Ireland’s Team Embarr Wins 2016 Melges 24 Worlds with 100% North Sails

The 2016 Melges 24 World Championship came to a close on Saturday, December third. The fleet sailed 12 races in 10-20 knots over five days. In the ocean off Miami, the sea state was challenging upwind and downwind with some great surfing. Congratulations to North Sails clients who finished 1,3,4,5,6,7,8,10, and to North-powered Corinthian teams Lenny and Accru, who finished second and fourth respectively in the Corinthian Division.

North-powered team Embarr took the win with only 38 total points – a 30 point lead over second place. Onboard Embarr were Conor Clarke, Aoife English, David Hughes, Stuart McNay, and North Sails’ Maurice O’Connell. The team showed spectacular boat handling technique and impressive speed upwind and downwind. O’Connell trimmed the chute for the Worlds and reported the standard North models were fast.

“The week was a tough one for sure. Our results showed a dominant performance, but it sometimes didn’t feel like that! We had one or two sketchy starts that forced us in the wrong direction.”

“What was satisfying is we never felt under pressure boat speed wise. We used the standard North Sails models which were very fast. In the moments our performance was sub-optimal, there was always a simple reason for it: rig settings, sail trim, hiking or kinetics. By staying proactive in these areas, Embarr kept ripping along, and our speed got us out of trouble – more than a few times!”- Maurice O’Connell, North Sails

There is a reason for a regatta like this to be held in a place like Miami in the Fall. The best chance for breeze and primetime ocean sailing make for a top event of the year, and an excellent way to welcome the winter season in the south for the Melges 24 class.

With a solid 75 boats on the starting line, threading the needle through traffic upwind and holding your lane made for the biggest challenges. Participants reported that rig tune, crew placement and communication from the front to the back of the boat kept you in the groove and able to maintain boat speed.

“Set-up wise, we kept a near-constant discussion of how the boat felt and what it needed at the moment. We weren’t timid on changing hard and soft controls.  Within the “noise” of the race, being totally honest about a boat’s performance is one of the toughest challenges,” reported Dave Hughes, tactician and headsail trimmer on Embarr.

With winds between 10-20 knots, an important part of upwind set-up was to keep the boat powered up in big waves, with just enough tension for the 20-knot winds yet still allowing enough space to breathe when necessary. Still, the breeze was relatively consistent in pressure, giving the World’s teams some time to fine-tune.

“Please pass on my thanks to the North Sails team in San Diego. The green kites look amazing and are now famous in the Melges fleet. They are obviously super fast too! North Sails have been a great help to the Embarr team and we really appreciate it,” said Embarr’s Conor Clarke.