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Gybing an RS400

Gybing an RS400 can be trickier than some other dinghy classes due to its size, speed and the presence of wing-wangs (used to adjust the spinnaker pole angle).

This quick post summarizes our current method of heavy weather gybing along with a little video to demonstrate it.

1) Get the boat flat first! The crew loosely cleats the windward jib sheet before the maneuver begins.

2) The helm then uncleats the windward wing-wang and pulls the tiller toward themselves gently. The crew simultaneously moves weight into the boat whilst uncleating the leeward jib sheet.

3) At this stage the boom is beginning to travel across the boat. The helm begins to cross the deck and, en route, grabs the new wing wang with the mainsheet hand. The crew simultaneously begins pulling the spinnaker across (having the spinny sheets as short as possible can be useful here).

4) At this stage the boom has swung past the midpoint of the boat. The helm leaps out onto the toe straps and at the same time cleat the now windward wing-wang(tricky maneuver but mastered with practice). The crew also leaps out onto the toe straps and soon after begins adjustments to the jib and spinnaker. 5)The helm then swaps the tiller and sheet into the new hands. If the boat feel slightly overpowered here, the helm can simply steer the boat slightly back downwind to de-power it.

Overall this is quite tricky but practice makes perfect! Hopefully the video below will make everything clearer: 


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