NORTH SAILS DIVIDES AND CONQUERS AT THE NATIONS TROPHY
Three Podium Sweeps, Two World Titles, and One European Champion
The 2019 edition of the Nations Trophy crowned World Champions in the ClubSwan 50 and Swan 45, and both were North Sails clients. It also established the European Champions in the ClubSwan 42 (won by another North client) and the ClubSwan 36. North client Andrea Masi on Ulika* and Leonardo Ferragamo’s Cuordileone won the overall Nations Trophy, as the two teams from the same country that together scored the lowest total points. Clients also swept podiums in the ClubSwan 42, 45, and 50. Congratulations to ClubSwan 42 winners on Lorenzo Mondo’s Far Star in third, Alberto Franchi’s Digital Bravo in second, and Andrea Rossi’s Mela in first, winning the European title. And to Swan 45 winners Tea Ekengren-Sauren’s Blue Nights in third, Lennard Van Oeveren’s Automotions in second, and Klaus Diederich’s Fever in first, winning the World title. In the ClubSwan 50, the podium spots went to Sonke Meier Sawatzki’s Niramo* in third, Ross Warburton’s Perhonen in second, and Dmitry Ryboloblev’s Skorpios in first, winning the World title. In the debut of the new ClubSwan 36, clients on Pier Luigi Loro Piana’s Sease took second, Aci’s Go Racing in third, and Haakon Lorentzen’s Mamao in fourth.
“Our clients put in a lot of time and effort, and it’s up to us to provide them with the best resources and make improvements where they are needed.»
Loft experts and the Certified Service team at North Sails pitched in to help clients, both on and off the water. The service team worked late into each night making sure clients were ready for the next day of racing. North sales experts helped post great results on the race course. North Sails Sustainability Officer Fiona Bruce helped hand out prizes at the awards ceremony.
Boat speed is what wins races, so leading up to the event North Designer Juan Meseguer helped his team on the winning ClubSwan 50, Skorpios evaluate every area of the boat. “We worked to improve settings and evaluate our sail inventory, and that helped us pinpoint what we could improve.”
Rigging and sails are equal in the ClubSwan 50 fleet, so Juan knew small improvements would mean a lot. “One thing our team does exceptionally well is sail selection for each leg of the race,” he points out. “We acquired two new headsails, which helped our upwind game. What stood out in a big way was the combination of the right equipment and an outstanding crew. It was great to finish the season with the win at the Worlds.”
Onboard Fever, the class-winning Swan 45, expert Andrea Casale agrees that accurate sail selection before the start was a point of pride for the team. “On average, we race with our rig a bit softer, which provides a nice groove.»
Another focus was the aggressive adjustments of their mast butt. “We have two settings, one for more than nine knots and one for less than nine knots. That was helpful to maintain the perfect luff curve with our 3Di RAW mainsail.”
Fever’s boat speed helped the team’s confidence going into the last race, when only one point separated three boats at the top of the fleet. Owner Klaus Diederich told his team they had nothing to lose, reminding them that they had already won two races and could do it again. When Fever won the final race of the regatta too, it handed Andrea’s team the victory.
“This regatta is the cherry on top to all the hard work each team has put in over the season,” Andrea says. “Our clients put in a lot of time and effort, and it’s up to us to provide them with the best resources and make improvements where they are needed.»
2019 Nations Trophy winning team member Daniele Cassinari sailed on the ClubSwan 50 Cuordileone and says preparation was the key to their success. “We started testing out new tuning settings early in the season and kept the same crew as last year, so we could focus on tuning and boat handling.”
In a class that only allows a few sail cards per year, Daniele points to the value of 3Di’s durability. “We used the same set of sails for the entire season, and we won. Then we made a new set of sails– just for the Nations Trophy, which was another win! North Sails 3Di has proven to be the fastest sails on the water. Not just in the Swan Club 50, but also in the 45 and 42.”
Onboard the winning Swan 42 Mela, Giovanni Cassinari says their team has been working hard on boat speed and strategy since they won last year’s Nations Cup. “Our crew works very well together, which gave us the one-up on our competition. We added a new light and medium headsail and a new A2 spinnaker for this event, and it made the difference.
“Andrea Rossi, our owner, and his brother and part-owner Mario (who ran the pit), have put together a mixed crew with friends and family. That created a positive atmosphere that allowed us to replicate our 2018 victory. This year the racing was harder, so it was an honor to come back and win this event again.”
«North Sails 3Di has proven to be the fastest sails on the water. Not just in the Swan Club 50, but also in the 45 and 42.»
Regattas like the Nations Cup help push North experts to develop the best products for clients, concludes Giovanni. “The only way to test new ideas and concepts is to see them live–on the race track.”