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Hyde Sails 2022 One Design LEADERBOARD

Hyde Sails all set for Itchenor Keelboat Week

by Hyde Sails 17 Jun 2023 09:00 BST
X166 'Swallow' on her way to victory in Cowes Week 2022 © Hyde Sails

The sailing season is now in full swing, and the Hyde Sails team attend numerous events across the year giving us the very unique opportunity to interact with our customers, and also to gain important knowledge of the needs fleets have from the products we design and manufacture.

This week Ben McGrane, One-Design Manager, is heading to Itchenor for Keelboat Week. Hyde achieved unrivalled success in the XOD class in 2022 winning both Cowes Week and Cowes Classics. Heading to Itchenor offers different opportunities.

Ben shares his thoughts on why Itchenor Keelboat Week is invaluable for Hyde Sails: "This will be our third year attending Itchenor Keelboat Week; it's a really important event for us. With strong local fleets of XODs, Swallows and Sunbeams it is great to get amongst the sailors for a chat, offer our insight and knowledge, and gather information.

"Specifically with the XOD the week gives us a very different set of conditions. Where we are based in the central Solent we are well positioned to develop sails in the conditions normally found at Cowes and Cowes Classics, but we also want to make sure the sails work well in the flat water conditions found in Chichester and Poole harbours where the XOD has two strong divisions. We are conscious to make sure our development isn't heavily driven in a single direction purely based on the conditions in one area of the Solent."

He continues, "The reality is, if you look at a Championship week sailing over 5-6 days in the UK you can expect to sail in everything from 4-30 knots and in all sea states. Local wind effects and changing conditions can also mean largely changing weather over a day or even race. Our sail designs and setup knowledge has to cater for all of that, and we want to do it without multiple designs. The ethos is for simplicity.

"Looking back on 2022, Itchenor Keelboat Week was instrumental to the XOD success at Cowes. Itchenor was largely sailed in light winds and the consistency of the conditions meant we could really lock in on an improved setup for those conditions, resulting in third overall and a win in the last race. Cowes Classics produced classic central Solent chop and varied wind, so by the time we raced Cowes Week we had a well-sorted setup for the range of conditions you can get in August in the UK."

Ben will be racing on X166 across the five day regatta and is available to discuss all Hyde Sails products. Find him after racing at the sailing club and he will be happy to chat.

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