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North Sails Performance 2023 - LEADERBOARD

11th Hour Racing first US team to win The Ocean Race with North Sails' cutting-edge innovations

by North Sails 30 Jun 08:00 PDT
The Ocean Race 2022-23 Leg 6 Day 2 onboard 11th Hour Racing Team. Sunset drone view © The Ocean Race

11th Hour Racing was leading the overall race with one leg to go when, on 25 Jun, just 27 minutes after they set off from The Hague, a no-fault collision caused the team to retire from the final leg of the race. Following a redress hearing 29 June, the World Sailing International Jury awarded 11th Hour Racing Team 4 points of redress. This gave them 37 points and first place on the overall leaderboard - meaning that skipper Charlie Enright's team is the first US team to have won in the 50 years history of The Ocean Race.

Global leader in sailmaking and performance clothing, North Sails, is proud to have again been the Official Sail Supplier at the Ocean Race 2022-23. The Ocean Race is the ultimate test of sailing prowess, covering 32,000 nautical miles over six months and visiting nine ports around the world.

Fewer people have circumnavigated the earth by sail than have climbed to the summit of Mount Everest. Widely considered the most physically and mentally demanding competitive ocean-going event, The Ocean Race demands apparel and equipment that can withstand the most extreme conditions - upwards of 55,000 nautical miles and four equator crossings.

North Sails: designed for fast, engineered to last

North Sails' expertise in sailmaking has allowed for an unmatched level of performance, reliability, and durability to help teams navigate the most challenging conditions. The relationship between this storied race and North Sails goes back decades. Many within North Sails have sailed onboard various teams and have won the race, while numerous designers and sailmakers have supported the technical side of programs in their quest to finish first around the world.

Collaboration between North Sails and Ocean Race teams has resulted in breakthrough technologies, including North 3Di, which made its around the world debut in 2010 in response to skipper requests for reliable shape-holding, durability, and lightweight performance sails. In this edition of the Ocean race, four out of five of IMOCAs in the race opted to use North 3Di Helix sails, highlighting the brand's continued innovation and performance in the world of sailmaking.

3Di TechnologyTM - North 3Di sails not only lead the industry landscape in terms of high-performance, but also outstrip the competition in terms of reliability and longevity. The technology is ground-breaking because of three components; the use of spread-filament tapes; a sail shape set on a full-size 3D mold, and, most significantly, the elimination of Mylar film.

Helix Structured Luff SailsTM - Helix Structured Luff technology is a breakthrough sail design philosophy, using the sail structure to improve its aerodynamics and in many cases reduce the load on equipment. Exclusive to North Sails, Helix Headsails utilize 3Di composite structures in a new way to radically improve camber control, while Helix Code Sails reduce loads on any free-flying sail, creating improved aerodynamics while reducing the load on boats and masts.

Official Sail Supplier to the VO65 fleet and the preferred sailmaker to the majority of the IMOCA programs participating, North Sails' innovation in sailmaking elevates the race to unprecedented levels of excitement and competition.

North Sails Performance Clothing

For the first time at The Ocean Race, Nigel Musto, whose innovations have led the marine performance clothing industry for over 35 years and who has developed the entire foul weather line for North Sails, will also see an entire high-performing team outfitted in its Performance apparel. North Sails' technically-advanced foul weather gear range is designed, constructed and tested by industry experts using the best performing materials and highest quality components.

The Performance Clothing range delivers race-primed gear with unparalleled protection. It is the only performance gear on the market that features North Sails' pioneering 4DLTM and TightWeaveTM technology, plus a GORE-TEX® pro construction - a membrane offering 'superior durable' waterproofing and breathability.

4DLTM - four-layer durable laminated reinforcement patches present extremely robust reinforcement with no water absorption. The technology is 30 percent lighter than the norm when dry, with even more significant weight savings in wet conditions - reducing bulk and weight of the garments for streamlined performance.

TightWeaveTM - with thinner threads and tighter weaves, this fabric construction is designed to reduce water absorption and penetration whilst providing high-abrasion resistance, designed for an optimum mix of capabilities in the different race environments. In addition, it won't leach toxic chemicals into the environment.

North Sails' Champions of The Ocean Race

For decades, this race has proven the ultimate test, with North Sails meeting the challenge with superior products that allow teams to push their boats harder and faster each edition. On the North Sails leadership team, president Ken Read has competed in this race three times, and Ian Walker, Northern Europe Sales Manager, is also a multi-race veteran who won the race in 2015.

This year sees yet another boat powered by North Sails win the race. Skipper of winning team 11th Hour Racing, Charlie Enright says:

"I'm absolutely ecstatic, this race takes everything out of you - emotionally, mentally, and physically. I'm incredibly proud of our whole team who have worked tirelessly for three years to get to this point. There have been highs, some incredible highs, but also lows that have knocked us all, but they were all worth it to hear this news today."

"To be the first US team to be lifting this trophy is an exceptional honor, and to be sharing the message and showcasing action and innovation for ocean health has made this a truly impactful, global campaign. It's not the way I would have drawn this up, but the victory is sweet all the same," Enright concluded.

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North Sails Performance 2023 - FOOTER