Stephen Ainsworth’s Reichel Pugh 63 'Loki' became the first boat to take back to back wins in both the Sydney to Gold Coast race and Hamilton Island Race Week. These two wins combined with a victory in the Audi Sydney Harbour Regatta in March and enabled the Loki team to record a narrow victory over Harvey Milnes 'Aroona' for the overall title of Australian IRC champion.
Andrea Francolini - www.afrancolini.com - North sails Hamilton Island story
After a disappointing Race Week last year the Loki team was out to make amends this year. Loki trimmer, North Sails Alby Pratt, worked with the team to identify several areas of the boats performance for improvement, and North Sails were commissioned to undertake a detailed study of the mainsail roach with the view to increasing the sail area and improve the boats performance in the light air.
Using North Sails proprietary Flow and Membrane software it was determined that a larger mainsail would result in a significant performance increase, with only a small increase in rating.
Once the final area and roach profile was decided another decision was made to build the sail using North Sails new 3Di technology. With the bigger roach and the ability of 3Di to produce a more stable sail than ever before resulted in Loki having great speed in all conditions.
On completion of Race Week, for North Sails it was a fantastic result, as the first 3Di sails into Australia performed above expectation, including powering Loki to the regatta win.
North Sails also powered the top six boats in Grand Prix IRC including the fast Kiwi Jim Farmer entry ‘Georgia’ in second place ahead of Bob Oatleys ‘Wild Oats X’ in third skippered by Iain Murray (with North Sails Julian Plante on Tactics).
Elsewhere in the fleet North Sails clients were also performing well with Peter Mosely’s ‘Local Hero’ taking out IRC passage Division two and also the elated winner of the Audi, edging out Harvey Milnes ‘Aroona’ who lead the Audi IRC Australian championship all year, only to miss out by the smallest margin after the final result was tallied up.
In IRC passage Division one, second place was Alejandro Perez Calz’s ‘Charisma’ all the way from Spain, ahead of Peter Horn’s ‘Canute’ in third. Finally in Performance Racing Division two, Matt Allen and Warwick Rooklyn finished in second place with their new Melges 24 ‘Bandit’.