Archive for the ‘Racing’ Category

Doyle Sails Dominate 2015 Marblehead NOOD Regatta

Marblehead Race Week, now sailed as the Marblehead NOOD Regatta, got underway last week for the 126th running of the regatta with 140 boats competing in 9 different One Design Classes.  As is the case in many years, Doyle-powered boats won the majority of the classes at the Marblehead NOOD Regatta, one of the northeast’s premier annual One-Design Regattas.   Among other highlights, Doyle customers swept the podium in the Rhodes 19, Town Class, and IOD classes, as well as winning the J/70, J/105 at Etchells classes.

Holley WinIn the Rhodes 19 class, the fleet saw one of the most competitive finishes in recent history, with 7 lead changes over the 4 day event and a mere 8 points separated first through sixth.  In the end, Jamie Holley, sailing Mankini with his wife Janice for the first three days and then his son Cameron for the final day, took home the win in a tie-breaker.    When asked what his favorite part of race week was, Jamie answered, “My family. My wife crewed the first few days, and then my son did the last.”  Team Mankini was named the overall winner of Race Week for their performance.Race Week-0040

Holley and his crew beat out second place co-skippers Ken Cormier and Steve Dalton in an overall points tie because Holley ended with two race wins compared to Cormier’s one – both of which he scored in the final two races. “It was a very tough week of sailing,” said Holley. “We were only one of two fleets that had to sail all four days. We were 12 points down coming into the last day of sailing, and we pulled through.”  He added, “There was everything from light air and flat water, to heavy air and high seas. I want to say it takes consistency to win, but we weren’t very consistent. There were at times five boats wide round the mark, and sometimes other factors made it a very complicated regatta.” Interestingly, in the 33-boat fleet, Holley was the only one to win more than one race, with 10 others each winning one race.  Holley was using Doyle’s well proven race sails that have been extensively developed in recent years.

J/70 Africa 2015 NOOD Regatta

Africa Comes into the Windward Mark in the Lead

In the 23-boat J/70 fleet, Jud Smith and AFRICA put on a dominating performance, much of which Smith attributes to just plain better boat speed, coupled with some strong tactical calls from his wife Cindy.  The regatta also doubled as the J/70 New England Championship, and featured some strong competition from as far away as Texas.  Winning 5 of the 10 races, Smith felt good in the range of conditions he saw through the three days of racing.  “We felt like our upwind boat speed and pointing ability was phenomenal.  We’ve fine tuned the jib design a bit in the last few months to allow us to inhaul better which helps with out height off the line.  We were sailing a bit heavy this regatta, so making sure we made our gains upwind was essential to making the whole race work” commented Smith reflecting on the week.  At the end of the regatta, he received the Norman E. Cressy Trophy, which is awarded by the Marblehead Racing Association to the skipper who best displays the outstanding performance at Marblehead Race Week as it relates to fleet competitiveness, sportsmanship and overall smart sailing.  In addition to Smith, three of the top four Corinthian Teams were using Doyle Sails.

Doyle J/105 Sails

allegro semplicita Powers in to the Windward Mark

In the J/105 Class, it was Fred deNapoli on Allegro Semplicita who came away with the win after several lead changes.  Despite his success in other regattas with his boat, deNapoli  had to be pleased with his performance this year, as he previously looked back on his 12 years in the class, remarking “In 2003, I borrowed a J/105 and came in second by a point or two. Last year I again came in second by a point or so. We’ve always been the bridesmaid, and never the bride.”  deNapoli was using Doyle’s latest Stratis jib design, along with a AP Crosscut Main and Airx 700 Class Spinnaker.

Doyle Town Class Sails

Berit Solstad on Lille Venn

In the Town Class, sailing with one of the largest fleets in recent memory. Berit Solstad came away with a commanding victory over local rival Kelley Braun.  After years of dominance in the Town Class, Doyle successful introduced a new mainsail design, which was utilized by Solstad in the victory.

The Etchells fleet, a longtime favorite in Marblehead, was also successful for Doyle One Design’s own Tomas Hornos, who came away with the win after winning half of the 8 races.  Hornos is a relative newcomer in the Etchells fleet, but has put together a string of impressive performances in the last year.

Race Week-0045-1The Marblehead IOD fleet has always been one of the most photogenic fleets around, with classic boats and matching fleet sails, which make for close racing.  This year it was Charlie Richter racing Javelin who came out on top.  Doyle has been proud to supply sails to the IOD fleet in Marblehead, among other venues, and has consistently produced top level sails that perform well over the many years that the sails rotate through.

To learn more about Doyle’s One Design Sails, please visit here.

For Full Regatta Results, please visit here.

