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Bakewell-White Yacht Design

Junior sailors the key to Optimist sail development

by Brendan Maxwell on 26 Jul 2011
North Sails Australia working with young Sydney Opti sailors North Sails Australia http://www.northsails.com.au
Over the past three months North Sails one design dinghy expert Dave O’Connor and three of Australia’s top junior Optimist sailors from Sydney including Shaun Conner, Jim Colley and Chris Phillips, have been working hard and testing some of the latest Optimist sail designs from North Sails.

The sailors were proven to be one of the key elements throughout the testing with their contribution and information on feel, trim and helm, building the core part of the detailed analysis of each sail. The level of knowledge and understanding shown by the sailors was remarkable to see and their level of interest and desire to achieve maximum performance out of their boat was relentless.

The models tested included North Sails two North American cross cut design the D – Zero 6 and C – Zero 5 and Japanese Radial models the P4 and P5.

The testing was conducted in a range of different conditions from flat water , to bumpy conditions, heavy air to light air, where the sailors were able to identify the strengths and weaknesses and what crew weight suited each sail. Draft stripes were applied to each sail for photo and video analysis and the Sail Scan software showed the sailors how each sail was working when sailing.


This information was collected and used to produce a detailed report and tunning guide which was shared with the group and the North Sails Optimist class leaders around the world to build on the Optimist sail development program.

This opportunity for Australia’s junior sailors to be involved with a detailed sail testing and development program was a great way to learn the key elements of sail and rig set up and how to maximise the performance of your boat

All this information is available to all junior sailors and to get involved or find out more about North Sails latest Optimist designs, tunning guides or any questions you have about optimist sailing contact Dave O’Connor email: Dave(at)au.northsails.com ph: 02 9998 8500 www.northsails.com.au

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