EPEX GLP at front in UK
Elvstrøm Sails have launched EPEX GLP, a new development based on the successful EPEX membrane, which will extend the working life of your sails. Lasting longer through a wider range of conditions, with enhanced flexibility and abrasion resistance, GLP is a perfect new solution for both grand prix racing and high performance cruising yachts.
EPEX GLP is already making a mark in the UK. J109 owner and skipper, David McGough is using his new GLP main in the Warsach Spring series and is winning already. In a note to his team he says "We have the overall package to win this, but the boat that makes the least mistakes wins. When we get the trim right on Jeremy’s sails, no one can beat us on the beat. We were higher and faster and it makes the helm look great!"
Elvstrøm’s EPEX already has outstanding reputation for being robust and able to hold its shape with eight year old sails showing no signs of delamination. This new development, from Elvstrøm’s EPEX facility in Denmark, creates a lighter weight EPEX laminate material that is softer and much easier to handle in hoist and drops. It is more able to flex and bend, which is helpful especially for short-handed sailing, and can withstand the creasing effects of regular handling, flaking and packing into sail bags or covers. This means it is less likely to show wear from being reefed or getting crushed through general use on board too.
EPEX GLP is a process where a thin non-woven layer of polyester fibres is bonded to each side of the EPEX laminate under heat and pressure, creating an attractive soft, grey ‘Lite Skin’. In comparison to a conventional taffeta outer traditionally used for endurance sailing, the GLP skin is 40% lighter, bringing significant benefits for high performance sails offering increased durability with absolutely minimal weight gain. As the weight difference of GLP Lite Skin compared with a film/film EPEX racing sail is minimal, a light inshore mainsail built in GLP can now also become a multi-purpose offshore sail, thus helping owners get a greater range of sail usage for their budget.
Jesper Bank, commercial and development director and Olympic gold medallist comments, “We appreciate that sails are a big investment and so we strive to improve the working life of our sails, and ensure they can withstand the challenges and conditions sails have to endure when cruising or racing. The new GLP laminate reduces the thickness of the fabric, which makes it lighter and flaking the sail is much easier. There is also less compression on the laminate and fibres on the inside curve of each sail flake, so there is less tendency for the laminate to crease.”
Put to the test on a long distance races in winds up to 40+ knots and over 170 miles, on board a 37’ cruiser racer, provided great results both on the water and also with no evidence of any wear and tear to the fabric!
Elvstrøm have also produced an even lighter abrasion resistant fabric with a single white inside skin, where GLP is bonded into the middle layer of the laminate, which will be primarily used for racing sails where weight saving is a significant component.