Vous êtes sur la page 1sur 136


02 Clipper Race Crew Manual
© Copyright 2018 Clipper Ventures plc. All right reserved. 03
04 Clipper Race Crew Manual
Sir Robin Knox-Johnston 08-09 Race Training Overview 68-69
Ben Bowley (Head Of Training) 10-11 Level 2 Syllabus 70-71
Race Training Overview 12-13 Life On Board 72-81
Crew Hub 14-15 Roles On Board 82-83
Rule Book Highlights 84-85
Race Training Hubs 18-19 Emergency Situations 92-95
Level 1 Syllabus 20-21
The Evolution Of Clipper 70 22-23 TRAINING LEVEL MANUAL 3
Internal Design 24-25 Race Training Overview 98-99
Pre-Course Reading 26-33 Level 3 Syllabus 100-101
Introducing The Clipper 68 34-35 Sails 102-103
Collision Regulations 36-37 Helming 104-106
Safety Overview 38-39 Controlling A Broach 107
Life Jackets & Harnesses 40-43 The Art Of Gybing 108-111
Safety 44-45 Hyde Sails 112-113
Ropes & Deckwork 46-51 Racing Techniques 114-121
Working With Sails 52-57 Racing Strategy & Techniques 122-125
Deck Roles 58-59 Racing & Regulations 126-129
Furthering Your Knowledge 60-61 Race Performance 130-131
Glossary Of Basic Terms 62 Emergency Situations 132-134
Man Overboard 63 Man Overboard 135
Clipper Race Crew Assessment 64-65

© Copyright 2018 Clipper Ventures plc. All right reserved. 05


© Copyright 2018 Clipper Ventures plc. All right reserved. 07



08 Clipper Race Crew Manual


The Clipper 70 fleet has raised the It is imperative that you study this I hope you enjoy your time on the
bar. The boats are much faster than manual and take part in the training yacht, learning to sail and meeting
the previous fleet and provide a programme in the sequence we have your fellow crew members, who will
challenge to the crews that can only laid out. If you miss any part of it, soon become your family and the
be compared with all professionally fail to return the requested forms or characters of your stories, which will
manned boats. obtain the necessary insurance, visas forever remind you of the time when
or inoculations you are jeopardising you decided cruising through life
The success of the Clipper Race
your berth on the race. wasn’t enough. When you wanted
has been nothing short of incredible;
more and started the race of your life.
not just for us but also for those Like everything in life, it is the more
who dared and achieved so much, difficult challenges that bring the Make no mistake there is a lot for you
especially those who started with little greatest rewards, both in experience to learn and understand and you need
or no knowledge of the sea and have and satisfaction. The Clipper Race to have a good general understanding
finished as experienced sailors. The provides those challenges, be it in if you are going to take your place
training programme, based on the the wide range of weather conditions as an efficient and safe team member.
practical need to make everyone safe across the world’s oceans, to Good seamanship will make your
at sea has, for so many people, been learning how to run, maintain and passage that much better and that
the bedrock of this success and has race a thoroughbred ocean racing much more enjoyable and the essence
now trained more than 5,000 people yacht. Since 1996 more than 5,000 of good seamanship is safety.
and collectively the boats have raced people have now dared and achieved
more than three million miles. a life-endorsing goal. While learning
the skills that make an accomplished
How much sailing experience you
sailor they have seen the planet at its
already have or what qualifications you
most raw and enjoyed some of the
may have already achieved is immaterial.
more exotic and exciting ports of the
If you are an experienced sailor some
world, in the company of others with
of this may seem a little elementary
a similar outlook on life.
but we make everyone do it with one
aim in mind – safety. All Clipper Race
crew do the full training so that they
use the same techniques, orders and
descriptions, which avoids unnecessary
and possibly dangerous mistakes.

We have one very simple

philosophy - finish the race by
saying, “That’s the best thing I
have done with my life.” I hope
you will add, “So far,” because
then I know we have truly
widened your horizons.

Welcome to the team.

Sir Robin Knox-Johnston CBE RD*

Chairman, Clipper Ventures PLC

Introduction 09



10 Clipper Race Crew Manual


Taking part in the Clipper Round the World Yacht at the end of Level 1 is to get all crew
to a point where they can safely operate
Race is likely to be one of the most challenging, the yacht under the close supervision
exhilarating, and ultimately, rewarding things of one of the instructors. Although new
topics are introduced at each of the
you do in your life. subsequent three levels of training, the
vast majority of time on these courses is
spent consolidating everything covered
Make no mistake, facing Mother Nature some changes on deck. By the time you on Level 1.
in all her raw glory will test your mind complete your training, you will not only It is also imperative that you to keep
and body to their very limits…and know how to effect these changes, but practising and revising what you have
then make you realise that your limits just as importantly when, and why you learnt when you are not on a course so
are more extreme than you ever gave make them. as to ensure that you do not suffer from
yourself credit for. knowledge or skill fade. For example,
This manual is a training resource
The purpose of the Clipper Race designed to complement and enhance I can guarantee that if you do not
Training Program is to ensure that you your learning experience, not a practice your knots between Levels 1
are suitably prepared for this toughest standalone “how to” guide. If you are and 2, you will have forgotten half of
of challenges. By the time you complete reading this before attending your Level them by the time you return. However,
your Race Training you will have all 1 please don’t worry if some parts do once you have tied a bowline three
the skills you need to keep you safe not make perfect sense to you yet. Take hundred times, you will never forget
whilst harnessing the awesome power in what you can and then once you have how to do it.
of the world’s weather systems. You completed your Level 1 course, read There are two final points I would
will quickly learn that a sailing yacht is through it again. like to make that are sometimes
designed to work in harmony with the forgotten when people go sailing.
Although Clipper Race training is
elements, thereby carrying you swiftly Firstly, no matter how experienced you
spread over four separate levels, your
across the world’s oceans. are, every day is a school day on the
first week on the water can often seem
However, as with any tool designed to the most intense. This is because we water. The learning never stops, and a
work in a highly dynamic environment, have to introduce you to all the basic truly skilled sailor knows that they can
keeping a sailing yacht working in concepts of sailing a Clipper Race learn things from anyone, not just those
perfect harmony with the prevailing yacht on Level 1 training. It is perfectly more experienced than themselves.
conditions requires the crew to be normal to feel a bit of ‘information Secondly, let us try to remember that
highly attentive to both the general set overload’ during your first week, and if sailing is a leisure pursuit; if you are
up (the sail plan) and the fine tuning you do please don’t worry; we do not not having fun, then you are probably
(trim). If at any point the yacht feels like expect you to remember everything you not doing it right…
she is fighting against Mother Nature are taught in your first week as, by the Sail safe, race hard, and have fun
or is not progressing as fast as she end of Level 1, you are only 25% of the out there!
should, then the crew need to make way through the process. Our objective



Charles House, Gosport Marina, Mumby Suite 546, Level 5, 202-223 New South Head 1A Granary and Bakery Building,
Road, Gosport, Hampshire, PO12 1AH Road, Edgecliff, NSW 2027, Australia Royal Clarence Yard, Weevil Lane,
Gosport, Hampshire, PO12 1FX UK
Tel: +44 (0) 2392 601253 Tel: +61 (0) 2 9363 2020
Email: training@clipper-ventures.com Email: australia@clipper-ventures.com Tel: +44 (0) 23 9252 6000
Email: info@clipper-ventures.com

Introduction 11

LEVEL 1 Introduces the basic principles of sailing, how a boat functions

and teaches personal safety, along with the principles of good
Crewing Skills seamanship. Incorporated within this course will be the RYA
Competent Crew qualification.