Pictures courtesy Bruce Durkee

Mahalo Wins Swan 42 Nationals

Mahalo At Windward MarkSince its debut in 2007, the Swan 42 National Championship has provided close racing in hotly competitive One-Design fleet, with a class that provides a good mix of high-performance boats with strict professional limitations.  As a result, the National Championship has become a highlight of the summer calendar in Newport, and this year featured a mix of teams that were trying to qualify to represent the New York Yacht Club at this fall’s Invitational Cup, as well as international teams that were using the event to prepare for the Invitational Cup – making for a very competitive field.  This year, it was Charles Kenahan’s Mahalo that walked away with the championship, finishing first or second in six of nine races.  In 2014, Doyle Sailmakers began working with Mahalo to develop a new Stratis ICE upwind inventory for the Swan 42 Class.  Third place went to John Greenland of the Royal Thames Yacht Club sailing Better Than, who were also using Doyle Sails with Doyle’s own Alan McGlashan aboard trimming headsails.

Kenahan Win 2015Because of the desire to keep the class Corinthian in many regards, the class has strict sail limitations that put an emphasis on sails that not only perform well initially but hold their shape overtime.  The Stratis ICE sails have proved their worth at this point, having helped Mahalo to impressive performances on both sides of the Atlantic over the last year,  including a 5th place at the  Rolex Swan Cup last fall.

Mahalo Nationals 2015 Diana McConnellKenehan is a relative newcomer to the class, having bought Mahalo in 2012. And he’s had to fight his way up the ladder in a class full of some of the country’s best sailors.  “We had not had our core crew together since the Rolex Swan Cup last September in the Med,” said Kenahan. “We were all very excited to be back together. I spent plenty of time in the back end of the fleet and you look forward and see these boats that are just set up so well, just ‘locked in’, and they tend to carry it for most, if not all, of a regatta. We were just lucky enough that this was our first time ‘locked in’. We’re very pleased about that and we hope we can do it again. It’s camaraderie, pursuit of excellent and it’s a lot of hard work.”

Doyle began the development process last spring  utilizing the same sail design process that has proven successful for some of the most competitive Mini-Maxis and One Design classes, while also looking to utilize materials that would ensure the longevity needed to keep the boats up to speed for years to come.  Combining cutting edge CFD and FEA modeling with extensive on the water validation, Doyle has successfully made in impact an a short amount of time.  “We’re ecstatic with the results we’ve had so quickly and appreciate all that Charles and his team on Mahalo have done to help with that.  Watching Mahalo improve over the last year is a testament to how hard the team has worked.  Results like this are also always a good validation of our sail design and manufacturing technology” commented Robbie Doyle, who has been on the forefront of Doyle’s recent efforts.  “It’s not easy to get into an established class like the Swan 42, but with the resources Doyle has at its disposal we can quickly develop a winning sail program.”

CFD Analysis


Shaun Frohlich wins British Etchells Nationals

Shuan Frolich of team Exabyte win the 2015 British Nationals and Open Championship in the Etchells at the Royal London Yacht Club. Exabyte just purchased Doyle’s AP Main and DCM jib.

Shuan Frohlich wins British Etchells Nationals and Open Championship

Shuan Frohlich of team Exabyte wins British Etchells Nationals and Open Championship. Photo by Rob Goddard

“Going into the last race, race six, only Willy McNeil’s Hancock could threaten Frohlich’s regatta. Exabyte needed a sixth or better to take the championship if McNeil won the race, but with the wind that had built to 20kts, Frohlich after a clean start, sailed fast for the port lay line and the stronger westbound tide on the first beat putting him up with the front of the pack, and while Jeremy Thorp won the race, second place was enough to give Shaun Frohlich sailing with Duncan Truswell and David Bedford a very deserved overall victory of the event.” -Rob Goddard, Sail World

Doyle One Design’s Tomas Hornos Star District 1 Champ

After Doyle One Design’s Tomas Hornos and his crew, Josh Revkin, warmed up with a win at the Arms White regatta the weekend prior, they won their second consecutive year at the District 1 Championships over the weekend of June 26-28.

Tomas and Josh Revkin: District 1 Champs

Tomas and Josh Revkin: District 1 Champs 2015

The scores were very tight after a first light air day of racing, but once the breeze picked up over the weekend, Tomas and Josh crushed the competition with three bullets.

Tomas Hornos & Josh Revkin

Tomas Hornos and Josh Revkin crushing in breeze at Star District 1 Champs using M14+ Main and J8C jib

Will Swigart, traveling all the way from Hong Kong, and his crew Brian Fatih, also powered by Doyle Sails, took second and the Grand Master’s trophy.

Star Sailors League Results

Doyle Places 9 out of Top 10 at Rhodes 19 East Coast Champs 2015

A high five between the skipper and his trimmer’s son on bow captured on camera says it all for the winners of the Rhodes-19 East Coast Champs. Charlie Pendleton, Jim Raisides, and Jack Raisides on team Bight Me take top honors at this Manchester, MA event, powered by Doyle Sails. Pendleton mentioned that young Jack was, “put to work on foredeck and could be seen flying the spinnaker in the last race.”

