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Story Contributors: Derek Scott


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Paper Tiger New Zealand National Champion, North Expert Derek Scott 📸 Kim Clinch

After taking home the Paper Tiger National Championship title in 2019, North Sails New Zealand One Design expert Derek Scott has done it again in 2021. Racing with the S-5 sail, Derek’s boat setup is deliberately simple and easy to use, allowing him to have more time to look around and concentrate on making the boat go fast.

“The S-5 sail is the best all-round sail,’’ explains Derek. “It has enough power in the light for most sailors and it can be flattened off for when the wind gets up. It’s a step up from the S-4 and goes through the wind range better.’’

The Nationals were hosted by Charteris Bay Yacht Club; a fantastic sailing venue where Derek sailed as a junior until he was 17. Now living in Auckland, he is no longer local, but this time sailing as a junior allowed him to build up some local knowledge which he could apply to the Nationals.

“Once you’ve lived in Christchurch, you never forget about the north-westerly wind. It’s a dry, warm, gusty wind that comes over the Port Hills and most of the time is in excess of 30 knots. This is what we had on the first two days which resulted in no racing either day. Once you lose a day or two of a regatta, you have to change your mindset; you can’t afford any bad races and you have to be consistent’’, comments Derek.

“The S-5 sail is the best all-round sail. It has enough power in the light for most sailors and it can be flattened off for when the wind gets up.’’

The New Zealand Paper Tiger class organizes a traveling Grand Prix series consisting of a series of regattas throughout the season at different venues. Derek makes sure to get the most out of these regattas to maximize his practice time on the water, racing against the best sailors in the fleet, which “makes you a better sailor all-round’’ he comments. “Boat prep is also a big one for me. I make sure to turn up with everything ready to go; hull and foils sanded smooth, anything that is worn replaced so the risk of any gear failure is low, and just cutting out the little mistakes that could cost my bad races.’’

As the Paper Tiger Class Expert, Derek’s clients make up a lot of the fleet, and he loves having the opportunity to race against them. It also gives him the chance to help them improve and hear first-hand customer feedback about our sails.

He trains most weekends with Owen Jenkens and Mark Orams as members of the same yacht club. “Both Owen and Mark were greatly involved with developing the S-5 sail. If we are not sail testing, then we are working on boat setup or sail control adjustments. We also partake in some short sprint racing run by the club where we practice starts and mark roundings.”

Finally, we asked Derek what his key to winning in this fleet was. His answer? Consistency. “I think it is all about being consistent, especially in regattas that have been cut short due to wind conditions. If you can minimize the big scores (bad races), then you have more options at the end of the regatta and takes the pressure off.’’

Next up for Derek is a final regatta in the Paper Tiger before the season ends, and he is also jumping back into the Farr 3.7, a class he knows well from before his time in the Paper Tiger class, to compete in the New Zealand Nationals at the end of February. He is looking forward to more great racing!

Third at the National Championship, Hayden Percy 📸 Kim Clinch
Derek Scott 📸 Kim Clinch

Story Contributors

Class Expert Derek Scott Claims Paper Tiger National Title headshot
Derek Scott

One Design Expert, Sail Expert — Auckland, New Zealand – Sail Loft

For young sailors and competitors on the New Zealand dinghy circuit, one design manager Derek Scott is not only a familiar face; he is somebody to look up to. Growing up and starting his sailing in Christchurch, Derek represented New...

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