The Anatomy of a Takedown: Part II – The Leeward Takedown (Stretch & Blow)


            Sounds dirtier than it is. This will be our standard takedown when we are reaching into a leeward mark (because its light air or because the tactician missed the layline) or when it’s a little too breezy to feel comfortable with the weather takedown. It can be done on either jibe, but assume here that we are reaching into the leeward mark (which we will round to port) on port jibe. Basically the way it works is jib up, pole forward, blow the halyard and chute down to leeward. Unlike the weather takedown or the Mexican, everything comes down on the starboard side of the boat, so it will have to be re-rigged upwind to be ready for a bear away set at the next mark. The exact timing of all of these maneuvers will vary with windspeed, boatspeed, and competition, but the harder it is blowing, the sooner everything has to happen.


1. The Setup - About three quarters of the way down the leg (or as soon as the back of the boat figures out that we are coming in on port jibe):


2. Raise the Jib - About four boatlengths from the mark (more or less depending on the windspeed):

·        Mast – jump jib halyard at the mast always watching the sail to spot any problems

·        Pit – overhaul jib halyard. Once the mastman can’t jump it anymore, put four turns on the winch and put the halyard in the self tailer. Grind the sail up to the proper upwind tension (this should be marked on the halyard, but the bowman can call it if necessary). Make sure to watch the sail for any problems. Leave the jib halyard on the winch and in the self tailer to minimize any chance of slippage. Make sure spinnaker halyard is flaked, out of the bag and ready to run.

·        Bow – Watch the jib luff feeder for any problems and be ready to run forward and help feed if necessary. Try to keep your weight as far back as possible.

·        Floater/Pit – tighten outhaul to upwind setting (probably close to all the way). Cunningham can wait.

·        Main - tighten backstay about halfway to upwind setting.

·        Jib Trimmer – no need to trim the jib yet, its not driving the boat (you are probably still on the guy or the sheet anyway) but make sure it is not flogging.


3. Ready for the Douse - About three boatlengths from the mark:


4. Time to Douse - Two-ish boatlengths from the mark (can vary on any number of factors including windspeed, boatspeed, overlaps, starboard tackers, confidence, etc.):


5. Rounding the Mark: