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Tailored to the task

Yacht Racing Podcast

Dimension PolyantCode sails and flying headsails put huge demands on the reliability of sailcloth. Now there’s a solution.

The advent of code zeros and flying headsails has produced a big leap forward in reaching performance among all boat types, from cruisers to flat-out Grand Prix racers. The market has responded favorably with sales of these sails being robust for all sailmakers at all scales.

To achieve the same levels of efficiency that decades of their development of upwind headsail sailcloth has produced, Dimension- Polyant has now put the same effort of development into the introduction of a new cloth style, CZ Uni Black.

The wide range of wind angles and wind speeds where these sails operate places tremendous demand on the reliability of sail material to perform as predicted in the design and construction process.

Main image: The wide range of wind angles and speeds in which code sails operate requires sailcloth to perform precisely as predicted in the design process. Below: The new CZ UNI Black from Dimension-Polyant is specifically developed to address this issue.

‘This new material therefore has been developed specifically for these sails and is a progression from our TyraPLY material,’ says Ben Rogers of Dimension-Polyant. ‘Construction is similar to our traditional CZ fabric but the warp yarns are replaced with a TyraPLY warp orientated uni-directional “sheet” and the proven light woven taffeta replaced with a new black woven taffeta produced with spun-dyed yarn for best in class colour fastness.’

The result is a carefully engineered material ideally suited to strike the balance between the light weight needed to preserve the boat’s stability, ease of sail handling characteristics like abrasion and chafe durability, and the strength needed where it counts. This is vitally important for sailmakers to be assured their careful efforts in design and manufacturing are translated to integrity in the intended flying shape of the final product.

‘With CZ Uni Black, the TyraPLY range is becoming more complete, specifically in the PSA patch and structural reinforcement materials,’ says Rogers. ‘CZ Uni Black will use the uni-directional PSA material as radial patches and we will also offer balanced TyraPLY PSA and Lite Skin PSA to match the TyraPLY Lite Skin surface. All are designed to save weight, build strength into the sail where needed and make the finished sail look harmonised.’

Dimension-Polyant’s CZ Uni Black development process is more than just testing with design software and in the laboratory. It also involves application in the real world. A development Code Zero made from CZ Uni Black wlll be supplied to Alexandre Ozon’s Bepox 990 Team 2 Choc, which is entered in the second edition of the Cap Martinique 2024.

This 3800-mile ocean race from La Trinité-Sur-Mer in Brittany to Fort-de-France in Martinique will be a gruelling test for the singlehanded and double-handed teams who are racing boats from 30ft to 40ft in length from the Bay of Biscay, across the Atlantic and into the Caribbean.

The shorthanded teams and their boats will likely be tested in all conditions of wind and seas. With nearly 80 entries anticipated to be on the start line in mid-April, this race has nearly doubled in size since the first edition ran in 2022 and will thus be an appropriate test for the sails and equipment aboard Team 2 Choc.

Ozon has an impressive track record of singlehanded success to put Dimension- Polyant’s CZ Uni Black to the test: he was the solo division winner in the 2018 and 2021 editions of the Transquadra Race and also won the solo division of the Cap Martinique 2022.

He is meticulous in preparation and monitoring his achievements, and works closely in parallel with his sailmaker Jèrôme Dupin of Starvoiles to optimise his performance for both the yacht and his race strategies. Hence, he is one of the most successful IRC Solo sailors.

‘Alexandre already has upwind sails that will be TyraPLY, and at this stage Team 2 Choc intends to use a Code Zero from our traditional CZ GP laminate for the race,’ says Mathieu Bourdais, sales manager of Dimension-Polyant in France. ‘But in parallel we look to engineer a sail beyond the established limits using CZ Uni Black and Tyra UD TAPES PSA. Understandably, given that the skipper’s aim is to repeat his win in 2022 they need to be 100 per cent sure and confident with what equipment they take.

‘Regardless, the pre-race period will be a good testbed and get us valuable feedback,’ he concludes. ‘Depending on this feedback, the CZ Uni Black sail may get used for the race and help Ozon achieve his goal to defend his title.’

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