LEVEL 2 Continues the development of basic sailing and seamanship

skills from Level 1 but focuses more on living on board and
Offshore Sailing and Life On Board sailing in watch systems. This course has a heavy offshore
component with a number of nights spent at sea which will
allow crew to experience life on board at sea and experience
the roles that occur whilst not on deck. This level includes a
one day sea survival course.

LEVEL 3 While continuing to draw on the skills learnt on the previous levels,
Level 3 will introduce the asymmetric spinnaker. This level enables crew
Asymmetric Spinnaker Training to further develop their sailing skills and acquire new sail trim and racing
and Racing Techniques techniques in an offshore environment. This level also incorporates a
1 day World Sailing offshore safety course.

LEVEL 4 Consolidates all the crews sailing, seamanship and racing skills in
an offshore racing environment and enables the race Skippers to
Team Tactics develop their race teams and boats in a realistic setting.

12 Clipper Race Crew Manual


Level 1 = 7 days (total duration),
6.5 days (on water), 0 days (shorebased)

Level 2 = 6 days (total duration),

5 days (on water), 1 day (shorebased)

Level 3 = 6 days (total duration),

5 days (on water), 1 day (shorebased)

Level 4 = 7 days (total duration),

6.5 days (on water), 0 days (shorebased)

Race Training Hubs UK Training Headquarters

Training in the UK takes place at Clipper Ventures training base
It is very important to us in Gosport on the south coast of England. Conveniently based on
that the training we provide the western side of Portsmouth Harbour we have easy access to
the Solent and English Channel, a world renowned sailing area.
is both relevant to the The highly experienced training Skippers take full advantage of this
adventure you are about incredible sailing area and during your training you will encounter a
to embark on and of the variety of conditions in the shelter of the Solent and out in the
less forgiving seas of the English Channel. Your training may also
highest possible standard. take you to some of the more remote ports along the south
coast of England.
For this reason there are only a few places where
you can undertake your training. You can choose The training is delivered on our fleet of ocean racing yachts.
to complete all of your training at one centre or The Clipper 70s and the earlier fleet of Clipper 68s, having
mix your courses between them. completed four circumnavigations, are the perfect
platform for the Level 1 course.

Introduction 13

A guide to using the There is a secure log-in that, once entered, will allow you to:

Clipper Race Crew Hub • Update personal and emergency contact details
• Download all resources (training advice, race crew
experiences, kit advice, crew offers, race schedule)
The Crew Hub is a secure • Complete your Crew Biography
portal of the Clipper Race • View messages and recent newsletters
website that enables you • Plan your training dates
to manage your race and You will receive details on how to log in to the portal and once
view the most up-to-date registered you are able to change the password to something
and useful advice about more memorable. If you have any questions about the Crew
Hub please contact info@clipper-ventures.com
your adventure.

My Race
This is the area where you can update
your personal details, including
updating your Crew Hub password.

 lease fill in all the required fields.
All this information is secure.

 uring the race year, after Crew
Allocation has taken place you will be
featured on your Team Page on the
Clipper Race website under teams.

• Information included is your Name,

Age, Nationality, Occupation and
Legs participating in.

 his will sit alongside your Official
Race Crew Photo, which will be
taken at various events during the
Clipper Race calendar.

14 Clipper Race Crew Manual



Documents Messages
This section is where we will gradually upload any important In this section, we will post all of the Clipper Race Crew
documents that will be helpful when preparing for your race. Newsletters that are sent out. If for any reason you are not
They will be uploaded into various categories to make it easier receiving these or would like to read what has been sent
to navigate when the number of documents increases. Simply before you joined the race you can look through the history
select your chosen drop down category on the right-hand side of messages.
of the site.
Here you will also receive occasional messages and, after
For example, within the Training category you will find Crew Allocation, your Race Skipper can also message your
directions to the training offices, guidance on what to bring, team privately.
race crew experiences of training and your crew manual.

As the race year progresses you will receive the Clipper Race FAQs
Crew News which will regularly include new and important Within this section we try to address some of the frequently
information that will be uploaded to the Documents sections asked questions such as visa requirements, health insurance
of the Crew Hub. and contact information.

My Forms
This section will allow you to easily supply the crew team
with some important information. You’ll be able to select the
required forms to complete or download. These will become
available when they are required to be completed.

My Training
This section will appear once training dates are available for
your race year. Via this area you can select which are your
preferred dates for training, you will then be contacted by a
member of the training team to confirm your place on that Race Timetable
training level. Please be aware that selecting your preferred
dates via the crew hub is not confirmation of booking. This section will show the generic race route until the final
There may also be other dates available so please contact route and Host Ports are announced. Once the final race route
the Training Team if you have any questions. is announced this section will be updated with dates and all
other relevant information.

Please be aware that the Race Route is subject to change

each year.

Introduction 15

© Copyright 2018 Clipper Ventures plc. All right reserved. 17

Clipper Race Training Sydney Harbour provides a great place to learn to
sail providing protection from the Pacific Ocean with
Australia a typically north easterly breeze, plenty of space to
practise in whilst being surrounded by iconic scenery.
Launched in 2014, the Sydney Offshore passages can take you either north or south of
the harbour providing challenging training in a variety of
based training hub is currently conditions.
the only training centre outside
Our Australian based training will be delivered on the
of the UK accredited to deliver Clipper 68s and will follow the same format as the
the Clipper Race training scheme. training provided in the UK.
The centre is operated by highly Levels 1-3 are available for completion in Australia,
experienced instructors, some of with the requirement for Level 4 to be completed
whom are previous Clipper Race in the UK.


Crewing Skills Crewing Skills

Offshore Sailing and Life On Board Offshore Sailing and Life On Board

Asymmetric Spinnaker Training and Racing Asymmetric Spinnaker Training and Racing

Team Tactics and Offshore Fleet Racing

18 Clipper Race Crew Manual


Level 1 Training
Total duration: 7 days
Time on water: 6.5 days

Level 1 training will introduce you to the basic principles of sailing and
seamanship and teach personal safety techniques. You will learn all of the
basic crewing skills which will become the bedrock of your sailing expertise.
We will focus on personal safety, good seamanship and the importance of teamwork, learning key skills which will promote
both personal safety and the safety of your fellow crew mates. It will also provide an important insight into the inherent risks
involved in ocean racing and, most importantly, how to minimise them.

You will meet your training Skipper and mate who will introduce you to the Clipper 68 training yacht which will be your home
for the week. During the evening you will be briefed about safety on board as well as all of the on board safety equipment.
The following six days will be spent in the English Channel where you will be put through your paces, learning everything you
need to know to be a safe and effective crew member.

Course content
Pre-course reading Practical talks Practical experience

Knots All safety equipment Preparing the yacht for sea

Nautical names and terms Man overboard Sail hoisting and lowering
How sails work Points of sail Sail folding and care
Types of boats/yachts Knots Tacking and gybing
Clipper Race Crew Assessment Technical clothing Reefing
Life jackets and life rafts Headsail changes
Standing Orders Man overboard
Know your boat Helming
Log keeping
Life jackets and life rafts
Use and care of Life jackets

Note: pre-course reading is contained within the training manual

Qualifications gained at Level 1

RYA Competent Crew

Clipper Race Training - Part 1 19

This syllabus is a guide to the typical course content for this
level of training. The course content may vary, perhaps due
to weather conditions and crew members’ skill set.

