North Sails NEWS

Story Contributors: Tom Sitzmann


Key Tips To Up Your Game

35 teams from around the country gathered at the Miami Yacht Club for the 2020 International 420 Midwinter Championship. Out of the high caliber of talent, Justin & Mitchel Callahan prevailed with outstanding sailing and a convincing win at this event. North Sails powered boats fared very well, showing speed and versatility in a range of conditions, ultimately placing seven of the top ten boats in the overall results.

Here are some coach notes from North expert Tom Sitzmann:

Know your own boat

As much as we’d love to think that our hulls, spars, foils, sails, and individual tuning measurements are exact, the reality is that each boat, and all gear associated with it, is unique. With a tuning partner, experienced coach, or both, make sure you get out on the water before racing to check your rig settings and sail trim – no two boats are exactly alike! Use tuning guides as a starting point, experiment when able, but proof of concept is only validated on the water.

Spinnaker trim on the reach legs

There are LOTS of gains to be made on the “outer” reach and in the final sprint to the finish. Again, it is critical to know the design philosophy of your spinnaker and trim accordingly. Pole height, often set and forgotten about, can be a big difference-maker for an i420 on the wire reach. Experiment and improve!

Learn more about 420 sails.

Re-tuning for the lighter wind prediction on the final day.
Re-tuning for the lighter wind prediction on the final day.
Haul to the open-water sailing east of Key Biscayne
Haul to the open-water sailing east of Key Biscayne

Story Contributors

420 Midwinters: Coach Notes headshot
Tom Sitzmann

One Design Expert —

A lifelong sailor, Tom Sitzmann brings a broad range of sailing experience to North Sails. Along with extensive one design racing experience and success, Tom brings a professional background that includes sail loft ownership/management, and significant sail coaching experience. Also...