North Sails NEWS

Story Contributors: Paul Abdullah


Congratulations Mark Gise & Craig Asher

Mark’s brand new set of North Sails, fast out of the box.

The 2021 Bottoms Up Regatta was held this past weekend at Jordan Lake in North Carolina near Raleigh/Chapel Hill. It was a one-day event and with the forecast calling for rain and cool temps, only a few decided to sail.

Ten of the total thirteen teams were powered by North Sails.  Mark Gise took the honors using his brand new set of Norths. We caught up with Mark to learn about his victory:

After not sailing for over a year, how did you feel getting back in the Thistle?

The last time I skippered the Thistle was at the Old Salty in October 2019. I sent the boat to Alex Varnegas at Beacon Composites to have it repainted and the bright work refinished. I was excited to get the boat put back together and see what she would do. I had never sailed with my crew, Craig Asher, so we weren’t doing a good job with our tacks and jibes. I had to pick myself up out of the bottom of the boat more than once after a tack. I blame it on the rain and old sailing boots. I have a few bruises to show for it.

You became a first-time North Sails customer recently. What was the deciding factor that made you switch to North Sails?

I’ve had an opportunity to sail with Paul Abdullah and others who use North sails, so I have known what they can do. Honestly, it was the people that made me decide to switch to North. Paul, Scott Griffin, Brad Russell, and others have helped me over the years even though I didn’t use the same brand of sails. Brad was willing to go out on a motorboat and give me some pointers while using a competitor’s sails. Paul and Scott have let me crew with them and take the helm at times to check out the sails. They have always been there to answer questions or discuss rigging.

You showed great speed out of the box with your new Fisher mainsail and DSD jib. How easy was finding speed and pointing for your first time using the sails?

I used the tuning guide and set up the rigging in my front yard. I usually sail light, so I set the diamonds on the looser side. The mast is raked at 27′ 0″ and the forestay is at 24.5 on the loose pro gauge. I have a little more prebend than what the tuning guide calls for but it didn’t seem to hurt my speed. Probably because we were light. The conditions were on the light side but we had good speed and pointed well. Being that it was light and raining, it wasn’t the best conditions to test the new sails but I was very pleased with our speed and pointing.

What regattas will you be attending in the near future?

I will be going to the Dixie Regatta and will have to take a look at the schedule to see what events are coming up prior to the Nationals.

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Story Contributors

North Thistle Designs Fast Out of the Box at Bottoms-Up Regatta headshot
Paul Abdullah

One Design Expert —

Paul is an accomplished sailor with multiple titles including the J/70 World Championship in 2014. Paul is also a specialist in the J/24, Thistle and Y-Flyer classes.