RYA competent crew course and introduction to big boat Day 2

sailing. 6.5 days, crew arrival at 1700 on first day and
Comprehensive above deck brief (see safety brief
depart last day 1600.
in SOP’s)

Day 1 • Action to be taken in the event of Abandoning Ship

Crew arrive 1700, introduction to Clipper Race Training Setup a Clipper Race Training Yacht for sailing
and familiarisation to Gosport Marina and facilities On water training
Comprehensive down below safety brief (see safety • Hoisting Mainsail
brief in SOP’s) • Hoisting yankee
• To include detailed explanation of use of bunks • Hoisting Staysail and use of running backstays
and lee cloths • Upwind helming and tacking
• Moving down below and use of grab rails • Man overboard under power including recovery,
• Actions to be taken in event of fire, flooding, use of harness, and scramble net
and gas leak Evening Lecture
• Knot practice and talk through of Clipper Race
• Points of sail
Crew Assessment (CRCA):
• Rules of the road
Figure of eight
Admiralty stopper knot
Clove hitch
Day 3
Round turn and two half hitches Reefing mainsail
Single and double sheet bend Downwind sailing
Reef Knot
• Use of foreguys
Rolling Hitch
• Gybing
• MOB Downwind including recovery, use of and
harness, and scramble net
Tethered MOB
Evening lectures
• Flares and their use
• VHF and Mayday call

20 Clipper Race Crew Manual


Day 4 Day 5 and 6
Refresh Refresh and strengthen any weak areas of above syllabus
• Reefing Night sail/pilotage
Long triangular course • Rig climb (if conditions allow, at anchor or alongside)
• Use of dinghy
• Sail trim
• Evening meal
• A flappy sail is an unhappy sail
• If in doubt let it out Clipper Race Crew Assessment (CRCA)
• Use of tell tales by the helm and trimmers
• Introduction of car positioning to create Day 7
twist/different headsails
• Interaction between traveler/vang/mainsheet/foreguy Deep clean and individual crew debriefs
• MOB under sail including recovery, use of and harness,
and scramble net
Evening Lectures
• Proper use of log book
• Plotting a GPS position on to a chart
• Manners and customs (as per RYA competent
crew syllabus)

Clipper Race Training - Part 1 21


The introduction of the Clipper 70s marked a great milestone in

the history of the Clipper Race. The 70-foot yachts, designed by
renowned Naval architect Tony Castro are the shining jewel in
the Clipper Race crown.

As with all stripped down ocean racing yachts, the New features on the Clipper 70s include twin helms,
Clipper 70s are not for the faint hearted. They are, by twin rudders and a six-foot bowsprit, which allows
design, stripped of all luxuries. You will need to become the inclusion of three large asymmetric spinnakers
an expert at living in a confined space, managing all and a suit of yankee headsails, which will all add to
your kit and belongings as you settle into your home. increase performance and boat speed.

The Clipper 70 design is faster and more dynamic than The inclusion of state-of-the-art features in the
previous Clipper Race yachts and promises to attack new hull design produces a better performance and
the 40,000-mile race course head on. control, especially in the light winds encountered
near the equator or between weather systems
The fleet is a stark comparison to the one which began when crossing oceans.
the very first Clipper Round the World Yacht Race in
1996. Development ideas have been taken from both The design provides total control in the heaviest
the previous yacht designs: the Clipper 60s and of conditions, ensuring not only high speeds,
Clipper 68s. but safety too.

22 Clipper Race Crew Manual


The hull construction utilises lessons learnt
from the previous races employing well-proven
composite construction materials and methods.

The hull and deck are of a sandwich Jammers and organisers have The addition of a state-of-the-art
construction using glass fibre, epoxy been located in easy to operate HD fixed camera system also ensures
resins and structural foam. More locations allowing crew to swiftly that every piece of action on deck
commonly called Foam Reinforced change settings. The mainsheet will be captured and used by media
Plastic (FRP), this construction method has been placed further aft in the and broadcasters around the world
is light, stiff and is proven to produce cockpit, permitting a better level to showcase the conditions faced
an incredibly strong and safe hull. of communication between the during the race by the crew.
crew as they undertake the various
Modern features have been included evolutions during tacks, gybes,
within the design of the hull, which hoists and drops.
along with the twin rudders will give
improved directional stability when The aluminium mast towers 95-foot
heeling, provide the helm with more above the waterline and is rigged
control and an overall faster ride. using tried and trusted materials
and methods to further improve
The deck layout provides a overall safety.
well-designed office for the crew to
perform in. Eleven Harken winches,
including the primaries controlled by
twin three-speed coffee grinders, will
swiftly bring the sails under control.

Length overall (LOA) 75ft 10in 23.15m
Length on deck (LOD) 69ft 10in 21.30m

Length at waterline (LWL)
67ft 11in
18ft 6in
Draft 31 tons 31,700kg
Full load displacement 34 tons 34.54 tonnes
Clipper Ventures PLC,
Unit 1 height
A, Granary & Bakery, 95ft 29m
SAIL AREA Marina, Weevil Lane,
Gosport PO12 1FX.
Asymmetric Spinnaker Twitter/clipperrace 3,552ft2 330m2
Mainsail +44(0)23 9252 6000 Youtube/clipperrtw 1.326ft2 123.19m2
Fax: +44 (0)23 9252 6252 Instagram/clipperrace Insta

Yankee 1,812ft2 168.43m2

Email: info@clipper-ventures.com Live Stream/clipperraceteam
Staysail 538ft2 50m2


CONSTRUCTION Foam cored glassfibre

Clipper Race Training - Part 1 23


GRIB weather
files will be studied
and courses mapped on
the navigation computer while
photos, diaries and videos will be
You will find a edited and sent back to Clipper Race
stripped-out interior HQ using the powerful marine computer.
below decks with 24
bunks, a state-of-the-art
navigation station and a
simple galley. Watertight The engine and generator are mounted behind the
bulkheads and doors are companion way steps. Their mid-ship position brings
placed at strategic locations increased stability and balance to the hull and it also
to provide compartmentalisation keeps all the ancillaries and electrical components in one
in case of flooding. maintenance-friendly area.

The navigation station is placed towards the stern. Centrally, just aft of the mast, sits a simple horseshoe-shaped
It is equipped with all the latest navigation electronics, galley, which will feed in to the communal area. This is where
navigation computers and up-to-date satellite crew briefings and all-important meal times can take place.
communications. This area of the yacht will provide Crew accommodation runs from the stern forwards in a series
the Skipper and media crew member on board with of double bunks and stops short of a watertight bulkhead
the ideal area to work in. towards the front third of the boat. Ahead of this is a large
compartment for storing sails, with the main hatch located
directly above.

24 Clipper Race Crew Manual




• 60-foot yacht • 68-foot yacht • 70-foot yacht

• 72-foot mast • 89-foot mast • 95-foot mast
• Designed by David Pedrick • Designed by Ed Dubois • Designed by Tony Castro
• Debuted in the Clipper 1996 Race • Debuted in the Clipper 2005-06 Race • Debuted in the Clipper 2013-14 Race
• Retired after the Clipper 2002 Race • Retired after the Clipper 2011-12 Race • 11-strong fleet
• 8-strong fleet • 10-strong fleet • Tops speeds of over 30 knot
• Record top speed 19 knots surfing • Record top speed 29 knots surfing

Clipper Race Training - Part 1 25

The Clipper Race training Figure of eight
courses have been designed This is a stopper knot. It is used to stop the end
of a rope pulling through a hole.
to teach you all you need to
know in order to be a safe and 1) Make a bight in the rope
efficient crew member on board.
There is a lot of information
to take in.

We recommend you take a look at the following

pre-course reading in order to begin to learn and
understand some of the techniques and principles
of sailing. Many of these will be covered during your 2) Make a loop by passing the
course but if you already have a good grasp of them tail over the standing part
before you step on board you will benefit greatly.

