Ruaridh Wright Wins Inaugural Richmond Award
North Sails Apparel is unique. As a company with roots in sailmaking, it embraces the spirit of the ocean - from the demands of the Southern Ocean to the joys of waterside living.
11TH HOUR RACING AND WINDWHISPER RACING TEAMS WIN THE OCEAN RACE
A new format, two trophies, and another North Sails-powered circumnavigation completed After six months, nine stopover cities, and 32,000 nautical miles, The Ocean Race 2022-23 sailed its final miles and crowned two winners at the finale in Genoa, Italy. Skipper Charlie Enright (USA) and his 11th Hour Racing Team hoisted The Ocean Race Trophy, while Pablo Arrarte (ESP) and the WindWhisper Racing Team claimed the VO65 Sprint Cup. The 50th edition of the race ushered in a new era of competition with two classes, the one design VO65 and the exciting IMOCA development class, as well as featuring the longest leg in the history of the race. We also saw the fall of the 24-hour monohull speed record, which stood for eight years only to be broken back to back during Leg 5. 📸 Sailing Energy / The Ocean Race True to form, The Ocean Race 2022-23 pushed boundaries, expectations, and at times, the patience of the teams and fans worldwide. No one is better suited than Enright to speak firsthand on the long road to the start line and the ups and downs of this lap around the planet. 11th Hour Racing Team was leading the race overall when they experienced a devastating collision at the start of the final leg. The incident forced the team to retire from Leg 7, but the sailing and shore teams turned their heartbreak into heroic efforts to get the boat sailing again while also filing for redress. Following the redress hearing on June 29th, the International Jury awarded the team 4 points, putting them on the top of the leaderboard and securing Enright's place in history as the first American skipper to win The Ocean Race. The 11th Hour Racing skipper comments on his team's win: "I'm absolutely ecstatic. This race takes everything out of you - emotionally, mentally, and physically. I'm incredibly proud of our whole team who have worked tirelessly for three years to get to this point. There have been highs, some incredible highs, but also lows that have knocked us all, but they were all worth it to hear this news today." "When we launched our campaign in 2019, we never could have anticipated that it would finish in this way. Any sailor will tell you that they want to win races on the water and not in the jury room, and after winning three legs back to back we felt exceptionally strong and confident going into the final leg. We are pleased with the jury's decision, although we wish we had had the chance to battle it out for this final leg on the water as Holcim-PRB have been exceptional competitors and pushed us all the way" 📸 Sailing Energy / The Ocean Race The Ocean Race 2022-23 welcomed the IMOCA class to the race route for the first time. And for the IMOCA class, the race was the first time these high-performance foiling machines were sailed fully crewed. It was a bold move from a race that had sailed in the one design VO65 for the previous three editions. But the 60ft development class reinvigorated The Ocean Race with innovation and gave the fans awe-inspiring drone footage from the world's most remote locations. Antoine Mermod, president of the IMOCA Class comments: “The Ocean Race was great. All of us within the class enjoyed it very much. The sailors loved racing and pushed these boats to their limits for six months. Technically and athletically, we learned a lot, as the boats were used more intensively and for longer than in the past. The understanding we collected from this edition will carry that forward for the next race. The IMCOA class shares a strong partnership with The Ocean Race, which we're really proud of. We've still got lots of questions on the table for the future, but we've also got really valuable first answers.” 📸 Amory Ross / 11th Hour Racing Team / Ocean Race At North Sails, we have always been at the forefront of sailmaking innovation, and our contributions to The Ocean Race 2022-23 are no exception. Our sail technologies, including the revolutionary North 3Di and Helix Sails, have redefined the boundaries of performance and endurance in the most challenging conditions. North Sails President and three-time Volvo Ocean Race race veteran comments: "The Ocean Race is one of the hardest competitions in our sport for teams and their equipment. Everyone sets out to win, and in doing so, they put the best sailors, designers, and engineers on their project to help them achieve that goal. With the Ocean Race, our challenge is engineering sails that balance high performance and reliability to endure thousands of miles in brutal conditions. This edition we've witnessed the fully-crewed IMOCA pushed harder than ever. Races like this force creative thinking and fast-tracks innovation at North Sails." The North Sails team and our products will continue to play a pivotal role in shaping innovations for The Ocean Race, the IMOCA class, and the wider offshore racing community. Our brand was first named the exclusive supplier to the then-new VO65 one design class in 2013. Two editions later, North Sails has once again proven itself worthy of delivering consistency across the one design fleet, and North Sails is the sailmaker of choice for four or the five IMOCAs. Our sails and, more recently, the North Sails Performance foul weather gear enable the teams to push their boats and themselves harder than ever. THE OCEAN RACE 2022-2023 LIVE DEBRIEF Join Ken Read, 11th Hour Racing Team skipper Charlie Enright and WindWhisper Racing Team skipper Pablo Arrarte for a live debrief of The Ocean Race 2022-23 on July 11, 2023. This webinar with the winners is free and open to everyone If you’re interested but unable to attend this live webinar, register anyway, and we’ll send you a link to the recording once it’s ready. Click here to register ➤ READ MORE
