North Sails NEWS


Hooky Brings Decades Worth of Grand Prix Experience 

North Sails is excited to announce the addition of Robert “Hooky” Hook to our sail design team. Hooky, who started his career with North Sails and the America’s Cup in the 80s, brings a wealth of sail design experience and team-building leadership. Working closely with the North Sails design team worldwide, Hooky’s work is focused on Grand-Prix Inshore and Offshore sailing and supporting a handful of high-profile projects.

A self-described hands-on designer, Hooky has a strong track record of helping programs get to the top of the podium. From his early days as a sail designer with Australian America’s Cup syndicate Kookaburra III, Hooky committed himself to win the Auld Mug and achieved this goal in 2010 as part of the BMW Oracle Racing team. Additionally, Hooky has also been involved in three ‘Round the World’ races. His resume boasts back-to-back victories with Paul Cayard’s EF Language campaign, followed by John Kostecki’s Illbruck program. 

“The America’s Cup and similar event-style campaigns are unique training grounds because an entire team, from sail designers to accountants, and all players in between, are committed to building the fastest thing on the water,” explains Hooky. “It’s a high-pressure, fast-moving team environment that pushes everyone to work to the best of their ability. Beyond the competition, these events are also a master class in teamwork and managing people while keeping everyone focused on the end goal. And this is something I look forward to continuing as part of the North design team.”

“Adding Hooky to the team ensures North Sails can deliver the highest quality performance and best possible aerodynamic solutions,” explains JB Braun, North Sails Head of Design and Engineering. “The demand for talented and progressive sail designers continues to grow as boats get larger, foils become more common, and yacht designers get more aggressive in pushing the limits of what’s possible. Hooky will be instrumental in accelerating the development of our next generation of North sail designers. He knows what it takes to be a part of a successful team, and we’re excited he’s back in the game with North Sails.”

“Whether we’re working with an RC44 program or a 100’ ocean racing machine, every client has different goals, and they each require a unique approach,” comments Paul Westlake, North Sails Executive Vice President, and Grand Prix Sales Leader. “As an organization, North Sails is designed to provide the resources and products for end-users to achieve their goals. Our design team sits at ground zero of that pipeline, both in the office and on the water.”

Hooky is based in Queensland, Australia. In the coming months, he’ll assist big-name projects like Hamilton Island Wild Oats XI, and Blackjack as they gear up for the Rolex Sydney Hobart Race 2022. He’ll then turn his attention to the RC44 circuit, a class where he already has a strong connection. He will support both the design office and on the water during the 2023 season.

Hooky’s support of the RC44 class and the overall addition of such talent to the already strong design arsenal of North Sails cannot be overstated. Join us in welcoming Hooky to the North Sails team.

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