Our bro Jeremy Leonard from Surf City Catamarans discovers this gem…
You see it every time you look at the classified section, boats advertised with X number ‘bags of sails’ down below. If you’re looking at an older boat, say from the 80’s, there can be all kinds of exciting things, in vibrant, day-glow colors, usually hot pink. A lot of the time the previous owner just didn’t have the guts to throw out the old rags that should have been converted to tarps back when Duran Duran’s Rio was playing on MTV, but sometimes you score.
The crew at Santa Cruz Sails called me up the other day to say that they really scored on a recently donated Santa Cruz 27 with all kinds of ‘bags of sails’ stashed below. They were excited to show me something revolutionary. When I asked them what could possibly be so revolutionary, my bro Patrick said with a smirk, “It’s a wing, man. Like the America’s Cup…” Cool. A wing on a Santa Cruz 27, I’ve got to see this.
We made a plan that they would pick me up on the fuel dock, and as I saw them tacking up the channel, I noticed the bowman ‘pumping’ with his foot. Sure enough he was pumping up inflatable chambers sewn into the luff of the jib, much like inflating the leading edge of a kite. Eventually the sail would inflate so that the luff was about 8” thick, and though not exactly like the BOR 90’s wing, as Patrick claimed, it kind of had a wing shape. Kind of.
We inflated the matching main, and as we were leaving the harbor we saw the Pegasus Boys rigging their Open 50. We were hoping that they would be coming out to practice so we could show off our giant killer. No such luck. I tried to find out more about the sail maker of these fine ‘Angel Wings’ out of Dana Point, but had no luck; I did however find the patent.
After a nice sail upwind toward Capitola, we hoisted the complimentary titty-pink (shockingly, not hot pink) spin and headed for home. This boat ‘Lark’ is one of two SC 27s in the UCSC Sailing program, and they are slated to be match-race platforms for a developing program that I can’t talk much about. It might be a women’s sailing program, and they might have 15 women signed up so far, but you didn’t hear it from me. Stand by for more on that.