North Sails LOFT NEWS
Story Contributors: Derek Scott
Victory at the 420 New Zealand Nationals
North Powers Winning Girls and Boys Teams
After dropping just one bullet in 11 competitive races, nothing stood between Mason Mulcahy and Andre Van Dam’s top spot at the 420 New Zealand Nationals. Held on Evans Bay in Wellington Harbour, four days of racing not only resulted in a win from Mulcahy and Van Dam. Amelia Angus and Rebecca Hume took second place overall and was the top finishing female team.
We were keen to speak to the overall winners to find out more on their winning secrets.
Mulcahy and Van Dam have worked hard to improve their performance from their second place finish at the 420 Nationals in Takapuna last year. Having sailed together for just 16 months, the team now has their sights set on the 420 Worlds in France in July to get further up the leaderboard from their impressive eighth place last year.
“You need to have a game plan, start according to your first beat strategy and always start in the front row.’’
Mulcahy and Van Dam agree that Evans Bay was a fantastic sailing area for the Nationals, with lots of opportunities and challenges, crediting the sailing club for such a well-organized event. “It is a tricky sailing venue as it can be quite shifty with some geographic influences depending on wind direction. It was a very well run event given the conditions; we couldn’t have asked for any more from The Evans Bay YMBC facilities.’’
Key to winning 10 in 11 races is knowing how to stay competitive on a busy start line, so we asked Mulcahy and Van Dam their top three tips. Mulcahy explained, “You need to have a game plan, start according to your first beat strategy, and always start in the front row.’’
Sailing with a full North inventory, the team used the M-11 Mainsail, J-12 Jib, and SO-5 Spinnaker. “We have used this combination for the past year and we like it. We also use the North Tuning Guide with a few personal tweaks based on our style.’’
With North clients powering the top nine spots overall, why is North so dominant in this fleet? Who better to ask than North Sails New Zealand One Design expert, Derek Scott: “Everyone in New Zealand and around the world that use the North 420 sails trust and know that the sails are perfect every time they refresh their sail inventory. There is consistency with the designs which means the boat settings for an old J-12 Jib will remain the same when replaced by a new J-12 Jib. Our sail designs also cover all sailors, ranging from those starting in the class to those fighting it out for the top spots.’’
“Everyone in New Zealand and around the world that use the North 420 sails trust and know that the sails are perfect every time they refresh their sail inventory.“
Congratulations to Mulcahy, Van Dam, Angus and Hulme!