North Sails LOFT NEWS


A Successful Year Despite Unusual Circumstances

Light air sail set-up session on Beneteau 31.7 ‘After you Too’ Dublin Bay in July.

Nigel Young: Cork

Here at North Sails Ireland, we wanted to celebrate our clients’ fantastic achievements in 2020. Despite this being the shortest Irish sailing season on record, our amazing clients still made the best of it whenever they could get on the water. We put together our traditional Victory List for 2020, thinking it might not add up to much and we were very pleasantly surprised; congratulations to all the winners powered by North Sails.

It was like letting off a champagne cork in July when suddenly all the racers were released from captivity! Sometimes you have to stop what you are doing and take stock to realize how much you enjoy something. I think that was the case for so many other sailors and me when we could finally get back sailing again—remembering why we love this sport so much and just enjoying the simple act of sailing.

The beauty of limited travel was that I was home to participate in lots of local races that I may have missed in the past. New experiences with new teams and sailing different types of boats made it all the more fun. We had lots of sail orders in the process when the pandemic hit, so once the restrictions were lifted, we were all swamped, checking out new sails and working with our clients out on the water. We are all looking forward to 2021 and a slightly different sailing season ahead, fingers crossed!

[Left]: ‘Lambay Rule’s winning HYC Wednesday flying her 3Di 780 Mainsail and Code 1 Jib. [Middle]: Aboard JPK 1080 ‘Rockabill VI’ winning DBSC Thursday race in August flying her 3DL 860 Mainsail and 3Di 780 Code 2 Jib. [Right]: DBSC Racing on Beneteau 40.7 ‘Tsunami’ © Onboard Images by Prof

Maurice O’Connell: Dublin

We all know that 2020 continues to be a strange one! What I loved about it was the sheer unbridled joy that our fantastic clients all over Ireland experienced once they got out racing again in July.

I was chomping at the bit! In that short two-month window, I fitted sails, raced with clients, and coached teams in the HYC Wed night series, the DBSC Thursday and Saturday series, the truncated RCYC Autumn League, and the epic Fastnet 450 race co-hosted by the National YC and Royal Cork YC. I also visited Bangor in Co. Down and several clubs in Strangford Lough to
deliver new sails and coaching sessions with our clients there.

Well done, and thanks to all our amazing customers for squeezing in these fantastic results in 2020.

Sail FAST, and here’s to lighting a BIG Christmas candle for 2021!

Shane Hughes: Wicklow

‘Well, 2020 will have to go down as the most bizarre sailing season in my (and I’m sure most of our) living memory. Looking back, it is hard to believe we got any sailing in at all, but we did! Actually, for the few months that restrictions allowed us out on the water, the appetite for competition and often just the option to be on the water enjoying fresh air and sailing generally left me with a very positive feeling about how 2021 will pan out. Far from a reluctance to get out there, the pervasive attitude was positive and proactive. I hope this spirit is carried forward into 2021.

Sailing wise, I got over to Howth for the midweek series running over there. DBSC, as always, was well supported, as was the ISORA series. One design racing for me was restricted to the J80 Nationals in Dun Laoghaire. As for minimal events, I managed to get some socially distanced Fast 40 sailing in the UK, including around the Isle of Wight race with just 6 of us onboard; that was busy! Near the end of the year, we managed to get one regatta sailed on the Club Swan 50, but all in all, the international regatta calendar was a washout this year.

In June, I also took ownership of the North Sails Ireland sail service operation from Richard Marshall. The support I have received so far from North Sails clients has been truly amazing, and I am very grateful for that. As a new start-up business in the current pandemic, I did not expect such a positive response, but we are fully up and running now and getting a great response so far.

We are looking forward to working with existing and new clients in 2021 and are standing by to help with all your sail care needs, so please get in touch and get prepped for a busy 2021. Fingers crossed!

Nieulargo takes the winning gun overall in the Fastnet 450
Chris Power Smith and his J122 team take line honours in the Fastnet 450
Denis & Annamarie Murphy overall winners Fastnet 450


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