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Avoiding a Capsize to Windward

17th August 2011
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Avoiding a Capsize to Windward

We had great reaction to the dramatic 'windward capsize' picture from last weekend's Feva national championships on our home page.

Afloat Photographer Bob Bateman (who else?) was on the Curlane Bank in Cork Harbour to capture the windward capsize of plucky youngsters Grattan Roberts /James McCarthy who finished eighth in the 30-boat regatta. Here's the full sequence of that windward capsize...

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Approaching the weather mark. The helmsman bears off for the important rounding and the crew moves inboard for the spinnaker hoist...

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As the boat bears off the mainsail is out too far...

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and the kicker is eased too much...

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creating twist at the top of the mainsail (which is out of picture)

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the non centred crew weight contributes to a death roll...

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that ends in a capsize to windward.....yikes!


To avoid this, it's an idea to ease off the kicker to a marked position so as to keep the leech closed.

It's worth remembering too that in big breezes you need to ease and gently bear away with correct twist in the main to stop a capsize to leeward!

Centreboard position also plays a part. Too little centreboard down can result in a broach to weather whereas too much centreboard down in a bear away can result in capsize to leeward.

Published in RS Sailing
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