North Sails LOFT NEWS

Story Contributors: Alex Curtiss, Brian Janney, Patrick Murray


Tips For The Islands And The Cabo Race

📸 Sharon Green / Ultimate Sailing

Our North Sails experts from San Diego and Long Beach featuring Brian Janney, Patrick Murray and Alex Curtiss got together to discuss the Islands Race and Cabo Race. This first webinar is all about the race courses, what sails are typically used, and how offshore performance preparation can help you get ahead and stay ahead of your competition. Here are the top tips from the webinar as a quick read to have on hand. 

Get Into A Downwind Mode Early 

When it comes to the Islands Race, the team recommends getting into a downwind mode early on in the race since it’s more running than reaching. Add in the amount of current in the channel and it makes it even more important. Patrick and Brian also recommend knowing whether you have a southerly component or westerly component early on for the first leg on the race. 

Know Your Weather Forecast and What’s Going On

Patrick Murray, Cabo Race veteran, advises on the importance of knowing your weather forecast and what’s going on because you’re going to have to work really hard to get offshore + off the southern California coastline. 

Dew On Deck 

The middle portion of the Cabo Race from Ensenada to Mag Bay is where you’ll be reaching and want to start thinking about running. Again, the offshore vs. onshore component plays a big role here. Brian Janney explains the old tried and true notion of dew on the deck, which tells you if the wind will shift from offshore to onshore. If it’s a wet deck then it will be onshore so keep westerly whereas if it’s dry then its going to shift to an offshore breeze. 

Know How To Use Your Full Inventory 

No one predicts they’ll need to use storm jib or trysail however on the offshore that you do, it’s important to know how to use them. Patrick Murray stresses the importance of really needing to know how to use them in case it ever happens because if you do ever have to use them, chances are you won’t be able to communicate with each other on deck due to the noise. Therefore review with your crew and practice. 

When it comes to being prepared onboard, Patrick Murray recommends having an offshore tool kit ready, complete with cuban fibre material and locktite, to repair sails if needed. Brian Janney and Alex Curtiss both recommend using a departure checklist to ensure you’ve remembered everything from safety equipment to sail usage chart. Having the right tools onboard ensures you’re prepared for any situation that you might encounter.

Further questions about how to best prepare for the Islands or Cabo race? Connect with our team of experts today. Need a sail to fill the gap in your inventory? We can help with that too. Give your San Diego or Long Beach loft a call to talk sails or arrange a 10 point inspection and rig check before you leave. 


Watch the Webinar

Story Contributors

West Coast Offshore Webinar Takeaways: Part I headshot
Alex Curtiss

One Design Expert — Long Beach, California San Diego, California

A self-described “one design guy,” Alex Curtiss grew up in Chicago sailing Optis, 420s, and Lasers, as well as other one design and PHRF boats. In 2016, he graduated from St. Mary’s with an economics degree and two All-American awards,...

West Coast Offshore Webinar Takeaways: Part I headshot
Brian Janney

Sail Expert — San Diego, California San Francisco, California

Brian holds multiple National and North American titles in the Melges 24, Melges 32, 1D35, Snipe and Capri 14.2 classes. Other titles include: US Sailing Championship of Champions Farr 40 World Championships (Corinthian) Two time member of Congressional Cup winning team World Match...

West Coast Offshore Webinar Takeaways: Part I headshot
Patrick Murray

Sail Expert —

San Diego, California Patrick Murray started his sailing career in the Great Lakes, a native of Chicago, Illinois. He graduated from Western Michigan University with a degree in Physics. He relocated to San Diego and joined the North Sails team...

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