News and stories from UK I NE sailors
Read past stories and articles from our UK | Northeast sailing community that recognize and celebrate accomplishments that we can all be proud to have been a part of.
Nassau Cup Victory
November 19, 2018
Chris and Karen Lewis’ J/44 Kenai had a fast race from Miami to Nassau this past weekend. This iconic race dates back to the 1930’s and takes competitors 160 miles across the gulf stream and down the Providence Channel. The course frequently requires tricky navigation close to shoals and through tough current.
This year transitioned from a slow to a fast race, with a frontal system overtaking the fleet several hours out from Miami and propelling them to Nassau. It ended with a fast run as shown above, with Kenai dousing her spinnaker to leeward of the Paradise Island Lighthouse. The hard work paid off with a division victory.
UK New York’s Emmett Dickheiser is a regular crew member, and is very familiar with the J/44 after maintaining it as a captain for several years. The whole team is fresh off of another J/44 North American Championship victory and is no stranger to the SORC series after winning the Nassau Cup in 2016 as well as the Fort Lauderdale to Key West Race overall in ORC.
Kenai was powered with a UK Titanium Mainsail and Light #1 that helped keep the boat moving in the light air that prevailed over the race start. Waking up at 4 A.M. on day two, most of the crew remembers seeing the navigation lights of the TP52 fleet only 2-4 miles ahead.
This victory poises Kenai to be a leader in the Islands in the Stream Series as it develops over the winter. The next race is on December 6th from Miami to West Palm Beach, also known as the Wirth Munroe or “Buffet” race.
August 19, 2019
Another special project UK | NY took on was a rush job for the United Nations. The UN Secretary General wanted to meet Greta Thunberg, the Swedish teenage climate advocate – with a flotilla of sailboats – displaying the UN’s sustainable development goals printed on banners that would replace the boat’s sails. We received the request a week before her arrival, and on August 28th, the banners were on the fleet of 17 Colgate 26’s! Our chief sailmaker, Emmett Dickheiser, worked nearly 72 hours straight to assemble the banners that would be hoisted on the flotilla’s rigs. Safeguarding our planet for future generations is something everyone can agree on!
Made in the USA
June 14, 2019
Anyone who has been to the loft since its relocation to our new Port Chester site has surely seen the massive undertaking that it has been to create a fully functional, well-equipped, and modern loft space. That hard work has paid off and we are proud to say that in the new year we are working at 100% capacity.
We’ve hired several full-time employees from the best areas in the industry that work hard to make your new sails and repairs absolutely perfect. This means that the dedicated staff you see at the yacht club and on the race course is intimately familiar with your sails and design.
Sails aren’t made and sent in a box with a packing slip! Our attention to detail is second to none. Perhaps the most exciting development is we’re back to making sails that are 100% Made in the USA and mostly in New York.
What many people don’t know is that a large portion of sail cloth fabrication happens right in our backyard, here in the USA. Then with our resources and partnership between lofts, we design, cut, assemble, and finish your sails in lofts that are only dedicated to the UK group. Shown above is one product of our system. This H-Boat mainsail was designed by Pedro Gianotti of UK Sailmakers Texas, who had spent significant time in the Soling, a similar style boat. The cloth was produced by Dimension Polyant in Connecticut and then cut by Pat Considine from UK Chicago and assembled / finished here in New York by Emmett Dickheiser. It’s a lot of moving pieces but we will do whatever it takes to make you a great sail that’s durable and performs the best!
Block Island Race Winner:
First in Class, First in Fleet, Best Overall Performance
By Buttons Padin, May 28, 2019
Steve and his sailing partner, Ron Weiss, took ELENA out for last weekend’s Around Block Island Race and found that this jib exceeded expectations...again. It’s rare in sailing that one size fits all; but Steve, Ron and the crew of ELENA think they found the magic sauce! Here are Ron’s comments on the race and the sail:
“ELENA is basically a one-jib boat so we had asked UK Sailmakers to build us a genoa that would sail upwind and reach. Our only other headsail is a heavy weather staysail, so we needed a genoa that could cover the range of wind conditions from 0-25+ and act as a jib and a quasi-Code 0. This year's Block Island Race gave us exactly that: 0-25+ and we had the sail up the entire time with the exception of a period of light air DDW running in Block Island Sound.
The light X-Drive construction and structural rigidity of the cloth gave it shape in the lighter air, and since it was designed with more camber in order to be a close reaching genoa (as opposed to being optimized for upwind/close hauled work), we found it was very effective at the lower end of the range. That said, in the higher wind ranges, that thing is a beast. We were sailing in high 20’s AWS with a reefed main for the entire leg from the Gut to the finish in Stamford. These were the exact Bermuda-like conditions we expect in the Marion Bermuda Race, and the results of this race were very encouraging: First in Class, First in Fleet (PHRF) and Best Overall Performance!
We also found that the double headsail rig with the staysail (we just found out the staysail is an original 1986 sail from when the boat was built, but a new UK one is on order!) and the UK #2 were a fantastic combination when slightly cracked off. We could really power up the boat while maintaining a balanced helm, and by playing the in-mast roller reefing main we could fine-tune things when we were going through sustained periods of high breeze, or lulls – if you can call 18-20 knots lulls! We are very much looking forward to doing the Marion Bermuda Race, and we certainly hope that this year's conditions match what this sail was built for. If the weather is right for it, we think we can expect another tremendous performance.”
One size may not always fit all situations when sailing; but ask UK Sailmakers to help you sort out your sail inventory to optimize your performance.