North Sails powers leaders in the J/24, J/70, Melges 24, 470 Men’s and Women’s Classes at Kiel Week
One of the largest sailing events of the year, Kiel Week is an annual regatta held in the capital of Schleswig-Holstein, Germany. The event attracts 5,000 sailors on roughly 2,000 ships, and estimates a total of three million visitors each year. A competitive event, especially for Olympic Classes, Kieler Woche is organized in a team effort between the Yacht Club of Kiel, the Norddeutscher Regattaverein, the Hamburger Sailing Club, and the Verein Seglerhaus am Wannsee.
North clients performed well in the men’s and women’s 470. Men’s Team Mat Belcher and Will Ryan claimed the gold medal, 20 points ahead of 2nd place finishers from Russia, Pavel Sozykin and Denis Gribanov. In the Women’s 470, Frederike Loewe and Anna Markfort finished 2nd in the medal race, won the tie-breaker overall against Poland’s Agnieszka Skrqypulec and Irmina Gliszczynska, taking home the 1st Place Victory.
In the competitive J/70 and Melges 24 fleets, North-powered boats took the win with German sailors, Jens Marten, topping the J/70 and Lennart Burke winning the Melges 24. Congratulations to our clients for a fantastic week of sailing!
North U’s Mike Ingham Leads J/24 Fleet in Race Clinic
A clinic hosted by the local J/24 class was opened to all competitors during the week. Coach Mike Ingham of North U stepped in to host the off-the-water presentation on the evening before the final race day, where he focused on the stark contrast in conditions between day 1 and 2. Mike was sailing on Nautalytics Following is a synopsis of what the class learned and discussed, written by Mike.
Day 1 and 2: Rig Tuning in Big Waves and Breeze
Day 1 was windy with sharp confused waves, especially difficult on port tack. We tuned one level down on the shrouds for power and soon realized, with the waves, we needed more power than so we eased off to one step below maximum tensions.
I twisted the main on port, by pulling up the traveler and easing the mainsheet – neither of which I would do if the water was flat. This eased the helm and allowed me to bear off easily and power through the worst chop without stalling my rudder. Max, our genoa trimmer, kept a sharp eye out for waves and was constantly easing the sheet maybe an inch or two for the bad wave sets, then immediately bringing it right back in after the waves. It was windy and my backstay was on as much as I dared without distorting the main. Main distortion happens by over bending the mast past the mainsail luff curve.This kept the forestay reasonably tight, though still less than if we had the rig set to the tightest settings.
Day two was a totally different kind of day. Light wind with small waves were the main setting here. We kept our rig loose enough that our headstay sagged a little. Even though the waves were small, it was so light that even some of the smallest waves pitched the mast-disturbing the flow over the sails. I needed some power in the rig to get back up to speed. It was too light to point, so I concentrated on keeping the boat moving. The rest of my focus was dedicated to the top main telltale. I adjusted the mainsheet often because even a small change in wind speed changed how that telltale flew. I was looking to keep it flowing 90% of the time for optimum flow.
Once the rig was set to the conditions, we figured out what the right combination of height vs punch was, then on how to trim specifically for that angle.
There is a ton of support within the J/24 class in Germany. It was great to see so much support go to the younger sailors in such an established fleet. An all-in-all great experience for J/24 competitors this year at Kiel Week.
Congratulations to our clients for winning performance in Kiel!