North Sails LOFT NEWS
GROWING UP RACING THE OPTI
Local Sailor Zoe Folsetter Shares Her Story
Zoe has been on the Canadian Optimist Team for the past two years. She and her dad, North Sails Sales Rep Doug Folsetter, sail out of the Royal Hamilton Yacht Club. We got the chance to talk Opti’s with Zoe to see what she’s been up to. Racing all over the world, here’s what she had to say about her experience and goals in her sailing career so far.
How long have you been sailing Opti’s?
My parents brought an older Optimist to the cottage for my sister and I when I was four but we really didn’t use it much. I really started racing when I was 10, so it’s been about four years now.
What’s your favourite thing about sailing?
I really like the freedom and independence that it offers.
“I love that sailing is something I can do on my own, away from land.”
Which North Sails Opti sails have you sailed with? Why do you like them? How do they assist your sailing?
I’ve had a few different North Sails Optimist sail models as it’s important to get the right sail for your weight and sailing style
My favourite is the new R5. It seems very powerful but points really well too which is great to have off the starting line.
“It’s a versatile sail that works in all conditions. Some sails are hard to trim well and are only fast when they’re trimmed perfectly. This sail is easy to trim well and is harder to stall. It seems to be fast all the time.”
What do you like best about racing Opti’s?
I like travelling to and sailing in new places. I have a lot of friends from all over too, which is really great.
“I like racing when it’s windy – that’s my favourite condition!”
Where’s your favourite place to sail?
My favourite place to sail is Kingston, Ontario. It’s almost always windy there and they have a lot of big regattas. The town is really cute and there is an awesome Gelato place downtown which is the best!
What’s been your favourite Opti regatta and why? Tell us about how it went and what the conditions were like.
My favourite regatta was the 2018 Optimist South American Championships which was in Montevideo, Uruguay.
“It was my first big international regatta away from North America and it was an amazing experience.”
The sailing before the regatta was challenging with big waves and lots of current although the regatta was mostly lighter air. The city and beaches were really pretty and the people were so friendly. It was amazing to represent my country and be part of a team. I didn’t know what to expect going in but my result was OK. I learned a lot and gained a lot of confidence which showed in my results last summer.
What is your long term goal with sailing?
I want to do as well in I can sailing. My next goal is to do well at the next Optimist South American Champions this April in Chile. After that I’d like to make the Ontario Team in Laser 4.7’s which I’ll be sailing this summer. Who knows after that but hopefully the Canadian Sailing Team and on from there.
“I also want to be a better sailor than my dad!”
Most recently, Zoe spent a day at the Toronto loft, as part of ‘Take Your Kid to Work Day‘, learning how our service departments works, how to repair spinnakers, and even made her own mini sail thanks to the help of North Sails expert Geoff Moore. Thanks for spending the day with us Zoe!