Crew Positions


Steers, co-ordinates manoeuvres, adjusts backstay , does runners on tacks , and calls the close quarter tactics .  Stays calm when all about is chaos. If you believe that you will believe anything! However, as the only crew member who isn’t pulling/winding/grinding or generally working hard with head down – they are in the best position to direct affairs when the shit hits the fan!

The Sweeper

Runs the gybes and gybe hoists – taking one of the spinnaker sheets. Takes spi sheet from trimmer before manoeuvres/drops. Grinds for spi trimmer until she can persuade someone else to take over! Gathers spi on drops (either in cockpit or in the case of a foredeck drop, inside the fore hatch) Packs spi. Acts as a back up to whoever is in trouble.  Can usefully be combined with navigators role.

The Main Trimmer

Trims main! When it blows needs to be strong – and understand sail shape. Talks speed to helm and tactician. Ideally looks at heading and calls shifts.

The Genoa Trimmer

Controls genoa  most of the time, good on sailshapes and preferably  powerful. Takes one of the spi sheets during gybes and gybe hoists. Works with the Pianist to record and duplicate fastest fairlead and halyard settings .

The Trimmers Mate

Lets off genoa in tacking , combining with the Genoa Trimmer in one of several ways  to sheet in new side( tailing , inserting winch handle  depending on preference) . Trims Spi Guy through most manoeuvres and on downwind legs.  Gybes genoa  on bear away set AND pulls on new guy although could swap this job with genoa trimmer who otherwise takes a spi sheet. ( see notes on bear away set)

The Spi Trimmer

Plays spinnaker sheetfrom the windward side deck – with various crew members taking it in turn to grind for him/her. Struts windward spi sheet thro gybes and hoists.Gybes runners when its blowing hard . Gathers spi on drops. Upwind hikes with GPS in hand, monitoring and recording CMG on each tack and comparing this with bearing of mark to assist with layline judgement. Acts as link between foredeck and cockpit and generally contributes to  upwind tactics and nav..

The Pianist

In charge of halyards. In the prestart  records fastest halyard  settings (tunes the piano) and ensures that they are duplicated at each hoist. Keeps pit immaculate , halyards flaked , and  adjusts vang / outhaul in discussion with main trimmer. Can be overloaded coming into a mark rounding so needs to ensure manoeuvres are initiated in time. Responsible for flaking halards , sheets and guys prior to spi drop. May fly kite in more complex drops. Links foredeck and cockpit and may well be crew boss.


Works with bow to ensure that halyards remain untwisted , genoas are plugged in , hoisted ,retrieved and secured, the pole goes up and down the mast , spinnaker is set and retrieved , pole is tripped through the gybe.  Needs to be strong and fasts so sails appear like magic! Helps retrieve spi. Upwind , helps with mark spotting and plans downwind strategy /worklist with Bow  


Calls the line at the start (gets transit in prestart). Works with Mast as above but tends to do the wet bits at the front. Sets everything up for the manoeuvres to come (hoists, tack changes, peels etc), blows the kite from the bow at spi drops. Tidies away pole, skirts genoa. Finishes first!

The Navigator

Usually Lynda who combines nav with  running the gybes as sweeper’. Works with whoever is doing tactics to get optimum course , lay lines, wind shifts, tidal factors and meteorology.


Taken by one of the above. Works with helm and Navigator (and the rest of the crew if possible) – keeps concentrating on wider picture, including wind, tide, how the next leg influences the end of this one etc.