North Sails LOFT NEWS


A New Tradition

In its inaugural debut, Race to Kingston challenged racers’ determination and patience skills thanks to less than stellar winds, lots of sun and pockets of no breeze. That said, racers had fun, which was the main goal for this new race. 

Afterburn took line honours, finishing on Sunday evening just before 5pm, followed by Sea Yea and Sabotage. KYC members eagerly greeted boats and welcomed them to sunny Kingston after their 145 NM journey. The next group of boats started arriving late Sunday night and into Monday morning, with Ovation wrapping things up around 8am. 

With such light conditions, code zero’s were a favourite choice among many boats. The Sabotage crew, consisting of North Sails designer Phil Williamson and North Sails experts Doug Folsetter and Daniel Sheedy, say their two key sails were their Helix Code Zero and A1. Phil Williamson shares, “We sailed to the optimal angle of our sails. Keeping the boat moving as fast as possible was our primary goal even if it meant sailing away from our target course by 15 degrees. We had two workhorse sails. The first being our Helix Code Zero and the second being our A1. We used these sails for 95% of the race.” 

Let’s not forget, the crew saw 1 knot of wind as they crossed the finish line and could not be happier to see land; especially after numerous sail changes. Owner and North Sails expert Doug Folsetter details, “While the course seemed straight forward, there were plenty of challenges, not the least of which were the light air and navigating shoals and various obstructions in the harbour. Keeping the boat moving down the course was key.  We made 17 sail changes in an effort to do so. If you missed out on attending, put the race on your calendar for next year. I hear they’re promising more wind and plenty of good times once you arrive!” 

North Sails expert Hugh Beaton onboard Afterburn shares, “Creating and maintaining apparent wind was critical to obtaining any significant boatspeed. Our Helix Code 75 would allow us to sail at 8 knots in 6-7 knots of wind with the apparent wind angle at 45-50. No other sail combination came close to offering the same sustained speeds and ease of staying at full speed. Of course we stopped a few times and waited until the SW breeze filled in around 3:00 am.   Great effort by the two host clubs and we are looking forward to doing it again next year”

 Sea Ya took first overall for the entire race and first in their division on corrected time. Isley, a Saffier 37, double handed the race taking third in FS DH with North Sails expert Mike Wolfs alongside Stuart Bruce. Finishing just before them in second was the father and son duo aboard Rum Kist, well done Max! With his new 3Di raw sails, Peter Rowe of Restless, had another tremendous showing, taking first in his division of NFS CD. 

It was wonderful to see so many racers out supporting a new distance race and having fun in downtown Kingston. A special thanks to Mimico Cruising Club and Kingston Yacht Club for hosting the inaugural race; as well as all the volunteers who helped. We hope to see everyone out on the line again next year! 

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