North Sails NEWS

April 16, 2019


Podium Sweep In Six One Design Classes

Team Luck Dog, Sperry Charleston Race Week’s One Design Boat of the Week © Zerogradinord

In a dominant display of success, North Sails clients filled the scoreboard at the 2019 Sperry Charleston Race Week. Highlights from the weekend include a podium sweep for those using North inventories in six one design classes and top boats on nine out of the ten classes. Congratulations to North Sails clients for achieving victory across multiple fleets. Here are some highlights:


Charleston Race Week has brought back a huge resurgence in the Melges 24 fleet with 37 boats racing, making it the largest Melges 24 regatta in the US since the World Championship in 2016 in Miami. We also saw a huge number of Corinthian teams at this event which is very encouraging.  

The big North news in this class is the development of the new 3Di sails.  We had three full sets of the latest designs on the water and they finished 1,2 and 5.  Travis Weisleder and his Lucky Dog Race team tied with Bruce Ayres’ Monsoon to with the tie breaker, winning the event, and was also deemed Charleston Race Week’s One Design Boat of the Week.  Monsoon and Lucky Dog have been working together for the past four years as tuning partners and have been the latest driving force in the development of the 3Di upwind product.  Our Melges 24 experts have been working tirelessly with sail designers Per Anderson and Mike Marshall and the teams have been doing a lot of collaboration on rig tune.  The good news is that the new 3Di designs seem to setup very easily and the tuning is very similar to the North standard paneled sails.

Heading to the Melges 24 Nationals in Fairhope, Alabama? Contact our Melges 24 expert John Bowden, who sailed on Lucky Dog, for the latest up-to-date information on the M24 sail development and boat tuning.

Buddy Cribb’s Victory, powered by the new North F-1 mainsail. © Zerogradinord


The J/70 class showed up strong for Charleston Race Week with fifty-six teams ready to battle for the win. The conditions were flat water, 10-20 knots of wind, warm and tight racing! There was a little bit of everything and all you saw were smiling J70 crews as the sailing was very fun!

We at North were especially excited to have the new F-1 mainsail, delivered in time for the event. The results couldn’t be better. All three teams using the new F-1 finished in the top 10 with a special highlight to Buddy Cribb’s team Victory, finishing in a strong third place. The F-1 mainsail is a design optimized for the stiffer masts. “We were very fast at Charleston with the new mainsail.  We were able to hold our lane off the line, and sail fast both upwind and downwind.  Sunday was particularly exciting downwind with winds gusting to 35 knots!”, said Buddy Cribb who finished third, one of their best results ever in the J/70 class.

North Sails J/70 expert Allan Terhune sailed with John and Molly Baxter, on Team Vineyard Vines. We used the new F-1 main with a Southern Spars rig and the sail set up REALLY well since our rig is in the stiff side. We made a few adjustments to the tuning: For base, we used 16 on the uppers and 10 minus 1 turn instead of 2 on the lowers. Then we used the same tuning matrix in terms of steps as the tuning guide with the exception that we added one turn to the lowers in chart.  So, instead of +2 and +1 on the lowers for the first step, we went +2 and +2. As the wind got stronger, we added one more turn to the lowers to keep the main from washing out.”

J/70 Takeways:

Sail Flat Upwind And Keep It Constant
We talk about this a lot, the J/70 loves to sail flat. To achieve this communication is the key factor.  The mainsail trimmer and driver need to know when puffs and lulls are coming, to keep the boat on its tracks. Good communication allows the trimmer to make the necessary adjustments and the driver to steer the boat.  It was key at Charleston for the driver to proactively steer to keep up with the big shifts and the puffs.

Jib Trim
Because the wind was up and down, the jib needed to be adjusted a lot.  We generally focus on the leeward sheet and halyard and keep the in-hauler on when using the J-6 jib.  

Know Your Downwind Modes
It was tricky to know when to wing, plane or sail normal displacement mode in Charleston.  Again, the key was good communication in order for the team to do their best to position the boat in the breeze and in the correct mode.  Only with true teamwork we can achieve this.


The North Sails team, coordinated by sail designer Mike Marshall and expert John Bowden, held a North Sails Tuning Guide release and Q&A session prior to racing day sharing the latest tuning information for the VX ONE.  On the race course we want to congratulate Michelle Warner and team Tudo Bem for the great, consistent results in such variable conditions we saw in Charleston. All top four boats used North Sails in the VX class.

North Sails Results:

Kevin Mccarthy’s Chance V, winner in the Viper 640 class. © Zerogradinord
Henry Brauer’s Rascal powered by the North XCS-2 mainsail, J2HC jib and AP-1 spinnaker featuring a cool new graphic. © Zerogradinord


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