North Sails LOFT NEWS
Story Contributors: Bob Meagher
EVENT SPOTLIGHT: CATGURU RENDEZVOUS
Weekend of Fun and Learning with North Sails Expert Bob Meagher
After a two-year COVID hiatus, Stephen and Estelle Cockcroft of Catamaran Guru reinvigorated their Abacos catamaran Rendezvous and attracted 27 catamarans to rally to and through the northeastern Bahamas last month. Naturally, North Sails jumped in with North Sails multihull expert Bob Meagher arriving on a Monday evening when the party was just winding down. Tuesday morning featured a short distance race with a 10:00 start off of White Sound, with the fleet of 25 cats flying a variety of sails to catch the southwest breeze.
Boats flew sails in the widest range of configurations, with winged genoas and mains, gull-winged genoas and screechers, asymmetrical spinnakers sheeted to either side off either bow, with mainsails doused, reefed, or full depending on how each crew thought they’d serve best. Meagher chased them all, offering trim tips to each competitor, guiding them through experimenting with different setups, commenting “rallies like this are about learning: by doing it and seeing what works, by watching others, and from outside advice.”
A dying breeze gave the race committee time to restock with ice before shortening the course to enable an on-time happy hour at Grabbers on Guana Cay.
Continued light breezes forced a leisurely motor sail the next day to Green Turtle Cay, home of the Bluff House, as the evening’s host. But first, there was more learning to be had! Half the fleet gathered aboard Zuri, the Cockcroft’s own Bali 5.4, where Meagher led a hands-on class in setting, sailing, and dousing asymmetrical spinnakers. Almost two dozen people participated. “Our goal with this annual rendezvous is two-fold. We lead our group on our own cruising catamaran to the islands to help them gain confidence and to show our boat owners a good time. But more importantly, we invite our industry colleagues like Bob, to help educate the boat owners on how to operate certain components of their boats and therefore better enjoy their boats. Bob did not disappoint and we are very grateful to North Sails and Bob for generously donating his time and expertise.“
The fleet capped off the week with the awards party ashore at Bluff House. Rick Walker’s Voyage 430 Endangered Species claimed first prize in the previous day’s races (using a rare thing on a cat – a spinnaker pole!), and other prizes were awarded for more… creative competitions when the sun went down.
All-in-all, the Catamaran Guru Rendezvous highlighted the best about sailing: fun with friends, and learning to improve. North Sails was happy to help with both.