Doyle Sails powered a yacht in each class at the Loro Piana Regatta in Virgin Gorda this year. Our Division B and Division D Doyle powered yachts came out on top. We were able to discuss the event with our representatives sailing in between this event and the St Barth’s Bucket.
The 125’ Perini Navi/Briand collaboration, P2, managed to pull of winning Division B again this year. Both Doyle’s CEO, Robbie Doyle, and head of One Design, Jud Smith, were on board advising on strategy and tactics. They used the same upwind race sails that were used to win Loro Piana two years prior under the previous owner. Jud was impressed at how well the sails had held up, “The Stratis Carbon/ Technora sails were still in fantastic condition and still looked and performed as they did two years ago at the same regatta. That’s after more than two racing seasons racing in the Caribbean and Mediterranean Superyacht circuit.” They also had many of the same crew from years prior, but the current team was primarily from the 2010 Vitters built Hoek 50 Meter superyacht, MARIE.
Going into the final race, P2 was tied with Ganesha, each only having 3 cumulative points. The regatta was sailed in 10 to 18 knot Easterlies with a variety of 25 to 33 mile courses around islands and set marks. Each raced featured a combination of reaching, running and windward legs in a pursuit start format, where the winner was decided by who’s leading at the finish line. In the final race, the P2 crew prevailed with flawless crew work and a conservative strategy to maintain the lead after Ganesha tore their kite on the first set, costing them valuable distance before hoisting a second kite.
In Division D, 200’ Perini Navi Perseus^3 , having only debuted in the Caribbean last season, won with all bullets. This yacht lost the overall trophy by only 13 seconds. Crew Boss, Peter Grimm Jr., let us know they were able to get in three a half days on the water prior to the event. During practice, the breeze was consistently 22-27 knots of true wind speed. However, Peter stated, “We never worried about any sail failing because we were so confident in the data from the CFD FEA runs. Sail choices were made with 100% known results.”
Peter also exclaimed they were unafraid to do sail changes on the 60 meter, 500 ton sloop, even changing from the A2 to the Code Zero in only four minutes. He was also bragging that they were able to get the spinnaker staysail up and fully drawing in a minute and a half, while keeping the spinnaker full. Perseus^3 was using their entire race inventory and had every sail ready to go each day. He was very pleased with the Doyle Stratis providing optimum maintainable shape for properly designed sails. Obviously, this yacht benefitted from having a veteran crew on their second season, confidence in their data, and durable superior sails. Despite the main, blade, working jib, and staysail being used for charter, three Transatlantic crossings, private use, and the racing circuit, they are holding up and still succeeding.
Peter Duncan, with Relative Obscurity crew consisting of Moose McClintock, Willem van Waay, and Victor Diaz DeLeon, won the J70 class at the 2017 Bacardi Miami Sailing week, with a six point lead and two bullets. Peter told us they elected to race the event with previously used upwind sails, thinking it would be too light to put on a crisp new jib. (It did end up being below planing conditions in the 5-9 range in all but the last race.) They were pleased at how clean the competition was with the 2nd and 3rd place boats; despite how tough and close the racing was during the event. Victor said, “We focused on being conservative throughout the regatta because we thought we had a speed edge. We emphasized having good starts in low density areas to get out clean and have options.” In his usual way, he wrapped up with a sociological overview, “With the different ages and personalities on board, our team has a good mix of wisdom, experience, athleticism and spunk.”
Each member of the team unanimously agreed that their downwind speed was excellent and it was mentioned that it saved them from some potentially tough beats by allowing them to be near the leaders at the leeward gates. Willem, who was part of teams placing 2,1,2 in the last three World’s, had high praise for the latest spinnaker design, “I knew that the upwind sails were very fast from sailing next to the Doyle boats over the last 2 years, but I wasn’t sure about how the kite would fair. I have to say, I was very pleasantly surprised to find out that the kite was a rocket in all conditions. In practice, we had an edge in the planing conditions, and in the regatta, we had an edge in displacement. The kite was very easy to trim and I could feel from the beginning that it had excellent pull and power through the range. With other coaches videoing us, it didn’t go unnoticed. Our technique and communication was great, but something was also special about that kite: Looking forward to sailing more with it.”
For those of you in the J70 circuit this winter, you may have noticed a few grey sails on the race course, including on Peter Duncan’s Relative Obscurity. Jud Smith, our head of One Design, headed up this initiative, saying, “After extensive development work, we are pleased with the results of the new Grey finished Dacron. While the look is certainly different, it’s not just a dye, but an improved resin finishing process designed to produce a firmer cloth that will hold its shape longer and through a greater wind range, and further increases the durability of the core fibers in the cloth. Particularly for One Design classes that relay on a smaller number of sails, having a lightweight sail that meets the class rules but also holds its shape better is a real advantage.” Both the Doyle main and the jib are now produced out of this improved fabric. The Doyle main design was developed as cross cut and has remained so from the outset, being found superior to our competitors’ radial designs. Though others are finally catching on, we know our years of experience perfecting this layout will allow our customers to continue to shine.
Feel free to contact our head of One Design:
Jud Smith: email@example.com
With nearly 70 boats on the line, the Star class was likely the most competitive at Bacardi Miami Race Week. Doyle One Design is very excited to have had sails on the winning boat.
Mark Mendelblatt and Magnus Liljedahl won the Star class. It was Mark’s third time winning the event in his hometown as a skipper and Magnus’s sixth time winning as a crew. They were excited with their win, despite a lack of breeze and a general recall barring racing on the last day. They managed to beat Xavier Rohart and Pierre-Alexis Ponsot, who are leading the Star Sailors League ranking. Mark was using Doyle’s M14+ Main, most days the J6R jib and two of the days, the J8C jib. He did not buy a new set for Bacardi, but instead used the same set that won him the Star Sailors League 2016 Finals in Nassau, Bahamas.
Do not hesitate to contact our One Design department to discuss Star sails at firstname.lastname@example.org. Tomas Hornos or Jud Smith would be happy to assist you. Don’t forget we have designed and tested a main version for the new Burton mast, as well.
It’s our favorite time of the year as many of the world’s most spectacular superyachts converge in the Caribbean for two weeks of racing. The first event will be the Loro Piana Caribbean Superyacht Regatta, with racing starting Saturday. Highlighting the diversity of Doyle’s design, engineering and construction capabilities, the event will feature Doyle-powered contenders in all four divisions.
In Division A, the Farr 100 Leopard 3 looks to continue building on her recent string of successes. Last year, Leopard 3 wrapped up 2016 with class wins at both Maxi Worlds and le Voiles de Saint Tropez and then took line honors in RORC Transatlantic Race. Just last month she was kitted out for Offshore racing mode, finishing second across the line in the Caribbean 600.
In Division B, perennial power P2 will begin the 2017 looking to repeat the success of 2016. Last year, the 125′ Perini Navi/Briand collaboration won her class at both the Loro Piana Caribbean Superyacht Regatta and St Barths Bucket, and then crossed the pond and won her class at the Palma Superyacht Cup – winning all three races of the series. For the Loro Piana event, she will be joined by Doyle Sailmakers founder and CEO Robbie Doyle on tactics, with Doyle’s Jud Smith also onboard for trim.
In Division C, the incomparable 200′ Perini Navi Perseus^3 is back after making her Caribbean racing debut last season. Carrying the world’s two largest spinnakers at 27,850 square feet and 23,045 square feet and with her masthead soaring 246 feet above the water, Perseus^3 is a sight to behold when she’s on the race course and literally stands taller than any of her competitors. With her veteran crew returning this year, Perseus^3 quickly becomes a favorite.
In Division D, two Southern Wind 82’s will be carrying Doyle Sails – Ammonite and Grande Orazio. This year is the first time both of these nimble, high performance yachts have competed in the Loro Piana Caribbean Superyacht Regatta, so it should be very exciting to watch their performance.
After three days of racing in Virgin Gorda, many of the same yachts will head over to St Barths, for the 22nd edition of the St Barths Bucket Regatta. With 38 yachts competing, the Bucket is the largest superyacht regatta of the year, and again will feature numerous Doyle-powered yachts, ranging from the 100′ Leopard 3, one of the smallest yachts competing, to the iconic 288′ Maltese Falcon, the largest of this year’s entries.
In the fastest Vendee Globe in history, after 74 days at sea Alex Thomson on Hugo Boss has taken out second place, gaining a coveted podium space and finishing just 16 hours behind race winner Armel Le Cléac’h on Banque Populaire. This is Thomson’s second consecutive podium finish in the Vendee Globe, considered the toughest sailing race on earth, after finishing third in the 2012-2013 edition.
Doyle Sails is extremely proud of their involvement in Thomson’s campaign as sail supplier to Hugo Boss. “We have lived and breathed every minute of this race and we think Alex has done an incredible job,” says Mike Sanderson, CEO of Doyle Sails New Zealand. “We’re so proud of what Alex has done in so many ways and are pleased to have played our part in helping him achieve this amazing result.”
Arriving into Les Sables-d’Olonne after completing the race in 74 days 19 hours 35 minutes and 15 seconds, Thomson provided a nailbiting race throughout with highs and lows and first place all to play for right until the final stages. Having lead the race for most of the early stages Thomson suffered a huge blow when he damaged his starboard foil on the 19 November 2016, limiting the boat’s performance when on the port tack and costing him an approximate 20% of the boat’s speed. Despite this setback he continued to push, keeping constant pressure on Le Cléac’h until the very end, maintaining a formidable drag race over the final week and finishing just hours apart – an incredible feat in a race spanning over two months at sea.
During his 74-day race Thomson broke a number of significant records along the way including the world record for greatest distance sailed solo in 24 hours, with an average speed of 22.4knots, made all the more impressive as this record was set in the final few days of the race. Thomson also set two new race records in one day, for the fastest time to reach the Cape of Good Hope, completing this stretch in 17 days 22 hours and 58 minutes (5 days and 48 minutes faster than the previous record) and for the fastest time from the Equator to the Cape of Good Hope, passing in 8 days, 15 hours and 56 minutes (previous record 12 days, 2 hours and 40 minutes). Thomson is now also the fastest Briton to circumnavigate the globe on a monohull, beating his own record set in 2012/2013.
Throughout the race Thomson has paid tribute to his sail inventory, citing it as a key influence to his performance during the circumnavigation and one of his main advantages over the other competitors. “Aside from our foils the one place where we are completely different to the other IMOCA 60’s is our sails, which obviously play a huge part in this race,” says Thomson. “The Stratis product lends itself brilliantly and I would be very surprised if anyone has anything as light and as durable as we have; if you want something different, something fast, if you want an edge, it is best not follow the crowd.”
Hugo Boss carries a full suit of Doyle Stratis ICE sails as part of a long term relationship between Doyle Sails New Zealand and Alex Thomson Racing. Thomson and his team worked closely over several years with Richard Bouzaid, Head of Design at Doyle Sails New Zealand, to develop the inventory carried by Hugo Boss. Doyle’s involvement included extensive sail design team input during the design phase of both the boat and aero package as well as significant on-the-ground support during the construction and sail trial phase of Hugo Boss, and Thomson believes the time invested has paid significant dividends in the result of the race. “The sail plan that Richard developed for us has made a big difference and is the reason I was able to stay at the front of this race with the others after we lost the foil, says Thomson. “I appreciate all the work the team has done; Richard cares, he seriously cares, about this campaign and he put a lot of his time and effort into it and we wouldn’t be where we are without him.”
