Trickle up

During the 2013 America’s Cup the four teams were improvising frantically to improve the endplate effect at the bottom of their rigs. In the A-Class 2016 world champion Mischa Heemskerk has taken the time to do things properly

My dad first took me on his catamaran when I was just four years old. By the time that I was eight I was crewing for him in all of his races. As I was a little muppet he made all kinds of adjustments in his boat’s systems to allow me to operate them, being rather small and weak! It is from him that I developed my philosophy of always asking the question, why is it this way? Always searching for the fundamental problem as well as the actual purpose of every item.

My dad set me the example to follow and today any gift I have lies in identifying the real problem areas (variables) and finding improvements.

My dad always pushed the limits and kept searching for the next thing; we had many discussions about the theory of why something should be a certain way and which laws of physics were relevant. I love exploring and testing – in my opinion there are no problems, there are only solutions.

I started Mischa Sails 26 years ago in our garage. I bought an industrial sewing machine because no sailmaker was then prepared to help us develop the rig for our self-built 23ft carbon catamaran Dominator. I also have a degree in mechanical engineering which is a great foundation for the work that I do, allowing me to calculate for myself the forces involved and how to resolve them.

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