club, great people and the North Sails don't seem too bad either!

Read all about the North Sails victory in Foynes here

Published in North Sails Ireland
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The North Sails Ireland Team moved out of home for a few days last week and set up camp in Tarbert for the 2019 Scottish Series writes Nigel Young.

Maurice O'Connell was helping Andrew Craig and his team on the J109 Chimaera in the RC35 Class.

Shane Hughes was sailing with the Wrights on the recently revamped Half Tonner MATA looking after the rig and the new 3Di sails.

Yours truly was found pulling a few ropes and offering trim and rig advice to Jonny Swan and the team on Harmony.

The series offered up the full mix of sailing conditions and our North Sails clients took home a large chunk of the Silverware!

Congratulations to all the winners across all the classes and also to the organisers of this classic early season event held in an amazing natural sailing arena.

Please check out the link here for a more in-depth look at who did well at the regatta.

Published in Scottish Series
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The Half Ton Class was created by the Offshore Racing Council for boats within the racing band not exceeding 22'-0". The ORC decided that the rule should "....permit the development of seaworthy offshore racing yachts...The Council will endeavour to protect the majority of the existing IOR fleet from rapid obsolescence caused by ....developments which produce increased performance without corresponding changes in ratings..."

When first introduced the IOR rule was perfectly adequate for rating boats in existence at that time. However yacht designers naturally examined the rule to seize upon any advantage they could find, the most noticeable of which has been a reduction in displacement and a return to fractional rigs.

After 1993, when the IOR Mk.III rule reached it termination due to lack of people building new boats, the rule was replaced by the CHS (Channel) Handicap system which in turn developed into the IRC system now used.

The IRC handicap system operates by a secret formula which tries to develop boats which are 'Cruising type' of relatively heavy boats with good internal accommodation. It tends to penalise boats with excessive stability or excessive sail area.

Competitions

The most significant events for the Half Ton Class has been the annual Half Ton Cup which was sailed under the IOR rules until 1993. More recently this has been replaced with the Half Ton Classics Cup. The venue of the event moved from continent to continent with over-representation on French or British ports. In later years the event is held biennially. Initially, it was proposed to hold events in Ireland, Britain and France by rotation. However, it was the Belgians who took the ball and ran with it. The Class is now managed from Belgium. 

At A Glance – Half Ton Classics Cup Winners

  • 2017 – Kinsale – Swuzzlebubble – Phil Plumtree – Farr 1977
  • 2016 – Falmouth – Swuzzlebubble – Greg Peck – Farr 1977
  • 2015 – Nieuwport – Checkmate XV – David Cullen – Humphreys 1985
  • 2014 – St Quay Portrieux – Swuzzlebubble – Peter Morton – Farr 1977
  • 2013 – Boulogne – Checkmate XV – Nigel Biggs – Humphreys 1985
  • 2011 – Cowes – Chimp – Michael Kershaw – Berret 1978
  • 2009 – Nieuwpoort – Général Tapioca – Philippe Pilate – Berret 1978
  • 2007 – Dun Laoghaire – Henri-Lloyd Harmony – Nigel Biggs – Humphreys 1980~
  • 2005 – Dinard – Gingko – Patrick Lobrichon – Mauric 1968
  • 2003 – Nieuwpoort – Général Tapioca – Philippe Pilate – Berret 1978

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