Would you like a North Sails Expert to call you? Just leave us your number and a short message we will direct the inquiry to the right person to help. We promise to call as quickly as possible, but at some times we may be out sailing. Looking for a quote? Please use the request a quote tab above.

Let's Talk
Sending

Find My Expert

Please search by name or location to find your local North Sails Expert.

Search
Generic filters
Filter by Custom Post Type

Find My Loft

Find your local loft below.

Search
Generic filters
Exact matches only
Filter by Custom Post Type

Are you looking for something you can’t find on our web site? Do you need product information or help with a sail? Just send us a message and we will respond promptly.

Request for Info
Sending

Are you ready to buy? Would like to learn more about products and prices? Please fill in the forms below and we will have your local North Sails Expert create a custom sail proposal for you.

Solicitar Presupuesto
Sending

In early 1986, a series of races were held off of Fremantle as a precursor to the 1987 America’s Cup. Dubbed the 12 Metre World Championship, a dozen syndicates competed in what they considered a “shakedown series” to test their boats against the competition. Some of the teams had new builds, their first development boats. Others hit the line with retrofit, or modified yachts. Many programs built three to four boats in the lead up to the 1987 Cup.

Strong winds led to an extreme regatta, leading to four masts, a dozen booms and numerous sails being destroyed, and a few crew members overboard! Australia III, the heavy-weather Ben Lexcen designed successor to Australia II won the series. The New Zealand challenge boat KZ 5, a fiberglass Bruce Farr design, came in second, with the New York Yacht Club entrant America II third.

Of the visible genoas on the starting line pictured below, woven polyester and aramid cloth is predominant, some cross cut and some tri-radial. In this photo we see three sails made by North including the genoa at center (I-6) and three others (see caption). At this time, North Sails lofts around the word were individually owned and operated, and each loft used their own version of sail design techniques and production processes. This is apparent in the variety of layouts and materials used.

What has not changed is the independent development on each team. The difference between each of the sail plans in this photo is clearly visible in the variety of shapes and patterns. While less obvious today, variety in performance-related decisions, detail, and the resulting product, is still a hallmark of the America’s Cup.

At the starting line in the 1986 12 Metre Worlds off Freemantle. Visible from left to right: North Sails, Hood Sails, North Sails, unknown, Sobstad Sails, North Sails, North Sails.
North Sails Heritage Banner