Bear Away Spinnaker Set

J Boat Asymmetric Handling Tips

Bear-away PORT Set – for Starboard Set read opposite

The majority of hoists in the J/105 and J/109 class racing will be bear away sets. Getting this simple maneuver right will give you boat lengths on the opposition.

As you approach the mark the Port Trimmer is the only crew member off the rail, he can ease jib and load the leeward coach roof winch with the port spinnaker sheet.

At three boat lengths from the mark the Squirrel heads into the forepeak and opens the hatch and gets ready to feed the tack out of the hatch.

At one boat length from the windward mark the Pit Man enters the pit, loads the halyard winch with one turn and prepares to extend the pole.

As per class rules the pole can only be extended after the bow passes the windward mark.

As soon as the bow is past the windward mark the Pit Man extends the pole with the tack line clutch open.

Top tip: use a marker pen on the pole outhaul so you know when it is fully extended.

After the pole is set The Pit Man calls “POLE MADE” and the Bowman goes forward and starts feeding the tack out to the end of the pole assisted by the Squirrel inside the forepeak while the Pit Man hauls the tack line. Bowman calls “TACK MADE” when the tack reaches the end of the pole and the Pit Man closes the clutch on the tack.

NB: It is important for the Bowman to hold the foot of the spinnaker inside the boat as in strong breeze there is a danger of it dropping into the water.

Depending on the angle of the spreader leg and wind speed the Afterguard should call the hoist, it is the responsibility of the Afterguard to inform the Mast Man when he will be hoisting, e.g. “on the spreader leg”, “at the mark” or “2 boat lengths after the mark”.

This means that the Mast Man can keep his/her weight on the rail for as long as possible only approaching the mast when the kite is about to be hoisted.

The Pit Man takes control of the Halyard.

At the point where the Afterguard is about to call for the hoist the Bowman should have one hand on the foot of the spinnaker (to keep it out of the water) and one hand on the middle of the foot of the headsail to give the kite an easy journey from the hatch to the top of the mast.

The Mast Man moves to the mast and prepares to hoist.

The Starboard Trimmer moves inside the rail and takes control of the spinnaker sheet.

Afterguard calls for the hoist.

During the hoist the Mast Man should adopt a hand over hand style hoist feeding a rapid but smooth halyard to the pit. In the pit there should only be one turn on the winch. The Pit Man takes all the slack and if necessary is ready to drop the Halyard should a problem arise.

In the event of a problem the Bowman calls for the kite to be dropped and the Pit Man eases the halyard to the Bowman who then feeds it back into the Squirrel who sets it up for another launch.

As soon as the spinnaker reaches the top of the rig the Mast Man calls “MADE” and the Starboard Trimmer can sheet on. The Mast Man moves to the windward rail and so does the Squirrel.

The Bowman calls for the headsail furl and starts to haul the reefing line. The Pit Man can now furl the jib with the Port Trimmer feeding the sheet.

As soon as the headsail is furled, the Bowman closes the forward hatch, the Port Trimmer and Pit Man go to the rail or other designated place depending on the conditions.





Table of Roles:

Bear Away Set (Assuming Port Rounding)
Role Set up on port tack Set up – lay line Approach to mark Bearing away After the hoist
Helmsman Concentrating on driving the boat high and fast Concentrating on driving the boat high and fast Sail according to tacticians requirements.  Call when laying mark.  Counting down the boat lengths from ten. Call bearing away ‘early as main needs to be eased first’  turn boat keeping speed up and then call hoist. Concentrate on driving the boat fast and listens to the tactician and tells trimmers when on course
Navigator/Tactician Call distance to the layline Decides when to tack taking into consideration other yachts and the stb layline.  Inform crew of possibility for early gybe. Hike hard.  Call time to the mark.  Decide on final approach to mark, thinking of overlaps and right of way boats.  Inform crew of wind angle after rounding.  Hike hard. Call  time to the mark.  Decide on final approach to mark, thinking of overlaps and right of way boats.  Call when laying mark.  Hike hard. Hike hard till ‘Hoist’ is called. Confirm position of other boats for bear-away.  Assist pit. Possibly assist pit by dropping the genoa.  Call bearing and distance to louward mark.  Consider tide influence during leg.  Analyse tide, wind and other boats position to decide on leg tactics.
Main trimmer Keeping the boat balanced trim for speed Prep main sheet for the bear away Remind mast to let off cunningham.  At two boat lengths take main sheet out of jammer. Dump the main and release backstay. Trim for speed.  PREP LAZY GUY ensuring black mark on far side of winch.    Think correct weight distribution.
Port jib trimmer / Kite grinder Ensure port lines are ready and free to run on the port side. Keep hiking.  Check the kite sheet is loaded on winch. Check the kite sheet on port winch, with appropriate no. of turns and pass to the spinnaker trimmer.  Once trimmed hike hard. At two boat lengths come down from rail.  At one boat length take genoa sheet out of jammer ready for an ease.  Check tweakers set for wind strength. Ease the genoa sheet so the kite can fit between genoa foot and guardwire.  Then move to kite sheet ready to grind.  Operate pole downhaul. Grind for the stb trimmer and helps with the ease.  Concentrate on trimmer and afterguard calls only.  Look at kite.
Spinnaker Trimmer / jib tail Hike Hard Hike hard and take tail of spinnaker sheet. Hike hard Hike hard till ‘Hoist’ is called.  Do not sheet on till kite is ‘MADE’ Sheet on till kite fills and then ease sheet as pole is squared back to trim for course.  Trim for speed and concentrate on exceptional spinnaker trim.  Call pressure on kite.
Starboard jib trimmer / Pole Trimmer Hike hard or trimming Hike hard. Load winch with guy and take up slack. Ensure sufficient slack on genoa sheet for pole hoist.  Hike hard. Hike hard till ‘Hoist’ is called.     Sneak clew to pole end.  When kite is 50% up pull pole back to approx 30 degrees. Square the pole back having called pole back.  Visual check downhaul has been released / tightened.  Once the kite has filled, correct pole position to wind angle and strength.  Concentrate on calls from afterguard and call target and actual boat speeds.
Pit Open kite halyard and pole uphaul clutches.  Pole downhaul off.  Hike hard Take up the slack on uphaul.  Prep jib halyard fpr drop.  Hike hard. Hike hard.  At two boat lenghts come off rail to pit position and take the slack out of the uphaul from pole hoist. Tail the kite halyard. When the kite is ‘MADE’ drop the genoa 30% regardless of whether the bow team are ready.  This will help the kite fill.  Then drop completely when bow team is ready.  Think weight distribution first then domestics second.  Concentrate on calls from pole trimmer for downhaul tension.
Mid-bow Hike hard. Hike hard. Check lines set correctly and free to run. Assist foredeck: pole height set correctly, sneak guy and lazy sheet to pole, look at kite for twists on hoist – respond if twisted.  Sweat guy for pole trimmer at 50% hoist. Think weight distribution.  Listen to afterguard for next manouever.  Look for next mark/wind shifs/other boats approaching from behind.
Mastman Hike hard Hike hard Hike hard.  Confirm trip line will operate correctly.  Top the pole at instruction from afterguard.  Let off the cunningham. Sweat the kite halyard and shout ‘MADE’ when it is up. Drop the genoa following the leech.  Think weight distribution.  Listen to afterguard for next manouever.
Bowman Attatch guys and sheets to the kite and pole.  Detatch velcro on clews. Attatch halyard check, it is clear and free to run outside everything flick around the spreader on port side Attach uphaul, pull through slack and attach halyard if necessary check all line are clear for the hoist and then HIKE hard. Hike hard.  Guide the pole past forestay at instruction of afterguard.  Open kite bag / hatch and ensure it is free to run. SNEAK the kite out of the bag Drop the genoa pulling down the luff.  Think weight distribution.  Listen to afterguard for next manouever.

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