How North Sails develop winning sail designs?

Posted On 04/04/2019

Learn more about how are developed winning designs of sails, that will bring you speed, easy trim and tune and more winning finishes.

The One Design team at North Sails are driven by our commitment to find solutions for our customers and to always find more speed and boat performance. This is why the new F-1 mainsail was tested and developed within the competitive J/70 Class and why it is now available to everyone. Developed to fit the Selden mast or a Southern Spars mast with a stiff set-up, the F-1 mainsail is a flatter design, balanced top to bottom to match mast bend in all conditions. Designed to be user-friendly, the F-1 is easy to trim, and tune, to produce maximum speed on the water.

“Development on the F-1 main started with sail testing sessions in the early spring of 2018, using the North Sails two boat testing telemetry system,” commented North designer Mike Marshall. “Using the results data and the power of the North Design Suite, were able to, in very few iterations, come up with a sail that much more effectively fits the Selden mast. An additional benefit is the vertical shaping in the sail is much more balanced to work well through the entire range of conditions.”

Commenting further on the development of the F-1 sail, North Sails One Design expert Max Skelley added “North Sails were invited to join Bruno Paquenelli’s Team Stampede to campaign for the 2018 J/70 Worlds in Marblehead. It quickly became apparent that the standard mainsail set up is quite different with the Selden mast. Primarily, in light air they were unable to flatten the main enough or get the draft far enough back to give the boat some helm; the shape looked full and draggy. We worked with Mike Marshall to flatten the vertical profile of the sail, and after several trials, we reduced the luff curve by enough to handle the very straight fore and aft mast set up the boat required in light air. The result: a very even sail shape was achieved, with resulting balance and speed.”

At the J/70 Worlds, in a wide range of challenging conditions, Stampede’s upwind speed was outstanding and got the team top finishes, with equally strong results in 15+ knots of wind. As North One Design expert Eric Doyle noted “With the J/70 being so tender and light, we were able to flatten the main more than ever before, and this let us put the bow down and go fast when we needed to. The F-1 main allowed us great versatility in the big fleet. We could trim hard to point and hold our lane off the starting line without stalling the sail too much.”

“The F-1 proved it was ready for market after the 2018 J/70 Worlds,” explained Tim Healy, President of North Sails One Design. “The regatta was ultra-competitive, and the new F-1 finished an extremely close second place, just a single point away from winning it all. This battle-tested result was the conclusion to our sail testing.”

The F-1 mainsail is a new cross cut design featuring less camber when compared to the North XCS-2. Standard Features include one gaff batten, two full-length battens, two leech battens, vision and spreader windows, radial teardrop patches, spreader chafe patch, trim stripes, leech telltales, Class insignia, adjustable leech and foot cords, and roll bag. The F-1 sail is now available for any team competing at Charleston Race Week or for the summer season.

Stay tuned for more interesting information on how and what data we gather during our two boat testing

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