It seems that the boom of ‘series’ sailing is over, with standalone events such as the Rolex Fastnet Race selling out in minutes, but why? Here at Ultimate Sails, we have reviewed the types of sails we have been selling most recently and how this reflects the bigger trends that are going on in the world of sailing.
As we look at these trends, we will be running a series of customer conversations looking at the different types of sailing our customers are choosing to do.
First up, we have the Fry family; Gary, Sasha, Oscar (14) and Jemima (12), who in 2018 brought their Xp44 minX to take their family sailing. We caught up with him to find out how he is getting on with the boat and the sails he purchased for the boat.
Sailing minX truly is a family affair where each member of the family has a crew role on the boat. Gary is helm and foredeck, Sasha is navigator, trim and foredeck. Oscar is the second helm and tactician, and Jemima is pit and trim. We find sailing 4 up with our unique systems works well.
“Oscar and Jemima sail competitively in dinghies at our local sailing club, Warsash Sailing Club, this is our boat where we can cruise and race as a family together,” comments Gary. MinX enables the four of them, to take more crew if they desire, and to race and be competitive enough, with the whole emphasis on fun.
They are always on the water whenever they can be. “Both Oscar and Jemima have caught the sailing bug. Oscar races a Topper and finished 2nd in the 2018 4.2 Nationals, and Jemima also races a Topper and came 14th in the 4.2 worlds in 2019. So, whilst the Xp44 is their family cruising time, it does get competitive and we have taken the time to think about the sail plan to make us as competitive as we can be sailing with just the four of us.
Xp44 has an Ultimate Sails Platinum membrane fully battened mainsail and furling jib, and an A4 asymmetric with a snuffer. “The sails are now into their second season, and still in great shape. They give us the flexibility to go out and be competitive in all conditions,” comments Gary. “I know Kevin, and I trust in his design. He knows my family and our competitive side, which helps!”
In their first season, they won the X Cup cruiser class and came a respectable 5th overall in Cowes week cruiser division A. In 2019, there was a big trip to the west country, taking part in Falmouth Week and came 2nd overall. They have also enjoyed trips to the Channel Islands and Weymouth, from their homeport of Hamble. MinX is also a mother ship whilst Oscar and Jemima race their dinghies, most recently in Poole and Weymouth. In total, they have spent around six weeks sailing her this year and in 2020 minX is looking to defend her X Cup title and will try to better their position in Falmouth week. As Oscar and Jemima get older there will be more offshore sailing.
“The sails are great, however, the service we have received from Kevin is exceptional. We had some issues early on; however, these were resolved quickly and efficiently. We even had some spare parts sent down to a regatta to keep us on the water competing. Ultimate Sails cares for you and looks after you.”