We Talk To Giulio Desiderato, Main Trimmer And North Class Expert Onboard
After a tough battle at the J/70 European Championships in Malcesine, Lake Garda, the North powered Petite Terrible won the European title. With Italian Class Expert Giulio Desiderato sailing onboard as Main Trimmer, he gives us the low-down on how the team came to be at the top of the podium in the largest and arguably most competitive One Design class.
Amazingly, this victory is not unusual for the Rossi family. Helm of Petite Terrible, Claudia Rossi, won the Europeans in both Kiel and Hamble after Claudia’s father won the Europeans with his team in Vigo last year, all with North Sails inventories.
Claudia Rossi gives us her account of the regatta: “I have been sailing in J/70 class for four years and after trying various sails, I am happiest with North Sails. The boat is fast and easy to drive which is also helped by having Giulio Desiderato onboard. He knows the sails very well and can therefore ensure we trim them in the right way. Of course, having a fast boat makes things easier, but I think the key to our success was our team. We were always united, we believed in it until the end and when we needed to push, we all gave 110% resulting in an exciting and well deserved victory, an incredible experience!”
“I have been sailing in J/70 class for four years and after trying various sails, I am happiest with North Sails. The boat is fast and easy to drive which is also helped by having Giulio Desiderato onboard. He knows the sails very well and can therefore ensure we trim them in the right way.”
The regatta brought a fantastic mix of wind strengths, with some very light days proving testing for the healthy fleet of 124 boats. We asked Giulio how the sails handled in these tricky race conditions: “The regatta has been difficult and intense with some conditions as light as 5-6 knots. However, luckily the Championship finished with a nice 15-17 knot wind blowing from the south. We found the right way to tune the mast and trim our sails properly and as a result, have been leading the fleet most of the time, no matter what the conditions. This consistency is the key to our success.”
The team are very familiar with Malcesine and Lake Garda, but the Europeans brought unusual conditions. For most of the regatta, although all races were sailed, it was too hot for the well-known Ora wind to develop.
“The XCS-2 Mainsail we raced with had been used at two previous major events which says it all! We are very impressed with the sail quality and shape. We also used the North Sails J-2 High ClewJib and AP-1Spinnaker.”
Petite Terrible started racing together in 2015. Giulio first became involved as a coach, helping to prepare the crew for the World Championship in San Francisco. This season, they chose to work together have him as part of the team as Main Trimmer.
“The last race is one that I will never forget,” says Giulio. “All the races before this, we fought with the other boats in the top of the fleet to win the title. In the final race, we decided to sail our own race by not making it too complicated and just pushing hard until the end. We had a great start close to the pin end, sailed fast passing various opponents and when we got close to rocks we tacked onto port crossing in front of the whole fleet!”
“The last race is one that I will never forget. We decided to sail our own race by not making it too complicated and just pushing hard until the end. We had a great start close to the pin end, sailed fast passing various opponents and when we got close to rocks we tacked onto port crossing in front of the whole fleet!”
We wish the team good luck at their next event in August, the World Championships in Torquay, UK.
“I would like to thank my team – Claudia, Michele and Matteo e Ross. Also, a huge thank you to our team mates onboard Enfant Terrible and all the people that support us during the season and the fantastic week. Big thanks to Alberto Rossi that made it possible. Finally, a big hug to Simone Spangaro, the previous Petite Terrible Main Trimmer. He is the team’s number one supporter and never stops helping us.”
A total of 29 teams, representing 9 different nations, engaged in fierce competition across six events this year. While Cape 31s have attracted some of the world's best sailors, the class rules, which limit the crew to three professionals, also create an environment where owner-drivers race with friends and family.
Located just east of Lake Tahoe, Minden, Nevada, may seem like an unlikely spot for North Sails’ 3Di manufacturing hub, a sailing industry flagship center. However, it is true that is home to North Sails’ cutting-edge 3Di technology.
After countless hours sailing, testing and competing in the Cape 31, North Sails shares our tuning notes in an effort to get sailors and teams up to race winning speed quickly for the most competitive racing. As we learn more about the Cape 31 and further its development, new information regarding setup, tuning and trimming techniques will be updated online at northsails.com. As always, contact your North Sails Expert for all the most up to date information and for help tuning your boat.
1. Tuning Guide
1.1 Tuning Matrix
+1 in front
1.2 Tuning Notes
Base forestay arc: 1.71m. Measure this from the top edge of the bottom white band on the mast to the middle of the forestay pin (swing the jib halyard to mark the forestay luff foil).
Mast butt position: 13.5-14.5cm from the aft edge of the mast to the center of the front keel bolt
Base deck chocks: You should have light pressure on the front chocks (avoid inverting the lower mast when on +1 chocks).
Settings tip: It can be worth having a few different stiffnesses of the 3 top mainsail battens. Please ask your North Sails expert to find out more.
2. Upwind Trim
2.1 Jib Crossovers
Light / Medium (LMi) : 5 -12 knots
Medium / Heavy (MHi): 10 – 20 knots
Heavy Weather (Hi): 19+ knots
2.2 Upwind Notes
TRAVELER. Max up in light winds. In strong winds it is best to not go far below the centerline with the traveler car, use the fine tune to twist open the main.
JIB CARS. In light and medium winds be max inboard on the car (most winds).
TRIM. Have one person behind the helm in light winds (none if you’re not all on the windward rail). In strong winds have at least 2 people behind the helm.
BATTENS. Tighten the top 3 battens in the mainsail so that there are no short vertical creases along the batten pockets.
RUNNERS. Off in sub 6 kts, then progressively tighter until max combined headstay / tack load of 1.7 tonnes.
Settings tip: Unless your rig is tightened for strong winds you may not be able to get to 1.6 runner load without the mainsail overbending (diagonal creases in the bottom ⅓ of the mainsail from the spreaders down to the clew. Overbend is slow).
Please get in contact with a North Sails expert to discuss techniques and settings further.
3. Downwind Trim
3.1 Kite Crossovers
A1.5: 5-10 knots
A2: 8-18 knots
A4 (or A2+): 18+ kts
3.2 Downwind Notes
In light airs (4-6 knots) Drop the jib.
In 7 knots + you are looking to get the jib up and start sailing VMG angles based on hee.
12 knots + is full VMG sailing. Don’t be afraid to keep the bow up to build the speed initially. Hike.
RUNNERS. Loosen the runners downwind, keep the windward one snug. When the wind increases, tighten the runners just enough to keep the headstay of the jib tight.
Please get in contact with your local North Sails experts to discuss techniques and setting further.
4. North Sails Class Lead
+44 7962 238 742
5. Crossover Chart