New Sails Please!!!
The winter season has been pretty hectic as the major brands have been busy swapping more stuff than the local pawn brokers.
Firstly Naish sail designer Dan Kaseler leaves, then we hear that The Team (as in Barry Spanier, Phil McGain, Kevin and Matt Pritchard) who are the design and marketing force behind Gaastra’s most recent revival, are out of contract and not renewing. Then the wavesailing legend that is Francisco Goya launches his new sail range to the world..
With two major brands without a sail designer and a design team without a sail loft you had to wonder where it was all going, for 5 minutes anyway. So we bring you the updated version of the Designer Sail Games Package.
FACT 1: Gaastra have signed up Dan Kaseler
Dan had built a strong reputation with the highly regarded Naish Sails, including the development of the BOXER and the world speed record power house, the Stealth. Naish sails are very different to the current Gaastra range so we should expect future Gaastra sails to have similarities to Dan’s design beliefs with Naish.
Kauli Seadi and the Boxer
FACT 2: Matt Pritchard decides to stay with Gaastra
This is probably because of his Tabou sponsorship but they also offer him the job of International Team Manager for Gaastra & Tabou as well as wanting him to keep winning World Titles on the PWA Tour. So is this the end of THE TEAM? Over to Matt…
What’s the deal Matt?
Matt: I am with Gaastra and yes, my involvement with being ‘part of’ The Team is finished. We are still friends and hang out so it was mainly a business decision. There are no hard feelings.
Will Maui Sails essentially continue in the way of Gaastra design?
Matt: Maui Sails will continue with Barry and Phil creating the product range. They will keep up development as they always have done.
Spot the difference: Gaastra on the left, Maui Sails on the right
Will you have input into the design of the new Gaastra’s under Dan Kaseler?
Matt: Yes, I will be working with Dan on all the new Gaastra products.
FACT 3: Naish have signed up Nils Rosenblad
Previously of Neil Pryde fame and behind the very successful wave sail, the NR. We asked Michi Schweiger, product development manager of Naish sails for his comments.
Is it true that Dan Kaseler has joined Gaastra and Nils Rosenblad has joined Naish?
Michi: True. Nils is a complete package. He has all it takes to keep making world class sails. His combination of immense experience with his ability to create not only function but also style is all we can wish for at this point. He also has the ability to not only design sails but also rig components. It will be a pleasure working with him.
Dan decided to move to the mainland (away from Maui) and we wish him all the best with Gaastra.
Naish sails have been getting pretty good write ups recently so is there a need to bring a new designer in with new ideas?
Michi: Hiring a new sail designer does not mean that the style of Naish sails will change. We are a Team that is working on all Naish sail lines all the time. The result is a combination of the knowledge and ability of the sail designer and the feedback that is delivered by the R&D team. Our goal is to carry on with the typical Naish feel that our sails have and make them, bit by bit, even better. However, Nils will bring a different point of view to the design of Naish which can only be a good thing.
How much input do you and Robby Naish have in the design of sails?
Michi: No sail prototype goes into production without Robby or my approval. Together with Nils we will create the style and feeling that we want from any sail in the Naish sail range.
FACT 4: The Team launch their own sail brand, Maui Sails.
With Barry Spanier in the sail loft and Kevin Pritchard, Phil McGain, Dorota Staszewska and freestyle supremo Taty Frans on the water.
No doubt Maui Sails will be very similar in design to the current Gaastra’s and follow the Team’s 15 year evolution of sail design that started at Neil Pryde, funnily enough when Nils Rosenblad and Bjorn Dunkerbeck were also there!
They will release their race sail, the TR-1 this April followed by the wave and recreational sails. However, you can get a sneak preview of the wave sail (apparently called the Legend) as Kevin Pritchard puts it through its paces at Hookipa.