LOFT SPOTLIGHT: Doyle Sails Solent

Just over a year ago, British sailing legends Peter Greenhalgh, Adrian Stead and Brian Thompson became part of the team at Doyle Sails Solent. As the home to one of the biggest sail lofts in the UK, the ultra-modern, 1000 sqm facility in Universal Marina on the River Hamble is about the size of four tennis courts which provides the capacity to build and service several sails at any one time.

While Doyle Sails has had a well-recognised presence in the UK since 1997, this brand-new facility, its location and talented team are taking Doyle Sails to a whole new level. A passionate and experienced group of sailors and sailmakers are committed to making your sailing more enjoyable, consistently delivering durable, reliable and easy to handle sails, every single time.

Positioned on the River Hamble, Doyle Sails Solent is very close to the Solent, the Isle of Wight, Portsmouth and other key sailing hotspots on the South Coast of England – a region which truly represents the heart of British sailing.

“The most renowned events are Cowes Week and the Round the Island Race, along with the Isle of Wight race which goes past Portsmouth, Lymington and the southern coast,” said Grand Prix and Superyacht expert, Peter Greenhalgh.

“There is a rich history of sailing talent in the River Hamble region, and we have the pleasure of enjoying the most competitive yacht racing in the country, right on our doorstep. Due in part to the fact we have the best weather here in the south and in turn that tends to build up the racing component which we can do almost all year round.”

Greenhalgh, an early participant in the Extreme Sailing Series which ran from 2007 to 2018, is regarded as the most successful sailor from the series. Having won four overall titles including the very first season in 2007 as well as 2015. He and the current Doyle Sails Solent team continue to provide sails for all Grand Prix racing yachts, club racing teams, One Design classes and coastal cruisers. Their location means that they can also work with and service some of the most impressive Superyachts in the world.

“One of the main reasons we joined up with Doyle Sails International was because of Mike Sanderson – we wanted to be a part of the team that he is building,” Greenhalgh said. “Doyle Sails’ focus has always been on people, and building the best team that we possibly can to support the teams we work with”.

Doyle Sails Solent is a loft full of many talents, alongside Greenhalgh is Brian Thompson a well recognised British yachtsman. Brian made it into the history books by becoming the first (and only, so far) Briton to break the round the world sailing record twice as well as the first to sail around the world non-stop four times.

Brian is a vastly experienced and successful offshore sailor and was part of the Volvo Ocean Race winning team with Mike Sanderson’s ABN AMRO One crew in 2005/06. Brian has sailed a great many short-handed boats including Minis, Class 40s and IMOCA 60s, in which he completed the 2008 Vendee Globe. Lately, he has focused on large multihulls, especially MOD70s and 100ft+ multihulls.

“The calibre of the people who are involved with Doyle Sails and the way they work, fits with our ethics – and, Doyle sails are very competitively priced.”

Greenhalgh anticipates that as they continue to develop their new team, they will continue to grow and diversify to best suit their customer’s needs. “We came together as a team in April 2019, and so we are still developing and growing. We are currently finishing sails for a Sunfast 33, alongside a large service job on a Discovery 58 amongst several others”.

Greenhalgh notes that the teams’ affiliation with big boat sailing around the world has always been a big part of what they do. “We work a lot with the major Superyacht shipyards in the UK and love to be able to sea trial inventories for yachts being built out of yards like Pendennis. All three of us [Thompson, Stead and Greenhalgh] do a lot of Superyacht racing which is both a challenge and good fun with some very, very large teams on board.”

Complementing both Peter and Brian is Adrian Stead who has a wealth of Grand Prix racing experience and is a 14 time World Champion with teams such as RAN, Bella Mente, Mascalzone Latino and Quantum Racing. The Two-time Olympian and America’s Cup sailor has also got an Admirals’ Cup win, double Rolex Fastnet Race win and many other offshore race wins to his credit.

From Superyachts and Grand Prix race yachts right through to club racers and cruisers, Doyle Sails Solent have an expert team of sailors and sailmakers that are ready to join your team to help make your sailing more enjoyable.

Learn more about Doyle Sails Solent HERE.

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