4/1/2013

RICK WESSLUND AND TEAM EL OCASO WIN 2013 INTERNATIONAL ROLEX REGATTA

Veronica Brown

Wesslund wins precision Rolex timepiece and gives it to North rep Anson Mulder

Rick Wesslund and crew on his J/120 El Ocaso scored four bullets over six races to win the 2013 International Rolex Regatta in St Thomas, VI in late March. Racing with a full set of North sails, including North 3Di™ upwind sails and V-Series™ spinnakers, Wesslund was thrilled with his team's victory and so happy with his North Sails  representative, Anson Mulder, that he gave Mulder the Rolex precision timepiece that he won at the awards ceremony.

"Our crew has become a very consistent team over the past five years and as you know, that is a powerful thing," said Wesslund, who has owned his J/120 since 2001. "We don't do a lot of talking while we're racing and in fact, we often refer to ourselves as "team boring" because there's never pandemonium or shouting on the boat - even during tense moments. For example, we blew up an old kite while we were racing at the BVI Spring Regatta and we were able get the spinnaker down and replaced with a new spinnaker in just 90 seconds. There was no yelling, no panic, so I honestly believe that teamwork pays," Wesslund explained.

Wesslund and the El Ocaso team are no strangers to the leader board in the Caribbean circuit. "We won the St Maarten Heineken Regatta, BVI Spring Regatta and Antigua Sailing Week last year but didn't race in the Rolex Regatta so it's exciting to have won this event now, too," said Wesslund, who lives in Coconut Grove, FL. Team El Ocaso will return to Antigua in a few weeks to defend their title before the boat heads to the UK for the summer where she will be available for charter through Performance Yacht Charters. "Hopefully, she'll be chartered for the Round the Island Race, Fastnet Race and Cowes Race Week," Wesslund explained.

A lifelong North Sails customer, Wesslund proudly states that he has "never owned a non-North sail in my life." Wesslund worked with North's Pete McCormick while living in San Francisco until he moved to Florida in 2007. McCormick introduced Wesslund to Mulder and the relationship has grown from there. "Rick is great to sail with and work with. He really believes in North Sails products and last year, he transitioned from North 3DL® upwind sails to North 3Di and has been very happy with their shape holding and performance," explained Mulder who is based in Fort Lauderdale, FL. "This year, we added a 3Di mainsail and 3Di heavy headsail, which has been used the most and has held its shape very well," Mulder explained.

"3Di is a very impressive product and it may put my trimmers out of business because it holds it shape so well," Wesslund said. "It also appears to be more durable in terms of withstanding the rigors of the Caribbean environment. We love the Caribbean circuit and I have enjoyed the success we have had recently, but most of all, I love the team. The whole crew is just outstanding, including Anson," Wesslund concluded.

North Sails would like to congratulate Rick Wesslund and his crew on their success in St. Thomas and wish them luck on a successful sailing season ahead. Congratulations also to White Rhino, a Swan 56 owned by Jack Desmond who placed 3rd in CSA Racing 1 and to Bad Girl, a J/100 owned by Robert Armstrong who won CSA Racing 2. Congratulations to Lupa of London, a Baltic 78 owned by Jeremy Pilkington and Husaria, a Farr 47 owned by Krzysztok Kaminski and Irek Zubko finished 1st and 3rd respectively in IRC. Congratulations also to Jason Carroll and crew on ARGO for taking 2nd in the Melges 32 fleet.

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