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Kit Guide

Safety 'blow through' Gybe in a Rooster 4000.

By Steve Cockerill 2nd October 2020

Racing at Stokes Bay in what might be called fresh to frightening conditions - onshore with winds 25 + knots.

The key features of the safety or blow through gybe are:

Helm - concentrating on keeping the boat as flat and fast as possible. Looking ahead for the best potential flat spot in the waves to turn. Once a nice spot is singled, the helm calls the gybe.

The Crew - once aware we are about to gybe, Sarah prepares mentally and concentrates on keeping the speed on. Sarah spots the wave as I do and stands up on the rack, whilst also taking in a little on the gennaker sheet as she is now standing.

Helm - I let the boat (now slightly heeling to windward) take the turn, pushing my weight to the windward side as I cross the boat so there is no need for rudder to be pulled. The boom is light as the boat accelerates so I pull it across the boat as I shout duck.

Crew - Sarah tries to stand on the old windward side as long as possible - only stepping across the boat as the boom crosses, whilst still holding the old gennaker sheet tight - only letting it go when the new sheet is ready to take up the slack. Sarah hooks on to the trapeze and only releases the new gennaker sheet to full power when she is ready to take the full power as she steps out on the wire.

Helm - Waits for the moment for the crew to release the old sheet and controls the power until Sarah starts to release to make full power. Once released I can allow the boat to come up closer to the wind - watch out for the spray.

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