The ability to tie and use appropriate knots while at 3) Pass the end under the
sea is an essential skill for all sailors. At first there standing part of the rope
will seem to be a lot of complicated knots to learn
but, with time, you will find yourself tying them
without any thought. It is also very important that
you learn how and when to use the different knots.
Making sure you are able to untie a knot is equally
as important as making sure it will not come undone
at the wrong time. Here you will find a guide to tying
the eight most useful knots that you will use. Try
4) Pass the end through the loop
to learn these off by heart. Once you master these
there are many more you can learn.

5) Pull the knot tight

26 Clipper Race Crew Manual


Reef knot Rolling hitch
The reef knot is used when there is tension on both ends, This is used to attach a rope to another rope so that it
for example tying a bundle of sail when reefing. grips it. It is used to take the strain off a line that is fouled.

1) Remember to keep working 1) Pass the end over the

with the same end. Right over fouled rope

2) And under 2) Pass it around the rope

and itself

3) Carry on with the same end... 3) Take it around the rope

and itself again

4) Left over right 4) Around the rope again

but this time pass it
under itself

5) And under and pull tight

Clipper Race Training - Part 1 27

Sheet bend and double sheet bend
This is used to join two ropes of similar thicknesses. A double sheet bend is a more secure version of the knot and
can be used if the ropes are very different thicknesses.

1) Make a loop in 1) Start with a single sheet bend

the thicker rope

2) Pass the thinner rope 2) Pass the end under the

through the loop thick rope for a second
time and back under its
own standing part

3) Pass the end around 3) Pull tight

and under the loop in
the direction that will
eventually leave both
ends on the same side

4) The end of the

thinner rope then
goes under its own
thinner part

5) Pull tight. Double

check that the loose
ends are on the
same side

28 Clipper Race Crew Manual


The bowline is one of the most important knots you will use on the Clipper Race boats. It is used to make a secure loop in
a rope and its main use on board is for securing the yankee and staysail sheets to the clew of the sails. One of the main
advantages of the bowline is that no matter how much load the knot has been under it can easily be undone.

1) Form a bight of the 4) Pass the end under the

required size. The bigger standing part of the rope
the bight the bigger the
loop will be

2) Make a small loop as 5) Then pass the end of

shown the rope back down
through the small loop

3) Pass the end up through 6) Finally, pull the knot tight

the small loop


The bowline is one of the most useful knots to know.
You will need to tie it quickly and sometimes in difficult
conditions so give it some extra practise!

Clipper Race Training - Part 1 29

Round turn and two half hitches

The round turn and two half hitches is used to attach a rope to either a ring or post. It is a very secure knot that is easily
undone, even after large strain has been exerted on it. Its most common use on the Clipper Race yachts is for tying the
fenders onto the stanchions when mooring the boat.

1) Pass the end 4) Repeat to form a second

around the object half hitch

2) Take another 5) Pull tight

complete turn

3) Take the end

over the standing
part, around and
back through to
form a half hitch

30 Clipper Race Crew Manual


Clove hitch Admiralty knot

The clove hitch is used to attach a rope to a ring or a post. The admiralty knot is a stopper knot used to prevent the
It is a very secure knot that is easily undone even after large end of ropes passing through sheaves. On many small
amounts of strain have been exerted on it. Its most common boats a figure of eight is used for this purpose, however,
use on the Clipper Race yachts is for tying the fenders onto with the size of the lines on the Clipper Race yachts and
the stanchions when mooring the boat. the durations for which they are at sea the Admiralty knot
is more secure.
1) Pass the working end around
the object 1) Start by looping the tail over
the standing part

2) Then wrap the tail over the

2) Then pass it back over the
standing part three times
standing part

3) Pass the tail through the

wraps going from the
3) Pass the working end standing part
around the object and tuck
the end through the loop that
is formed

4) Finish by pulling the tail and

standing part away from
each other

4) Pull tight

Clipper Race Training - Part 1 31

Tugman’s Hitch

The tugman’s hitch is a knot used to secure a line over a bollard or winch. It can be easily untied,
even when under great load.

1) Fully dress the winch 5) Send the bitter end of

drum, but do not put the line a full turn in the
the bitter end into the opposite direction around
self tailer the winch (anticlockwise)
over the standing part
of the line

2) Pass a bight of the bitter 6) R

 epeat step 2 ensuring
end under the standing the bight passes under the
part of the line standing part in the same
direction as step 2

3) Bring the bight of line 7) Repeat step 3

over the top of the winch

4) Pull tight against the 8) Repeat step 4

winch drum
For a really secure finish,
repeat steps 5 – 8

32 Clipper Race Crew Manual



Clipper Race Training - Part 1 33




16 21
18 25
30 26

22 23 28
1 20
11 29
8 10

7 9
6 27

5 4

1. Satellite communication system 12. Halyard winches and clutches 23. Vang
2. Radar 13. Companionway hatch 24. Cockpit
3. Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon 14. Main hatch 25. Pulpit
4. Gas locker 15. Rope locker 26. Foredeck
5. Horseshoe lifebuoy 16. Main sail 27. Topsides
6. Helm 17. Yankee 28. Life raft
7. Compass binnacle 18. Staysail 29. Shroud
8. Main sheet 19. Yankee sheet 30. Backstay
9. Primary winch 20. Staysail sheet 31. Forestay
10. Three speed ‘coffee grinder’ winch control 21. Mast 32. Guard wire
11. Snake pit 22. Boom 33. Boarding ladder

34 Clipper Race Crew Manual


How Sails Work
Many people think that sailing boats Air flowing around the outside
are pushed along by the wind. This is convex surface travels faster

true when sailing downwind however than the air on the inner
concave surface.
upwind sailing is a little more

A sail works in the same way as an aircraft wing. The flow of air over
the aerofoil shape of the sail produces pressure changes on either
side of it. High pressure is generated on the windward side of the sail
while low pressure is generated on the other; this pressure difference
results in a force known as ‘lift’ and it is this force that essentially
sucks the yacht along.

There are several theories as to how ‘lift’ is generated by a sail

and this is the subject of many books. Our intention here is If the air flowing around the
simply to help you understand the basics of how sails work. outside did not flow faster a
The fluid dynamics of sail power can come later for those who vacuum would form at the leech
are interested.

As air flows over the two surfaces of the sail, the air on the inner
(concave) surface is slowed slightly but has a shorter distance to
travel than the air passing over the outside (convex) surface. The
result of this is that air passing over the outside surface of the sail
accelerates. If it did not accelerate, a vacuum would form which
nature will not allow and therefore air accelerates to fill this potential

So, we have established that air flow around the back of a sail is
faster than air flow on the inside of the sail resulting in a difference in
air pressure on either side. This is explained by Bernoulli’s principle.

Bernoulli’s principle
High pressure Low pressure
As the velocity of a fluid increases, the pressure exerted by that fluid

A good example of this principle is when you see the smoke from an
Difference in
open fire being sucked up a chimney on a windy day. The air at the top
of the chimney is accelerated due to the wind while the air inside is
creates lift
stationary therefore according to Bernoulli’s principle the air pressure
at the top of the chimney is lower than the air pressure inside so the
smoke is sucked out of the chimney.

The resultant force caused by this pressure gradient is known as ‘lift’

which is exerted in a direction perpendicular to the sail. It is lift that
enables sailing boats to sail upwind. The force generated not only This is obviously a very simplified explanation of
moves the boat forward, there is also an unwanted sideways force. how sails work but will give you a basic grasp of
We are constantly trying to improve this mix through sail trim. the principles. We will build on this at a later stage.

