North Ice (2009)

Ed Davis

The Ice is North’s “World Cup wave sail” and has been around for several seasons. It is slightly higher aspect and for this year North are highlighting its extra elasticity and “reduced sail foil tension”.

Set: As well as the excellent VTS downhaul system North now write the recommended boom lengths at different places on the boom cut-out. This means that you now know the correct outhaul (and by definition the correct downhaul) regardless of whether you put your boom at the top, half way or at the bottom of the cut-out (it makes a considerable difference to the required boom length). We think this is an excellent rigging guide that goes a long way to making sure that you are rigging the sail as intended.

Ice Set: The Ice seems to have a little more fullness shaped in further forward than the Ego but has lost the very definite knuckle it used to have just behind the luff. It maintains quite a bit of rotation when set, and a fraction more twist in the head. There is thus more fullness to be pulled into the sail once in the wind, unless you choose to tune it out with extra downhaul and outhaul. Again the rigging instructions make it relatively easy to rig correctly, although it does reward further experimentation for fine tuning.

Summary: Feels very upright, light and manoeuvrable. Flickier than the Ego but not as stable.

Matthew: “When compared to the Ego, the Ice has a much more forward and upright pull – however once again the sail was quite flat and gutless for me, with a wobbly feel (lack of drive at mid span) same comments apply to construction as to the Ego.”

Emile: “I didn’t get on with this anywhere near as well as the Ego. The bottom end seemed a bit lacking and the power seemed a lot more on and off dropping me off the plane occasionally. It felt fine when you were well powered up and it wasn’t gusty, but I feel that it lacks the range of some others. “It had quite a forward pulling centre of effort which made you quite upright and encouraged you to go for stuff.”

Ed: “More of a traditional design than the Ego. I would go for the Ego every time and felt it was better in the waves.”

Ian: “I prefer the more upright stance, forward drive and flickier feel of the Ice. Although I didn’t find it particularly powerful I didn’t have a problem with the power but did find the centre of effort more mobile than on many rival sails. I like the overall feel and flexibility of the sail which is light and extremely manoeuvrable, but would prefer more stability when the wind gets up. Graham from OTC very much likes the Ice which – in light of the comments from our heavier team members – definitely suggests that it appeals much more to lighter sailors.”

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