Thursday, 11 June 2015

Changing headsails in the middle of a race

Changing headsails when the race is on is very crucial and this can actually make the team win or lose. With a change in weather and knots, you need to promptly switch to a different headsail or else you’ll slow down and someone else will leave you behind.

Please go through these steps/tips--
• First decide who’s going to take care of which part of the job so that no confusion arises while changing.

• Marking the jib tracks and the halyard is the first thing to do before the race get started.

• Decide about the halyard tension and make sure that the hanks run smoothly.

• Ensure that the Jib blocks are stored in a known place.

• Middle and Bow crew should keep white tape rolls. These is highly recommended to tape the snap shackle of a Jib.

• While approaching the line the Skipper needs to be alert of the wind shifts. If you are sailing downwind with a spinnaker up when the Bow team will change the headsail, the Skipper will need to steer or somehow balance the boat as the bow part will be down due to forward weight.

• In case of downwind-spinnaker situation, the middle crew should jibe the spinnaker pole and then raise the headsail.

• Flaking requires enough hands but this is a good trick to help a quick change. Fold the sails in to thirds and tie them loosely. Raising the sail will be faster.

• For the headsail which is not in use, reeve one extra set of Jib sheets.

• Flaked headsail with tack facing forward should be placed on the deck in a way that it can be hanked on right away, whenever needed.

• The Bow team member should always keep the sail between his knees while unhanking.

• When the waves are rough, the Genoa clew and leech should be bungeed down.

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