North Sails LOFT NEWS

March 11, 2019


Kim Piller’s Secret Weapon On The Race Course


Are you a racer or cruiser?

90% of my sailing is on the race course. The other 10% is with my wife entertaining family and friends sailing around Port Credit.  That’s the great advantage of a J/109, J Boats design group did a great job combining the amenities and comfort for family cursing with a very competitive racing design. My race schedule is pretty full as with most boaters in the great lakes. At most, we only get four months to sail, we need to make the most of it. The majority of my racing schedule is planned around single-handed races. Luckily there are several options in Lake Ontario for anyone up to the solo challenge. LOOR (Lake Ontario Offshore Racing) is the racing entity run out of Port Credit Yacht Club (by a great group of volunteers) that manager all the single-handed races I participate in. These include the Susan Hood, The LOSHRS’s (Lake Ontario Short Handed Racing Series) and the Lake Ontario 300 Challenge.

Last season I did do some crewed races in the LORC (Lake Ontario Racing Council) series. My first challenge was to find crew, next was for me to get comfortable with having others on the boat with me while racing. After I realized that I didn’t need to drop the asym by myself I started to get comfortable with the extra bodies. We ended up doing pretty good in the series coming in 2nd. Kudo’s to everyone that crewed for me.

How has 3Di helped your performance?

Hands down -my 3Di sail from North is my secret weapon. Sailing a J-109 single-handed can have its challenges. Sailing up wind is one of the challenges. Keep in mind that fully crewed I’d have six to seven crew. Fully crewed with a good upwind breeze I can have bodies sitting on the rail. When I’m by myself, theirs no one on the rail. This is where the 3Di comes in. I met with Mike Wolfs from North to find out the best sail combination for going upwind in a good breeze, single handed. Mike came back and suggested a 110% 3Di headsail.


What difference did you notice in your old sails vs. 3Di?

When I first got the 3Di 110% delivered I was wowed. Hey, black sails have that stealth look to them. Maybe that’s a competitive advantage? Normally in a good upwind breeze I would opt to furl my old number one. This was never a great option. As soon as you furl the sail all the natural shape built into the sail is gone. The biggest difference with the 3Di was having the right sail up in the right conditions. Specific to the 3Di, the sail was designed perfectly right out of the bag, there were no adjustments to make.  It is a furling sail with soft furling battens. The furling makes it super easy for me when setting and dropping the asym. The 3Di is my go-to sail. At 110% it’s perfect for me going upwind in breezes starting around 13 knots. The boat sails flatter and tracks to weather with ease. Helming is easier with the 3Di 110% as I can find that optimal balance and trim in a good breeze. There is no fighting with the helm. Overall the boat just drives better to weather with a lot of power. It feels great.

Walk us through the process you took in making the decision to buy 3Di.

Making the decision to purchase the 3Di took a few weeks. First, I knew that I needed to do something, I was not competitive upwind in stronger breezes. It was great to have the resources of the North staff to speak with. I had several discussions with Mike to gleam any tips, and to understand the features of the different sail types. Mike in turn spoke with North Sails Toronto’s Hugh Beaton to get his suggestions. At the end of the day Mike gave me three different options which I appreciated. Basically, three different material & price options. I choose the 3Di based on the new technology, certainly price comes in as a factor but I felt if I was paying any money for a new sail, I wanted to get the best and newest technology. I also feel that the 3Di will stand up and give me additional years of use compared to other materials.

At the end of the day, Live Wire had a pretty good sailing season. I can’t say that the new 3Di was responsible for all the results, but I do know that some podium positions would not have happened without the 3Di.

Final comments are to thank the staff at North Sails in Toronto. They are extremely supportive to me and the sailing community locally and around the globe. If you’ve never stopped by the loft please do, they are very friendly and welcoming.


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