A few trips into Italy and we discovered ONE Sails at sailing's mecca' - Lake Garda! Our boats have always been One Design in nature and that has kept racing honest as there is no arms race as far as sails are concerned.
When we received our first Corsair Dash it came equipped with the factory stock Race package. When those sails came up for replacement we tried two other brands as we had in mind creating a race package worthy of 'One Design' for the Dash 750 Fleet.
Chanicing upon ONE Sails in Italy was a breath of fresh air and from Italy we were referred to the ONE Sails loft in Perth. That was the beginning of a great relationship! ONE Sails have a heritage back into Team Prada when Italy sank its teeth into an Americas Cup campaign. Team Prada worked with the University of Milan to create proprietary structural membranes that could withstand the severe loadings that they undergo on large AC boats.
In the Perth Loft we found Paul Eldrid and that has been the shifting point for us. Paul is a noteworthy sail maker/designer with lots of racing under his belt. We suffer particularly gruelling conditions at One Degree from the equator in that the humidity is really steam that kills sails! When we measured up THE DASH for a full suit of One Sails membranes we were mostly concerned about durability.
All of our previous sails from big brands had suffered terminal failures long before they should have. When we examined the sails closely it was quite clear that moisture (steam) had penetrated that material causing catastrophic failure. To be very clear, our sails a roller furled around the Corsair's boom a covered. They are never taken off the boom and stored away. Our conditions are severe with high ambient temperatures and high humidity all year round. That the sails sit under a cover and trap the heat inside means that they undergo a cycle of 25 to 45 degrees C every day. Its a relentless cycle of torture!
Our primary concern was longevity when we outlined the sail plan to Paul in Perth. Interestingly, Paul had coached the Singapore National 420 squad over a 2 year period and was really well versed with our conditions! We had an assurance that the ONE Sails membranes had been tested up to 75 degrees C and that we wouldn't have a worry.
We ordered a full suit with the design elements we wanted included and the performance bench marks we were trying to hit. The first set arrived and was installed to the boom and they never came off the boom for the next 8 years! That is proof enough for us of the robustness of membranes. Add to that, the initial performance parameters never altered from day one till the end of their cycle. Proof enough for us!
Over the next 10 years, each time we set up another Dash 750, we included new design clues from the lessons learned from racing. Right now we are at a new pinnacle as far as performance is concerned . We use an older Corsair 750 to trial all the 'experiments' in the search of pushing the performance envelope up some more.
Based around that, we have been supplying all manner of sails to a variety of boats from heavy cruising boats to high end ocean racers! It doesn't really mater what the platform is, they can all benefit from better aerodynamic packages...