Research and development around new and existing sailing technologies has always been at the core of the Doyle Sails New Zealand operation. Now, the company’s R&D division has been furthered strengthened with the appointment of David Le Pelley as Stratis Research & Development Manager.
After working at the forefront of yacht research for many years, Le Pelley’s name will be deservedly familiar to many in the sailing industry. Having led the yacht research unit at the University of Auckland for the past 13 years, Le Pelley is also the founder of VSpars, the sail shape and performance tracking technology used by sailmakers around the world to test and refine their products.
Following Le Pelley’s appointment, VSpars will continue to operate as normal, only will now be centred out of the Doyle Sails NZ loft. Use of the VSpars technology, together with Le Pelley’s extensive yachting knowledge, will assist Doyle in creating smart technologies that can be easily applied to sails to improve efficiency. Opportunities include the integration of the VSpars technology into Doyle-made sails to assist the development of the technology’s shape and performance tracking abilities to the benefit of Stratis.
Having grown up in Guernsey, Le Pelley is a keen sailor and can be regularly found on the water with his family, spending lots of time cruising and competing in the SSANZ Two Handed Series. After completing a degree in yacht and small yacht craft design at Southampton University, his career has seen him work with a who’s who of leading race boats, including the America’s Cup and Volvo fleet.
“I’m really pleased to have the opportunity to join such a vibrant company, which is making a concerted push to constantly evolve and better its products,” says Le Pelley. “Doyle Sails New Zealand has a strong team culture, which has brought together a collection of people passionate about developing the level of performance sailors can expect from their equipment.”
Le Pelley’s unrivalled expertise will prove invaluable to the continued evolution of Doyle’s Stratis range. As the Doyle group’s fibre-aligned laminated sail range, popular with yachts of all sizes, Stratis has forged a name for itself thanks to its reputation for performance and durability. Recent Stratis product developments include the launch of Stratis ICE, a unique new sail fibre, and Stratis Sail Art, a lightweight sail graphics printing solution. A strong beta-testing programme also sees several other new advancements under development.
“We are delighted to welcome David on board and to have him apply his extensive knowledge to the Stratis technology,” says Chris McMaster, Managing Director of Doyle Sails New Zealand. “The Stratis range was originally born out of a desire to innovate and push the boundaries of sail making and we look forward to David fronting the next generation of developments and advances in sail performance and durability.”