Clipper Race Training - Part 1 35

Despite the vastness of the world’s The second blind spot exists to windward during strong winds
when rain and spray sting the eyes making it very difficult to
oceans the large majority of vessels maintain a good lookout. In addition to this our natural instinct
still operate in a relatively small to stay dry and warm does not encourage us to maintain a good
watch to windward.
area. Whether this is the giant,
unmarked marine highways known Once another vessel or object has been identified the next task
is to determine whether a risk of collision exists and what action
as shipping lanes or in and around needs to be taken in order to avoid it. In order to do this you will
ports and harbours where you need to understand a little about the different types of vessel you
are likely to meet.
can find merchant ships, fishing
vessels and yachts happily exist Merchant shipping
alongside each other, pursuing The great majority of vessels that you will encounter at sea will
their separate agendas. be merchant vessels. These will come in all shapes and sizes
depending on their function and area of operation. These ships
generally operate on an unforgiving schedule and will usually take
This is possible due to a set of rules by which all vessels operate the shortest route between ports, forming giant, unmarked marine
and which has been developed over the past 150 years. These highways called shipping lanes. These ships are classed as motor
rules are the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions vessels and are therefore required to give way to sailing vessels
at Sea (IRPCS). The IRPCS are comprised of many rules however it should be noted that often the field of view of the deck
and it is imperative that everyone who goes to sea has a clear officer is limited due to the size of the ship and its cargo. In open
understanding of how they are applied on the water. water the bridge will often only have two people on watch at any
time. You should therefore never assume they have seen you!
There are many books from which you can learn the rules
and several of these are listed in the reading list in Section 9. In inshore waters these vessels are often restricted by their
We will look at them in more detail during your Level 3 training draftt and ability to manoeuvre. A large container ship can draw
however, for now, there are a couple to be aware of. In the up to 15 metres (50 feet) and their propellers and rudders are
first level of training the important rule is to Look Out! less effective in shallow water, so even if they wanted to try to
avoid you they probably couldn’t! During the day these ships
Rule 5. Look out will display a cylindrical day shape on their mast.

Every vessel shall at all times maintain a proper look-out by

sight and hearing as well as by all available means appropriate
in the prevailing circumstances and conditions so as to make
a full appraisal of the situation and of the risk of collision.

This is the most fundamental rule. If this is not observed the rest
of the rules may as well not exist, however most sea farers will
admit to letting it slip from time to time, especially on a sailing
yacht where the sails and sometimes the heel of the boat obscure
the view. It is the responsibility of everyone on board to maintain
a good lookout by both sight and hearing at all times. If you see
or hear something report it to the Skipper, mate or watch leader
immediately and never assume they have already seen it.

On a sailing yacht there are two potential blind spots.

Low clewed headsails create a very large blind spot on the
leeward bow. The high cut clew of the sails on the Clipper 68s
helps mitigate this but there is still a blind spot when the boat
is well heeled over. On any yacht this spot is particularly bad
if you are sitting on the windward side of the cockpit.

36 Clipper Race Crew Manual


Fishing boats
Other very common vessels that you will come across are fishing Unlike merchant and fishing vessels, not all the Skippers in charge
boats and trawlers. They will often be found working in groups and are qualified or experienced seafarers. This is not to say that these
are massively constrained in their ability to manoeuvre when engaged vessels will not be sailed professionally as there are many highly
in fishing activities. Most commercial fishing is conducted at around experienced and professional Skippers out there. The point is that
five knots but these vessels are capable of some impressive speeds, you cannot always take it for granted that the Skipper will take the
especially when they are on the way home! consistently predictable actions you may expect.

It is also worth remembering that sailing vessels engaged in racing

conform to a whole different set of rules: the racing rules of sailing.
This does not mean that they are not also bound by the normal
collision regulations but it is perhaps worth making some allowance
as they may be preoccupied by the racing.

Motor vessels
Like sailing vessels, motor vessels also come in a wide variety of
shapes and sizes, from large luxury super yachts which often look
more like ships, to smaller leisure craft and rigid inflatable boats
(RIBs) designed for inshore use. As with sailing vessels there is no
requirement for the Skippers of these smaller vessels to be qualified
or even experienced. This is not to say that these vessels will not
be driven professionally as there are many highly experienced and
professional Skippers out there. The point is that, as with sailing
vessels, you cannot always take it for granted that the Skipper will take
the consistently predictable actions you may expect.

These days even the smallest of motor vessels has a lot of power
and is capable of travelling at high speed therefore a boat spotted
several miles away will be on top of you very quickly and this needs
During fishing and trawling operations these vessels are often to be taken into consideration when trying to avoid them.
connected to hugely complex structures of wire, cordage, heavy
metal and netting making them very unmanoeuvrable. They also
often operate in close proximity to each other, wrecks and other
underwater obstructions. It is well worth keeping a good lookout
for these vessels and ensuring you give them a wide berth. During
daylight hours these vessels will display an hourglass shape in
their rigging when they are fishing but be warned – they often
display this whether they are fishing or not!

Sailing vessels
Sailing vessels come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes, from
old fashioned square riggers with enormous sail area and limited
manoeuvrability to cutting edge high performance racing yachts
which are highly manoeuvrable and capable of high speeds. There
is, of course, a raft of yachts between these extremes with differing
functions and manoeuvrability.

Clipper Race Training - Part 1 37


38 Clipper Race Crew Manual


Safety Brief
A safety brief must be given on each boat before it leaves the dock.
n Use of three point tethers / two tethers to remain attached
The safety brief should include all of the following as a minimum: whilst moving from one jackstay / strongpoint to another
• Welcome
n Importance of checking tether is securely attached by
• Introduction to the boat and staff tugging on it after clipping on
• Overview of the day / course
n Importance of clipping on as far to windward as possible
• Orientation of the sailing area
n Length of tether to be used (“where will you end up if
• General deck safety (moving around the deck) caught by your tether?”)
- Always work on the high side – staying out of the Cockpit
n Clipping on before exiting companionway
Cautionary Zone (CCZ)
n Not un-clipping until inside the companionway
- O  ne hand for the boat, one for yourself - W  et weather gear
- T  ransiting the CCZ when sailing upwind and downwind
n Availability and location
(to windward of the traveller and underneath the traveller
n Importance of staying warm and dry
respectively) - S  unburn and Exposure
- Trip hazards - A  voiding dehydration
n Cockpit fiddles • Safety Equipment on deck
n Hatches / open and closed - L ocation and operation of life rings and Danbuoy
n Spinnaker / Jockey polls - Location and operation of EPIRB
n Deck blocks - L ocation and operation of throwing line
n Hand rails - Location and operation of safety knives
n Winches - Location and operation of Liferafts
n Cleats - L ocation and operation of emergency steering
n Jammers • Safety equipment below deck
n Ropes / lines - Location and operation of fire extinguishers, fire blankets and
n Jackstays fire pump
- Boom, Traveller and mainsheet - L  ocation and operation of man overboard equipment (including
- F  logging sheets and lines the scramble net)
• Winch safety - L ocation and operation of search light
- Minimum number of turns - Location of first aid kit and medical stores
- P  ulling in by hand - L ocation and operation of all through hull fittings
- L  oading up - Location and operation of bilge pump system
- E  asing - Location and operation of pyrotechnics
- R  eleasing - Location and operation of gas system shut off valves
- U  se of safety turns - Location and operation of fuel shut off valves
- Use of jammers in conjunction with winches - Location and operation of VHF radio, DSC, Sat C and Satellite
- U  se of and stowage of winch handles communications
• Personal equipment • Safety below deck
- L  ife jackets - Precautions when using companionway steps
n Clipper Race life jackets are to be worn at all times when - C  lipping on before exiting the companionway
on deck - P  recautions when moving around below
n Fitting - P  recautions when cooking
n Crotch strap - U  se of lee cloths and securing them correctly when in use
n Inflation • Safety procedures
- G as routine
•  Automatic
- Maintenance of the ships log and position on paper charts
•  Manual
- Emergency radio procedure
Crew MUST be able to demonstrate correct use of the
- Skippers standing orders

spray hood without assistance

• Domestic
- Heads

Location and operation

What to do if in the water


Re-packing of the lifejacket including correct packing of

- F  resh water system and pumps

the spray hood (concertinaed with deployment tabs easily n Necessity to save water
accessible, not rolled)
- L ights
- S  afety Tethers and Clipping on n Location and operation (Red / White, etc)
Times to clip on (see section 21)
Save battery power

Looking out for the person next to you (buddy system)

Emergency torches

Location and use of strongpoints / D-rings and Jackstays

- T  idiness and Hygiene

Crew able to demonstrate one handed operation of

- S  moking and Alcohol policy

tether clips

Clipper Race Training - Part 1 39

Yachting is one of the safest
leisure sporting activities
and many sailors will never
be required to deal with a
serious emergency situation.
However it is a well proven
fact that in the event of an
emergency at sea, people
who have received training
are more likely to survive.

