North Sails NEWS

Story Contributors: Jackson Benvenutti


Vipers And VXOnes Get The Winter Party Started

Jackson Benvenutti, winner in the Viper 640 class. 📸SJTStudios


With thunderstorms looming offshore for the setup day, Vipers and VXOne teams focused on getting their boats set up and tuned. North experts Jackson Benvenutti and Austin Powers moved from boat to boat, helping all the teams dial in their base rig settings. The day ashore was actually quite valuable, because setup takes time. A reminder to be patient, don’t rush establishing your base setting!


Teams were rewarded for their patience with champagne conditions on the first race day. A warm 10-15 knot breeze delivered four awesome races. After racing, debriefs were run for both the Viper and the VX fleets.

Two Lessons From Saturday:

  • Teams that were aggressive in tightening the headstay (by increasing shroud tension and adding blocks) found their boats more manageable in the puffy conditions.
  • Vang usage/tension shows whether your rig is right. If you are maxed out on the vang more than ¾ of the time, tighten the rig. If you are not using any vang, loosen the rig to power up the sail plan.


Hayden Bennett, 2nd place VX One class 📸SJTStudios


Sunday delivered lighter breezes, from 5-10 knots (and sometimes less than 5 knots later in the day). The Race Committee managed to squeeze in another 4 races, Jackson Benvenutti, Jesse Fielding, and Nick Ward took the Viper win. “Jackson set us up for fast with the latest inventory from North Sails,” Jesse said. “It was my first time in the Viper, a fun boat. I can’t wait for the next race, because Sarasota always delivers!”
Nick signed on only two days before the regatta, after the original third crew member had to back out, since he was already in Sarasota for a family event. As a past Viper owner, he was psyched to be part of what turned out to be the winning team!

North boats also took 3 of the top 5 spots in the VXOne, along with a partial inventory for winner (and new class president) John Potter.

Two Lessons from Sunday:

  • Pressure was king, and there were big holes in the middle of the course. Teams coming from the edges had success.
  • Maintaining a high average speed downwind was crucial. There was a big penalty for teams that soaked too low, because it took so long to get back up to speed.


Travis Yates & Mike Meighan, 2nd place in the Viper 640 class 📸SJTStudios

Shoreside Local Knowledge

Some popular hangout spots after sailing were the Daiquiri Deck and the local Irish bar. We look forward to seeing everyone there during the next event in January!

North Scoreboard:

Viper 640: 1,2,3,4,5,6,8,9,10 – Congrats Jackson Benvenutti
VXOne: 2, 3, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10

Kelly Ann Cole (Driver), Sarah Wilkinson and Katy Hannan 📸SJTStudios



Story Contributors

Sarasota Winter Series #1: 4 Lessons headshot
Jackson Benvenutti

One Design Expert — Annapolis, Maryland

Jackson actively races in the J/70, Viper, Flying Scot, J/22, Melges 24, amongst many One Design classes. In 2018 Jackson won the J/22 World Championship with team Uncle Fluffy, and in 2019 he won the Viper Worlds and North American...

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