North Sails NEWS

Story Contributors: Burns Fallow


North Sails Onboard for Key Victories in Puerto Portals

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On July 21, nine super-charged TP52s, representing six countries descended upon the Bay of Palma for the third event of the SUPER SERIES season. 2022 marked the event’s seventh visit to Puerto Portals, Spain. And, amidst a heatwave, the wind forecast was anything but certain in a venue already known for its varying conditions. 

North Sails powered the top three boats at the 52 SUPER SERIES Sailing Week in Puerto Portals. The Plattner family’s Phoenix claimed a long overdue regatta win, with 2021 season champion Sled placing second and Provezza making big moves on the final day of racing to round out the podium. 

Phoenix’s Tactician Tom Slingsby commented on the team’s win.

“This feels amazing not just winning, but winning comfortably with this team. I have been saying for a long time that we are right on the edge and we have had a couple of podiums, thirds and fourths and just missed the regatta win. It feels great with such an amazing team we have here.”

Their win in Puerto Portals moves Phoenix to the top of the season scoreboard, a position they’ll fight hard to protect throughout the remaining two events.

As the sailmaker of choice to the majority of the fleet and a longtime sponsor of the SUPER SERIES, North Sails is committed to ensuring the teams we work with have the tools they need to win. Branded as the world’s leading monohull circuit, the SUPER SERIES is a test of teamwork, season-long perseverance, and for North Sails, continued product innovation.

All North-supplied teams competing in the SUPER SERIES use 3Di. First introduced in 2010, these molded composite sails are an indispensable building block of championship projects. 

The latest refinement North designers have deployed for the TP52 inventory is the Helix Structured Luff. Structured luff sails are not limited to North Sails, but the pairing of Helix with 3Di uniquely maximizes the benefit of load sharing.

Available for both offwind and upwind sails, Helix is a game changer that enables a new gear. Sail shapes are more dynamic and that means more power. Regatta winner Phoenix sailed with a complete Helix upwind inventory during the event in Puerto Portals, and second place Sled used a Helix jib.


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North sail designer Burns Fallow is the designer of record for Phoenix. As the lead sail designer for America’s Cup Defender Emirates Team New Zealand, Fallow has been at ground-zero of Helix’s rapid development. One of the world’s leading aero-experts, Fallows, explains his work with Phoenix and their use of Helix sails.

“I did my first Helix designs for the Phoenix team at the end of 2021. And while they did not card that sail, the team used it for practice and got a feel for Helix’s increased range. I collected great feedback from their trimmers, particularly Morgan Trubovich, which helped with future design iterations. The team quickly realized the potential benefits of the Helix path and fully committed to the concept for the 2022 season.”

Follows continues, “Throughout the offseason, I worked on building simulations of Phoenix’s sails in Membrain, a program within the North Design Suite. With Membrain, I refined the range of tack loads and depths we were targeting based on the shapes the team was familiar with in their current inventory. North Sails delivered a full inventory to the team in April. The real-world results calibrated very, very close to what I had been seeing on my computer screen with the Membrain models a few months earlier.”

The 52 Super Series will race again in Scarlino late September. The circuit then heads to Barcelona in October for the final event of the 2022 season and of the nine boats competing in the 2022 season, seven have chosen North as their sailmaker. This is a testament to North Sails’ industry-leading technology, tools and also to the North Sails team. In total, six sail designers support the Super Series program year-round.

Learn more about the 52 Super Series and follow along with the 2021 season on

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Story Contributors

#NSVictoryList – 52 Super Series Podium Sweep  headshot
Burns Fallow

Sail Designer — Auckland, New Zealand – Sail Loft

Burns joined North Sails in 1988 straight from the University of Auckland, where he was the first person to graduate from the Yacht Research Unit. For the next few years he learned sail design, interacting with many of the top...

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