OFFSHORE + INSHORE GEAR DISPATCHED TO THE RACETRACKS
The Launch of North Sails Performance Collection
Last week we announced the launch of our new Performance range of foul weather gear that will be available in Spring 2021. Each week, until launch, we’ll unpack how our team conceived the range, the new “must-haves” for your kit bag, and how we’ve made sure our foulies uphold the expectations you’d have for gear from the world’s leading sailmaker.
Our gear development team was diligent in ensuring our gear adheres to Lowell North’s scientific method; the design, build, and testing process used for all North Sail products.
Our design work doesn’t end when the first prototypes ship out of the factory. This is just the beginning. Every piece of North Sails kit is the result of the same extensive process; research, innovate, design, build, test… rinse, and repeat. Over, and over, and over again. Our foul weather gear has already been tested in the most extreme conditions.
The Offshore and Inshore gear has been dispatched to the racetracks of the world in the hands of North’s experts and sail designers – a team of the most experienced sailors in the world, who cover hundreds of sea miles aboard many different types of vessels…you couldn’t dream up a better kit testing team.
PRB skipper and Vendée Globe 2020 competitor Kévin Escoffier, also joined our testing team. One of the most experienced and successful ocean racing sailors of his generation, Escoffier has emerged from a backroom role running Team Banque Populaire’s design office to win a Jules Verne Trophy and the last Volvo Ocean Race.
Escoffier did a lot of sea miles before he crossed the Vendée Globe 2020 start line as skipper of November 8 2020 – and he did them all in North kit. He achieved a second-place finish in the IMOCA class of the Rolex Fastnet Race and the Transat Jacques Vabre. It’s been the perfect testing environment for the Ocean range and Escoffier’s thoughtful, analytical feedback was essential to the refinement of the final designs. Escoffier decided that the kit was so good that he took it to race in and, whilst his Vendée 2020 journey hasn’t ended as any of us would have wished, we’re still looking forward to a valuable debrief when he returns to shore – design, build, test…..rinse and repeat.
The Offshore prototypes also went south to Sydney for the start of one of the world’s classic bluewater races, Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race. In 2019 North Sails designer and trimmer Dick Parker was wearing our kit when he secured his first Hobart win. He had plenty of praise for the kit and lots more ideas – as did everyone else. Research, innovate, design, build, test… rinse, and repeat.