Video Study Series: Heavy Air Downwind and Gybe

Posted by on Mar 31, 2012 in Boat Handling | Comments Off on Video Study Series: Heavy Air Downwind and Gybe

J24 4000 is in its second year of racing and still getting our feet below us. We shot a bit of video of the crew moving the boat downwind in a breeze, we then asked the Seattle J24 fleet to provide feedback to the video to help both us and others improve in these types of conditions. Below summarizes the advice.

Our video for reference is here.

The Harken video for comparison is here.


  • The back stay was on, take it off.
  • The main was out too far and needed to be brought in.
  • The top of the main was way too far forward, more vang on would help to control the mains top to be parallel with the boom.

Foredeck and Mast

  • The pole was too unstable, more pressure on the foreguy during a gibe only release it 6  inches, keeping it tight allows the foredeck to leverage against.
  • Put the windward tweaker down and when the spinnaker starts getting unstable, put the leeward tweaker way down too to keep the spinnaker from oscillating al over tarnation.


  • The pole was too far forward and needed to come back.  In a breeze over square the pole.
  • The kite was too far off the pole, pulling it back and adding more tweaker would help
  • Rotate the kite to weather so the draft radius runs diagonally from the pole to the upper right holder.
  • The trimmer needs to have both the guy and sheet in his hands and needs to fly it, up to 25kts of breeze.
  • Out of the jibe it looks like the trimmer is trying to ‘help’ the bowman by keeping the windward sheet eased after the jibe. That is wrong. Instead pull the guy to get the spinnaker out and clear of the main sail and with the added distance the pole will be reasonably easy to click on.


  • Driver was standing too much and needs to move forward.
  • The driver needs to perform a S jibe to keep the boat under the kite and keep the main from loading up after the jibe
  • The best time to heavy air jibe is when the boat is headed down a wave face. The apparent wind is lower and the main will unload easing the throw across.