Code zero sails became popular towards the end of the 90ies. During the Whitbread Race in 1997/ 1998 this special sail was seen for the first time. Designed for sailing close to the wind in light air, the code zero - or simply code 0 - was recognized as a true asset.
Today, the code 0 is an established force and widely-used, not only during offshore races. The classical code 0 can be used at an apparent wind angle AWA between 45° and 90° and a true wind speed TWS lower than 10 knots. Depending on your boat type, you can drive it up to 18 knots.
With modern boat rigging, big shrouds and comparatively small head sails, 110% overlapping max, modern yachts showed a performance gap in light wind conditions up to 8 knots. Code 0 closes that gap.
Since the demand for big up-wind or reaching sails has increased, the design of the classical code 0 has been modified slightly; more resembling a genoa I light.
At PrimeSails, we named this kind of sail topreacher. It differs from a code 0 in two ways: its straight free-flying luff and a negative roach. But since the use is quite similar to that of a code 0, we put the topreacher into the same category.
If you look at the international racing scene today, a modern code 0 looks more light a light genoa I.
How do you sail a code 0 or topreacher?
A furling-system to set the code 0 has been well-tried in the past. Furling-systems with an endless furling line leading all the way to the cockpit and a halyard swivel are offered as a complete kit. If you need information on this – we gladly provide you with advice!