40 Clipper Race Crew Manual


By its very nature ocean racing involves an element of risk. It is Life jackets and harnesses
not possible for us to remove this, nor would we want to as it
Each time you join your Clipper Race
is a key part of the appeal for so many people. Accidents are
unfortunately inevitable; it is only through continuous awareness yacht you will be supplied with a life
of potential dangers and creating techniques that reduce jacket with integral safety harness.
exposure to risk that we are able to minimise them and deal with This will be yours for the duration of the trip and could save your life,
them appropriately and quickly. This is as important for us as so look after it! Providing a minimum of 150N (Newtons) of buoyancy it
race organisers as it is for the race crew and is a priority right is designed to ensure that an unconscious person floats face up and is
throughout the yacht build, the training and the race itself. suitable for both swimmers and non swimmers alike.

For this reason emergency drills such as a man overboard,

Your life jacket can either be inflated orally, by blowing into the
steering failure and medical emergencies will form a key part of
inflation tube, or by carbon dioxide which is stored in a sealed
your training. They will be repeated time and time again throughout
metal bottle. The gas is released manually by pulling a toggle or
your training sessions and you will gain experience of the actions
automatically when immersed in water.
to be taken under a wide variety of conditions.
Each time you are issued with a life jacket you
For your own safety you and everyone else you are training
with must make themselves aware of the Clipper Race Standing should carry out the following checks
Orders and SOPs. • Inflation test: orally inflate life jacket and leave for one hour,
then check it is still fully inflated
• Remove the CO2 cylinder and make sure it has not been
Personal Safety pierced. Ensure you replace it tightly into the
We all have to take responsibility for our own personal safety as well firing mechanism
as a responsibility towards the safety of others on board. An example • Check the straps for chafe and that the stitching on all straps,
of this would be to look after other crew members by checking their life including your safety line, is not worn
jacket is fitted correctly whenever you know they have just put it on – • Check the emergency light is working and the whistle
they will do the same for you. is present and attached to the life jacket
• Check all buckles and clips for damage
Basic seamanlike practices

• Always move along the high, or windward, side of the yacht

• One hand for you (to hold on) and one hand for the
yacht (for the job)
• Always be aware of what is happening around you
• Always sit upwind of sails and rigging, especially when
a sail is being lowered
• Always look out for others, especially when involved in
manoeuvres or on the foredeck
• Always have your knife with you and easily accessible
• At night you should always have your torch easily accessible
• Never run, either on board or on the pontoons
• Look after all the on board equipment
• If you see a job – do it
• If you do a job – do it properly

Clipper Race Training - Part 1 41

Your life jacket should be worn at all times whilst on deck.
• Adjust your life jacket each time you put it on. The waist belt When clipping on make sure you only clip on to the jack stays which
should be a tight fit when your fist is placed between the strap and run down both side decks or the fixed eyes which are designed for
your chest this purpose. Also ensure you always clip on to the windward side of
• Always use the crotch strap the yacht as this will prevent you falling overboard.
• Your life jacket should be kept around your neck or in your
Never clip on to
designated life jacket pocket
• Never leave it lying around on or below deck. You may need to be • The steering pedestal
able to locate it quickly • The pulpit / pushpit
• Sheets or running rigging
Use of safety lines • Standing rigging
• Guard wires or stanchions
Safety lines should always be worn with life jackets. Crew who fall
overboard on a yacht have often gone to the trouble of putting on a
safety harness yet have not actually clipped on, possibly one of the
easiest aspects of using a harness.
You should clip on at all
times but particularly in the As well as holding on make sure you clip on whenever
following situations you can. It may slow you down as you move around
the boat but your safety is more important.
• At night
• When working on the foredeck
• In heavy weather

42 Clipper Race Crew Manual


Distress Situations Throw the danbuoy and life ring
The crew member nearest the danbuoy should immediately throw this
and the horseshoe life ring overboard.
Man overboard
This is every sailor’s worst nightmare and prevention is definitely
Press MOB button on GPS
The crew member nearest the navigation area presses the GPS Man
better than cure. Being physically attached to the boat is an
Overboard button and writes down the GPS position in the logbook.
excellent first step! Your safety line should be used whenever there
is any danger of unsteady motion on the boat. Remember that if you
Start engine
go overboard at night or in bad weather there is a significant risk
Once the GPS MOB button has been pressed the same crew
that you will not be found.
member should start the engine and inform the helmsman they have
Immediate action done so.
• Raise the alert
• Stop the boat Drop sails
• Locate the casualty Both yankee and staysail should be dropped.

In the event of a man overboard follow this standard procedure Prepare equipment
The boat hook, lifting strop and scramble net must be made
Raise the alarm
ready and attached to the deck or an appropriate halyard. A crew
The call of ‘MAN OVERBOARD’ should be made by everyone, as loud
member must be prepared as a swimmer with a life jacket and
as you can. If the Skipper is sleeping make sure he/she is woken.
climbing harness.
Stop the boat
Once the helmsman is certain that everyone on deck is in a safe
Recovery under engine
Man overboard manoeuvres are always carried out under engine
location they should immediately perform a crash stop or hove to.
unless, for some reason, the yacht’s engine is not functioning.
Locate the casualty This is to ensure that the casualty is recovered as quickly as
One person should constantly look and point at the casualty. This is a possible in order to maximise their chances of survival.
VITAL role and this person should not do anything else.

Man overboard whilst attached to the vessel

(tethered mob):
As with normal procedure surrounding an MOB the following
points must be conveyed to the crew should anyone go overboard
whilst still attached to the boat via tether:

• Raise the alarm shout MOB

• At least two crew to immediately pull the MOB’s head out
of the water whilst an appropriate spare halyard is attached
directly to the casualty’s safety tether. Once attached, this
halyard is to be ground tight so as to hoist the casualty out of
the water as swiftly as possible
• At the same time the boat is to be stopped immediately
• Once MOB is back aboard, check for ABC (airway, breathing,
circulation) and follow up with general assessment. Monitor
for at least 24 hours for shock, secondary drowning, and

Clipper Race Training - Part 1 43


Recovery manoeuvre under engine

1. Casualty falls overboard ( ) 4
2. Crash stop
3. Throw the danbuoy and life ring
4. Start the engine and drop the headsails
5. Manoeuvre downwind of the casualty
To windward of casualty 5
6. Approach the MOB into the wind so that the 1

mainsail is depowered. Pick up the MOB on the To leeward of casualty

leeward side by the shrouds 6

Recovery manoeuvre under sail

1. Casualty falls overboard ( )
2. Crash stop and throw the danbuoy and life ring
3. Put the boat on beam reach and drop the headsails 3
4. Tack around and manoeuvre downwind of the casualty 2

5. Approach the MOB on a fine reach so that the mainsail is

powered up when pulled in and depowered
when released
6 To windward of casualty
6. Pick up the MOB on the leeward side by the shrouds 1
To leeward of casualty

Recovering a casualty from the water
There are several pieces of equipment on board a Clipper Race yacht to aid in the recovery
of a man overboard including a MOB Recovery Hook, helicopter strop and scramble net.
The technique employed will be dependent on the situation and whether the casualty is conscious.

