Sail, power or ferry yourself to Block Island for a great week of racing and the best mudslides, where North Sails clients topped 11 fleets in the 26th annual Block Island Race Week
For the third year in a row, North Sails is proud to sponsor Block Island Race Week. A local favorite to kick-off the summer, one-hundred forty-three boats convened for a week of racing around the buoys, and around the island, in one of New England’s most unique sailing venues. Sailors enjoyed the sights, sounds, and tastes of the island with old and new faces connecting, all with the passion for sailing matched with fantastic social events after racing.
There were highlights all across the board, from the J/105 class to the ORC Club division. North U was on site to host dock talks, evening clinic debriefs, and on the water coaching with the J/109, J/105, and J/88 classes. Sailors got the most out of collaborating with North Sails experts and reviewing video and photos after sailing, where they could engage with their fellow competitors. Points of focus included hiking techniques, weight placement, sail trim, and mainsail twist. For those that needed repairs, North Sails loft was onsite and provided overnight repair services, making sure sailors were able to get back on the water everyday. We enjoyed our time “on island” and would like to extend our congratulations to North-powered clients for sailing well, topping no less than 11 fleets.
Recap from the J/88 fleet
In a small but competitive fleet, Doug McKeige and Mike Bruno showed up with 3Di sails and blew the competition out of the ballpark. As always, it came down to starts, speed, boat handling, and tactics. Starting was easy in the J/88 (particularly at this event) because it was a very spacious line, making for little to no excuse for a bad start. Speed favored the North customers, Jazz and Wings in particular, who seemed to have better speed all week with their new North 3Di. The tactician on Wings was hiking hard and keeping his team very motivated not only in speed but also in determination.
At the North U debrief on Tuesday, the key takeaway was that rig tension matters a lot. The new North tuning guide is out and quite accurate, with the caveat that more tension on the lowers can be used as soon as the bottom third of the main starts to look too flat. In the big breeze, dropping the in-hauler to open up the slot helps make the steering easier. Lastly, if you have a long drag race, the main trimmer should hike as much as possible. Hiking in the J/88 matters almost as much as it does in a Laser. Make sure you’ve got good lifeline covers for your crew!
Iris Vogel, skipper of Deviation generously hosted a fleet party at her house on Tuesday. All J/88 competitors enjoyed the fact that the skies parted and we had the opportunity to share a meal and a few cocktails with friends with a great view overlooking the ocean. The talk of the evening turned to the North American’s in Youngstown which everyone in attendance is fired up to attend.
Powered by North Sails, Gitana Team Skipper, Charles Caudrelier, crossed the finish line off the coast of Brest, France, on February 27th, to win the ARKEA Ultim Challenge. The ARKEA Ultim Challenge is the first-ever solo multihull race around the world and was sailed in 32m Ultim Trimarans – true Giants of the Sea.
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