North Sails supplied the sail wardrobe for the one-design Volvo Ocean 65 used in the Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15 and will be doing the same in 2017-18. The durability of the Volvo Ocean 65 has already become a byword in the industry for its reliability and the North Sails 3Di™ product has become synonymous with durability as well, powering the fleet in the last race with a ground-breaking, limited sail wardrobe.
The company has a strong commitment to the race, not only from a product point of view, but from a personal one as well. The company’s president is two-time race skipper, Ken Read. North Sails also has deep roots in this race, powering eight of nine race winners since Steinlager 2 in 1989.
Collaboration between North Sails and Volvo Ocean Race has led to breakthrough technology, most recently North Sails 3Di™, which was developed as a response to requests from skippers for increased durability in their sails, without compromising on shape-holding capabilities or weight.
The North Sails 3Di product has already proved itself in the race, and the product continues to improve. Since the finish in 2015, North clients have smashed nearly every offshore sailing record while using 3Di sails. Most recently Thomas Coville set the singlehanded, outright circumnavigation record on Sodebo Ultime; Armel Le Cléac'h won the Vendée Globe and simultaneously broke the record for sailing around the world solo on a monohull; and Francis Joyon, with his crew of five, established a new Jules Verne time to beat: the fastest circumnavigation by any boat. The mileage on their North 3Di sails reached 75,000nm and above, without failure.
North Sails is proud to be able to give all Volvo Ocean Race teams the utmost confidence in their 3Di sails – and equally proud to have a place within the rich history of the Volvo Ocean Race, to work with its diverse characters and contribute to the technological advances that have pushed the teams to sail faster and more competitively.