North Sails NEWS
THE NEVER-ENDING QUEST TO DESIGN THE BEST SAILS
Sail Testing & Sea Trials Onboard ClubSwan 36 Sease
The ClubSwan 36, which made its debut in May 2019, is seeing significant signs of growth. Despite a delay in sailing in 2020, the North Sails team has spent the first half of this year working on optimizing sail design and rig configurations for this innovative, high-performance one design class.
The Loro Piana family recently launched their new ClubSwan 36, Sease, and a team of North experts, made up of sail designers Giovanni Cassinari and Michele Malandra, ClubSwan 36 class expert Stefano Orlandi and North one design specialist, and Sease mainsail trimmer Giulio Desiderato, were on hand in Portofino, Italy to put the boat through two days of sea trials. “Being part of this project to see it progress has been exciting,” explains Desiderato. “The Loro Pianas are one of the most passionate sailing families in Italy. Our sea trials with Sease brought different conditions, allowing us to record valuable results, and having the family host and join us on the water was the cherry on top.”
When it all started
North Sails began collaboration on the ClubSwan 36 when the class was still a concept. Using data-driven design to build the initial sail inventory, the North designers began the process of tweaking sail designs and fine-tuning sail shape to create the best experience for clients in the ClubSwan 36 class as soon as the first hulls hit the water.
“The ClubSwan 36 is an innovative one design that’s great for mixed class racing,” explains Desiderato. “The original sail design was a good starting point for us,” comments Desiderato. “Since the first boat was built and the first suit of sails were made, our North Sails team has focused entirely on evolving the sail inventory for maximum performance. “The ClubSwan project and collaboration between Nautor Swan and North Sails have come a long way. For us, this relationship has made it possible to provide the best products for the class and all competitors.”
A Winter of design work
As the 2019 season came to a close, lead class sail designer Cassinari, along with Malandra, went back into the design office with a baseline of understanding from the first season of sailing. The team loaded their data into the North Design Suite, and specifically the Membrain program to run the ClubSwan 36 simulations and refine the sail design.
By the (now-delayed) start of season two, North Sails had a sail inventory that included a main with a larger sail plan and a new lineup of downwind kites. As explained by Malandra, “using North Design Suite to test the entire sail package, including variables from sail testing, and the flying shapes, the simulations have shown validity, and our team is delighted with this result.”
Feedback from the water
From the design office to onboard, did the inventory updates deliver? “The new 3Di RAW sails are different from the first rendition, and the design has come a long way for the better over the last year, explains Desiderato who was onboard as main trimmer during sea trials. “With this new sail design and configuration, we are now ready to get on the water and procure the race results we’ve been striving for.”
With a bit less sailing time than originally planned, all eyes are on the Swan Cup, which will host the growing fleet in Porto Cervo in September. If all goes as planned, this event will be the first official ClubSwan 36 event of 2020, and the North Sails ClubSwan 36 experts and sail designers are excited to see all their hard work put to the test for what could be the biggest event of the year for the class.
“It’s important for us to keep working and making improvements,” explains North class leader Orlandi. “Between myself, Giovanni, Michele, Giulio, this project is in good hands. We are excited to be on the starting line at the next Swan Cup, where we’ll be greeted by ten additional boats, which is very exciting!”