North Sails LOFT NEWS

North Sails would like to welcome Ian “Biggles” Johnson to our team. David Clark, the Vice President of the Australian Etchells has to say about the man best known as ‘Biggles’.

“He is highly regarded as both a sailor and a person. It is probably because he is so much fun to sail with, for he throws humour in the face of adversity. He is a classic.”

I have sailed with some real pros and Biggles makes a clever and very subtle shift between being on and off. When he’s on, he’s totally into it, and a really competitive sportsman. It is really good, because when you have a long day on the water, he makes it so much more pleasurable, and his demeanour does not change whether you’re at the pointy end or back of the fleet.”

He’s just straight up, and calls it the way it is. I think he’s taken a lot away from his time sailing with John Bertrand, AO. You always use the phrase, ‘A Good Man’, when referring to Biggles”, said Clark.
“ Biggles said he thought he knew a lot about sails until I sailed with John Bertrand for two years. His attention to detail and understanding is incredible. In addition to building rapport instantly with Biggles, you also get to understand the depth of his own skill base.

For instance, he has attended 15 Etchells World Championships, and is looking to make it 16 next year at Brisbane. Of the many top ten placings in that time, Biggles is clear that the thing he learned the most is how not to do it.

There are also 19 Sydney Hobart races on his impressive CV, with a Line Honours win followed up the very next year by stepping into a life raft. There are also two Fastnet races in there, lots of National and State titles in many things, time in the lovely Stars, as well as J24s and others.
Now we mentioned the great man JB a bit earlier, and after now learning more , it is only apt to refer backwards a little. John Bertrand AO considers things for a moment, asking himself,

“How best to describe Ian Biggles Johnson?” Then JB sums it up quickly and succinctly with, “Pure enthusiasm. Biggles sails and races for the joy of the sport. The man exudes a natural feel when it comes to wind, water and team building. Just a terrific bloke.”

Ian will be based out of the Melbourne loft with Aarron Cole and is excited to be working with North Sails. “It was a childhood dream to be involved with the world’s best sail makers and brand.
Biggles will be back in the Etchells this coming season, Some club racing at Sandringham, Brighton and down on the Mornington Peninsula. It could be Saturday to Wednesday Wonders. “I am happy to be out there helping, and love it”.

  • #GoBeyond