“It’s hard to say enough really of what Alex – and all the sailors in this race – have achieved; it’s been a privilege to work with him and his team over these two race cycles and I’m excited for the future,” says Bouzaid. “After careful consideration of the new IMOCA 60 rule we developed a different sail combination than presumed, different to the other teams, and that in combination with the whole approach we’ve taken together over the last eight years, has helped achieve this great result. The cool thing is that this is just the beginning.”
As well as the sail configuration itself Thomson is full of praise for the durability and reliability of his Doyle sails. “In terms of performance, even after nearly 75 days at sea in these hugely challenging conditions my sails are still like they are brand new,” he says “The reliability of the product is just brilliant and I think that’s where Doyle really are different to everyone else and it’s a big reason why we choose to work with Doyle – it’s the service, product and the relationships and the fact the team really cares and brings significant added value to the campaign.”
With the first of the competitors now safely back in port the race continues. Hungarian sailor Nandor Fa on Spirit of Hungary, also powered by a Doyle STRATIS inventory, is currently lying in eighth place, over 500nm ahead of his nearest rival, in another testament to the durability and performance of a Doyle inventory. “We’re so pleased to have worked with both Alex and Nandor and hope to keep showing that when it comes to high performance sails there is an alternative choice,” says Sanderson.
Doyle Sailmakers is enjoying the down to the wire pace of this years 2017 Vendée Globe unfolding this week. With UK sailor, Alex Thomson, on board HUGO Boss, and Armel LeCléac’h just 42.2 nautical miles ahead, we have seen seamanship, racing skills, and the sheer skills of both sailors. In the case of Alex Thomson, it’s been an absolute pleasure to work with Alex Thomson Racing through the Vendée Globe campaign.
“There is lots of talk about different foils we have on Hugo Boss but as always the speed edge we have does not come from one place and the other place where we are completely different to the other IMOCA 60’s is our sails, which obviously play a huge part in this race.” says Thomson, speaking from on board Hugo Boss. “The number of sails we can carry is limited to nine and they have to be light enough to be used single-handed and strong enough to survive the world’s toughest yacht race, so it’s a tough challenge for sail designers. The design team at Doyle Sails put in a huge amount of effort in the last two years to help us come up with the right suit of sails for Hugo Boss; the Stratis product lends itself brilliantly and I would be very surprised if anyone has anything as light and as durable as we have. It just goes to show that if you want something different, something fast, if you want an edge, it is best to not follow the crowd.”
Thomson has not only shown that his sail inventory has kept him very much in the hunt for first to finish, but Thomson has just set a new solo 24 hour distance record!! Sailing an incredible 536.81 nautical miles in 24 hours, Alex has beaten Francois Gabart’s previous world distance record of 534.48 in the Vendée Globe.
Doyle Sailmakers is proud to be rooting for all of the incredible sailors in the Vendée Globe, but in particular we must tip our hats to the talented Alex Thomson.
When asked what he thought Alex’s secret was, Robbie Doyle’s response was, “If anyone saw Alex’s video of a couple of days ago, they saw his secret: absolute calm. This was just hours before he went on to set the world 24 hour record for solo sailing of 536.81 nm! I had the privilege to participate in some sail and boat testing with Alex when he was in Newport. Even though he was still working out the kinks, our speed edge was obvious. At the end of the day he asked, “Any suggestions?” As one who is not reticent to respond to such queries, all I could say was, “Perfect what you have, and hold it together.” Even with a broken foil, he has more than held it together. It is going to be an exciting and challenging race to the finish. Regardless of who wins, both Alex and Armel have set a new standard for not only solo sailing, but monohull sailing itself.”
Doyle would like to congratulate our customers Mark Mendalblatt/Brian Fatih and Paul Cayard/Josh Revkin on finishing first and second place respectively at the Schoonmaker Cup this past weekend in Miami. This is part one of five of the Star Winter Series and was attended by 24 teams. Doyle Star sails are designed and produced at our loft in Salem, MA.