High Five! Photo by Blake Jackson of Marblehead Studios

High Five! Photo by Blake Jackson of Marblehead Studios

Jim Raisides was kind enough to give us an overview of the event, even giving a shout out to their humble sailmakers. (Thanks!) The results do speak for themselves with Doyle Sails placing 1,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10 in the event.

“There was a lot of anticipation for this year’s East Coast Championships mostly because of the venue at the Manchester Yacht Club.  It had been 25 years since Manchester had last hosted a Rhodes 19 event, surprising considering the huge Rhodes fleet in the harbor.

Twenty three boats raced the three day event with competitors coming from as far away as Chicago.  The competition was tough with three former National Championship winners and multiple East Coast Champions in the fleet.

All three days produced similar conditions, flat seas in light 5-10 knot breezes that began as a northerly and clocked right to an easterly.  Not as easy as it sounds, as the breeze was extremely shifty and included a lot of left oscillations that paid dividends up the course even though the predominate shift was right.

These conditions made it difficult for the race committee, but MYC and PRO Conway Felton ran a fantastic regatta with each race a fair test of sailing skill.  With the 23 boats over 8 races, there was only 2 general recalls, one “I” flag and no protests.

East Coast Champions on Bight Me. Photo by Blake Jackson of Marblehead Studios

East Coast Champions on Bight Me. Photo by Blake Jackson of Marblehead Studios

Charlie Pendleton, Jim Raisides and son Jack Raisides took this year’s top honors with 15 points posting 5 firsts including 3 on the first day. Dru Slattery and crew Linda Epstein were consistently quick across the regatta placing second with 31, followed in third by Jamie Holley sailing with his wife Janice and son Cameron. Doyle sails were on 9 of the top 10 boats!”

We’re realizing again and again, the Rhodes 19 is a fun fleet, with Pendleton mentioning in the class newsletter, “Shannon Lane and Charlie Thomas put on a great show, end to end.  When was the last time we had a live band at a Rhodes event!?”

Stratis Sail Art – Photo Quality Printing on Sails

Doyle Sails offers Stratis Sail Art, which allows photo quality printing on sails for the first time ever.


Doyle Stratis Sail Art on Comer 100 Shadow

Doyle Stratis Sails, already offering a high degree of customization between fiber combinations and surface types, offers an entirely new customization in printing of any graphics on the sail surface before the sails are laminated, resulting in the most-detailed sail art to date.

Having long realized the need to offer special images for customers and commercial sponsorship, Doyle has created a number of stunning sail graphics over the years, but has taken it to the next level with Comar Yachts’ Shadow – the first yacht to have been fitted with Stratis Sail Art sails. The 100’ yacht, launched in 2011, was fitted with Doyle Stratis Membranes complete with a photo-quality octopus finished by the team at Doyle Sails Palma.

SailArtMoving away from the traditional technique of painting directly onto sail, the new procedure allows the the image to be printed directly onto the sails surface with incredible accuracy before the membranes are laminated in New Zealand. The printing process means that detail, form and subtle nuances are transferred to the sail with unerring accuracy, making for the most detailed sail art to date. In the case of the Shadow this meant an octopus stretching down the sail on each side – carefully aligned to stretch across the Main and Jib.

The mosaic-like print has layers of colour, shapes and overlaid details which bring the two octopi to life as the sail fills. Despite the layers of detail, the end result is noticeably lighter than the sail would be if the image was created using the traditional approach of layering paint by hand – something which at this size would normally add 10-15kgs to a sail.

Lightness is a known characteristic of Stratis. Forming the base for Stratis Sail Art, the underlaying Stratis membranes have a formidable reputation for high performance and resistance to flex fatigue.

SailArt5The unique Stratis Sail Art process doesn’t compromise the sails’ integrity, compared with the traditional paint process which can result in brittle sail membranes. Full photo images can be translated onto the sails – drastically increasing the appeal of sails as a billboard to sponsors – with a high definition finish that’s as effective close up as it is from a distance.
‘Stratis Sail Art is the next generation in sail art,” says Doyle Sails New Zealand managing director, Chris McMaster.

“It adds negligible weight to the end product, while maintaining the integrity of the sail and performance Stratis is known for.”

SailArt4Doyle Sails New Zealand’s Auckland loft is the biggest in the southern hemisphere and is well-known for its innovation; creating Stratis, Stratis ICE and a range of other products. Now, adding Stratis Sail Art to its stable of products, the Doyle Sails New Zealand team is proud to not only be able to offer sails which perform unlike anything else on the water, but look unlike anything else on the water.

Learn more about Doyle Sail Graphics.


