North Sails LOFT NEWS
NORTH SAILS GOSPORT WELCOMES RUARIDH WRIGHT
Another experienced Sailmaker & Sailor Joining the UK Sales Team
Ruaridh Wright’s passion for sailing began at age seven when he first raced with his dad on a Swan 44 in Largs, Scotland. He has since racked up a host of experiences from Sydney Harbour and San Francisco bay to his current home on the Solent. He is excited to join the North Sails Sales Team in Gosport, UK, to work with clients in the club race segment.
Brought up on the west coast of Scotland, Ruaridh raced on the Solent with many different teams since 2008. He raced on a 41-foot S&S classic yacht for 12 years before becoming hooked on the faster club race boats like the Corby 37 and First 40. He got involved in the IRC scene, partaking in races such as the Rolex Fastnet Race and RORC Commodore’s Cup which he won in 2018.
Ruaridh first joined the North Sails team in 2018, after graduating with a degree in Naval Architecture. He started as a Laser Plotter Operator and later moved onto the loft floor as a sailmaker, working in both Production and Service. In 2019, after a summer of professional sailing on TP52’s, Fast 40+’s, and a Z86, he moved to Sydney, Australia to work as a Service Sailmaker at the busy North Sails loft in Mona Vale. Whilst out there, he also raced some noteworthy events onboard the JV62 Chinese Whisper, including a fifth overall in the Sydney to Hobart and Port Lincoln Race Week.
“Working at the Sydney loft was hard work as the season of service builds up to the start of the Sydney to Hobart Race on the 26th of December,’’ says Ruaridh. “This hands-on sailmaking experience has allowed me to develop a full understanding of what happens to a sail when it comes into the loft, as well as giving me the skills to fix sails myself. I know much more about our sail materials now and can advise clients what product would best suit their needs.”
Ruaridh was selected as a grinder, trimmer, and driver for The Ocean Race Europe this summer, onboard the VO65 The Austrian Ocean Race Project, and went on to win the first leg. He also finished fifth overall in the Rolex Fastnet Race onboard Rob Bottomley’s Performance 40, Sailplane.
“The biggest takeaway from the Rolex Fastnet Race has to be the importance of having a harmonious crew, fast sails, and a fast setup,” Ruaridh explains. “Hard work and staying focused the whole time is vital. The amount of inshore sailing we had done in the Performance 40 fleet in the lead-up to the race helped our understanding of optimal rig and sail setup for every wind angle.”
The Sailplane team also won the 2021 UK Performance 40 season, with Ruaridh onboard as tactician. In his eight years of sailing these types of boats, he’s moved from bow and mast to trimming and tactics. On the Grand Prix scene, you will find him at the pedestal grinding.
“It is great to work for a company that makes you feel like you are at the front, leading with innovation.” Ruaridh remarks. “3Di Technology is the biggest development in sailmaking there probably has ever been.’’
When asked about hobbies outside of sailing, Ruaridh responds, “I didn’t realize there was anything outside of sailing!” Laughing, he adds: “I enjoy current affairs and reading, as well as bouldering and keeping fit at the gym.”