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North Sails Powered Nico Poons And His Team To Their First World Title

📸 Pedro Martinez / Martinez Studio

The 44 CUP is considered one of the most competitive owner-driver circuits racing today. For owners, crews, and their sailmakers, winning a world championship is the result of a season-long, often times years-long effort. 

Within this fleet, races are usually decided in the final meters of the race, but that wasn’t the case at the Worlds, where Monaco-based Dutchman Nico Poons’ Charisma dominated the pinnacle event of the season for the high-performance one designs. This was the third consecutive 44Cup event that Charisma has won this season and the first World Championship win for the team.

 “In the light weather, I didn’t expect to do that well,” commented Poons. “But in the end, it was all good! It was quite tiring, especially because of the light wind. I am not so much of a light wind specialist, so I had to focus on that, but we succeeded.”

North Sails designer Robert “Hooky” Hook and North Expert Matt Kelway joined the fleet in Portorož for the Worlds. Their mission? Support the North-powered programs in their quest to win the Worlds, and observe the fleet to collect valuable feedback for the North design team. 


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From the Designer’s Desk:

The Worlds was a light wind regatta, with each race run in 6-8 knots. These conditions were difficult for the teams. And challenging for us from the support boat to determine clear-cut performance differences. A priority was placed on lane sailing and keeping tacks to a minimum. Generally, the first boat to the mark did one two to three tacks up the beat.

Observing from the coach boat, Charisma made the right decisions when it counted, especially towards the end of the regatta, where their boat speed proved to be the edge on the competition.

60% of the Worlds fleet was powered by North downwind sails, providing a good opportunity to observe and compare. Because of the wind conditions at this regatta, we saw the teams mostly using the G1s and A2s downwind. We’re confident that the North spinnakers have provided a clear speed advantage downwind, especially in both the A2 full and flat models, which consistently performed well.

The competition within the class is high, and the details seem more critical than ever. Dialing in your teamwork, boat handling, and fine tune adjustments is what nets performance gains within this fleet. I was surprised to see the sailors regard winning the overall season as necessary as the World title. It’s going to be all on at the final regatta in Oman.

The 2022 44Cup concludes in Muscat, Oman over 7-11 December. Follow the class on Instagram at @the44cup.

📸 Pedro Martinez / Martinez Studio
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