Conscious casualty • The swimmer then attaches the MOB recovery hook
to the casualty’s double lifting beckets on their lifejacket.
The MOB recovery hook is by far the most effective If for any reason the lifting beckets are inaccessible,
means of recovering a casualty. It should be attached to
then the helicopter strop is to be used instead of the
the end of a halyard and lowered to the casualty.
recovery hook
The casualty attaches the hook to both lifting beckets of
• Both the casualty and swimmer are hoisted
their lifejacket and is then smartly hoisted back on board.
back on board simultaneously

Unconscious or injured casualty Remember that the swimmer will also be cold and wet
There is only one option – someone has to when they come back aboard and should therefore be
go in and get them treated in the same way as the casualty.

• A swimmer should be prepared wearing the climbing

harness and the “Rescue” lifejacket. They are then
lowered over the side on a halyard with the MOB
lifting apparatus (attached to another halyard)
being lowered to them once they are in position

44 Clipper Race Crew Manual


What to do if you are overboard
Fire blankets should be used on liquid fires
• Make sure someone knows you have gone overboard
(cooking oil) or people, smothering the flames
• Inflate your life jacket and pull the spray hood over your head
and depriving the fire of oxygen.
• Switch on light
• Fasten cuffs and ankle seals on foul weather sailing suit and
put up hood and fasten spume visor
• Adopt HELP (Heat Escape Loss Prevention) position, crossed
Dry powder extinguishers are primarily
arms and legs but relaxed
for use in the navigation area on
• Keep movements to a minimum to prevent cold water shock
electrical fires
• Put waves to your back
• Do not swim to the danbuoy unless it is very close
• Do not try to swim after the yacht, let it come to you
• Use your whistle to make sound signals
In the event of a fire breaking out, tackle it
• Raise the alarm; make sure everybody on board knows about it

Fire • Shut off all fuel valves for the engine and generator. These are
under the galley counter
Several flammable items are carried on board the Clipper Race • Turn off the engine if the fire is in the engine space
yachts including gas, oil and solvents. Great care should be taken • Close off ventilation to the fire
when handling these items and when lighting the stove or oven. A fire • Apply extinguisher to the base of the fire
on board is very serious and can spread rapidly around the boat. • Use all available means of communication to raise the alarm
• Prepare life rafts and crew for abandonment
Fire prevention
• Keep the engine bay and electrics clean and tidy Flood
• Never smoke below deck, when refuelling, handling
Any flood on board is very serious. Floods can happen for several
gas bottles or upwind of flammable items such as sails
reasons, including a hull breach due to striking an object or if
• Always turn off the gas at the stop cock as well as on
one of the underwater fittings (seacocks) fails. The Clipper Race
the cooker
yachts are fitted with bilge alarms to warn of floods however it
• Always take care when cooking fats and solvents
is very important to check the bilges regularly in order to identify
• Always report smells of gas or gas alarms
flood risks early. The bilges should be pumped dry every hour as
• Always put used matches under a tap before discarding
it is normal for them to have some water in them. In the event of
in the bin
flooding due to a failed seacock or hull damage the following
Fire requires three elements to burn: oxygen, fuel and heat. If any of steps should be taken.
these elements are removed the fire will go out.
• Commence bilge pumping immediately
• Close watertight bulkhead doors
Fire fighting
• Identify source of water ingress
The Clipper Race fleet is fitted with several types of fire fighting • Stop water ingress by closing seacock or plugging hole
equipment including both foam and dry powder extinguishers, with a wooden bung or other object
fire blankets, and a manual fire pump. It is important that all crew • Prepare life rafts and crew for abandonment
members know exactly where each piece of equipment is stored as • Use all forms of communication to raise alarm
well as when and how it should be used. • If possible manoeuvre vessel relative to weather to reduce
motion which could result in early swamping
Foam fire extinguishers can be used on all other types
of fire other than diesel or oil based fires. For fires
in the engine compartment, there is an automati fire
suppression system which also has an manual override
from outside the engine compartment.

Clipper Race Training - Part 1 45

There are many ropes and lines on board a yacht. They need to be
kept tidy otherwise they will become tangled, preventing us from
reacting quickly when we need to. Ropes should always be neatly
coiled before being stowed.
Coiling a rope
1) In order to make all of the 4) Pull a loop of rope through the top
coils the same length use of the coil
the width of your arms
each time

2) Always coil the rope in a 5) Finally push the end of the rope
clockwise direction into through the loop. The line can now
your left hand. Twist your be hung up with a clove hitch or
right hand away from you round turn and two
each time you form a coil, half hitches
this will stop the coils

3) Keep coiling until you have

about two metres left then
wrap the rope three times
tightly around the coil near SIR ROBIN’S
the top TOP TIPS
Everything on board should be stowed neatly
and ready to use. This is especially true of
ropes. You don’t want to be untangling them
at the time they are needed.

46 Clipper Race Crew Manual


Cleats have many uses on boats but perhaps the most common is for securing mooring lines to the deck when mooring the yacht in a marina.
As the Clipper Race yachts are so heavy it is important the mooring lines are secured properly to ensure the boat is safe but also to prevent the
mooring lines jamming under tension.

Using them correctly is very simple

Put a turn all the way around the cleat Follow this with a figure of eight And then another turn all the way around

This is enough to hold the boat and it will never jam. OXO is a good way to remember it.

Mooring lines
Every time we moor the yachts it is important to ensure that they are secure. The boats should always be secured with a minimum of a bow
and stern breast line and two springs. Often we will add two extra breast lines.

Clipper Race Training - Part 1 47

Everything on board a Clipper 70 is big and heavy; for this reason we use winches for pretty much everything we do. The winches operate under
enormous loads and, if not treated with respect, could cause serious injury – hence the need to understand how to use them correctly.

Using winches

1) Always load the rope 3) Once you can’t pull any more
clockwise around a winch put a fourth turn around the
winch and then a final turn into
the self tailor

2) Put three turns around the 4) Put the winch handle into the top
winch and pull in as much of the winch and start turning it
as you can. You should anti-clockwise. The winch has two
never operate a winch gears so, once it gets hard to turn,
with less than three turns try going the other way
5) Once you have finished, put the
winch handle away. It should never
be left on the deck. Finally put one
more safety turn around the winch
to prevent the rope being kicked
out of the self tailor

Always be aware that the line you are pulling in has two ends. Winches are very powerful and can easily damage sails and other deck gear.
Always have one eye on what you are doing at the other end of the line.

Easing and releasing winches

1) Be very careful when letting 2) If you need to release a rope
a rope out on a winch, there quickly, first ease the pressure
is a lot of tension on it. To off and then lift the line up
let a little bit out, carefully vertically and flick off all the
take the rope out of the self turns except the last one
tailor but keep tension on it.
Put the flat of your left hand
against the winch (as shown
in the picture) and use both
hands to slowly ease it out

48 Clipper Race Crew Manual


Since it would be impractical to provide a separate winch to deal with all the various control lines, clutches are provided for some of them.
These devices grip a line under tension by means of a lever and cam, which enables winches to be freed for other purposes.

