North Sails NEWS

Story Contributors: Nigel Young, Brian Hayes


“Best thing about the R-2 is its power!”

Opti sailors all over the world are competing for a chance to sail at the premier IODA Optimist Worlds in Thailand and the European Championship in Bulgaria this July. The trials for Ireland’s Optimist sailors were part of the ISA Youth National Championship, held at Ballyholme on Belfast Lough in April.

Thirteen-year-old Justin Lucas, representing the Royal Cork Yacht Club, rose from the pack at the trials when he won five races to take the overall win with an unbelievable lead of 44 points over second place. Justin used the North Sails R-2 Radial Mainsail delivered to him a few days before the regatta. He loved the power of the R-2!

We got in touch with Justin and asked him some questions about his experience at the Ireland Trials.

© Simon McIlwain / Wavelength Image

Justin, thanks for taking a minute for us and congratulations on your win at the Ireland Optimist Trials! So tell us, how long have you been sailing the Optimist?
“Thank you. I’ve been racing since September 2014 , but I started sailing in 2013.”

You’ve had great success in quite a short period of time. What do you like best about racing your Opti?

“For me it is a sheer fun factor.”

The Optimist Class really provides a great opportunity for young sailors to travel and experience new and exciting venues. Where is your favorite place to sail and why?
“Lanzarote because it’s warm and windy!”

Lanzarote is an island just off the coast of Morocco and does have beautiful warm weather and breeze. Do you prefer lighter winds or heavier winds?
“I like both, but windy is way more fun.”

What is your long term goal in the sport of sailing?

“I’d like to attend the Olympics in 10 years, if I’m lucky enough.”

How do you like your North Sails?
“Great, they are the best.”

We know you have tried other brands and models and are proud that you have found success with your North sails. What makes the R-2 a better fit for you and your style of sailing?
“I can feel the power in the sail.”

About how heavy are you?
“37 kgs” (81 lbs)

Our team has worked hard with sailors around the world to develop the new radial models so that sailors can hop in their boat and be fast from the start. Do you find our Radial range of sails easy to use and which model did you choose and why?

“Yes, I found the sails quite good for my style. That said, with my coaches help, I chose the R2 over the R1 because it has more power and fits my weight and style the best”.

© Simon McIlwain / Wavelength Image

Do you have a sailor you admire on the World Stage?

“I like Ben Ainslie.”

That is an admirable goal and one we hope you can achieve! In the meantime, as you start your journey towards the Worlds, when is your next regatta?
“I am headed to an event in Munster, Ireland in 2 weeks.”

© Simon McIlwaine / Wavelength Image

Well best of luck there. Now for a few “important” questions!

What’s your favorite color?

Favorite rugby Team?

What is your favorite food?


Thanks a million Justin for taking the time to talk to us, and congratulations again from all of us at North Sails!

© Simon McIlwain / Wavelength Image
© Simon McIlwaine / Wavelength Image
© Simon McIlwaine / Wavelength Image
© Simon McIlwaine / Wavelength Image

The North Sails radial designs are helping drive Opti sailors to success around the globe! In New Zealand, Seb Menzies captured his country’s National Championship using the MZX4  while the Spanish National Championship was won by Maria Perello using her new R2. Learn more about how the North Sails Optimist sail line can help you find the podium at your next event.


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