Problem –  how to get the genoa across and trimmed  before the boat is through to the other tack and the power comes on. Mis–time it and it takes an age to get trimmed, the boat doesn’t accelerate out of the tack and worst of all, doesn’t point.

What goes wrong? The old genoa sheet isn’t COMPLETELY cast off the winch, the friction on the new sheet builds and we come out of the tack with yards of sheet still to wind , the bowman has to get to leeward to skirt the genny and we go backwards – OR – the old genny sheet jams in the turning block with the same scenario -OR – there is a snag on the mast.

To counter this the trimmers mate stands over the old turning block and ensures there is no kink. The pianist porpoises early over the coachroof  hitting the new windward side before we come upright , grabs the lazy genoa sheet and pulls slack round and through the turning block. Bow hovers on the new leeward side of the mast (inside the sheets) and sorts any snags before they happen. Once the sheet is clear and under load she grabs the clew and throws herself, and it, at the fairlead. If all goes well the genoa will stay inside the rail , but if not, she may have to skirt it before returning to the high side.

The trimmers mate is the first off the rail before the tack, loading the new winch with 3 turns, uncleating the old  sheet, taking one turn off if its not too windy – but taking care NOT to release until the boat is nearly head to wind, at which point the sheet must come COMPLETELY clear of the winch (see above). The timing of release depends on the strength of wind and speed of tack – the lighter the wind ( the slower the tack)the later you can leave it . Meanwhile the trimmer has climbed off the rail in time to pull like hell. Hint – look at the clew and take every opportunity to take up the slack before any load comes on. When it does , take one or two more turns, then wind in the rest. If the trimmers mate is strong enough they can take the tail from the rail thus saving a second or two that would otherwise have been taken up with cleating the self-tailmechanism.

 Ideally, as the boat completes the tack the genoa will be inside the rail  with the leach 1 foot outside the spreaders – and this is wound in over the next  10 secs to 2 minutes depending on the conditions /boat speed etc. Mast, navigator and Spi trimmer hit the new windward side and hike , helm and mainsheet tack the runners and Mainsheet trimmer creates a nice accelerating shape that gets the speed back as quickly as possible .