A Day with Mike Marshall 

“Let me put another layer on…” Mike Marshall said as he jogged back to the car for some extra thermal gear. Nearly two years removed from his last stint on the boats at Key West Race Week, Mike joined the 1D team yet again. It was 11 degrees Celsius (in the low 50’s for those South of the border), drizzling and blowing 17 knots... in other words, a perfect day for Flying Tiger 7.5 sailing. Well, that's only true because it was the last time sailing in frigid Canada for the team before they head South on new 4-boat trailers, with their fleet and brand new sail inventory in tow.

When the question of who should design the new sail inventory was raised there was no debate, Mike Marshall was the man for the job. Fresh off of the IC37 design project, Mike somehow found the time to make the hop from Rhode Island to Toronto to help 1D Sailing kick off their 2018-2019 Regatta Experience program the right way; with new 3Di mains. 

After a delayed flight, a cranky customs officer, some infamous Toronto highway traffic, and a little rain, the team was bundled up and ready to rock! With the chase boat close in tow taking photos of slot and shape, the gang got the kite up and broke the boat loose off the breeze. Huddled tightly together in the back of the boat (to keep warm and to keep the bow out of the water… well, mostly to keep warm), Mike took the tiller and got the boat up and planing. He swears he would’ve trimmed but he “forgot his gloves” (classic helmsman). 

Once the boat ripped sufficiently offshore (which took a quick second), the chute was doused and the measurements began. Mike was generous enough to let me drive as he played with everything imaginable in order to get the most thorough understanding of the rig and boat characteristics. Sheet in and out, traveler up and down, vang, cunningham, outhaul, halyard all tensioned to their max then loosened to slack, all while Mike noted every number, setting, and tuning piece. At one point, Mike even had a ruler taped to a boathook to get the closest rake measurements as possible while under load. 

After a frozen hour and a half and only one wipeout (one that I may or may not be responsible for), the team hit the dock and were looking to get warm, but Mike wasn't finished yet. Out came the loose gauge and tape measure and we were off to the races. Bow-sprit to transom, every working facet of the boat was measured, re-measured, noted and recorded. With only a stop for a quick poutine lunch (I kid you not), Mike hit the yard with our fleet manager to review the rig with a fine toothed comb. If it has to do with Flying Tiger 7.5 sail plan or rig, Mike measured it.

Considering I am writing this from the airport after dropping Mike off, I am not exactly sure how the sails will look. But what I can tell you is that they are going to be perfectly suited for the boats, they are going to be sleek, and knowing North 3Di products, they are going to be FAST! 

Look out for these brand new 3Di sails at Bacardi Winter Series, St. Petersburg NOOD, Bacardi Invitational Cup, and Charleston Race Week at our Regatta Experiences and North U programs down South this winter. With only 10 boats available and over half of them spoken for, NOW is your chance to try some incredible one-design sailing with some amazing new sails. 

I’ll be down there with Mike drinking dark and stormy’s in the sun. Will you?

- Connor MacKenzie 

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