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North Sails overview of One Design racing in Australia

by David O'Connor on 30 Jan 2012
North Sails Australia http://www.northsails.com.au
North Sails Australia reports on One Design racing:

It’s been a very busy time for One Design racing in Australia over the past couple of weeks and there is plenty more to come. Let’s start with the Etchells:


We’ve just had the Victorian Etchells States where Noel Drennan from North Sails Melbourne once again took out the title. Mark Tonner displayed good boat speed and raced well with smart boat position to place second overall and John Bertram as always, showed good consistency throughout the regatta finishing fourth overall. These three teams had a full North Sails Inventory consisting of the latest models for 2012.

The team at North Sails continue to work on developments in tuning and set up through extensive testing in preparation for the Australian Nationals and Worlds in February. The team will be out in force at both regattas servicing and racing in the fleet with North Sails sponsoring both events with plenty of great prizes to be won.

If you have any set up, tuning questions or queries throughout the regatta feel free to come up to any of the North Sails Team including Michael Coxon, Noel Drennan, Vince Brun, Mark Bradford, Billy Sykes, Richard Allanson, Dave O’Connor and Vaughan Pretence to have any Etchells questions answered. Contact: Michael(@)au.northsails.com or Noel(@)au.northsails.com

Turning to our future sailors, North Sails reports from the AUS Optimist Nationals: From the ninth to 20th of January 2012, Australia’s future champions of sailing had a very busy two weeks of sailing at the Australia Optimist Nationals conducted at RQYS.

Prior to the official start of the regatta, RQYS conducted a two day training camp lead by some of New Zealand’s top Optimist coaches along with Dave O’Connor from North Sails Australia. This was an excellent opportunity for optimist sailors to prepare themselves for the championship and to focus especially on getting into the ‘right mind set’. With a considerable amount of practice racing on the water and off water discussions on the key aspects of putting a race together, the participants showed improvement in their overall ability.

As the regatta commenced, Moreton Bay provided the fleet with plenty of breeze. The Race Committee was only able to start one race due to the steep, sharp chop. Jim Colley took out heat one in his fleet using his North’s D Zero 6. He powered away on the downwind legs to finish with an impressive lead. The key to maximising performance downwind in those choppy conditions was to effectively use sail trim, body weight and steering to catch and stay on the waves for as long as possible.

On the second day’s racing, after a day off due to bad weather, it was Kyle O’Connell’s time to shine.

He managed to stay in phase with how the SE sea breeze was shifting and his set up was perfect thus making him the quickest Opti on the water. A key element of this impressive effort was the correct set up and control of his North Sails D Zero 6 main was to get the correct sprit tension and horizontal creases across the sail. This allows the leech of the sail to play an active part and achieve automatic gust response thus making the boat easier to trim and steer. In turn, this facilitates keeping a more consistent angle of heel especially in the choppy conditions.

Kyle finished the day leading the regatta with the following results. 1, 1, 1, 3, (14)

The third and fourth day of racing saw the Championship up for grabs with consistent ‘top 3’ results the key to success.

Jack Graves who had sailed very well all regatta laid down four wins out of the five races putting him in a comfortable lead and on the final day of racing he kept his cool and took out the regatta comfortably. Congratulations Jack!

In addition Eva Lorenz and Sarah Kirke showed us that they are justifiably at the top end of the fleet with quite a few ‘top ten’ results and a race win in heat 4.These female skippers will be the ones to watch in the near future!

Next on the Opti program is the Victorian States from 10th – 12th March which North Sails will be sponsoring. Dave O’Connor will be attending to provide both on and off the water support again for all skippers with North Sails.

To conclude, the North Sails Team would like to congratulate all regatta participants and especially Kyle O’Connell, Jack Graves , Jim Colley , Kye Evans and Allaister Young who have made the Australian Team to represent at the 2012 Optimist Worlds in the Dominican Republic.

If you have any questions on our latest Optimist designs or would like our Optimist Set Up and Quick Tuning Guide please contact dave(@)au.northsails.com or call on 0421 540 002.


The Melges 24s are about to contest their Nationals in Geelong this Australia Day weekend: Current National champion, Warwick Rooklyn, is looking to take the title for the second time in his Bandit team and is well equipped with the new J0 jib which has a slightly deeper entry to handle the choppy conditions with increased power.

Kevin Nixon and his family onboard Accru will be close on their heels. The team has performed well all year and also carries a full North Sails inventory of the latest designs.

These teams have followed the North Sails Melges 24 tuning guide which the Uka Uka Team world champions and the North Sails global one design team have developed sinve the class was established.

The Melges 24’s are growing strong in Australia with over 13 boats competing at this year’s nationals and plenty of other events planned for this year such as the Young Guns Regatta, This action packed class is full of fun fast racing.

David O’Connor and Alby Pratt will be in Geelong and available to service any repairs or tuning questions throughout the regatta. Contact: Alby(@)au.northsails.com ph: 0407 499 548


The Sydney 38 Nationals: This highly competitive class is set to race out of the RPAYC this weekend and all eyes will be on Mark Griffith sailing his boat Old School. After his win at the State Championships with a full inventory of new North Sails 3DL Sydney 38 designs, the boat is well prepared for the regatta and boat positioning is bound to be no problem with Steve Mcconaghy onboard as tactician.

Bruce Foye will have Richard Allanson from North Sails onboard for the regatta and has also been equipped with a new 3Di medium class development headsail.

Billy Sykes will be the main trimmer on board Bruce Fergerson’s Whisper and available to service the fleet with any Sydney 38 set up questions or repairs needed through out the regatta. Contact: Billy(@)au.northsails.com ph: 0402318779

Good racing to all competitors!

North Sails Australia website

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