Mark Mendelblatt & Brian Fatih Win Star Sailors League Finals

Mendelblatt and Fatih at Star Sailors League Finals

The combination of ideal conditions on Montagu Bay in Nassau, Bahamas, provided boats and a substantial prize purse brought out some of the very best Star sailors in the world for a week of intense competition.  The end result found Mark Mendelblatt and Brian Fatih on the podium, winning in a field that included a handful of past world champions and Olympic gold medalists.  For this regatta, the team was utilizing Doyle’s latest M14+ Main, and J6R and J8H Jibs.

Surviving the qualifying and knockout rounds to triumph, the Americans won the second Star Sailors League Finals on Saturday December 6th in a thrilling finale that came down to the final run. They bested a field that included 2012 Olympic gold medalist Freddy Loof and crew Anders Ekstrom of Sweden; Mateusz Kusznierewicz and Dominik Zycki of Poland; and Jorge Zarif and Henry Boening of Brazil.  Over the course of the regatta, the Mendleblatt and Fatih won 3 races (of 9) in the qualifying series, then finished with a 2-1-1  in the finals to secure the victory.

Star2Defending champion Robert Scheidt, a two-time Olympic gold medalist, and crew Bruno Prada of Brazil were eliminated in the semifinal. Top-ranked Diego Negri and crew Sergio Lambertenghi of Italy were eliminated in the semis.

Four days of competition meant that after three days of qualifying, the top 11 teams from the elite field of 20 advanced to the quarter-finals.  The winner of the qualifying round – Swedes Freddy Loof and Anders Ekström – went directly to the semi-finals, while the crews that qualified in 2nd to 11th positions advanced to the quarter-finals, with the best 6 going forward to the Semi. The Semi finals determined who got to sail in the grand finale, with only the top 4 advancing.  The unique elimination arrangement made every race that much more important, and put an emphasis on performing under pressure.

“The first race we were feeling in danger for sure. Halfway up the first beat we were feeling ‘This isn’t good’, you know. We talked to each other and said ‘Let’s just stay calm here and keep working together and use our speed and get back’. And it worked. We were going well.”

The quarter-finals saw plenty of competition, with last year’s runners up, Mateusz Kusznierewicz and Dominik Zycki leading early on in the race, only to have defending champions Robert Scheidt and Bruno Prada of Brazil pass them on the run. But Kusznierewicz was back in front on the second windward leg and was able to hold it to the finish. Mendelblatt and Fatih were second and third place went to the Finn world champion, Giles Scott (GBR) and Steve Milne.

Star3In the semi-final and final, however, Mendelblatt and Fatih appeared to put the afterburner’s on, to win back to back races against the very best in the Star class.  “This was a race of a lifetime,” said Mendelblatt. “To beat guys like Freddy Loof, Mateusz Kusznierewicz, and Robert Scheidt and all the other guys who are here is incredible. We did not have any expectations coming in: only to sail our best regatta. And you know these guys beat me more times than I beat them in my career as a Star sailor. With Robert, I can count the number of times I beat him on one hand and I’ve been sailing against him for 25 years so it feels great to win this event.”

The wind for the final, a six-leg race, had shifted more to the north but was anything but stable. Mendelblatt was forced to tack out from under Zarif early one which would eventually prove to be a winning move, putting Mendelblatt ahead around the first windward mark.

Doyle Star SailsOn the third beat, Kusznierewicz sneaked ahead at the top mark and led down the final leg. All of the boat were withing striking distance, with the crews aggressively working the waves while trying to play every shift as well.  Kusznierewicz appeared to have the win within grasp as the teams narrowed in on the finish line, only to have Mendelblatt and Loof, coming in on a tighter reach, sail in from leeward to take the first two places. Kusznierewicz, who was runner-up last year, finished third and the rookie, Zarif, was fourth.

“I’m really hoping that the Star Sailors League continues. I think it is fantastic. I think the Star boat obviously is bringing in the best sailors in the world still,” said Mendelblatt. “The format is excellent. It’s exciting, it’s great. I have no plans to sell my Star. I’m keeping my boat and I’m going to do some more Star regattas, for sure.”


Doyle One Design has been active in the Star class for a number of years, and this year’s Star Sailors League Finals is just the latest in a string of victories for Doyle’s Star customers.  In November, Luke Lawrence and Joshua Revkin won the Schoonmaker Cup, while in October Tomas Hornos and Revkin placed 2nd at the Star North American Championship. and in July William Swigart and Fatih teamed up to win the Cedar Point Open for the Bedford Pitcher.  Doyle’s success stems from a highly technical design process, on the water testing and constant refinements and customer service.

For full Results of the Star Sailors League Finals, please visit here.

To learn more about Doyle’s Star Sails, please visit here.

Bob Fisher contributed to this report