North Sails NEWS

January 31, 2019


Bruce Ayres’s Monsoon Dominate The Bacardi Winter Series

2019 Bacardi Winter Series - Melges 24 - 3Di by North Sails

If there is one thing that is a constant at North Sails it is our team is never satisfied. We are constantly working to make better and faster sails and the recent 3Di development for the Melges 24 sails is not different. The North M24 team, along with sail designer Mike Marshall, spent time in Miami for the Bacardi Winter Series working with M24 teams, including teams Monsoon and Lucky Dog, on the new 3Di designs. The results were amazing with Monsoon combining 3Di speed with a talented team of sailors to win the event.

North Melges 24 expert John Bowden caught up with Stars + Stripes Team USA Skipper and Monsoon’s tactician Mike Buckley to get some insights on the success of his team along the series and his impressions on the new 3Di mainsail for the Melges 24 class.

Mike, congratulations again to the team on Monsoon. You had an incredibly impressive score line at the Bacardi Winter Series with top 5 in the all races of both events. Can you share with us a few key points, in your opinion, are some of the keys to success with your Melges 24 program?

Thank you, John, fun sailing against you and the other teams in the class. Sailing with the team on Monsoon is always fun as we work really hard and complement each other quite well. That said, there are some key points that we really focus on that I think any team can utilize to improve.

  1. Keep it simple, no home runs.
  2. Pass a boat or two each leg and trust the process.
  3. Speed, good crew work, no major errors.

Though these may seem overly generic I really feel this helps us gain the consistency you mentioned and keeps the team prepared for success.

You guys were very open to work with the new 3Di mainsail and spend time with our team optimizing the sail.  How did the North 3Di main respond and perform in the range of conditions?

The sails certainly performed really well across quite a broad range. We were happy with our speed which made my job easier!

Did you make any changes to your tuning for the new 3Di main?

That is a good question. The Melges 24 is a fairly high tech boat with strict one design rules so making sure the tuning is spot on for every condition is critical. We found that we are tending to sail a little bit tighter on our rig tensions, on average, with the 3Di main. Also, we found we were trimming a bit harder across the board. Not a huge amount but certainly something we talked about which, possibly, gave us another gear at times.

What do you see as the biggest advantage of changing to the new 3Di main?

One thing that is great about sailing with Bruce and the team on Monsoon is we always try to be on the front of the technology shift. When sailing in tight, competitive fleets like the Melges 24, it is fairly important to be leading the pack when looking for a competitive edge. Having that technology available in the Melges 24 and being open to test and lead the way made the path to using 3Di a great option.

Monsoon is one of the best Melges 24 teams in the fleet. How are you preparing the 2019 season and what do you attribute your team’s success?

We have a really fun team to compete with and I think that’s important. As we build Stars + Stripes Team USA I always have in the back of my mind the fantastic culture we have on Monsoon. We all want to hike harder for each other, we all want to trim better for each other, I want to hit shifts for my teammates. It’s not easy to find that chemistry but it’s probably the most important aspect of sport.

Congratulations Team Monsoon!

Power your Melges 24 with 3Di sails.

2019 Bacardi Winter Series - Melges 24 - 3Di by North Sails
Lucky Dog powered by the North 3Di jib for the Melges 24 class.

2019 Bacardi Winter Series - Melges 24 - 3Di by North Sails

2019 Bacardi Winter Series - Melges 24 - 3Di by North Sails

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