On a beat from Code Zero to storm jib in a series of 13 videos

Sailing upwind is the least appreciated point of sail by sailors. We find ourselves heeled and slamming on the waves. When a storm rages we just wish it would end soon. Those who suffer from seasickness are often with a bucket within reach.

But let’s look at what happens with respect to the configuration of our sails on board as the wind increases. We will review the various sail configurations and sails changes  as the wind increases.

Sailing upwind / Beating

In very light winds we have to do our best to get the boat moving and generate some apparent wind. On IRC / ORC boats a true Code Zero would count as a headsail and not as a spinnaker, penalizing the rating.

For this reason the Code Zero itself is typical of oceanic classes such as the Mini 650s, Class40s and Imocas where the restriction is on the number and material of the sails but not on their shape. 

The videos are taken onboard an Akilaria RC1 Class40.

Code Zero

Code Zero and full mainsails – 3 knots true wind speed (TWS)

Code Zero and full mainsail – 5 knots true wind speed (TWS)

Code Zero and full mainsail – 5-7 knots of wind – Doldrums

Sailing upwind / beating with a Solent (genoa)

A Code zero may be carried up to about 8 knots of true wind speed. It can be a very light and delicate sail and upwind the apparent wind increases rapidly. To roll it, I recommend a very bear away to reduce the apparent wind. You can then furl up the sail quickly and safely and then you can get back on course with the solent (genoa).

Solent and full mainsail -13-15 knots of true wind speed

Solent and mainsail with one reef – 15-17 knots of true wind speed