Clipper fleet makes an impact in New York

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Hyde’s Union Jack spinnakers made a stunning display as the fleet completed a parade of sail past the city, all part of the Make it GREAT Britain Campaign.

The Clipper Round the World Race fleet made an impressive impact on the city of New York during the recent race stopover as residents and visitors were treated to a special sail past in honour of Queen Elizabeth’s Diamond Jubilee.

‘Welcome to Yorkshire’ and ‘Edinburgh Inspiring Capital’ were flying very special Union Jack spinnakers produced by Hyde Sails as part of the Clipper Race’s involvement in the GREAT Britain campaign. Hyde’s Sales and Marketing Director, Richard Franks, was there: “It was a wonderful sight and I was very proud of all the work put in by the Hyde Sails’ team. A Clipper 68 code two spinnaker takes 361 metres of fabric and over 200 production hours to manufacture. The result is 324 square metres of downwind sailing power and even with one of the largest sailmaking facilities in the world, painting something of this size needs some thinking about.

“On consecutive weekends during May, teams from the Hyde Sails spinnaker and printing departments could be found stencilling and hand-painting the art work on the two spinnakers. The work is carried out using specialist inks that won’t run when the sail gets wet or peel when the sail is man-handled on and below deck. The result, after many hours of hard work, is the transformation of a blank canvas into a colourful and patriotic flying billboard that the teams taking part in the Clipper Race are proud to hoist.”

He added: “Hyde Sails is proud to be involved with supply of the GREAT Britain branded sails for the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race. Service and delivery is central to our commitment on every sail we make, which ensured this project was delivered on time. The New York stopover was altogether impressive, and it was great to see the Union Jack spinnakers against that famous skyline.”

This is the second edition of the race that has seen all 10 of the Clipper yachts powered by Hyde Sails. “Racing around the world is the ultimate test of all the equipment on a boat,” explains Richard. “For us it’s a great testing ground to ensure all our materials and production methods are not only up to scratch, but also in order for us to identify improvements that can be made, especially with advances in technology. Whatever we learn we feed back into the sails we are making for all our customers - we work on the basis that however good our sails might be we can always improve them - that’s what has kept us at the forefront of sailmaking.”

Hyde Sails Ltd, Harbour Building Office A, Hamble Point Marina, Hamble, Southampton SO31 4NB

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