WOW - The next big thing?

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WOW - The next big thing?


Wally has got together with Ilan Gonen, pioneer of the Omer Wing Sail, to develop a patented wing-sail technology for Wally’s large cruisers. The claims made are certainly impressive.

MARCH 2010

WOW stands for ‘Wally Omer Wing’.
The advantages are said to be higher performance in terms of boat speeds and headings, easier handling, easier reefing, improved safety and reliability; plus such systems are simpler structurally, which should improve what can be done with interiors.
The system is relatively simple. It includes a free-standing rotating carbon mast with carbonfibre frames that carry 3DL sail cloth on both sides. It is manoeuvred with a hydraulic ram and sheet; and wing profiles will be changed with the push of a button so optimizing the wing shape.
The new sails should also last longer than conventional sails because they will be more stable and won’t slam.
Wally founder and president Luca Bassani says a WOW rig should deliver 10-30 per cent better performance for a given hull. Indeed he suggests the recently launched Wally 130 fitted with this new sail (shown) could be half a mile ahead of the same boat and her existing rig following just a 30-minute beat. And he says downwind speeds could be much quicker with the WOW and a Code 0 working together.
Certainly the concept fits perfectly with the Wally ethos. The company began by championing what it called fast, easy and safe sailing.

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© Phil Draper