A closer look: the 10 piece sail puzzle
The 10 sails allowed by the race rules give room for flexibility, as theycan be designed to respond to any wind force or point of sail. There is nouniversal rule in terms of sail combinations; here it’s definitely a case of‘different strokes’ and neither do all entries carry the same sails. However,as a general rule, there are a series of basic configurations.
Main (mainsail). Only one is carried onboard and itis the only sail to work throughout the regatta. It is180m2 and can be reefed (the area can be reduced) upto four times (150, 120, 80 and 18m2).
Jib top or Genoa. This is a triangular sail set on theforestay and furled up to it. It is some 150m2.
Solent. A tall and slim triangular sail furled to thesecond stay. Not usually larger than 90m2.
Foresail. This is the sail available behind the Solentin a third stay that it may or may not be furled to. It issome 45m2.
Storm jib. This is a foresail for when there is lots ofbreeze, which is small and thick of some 25m2 and isfurled to the forestay.
Code 0. Light sail of some 230 m2 for light winds,which is set inside the bowsprit.
A2. Asymmetric spinnaker which extends to the endof the bowsprit and is hoisted to the top of the mast.This is the largest sail: some 440m2.
A3. Flatter asymmetric than the A2 used in moreclosed angles. 300m2.
A5. Fractional reaching gennaker, hoisted fractionally(below the mast top) set on the bowsprit interior. Upto 180m2.
A6. Asymmetric fractional running gennaker usedfor open courses and strong breeze. It is hoistedfractionally (lower than the mast top) and it is set onthe end of the bowsprit. Some 280 m2.
Reacher. For sailing with wind on the beam. Set onthe end of the bow and hoisted fractionally (lowerthan the top mast).
Mainsail with Genoa. For sailingdownwind and on more open runs with10 to 15 knots of breeze..
Mainsail with Code 0. A combinationsuitable for light breeze (no more than12 knots) suitable for sailing broadangles (from 40º to 120º)
Mainsail with Solent. Ideal for headwindsof between 15 and above 20 knots.
Mainsail with two reefs and a Staysail.For strong headwinds (over 25 knots).
Mainsail with three reefs and a stormjib. Used with strong headwinds of over30 knots.
Mainsail with reef and reacher. Usedwith wind on the beam of 20 to 30 knots.
Mainsail with A2. The most typicalcombination for open runs (from 135º)and winds from 12 knots to no morethan 25 knots.
Mainsail with A3. The A3 is used withapproximately the same wind conditions asthe A2 but with closer angles (up to 100º).
Mainsail with reef and A5. A5 is usedwith the same angles as A3·but withmore wind as it can usually withstandover 30 knots.
Mainsail with a reef and an A6.Combination frequently used in strongwinds and open runs (over 25 knots).