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NORTH SAILS INNOVATION LEADS THE OCEAN RACE 2022-23
Sail and clothing technologies that deliver speed, endurance and performance 📸 Julien Champolion | polaRYSE / Holcim – PRB / The Ocean Race Global leader in sailmaking and performance clothing, North Sails, is proud to again be the Official Sail Supplier at the Ocean Race 2022-23. The Ocean Race is the ultimate test of sailing prowess, covering 32,000 nautical miles over six months and visiting nine ports around the world. Fewer people have circumnavigated the earth by sail than have climbed to the summit of Mount Everest. Widely considered the most physically and mentally demanding competitive ocean-going event, The Ocean Race demands apparel and equipment that can withstand the most extreme conditions – upwards of 55,000 nautical miles and four equator crossings. North Sails: designed for fast, engineered to last North Sails’ expertise in sailmaking has allowed for an unmatched level of performance, reliability, and durability to help teams navigate the most challenging conditions. The relationship between this storied race and North Sails goes back decades. Many within North Sails have sailed onboard various teams and have won the race, while numerous designers and sailmakers have supported the technical side of programs in their quest to finish first around the world. Collaboration between North Sails and Ocean Race teams has resulted in breakthrough technologies, including North 3Di, which made its around the world debut in 2010 in response to skipper requests for reliable shape-holding, durability, and lightweight performance sails. In this edition of the Ocean race, four out of five of IMOCAs in the race opted to use North 3Di Helix sails, highlighting the brand’s continued innovation and performance in the world of sailmaking. 3Di Technology – North 3Di sails not only lead the industry landscape in terms of high-performance, but also outstrip the competition in terms of reliability and longevity. The technology is ground-breaking because of three components; the use of spread-filament tapes; a sail shape set on a full size 3D mold, and, most significantly, the elimination of Mylar film. Helix Structured Luff Sails – Helix Structured Luff technology is a breakthrough sail design philosophy, using the sail structure to improve its aerodynamics and in many cases reduce the load on equipment. Exclusive to North Sails, Helix Headsails utilize 3Di composite structures in a new way to radically improve camber control, while Helix Code Sails reduce loads on any free-flying sail, creating improved aerodynamics while reducing the load on boats and masts. Official Sail Supplier to the VO65 fleet and the preferred sailmaker to the majority of the IMOCA programs participating, North Sails’ innovation in sailmaking elevates the race to unprecedented levels of excitement and competition. 📸 Julien Champolion | polaRYSE / Holcim – PRB / The Ocean Race North Sails Performance Clothing For the first time at The Ocean Race, Nigel Musto, whose innovations have led the marine performance clothing industry for over 35 years and who has developed the entire foul weather line for North Sails, will also see an entire high-performing team outfitted in its Performance apparel. Each member of Team Holcim-PRB is outfitted with North Sails’ technically-advanced foul weather gear range, designed, constructed and tested by industry experts using the best performing materials and highest quality components. The Performance Clothing range delivers race-primed gear with unparalleled protection. It is the only performance gear on the market that features North Sails’ pioneering 4DL and TightWeave technology, plus a GORE-TEX® pro construction – a membrane offering ‘superior durable’ waterproofing and breathability. 4DL – four-layer durable laminated reinforcement patches present extremely robust reinforcement with no water absorption. The technology is 30 percent lighter than the norm when dry, with even more significant weight savings in wet conditions – reducing bulk and weight of the garments for streamlined performance. TightWeave – with thinner threads and tighter weaves, this fabric construction is designed to reduce water absorption and penetration whilst providing high-abrasion resistance, designed for an optimum mix of capabilities in the different race environments. In addition, it won’t leach toxic chemicals into the environment. Nigel Musto said, “North Sails Performance Clothing uses the best materials and best design, without compromise. It’s exciting to see the entire Holcim-PRB team, for the first time, kitted out in our cutting-edge range, and putting the gear to the ultimate test.” North Sails’ Champions of The Ocean Race For decades, this race has proven the ultimate test, with North Sails meeting the challenge with superior products that allow teams to push their boats harder and faster each edition. On the North Sails leadership team, president Ken Read has competed in this race three times, and Ian Walker, Northern Europe Sales Manager, is also a multi-race veteran who won the race in 2015. This year, Team Holcim-PRB has been flying on foils across four oceans with North Sails Performance kit on their backs for the first time. The team remains in a strong position to win despite a setback in leg four. Charlie Enright, a North Sails employee of 15 years, who has been integral to pushing the offshore sail development for the company to new levels, is also skippering 11th Hour Racing. “The Ocean Race is the ultimate test of sailing, and it’s fantastic to see many different arms of North Sails come together for the event. Our sails and Performance apparel have been developed and tested to withstand the toughest offshore conditions. We are the only brand who’s able to cover so many bases in The Ocean Race, creating sails and gear that is optimized for high-performance and durability, setting teams up for success in multiple aspects of the race. Ken Read, North Sails’ President. 📸 Sailing Energy / The Ocean Race READ MORE