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3Di RACE Report – Shenanigans

Last week we heard from Nick Gibbens in San Francisco, a client who owns an Express 27 called “Shenanigans” and recently collected the first victory for North’s new 3Di RACE sail. North Sails expert, Seadon Wijsen, reported on Shenanigans’ success with their new #1 genoa at the class National Championship:

“Just a quick note to say thanks for helping my client upgrade from a 3DL genoa to a 3Di RACE genoa in time for us to use it in the Express 27 Nationals this past weekend. Overall, the sail did well in lighter wind and chop but looked great when used above its wind range. I’m sure many of you already know this about 3Di RACE, but it was a great opportunity for me to see the product first hand on a type of boat not many of us sail very often. This sail combined with a new Radian main helped us win the regatta. Needless to say, the client and crew liked the sails a lot!”

We quickly contacted Nick, for feedback on a sail only introduced in September. Over the past year, designers, salesmen, and test sail recipients have compiled feedback and data on how RACE should behave within its target environment. The entire North development team was curious to see if Nick’s feedback matched our hypothesis.

“The things I noticed about this sail, and why I think it works well with the Express 27… This boat isn’t a particularly new design; they only have two jibs. A 155% and a 100%, which in One Design is all that is allowed. It’s a big step down to the #3 if you need to go there, so it helps to have a sail that covers a broad range especially when your options are limited. The RACE sail was very light, I noticed when I picked it up, considerably lighter than the other sail we have. It responded really well in light air to backstay and halyard adjustments, behaving much like an L1 would. As the wind increased and we worked through the range of the sail, it turned into a heavy air sail by adding backstay and halyard adjustments. It was pretty obvious the sail had a lot of range, which is important because, you may or may not know: we hank our jibs on, so any change is done downwind. In San Francisco, you are going to hit the upper limit of the L1 at some point during the day. You often end up starting with the large jib, but by the top mark wishing you didn’t have it up. It needs to be robust enough to handle those situations yet light and shapely enough for the lighter end stuff, and we had all those conditions in our series.”

Having confirmed our theory that RACE would carry through a wider range, Nick elaborated on the end-user benefit of carrying a smaller inventory.

“You usually sacrifice one thing for another. If you designed the sail a year ago – before you had this technology – you would basically make the sail heavier than you really wanted to just so that it could handle the windy days when you couldn’t make changes quickly. In our area, the winter season always brings lighter conditions, so you’d be carrying around a sail that isn’t a great option for the conditions and may be sailing against someone who sacrificed strength and opted for a lighter range sail.
“In my experience, 3Di really holds shape well and is durable. I am looking forward to the next couple years to see how it does.”

We consider Nick’s initial feedback a win for the (3Di RACE) books and will continue to follow his progress. To discover how 3Di RACE can transform your inventory, contact your North Sails expert today.

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