Using them correctly is very simple

Clutch open Clutch closing Clutch closed

Using jammers

1) An example of both open and closed 2) To release a rope from a jammer 3) To close the jammer
jammers. The white plate section simply winch the line tight until the simultaneously pull the release
at the forward end of the handle white plate section is visible and trigger whilst pushing the sliding
indicates the jammer is open the release trigger clicks closed part of the mechanism back
inside the body of the jammer

Clipper Race Training - Part 1 49


50 Clipper Race Crew Manual


Clipper 68 and 70 deck gear
In addition to the aforementioned Before grinding make sure that the pedestal is connected to
the working winch and disconnected from any lazy winches.
deck gear, both the Clipper 68s The grinder is very powerful and can easily damage sails and
and 70s have additional pieces other deck gear. Always have one eye on what you are doing
at the other end of the line.
of deck equipment, the pedestal
grinder, which is often called the
coffee grinder.
In Level 1, using the individual coffee grinder on the Clipper 68 will
be good preparation for using the twin system on the Clipper 70 in
later training and the race.

Situated in the centre of the Clipper 68s deck it enabled two

people to work together to operate the primary winches and
perform some of the harder jobs more quickly.

Two people should work together on the grinder. One crew

member should stand on each side of the pedestal and take hold of
one outside handle and one inside handle as shown in the picture.
This will help to stop your heads banging together. Make sure you
do not stand too close to the pedestal or you might hurt your hands
by hitting your lifejacket buckle as you turn the handles.

Connecting the grinder to a winch:

The grinder is designed to operate both primary winches. It is

important however that the grinder is only connected to one winch
at a time. This is done using two levers which are situated at the
base of the grinder pedestal. A winch is connected when the lever
is pointing towards it, and disconnected when the lever is pointing
either forward or aft.
Winch selection levers:

Pointing out towards Pointing aft away from

the working winch the working winch

Clipper Race Training - Part 1 51

Each Clipper Race yacht Always remember that your sails are your power. Without them you
will not be able to race so you need to make sure they are properly
carries eleven different sails looked after. They must never be

which can be used in a variety • Trodden on

of combinations to suit the • Allowed to flog

conditions. Each sail has a •

Stretched out of shape
Sheeted in before they are fully hoisted
specific wind range within • Allowed to rub (chafe) against the rigging

which it will provide optimal Inspection on a regular basis should be a high priority

performance. The best sail

combination will depend on Sail Anatomy
the following: • Head - Top of the sail where the halyard is attached
• Clew - This is the aft corner of the sail where the main
• Wind speed outhaul or jib sheets are attached
• Sea state • Tack - This is the front corner of the sail
• Point of sail • Foot - This is the bottom edge of the sail
• Condition of sail • Luff - This is the front edge of the sail
• Leech - This is the aft edge of the sail
Below is a guide to the maximum wind ranges for each sail.
The key to maximising the boat’s performance is knowing the
conditions in which each sail will perform best and this is where
experience is key. Each sail has its own idiosyncrasies and knowing
these will help prolong their life and also make the yacht go more
quickly. A good starting point is to have a guide to the basic
settings for each sail and one to indicate which combination of
sails makes the yacht go faster in any given conditions.

Sail Recommended maximum wind strength

Main Reef to conditions

Yankee 1 16 knots apparent

Yankee 2 25 knots apparent

Yankee 3 34 knots apparent

Staysail 40 knots apparent

Spinnaker 2.2oz 30 knots apparent

Spinnaker 1.5oz 20 knots apparent

Spinnaker 0.75oz 12 knots apparent

Windseeker 8 knots apparent

52 Clipper Race Crew Manual


Mainsail Controls Headsail Controls
Halyard Halyard
This is the rope used to hoist the mainsail. We This is the rope that pulls a sail up the mast. It is also used to adjust the luff tension of
use the halyard to adjust the luff tension which a sail which, in turn, will adjust the draft position. As the luff is tensioned the draft position
affects the shape of the sail. moves forward.

Sheet Sheet
This is the line used to control the angle of the This is the rope that pulls the sail in and out. By pulling it in the headsail will be sheeted
mainsail. It has a dedicated winch on the port in and the boat will be able to sail closer to the wind. When the boat bears away the
side in front of the helm. Care should be taken sheet will need to be eased.
when adjusting the mainsheet as the loads can
be large. There should always be a minimum of Car position
three turns on the main sheet winch. The position of the headsail car can be moved forwards or backwards. By doing
this we adjust the angle of the sheet. If the car is moved forwards the sheet will exert
Vang more tension on the leech of the sail, decreasing the amount of twist and allowing the
The vang is operated from the snake pit. The foot to become fuller. Moving the car back will increase the tension in the foot and
line applies a downward force to the boom and flattens the lower section of the sail while increasing the twist in the sail.
must always be released before any manoeuvre
that results in the boom being lifted. The main
purpose of the vang is to control the amount of
Points of Sail
twist in the sail when off the wind.
A modern yacht will sail at any angle to the wind up to an angle of about 40ºeach side
Traveller of the wind. Depending on the direction in which we want to travel we could be required to
sail at many different angles to the wind. Each time the boat changes direction the sails will
The traveller is used to adjust the angle of the
need to be adjusted. The diagram below shows the different points of sail and the
mainsheet which helps us to control the amount
associated sail trim.
of twist in the sail. Both traveller lines are
operated from one winch on the starboard side
of the cockpit. Always ensure that both lines are
jammed off before taking anything off the winch. STARBOARD PORT
The above three mainsail controls
In Irons
work in harmony with each other to CLOSE HAULED (No go zone) CLOSE HAULED
control both the sheeting angle and
the twist of the sail. This complex
interaction will be demonstrated
during your practical training. FINE REACH FINE REACH

The cunningham is employed by attaching a
handy billy (block and tackle) to the cringle
(metal ring) just above the tack and then
applying tension. Like the main halyard the
cunningham is used to adjust the luff tension
and the shape of the sail. BROAD REACH BROAD REACH

Leech line
The leach line is used to prevent the leech of a
sail flapping or vibrating. On the mainsail it is
adjusted at the tack.

Clipper Race Training - Part 1 53

Close-hauled or beating Using tell tales for sail trim
When sailing a straight line, keep the sail almost entirely hauled in Tell tales are small strips of wool or ribbon which are attached to the
for maximum speed. If your destination requires you to sail closer to sails. Their purpose is to show the air flow across the two surfaces
the wind than the yacht is able to point, you will have to zigzag to it. of the sails. When trimming sails we try to get them so they are flying
This zigzagging upwind is called tacking or beating (to windward). on both sides which shows even air flow on both sides of the sails.
Aim as close as you can to your destination with the wind on one side. On the headsails if the windward tell tale is not flying the sail needs
After a while, tack and aim as close as you can again. Continue like to be brought in whereas if the leeward tell tale is not flying it needs
this until you reach your destination. to be let out. The tell tales on the main sail are attached to the leech;
let out the sail until all of the tell tales fly then bring it back in until the
top tell tale only flies 50 percent of the time. Please be aware, tell
tales may only be used when the wind is on or forward of the beam.
We will look at sail trim in more detail at Level 2.


Good sail trim is essential to generate good
boat speed. The wind is constantly changing
so the sails will need constant attention.
Remember TRIM, TRIM, TRIM!

Close reach or fine reach Sail Evolutions

When sailing a straight line, let out the sail just slightly from
completely hauled in for maximum speed.
Sail changes on a yacht are like
Beam reach gear changes in a car – the whole
When sailing a straight line, position the sail at just over a 45° angle
to the boat for maximum lift.
idea is to get back up to speed as
Broad reach
quickly as possible.
When sailing a straight line, position the sail at an angle of 45° or more
to the boat to catch as much wind as possible. With the spinnaker up The crew is divided into two fundamental groups – the trimmers and
this is ideal for high boat speeds and high adrenaline levels. the changers. The trimmers have to concentrate on sail trim all the time,
even during evolutions, and the changers have to execute the evolution
Running in as efficient and safe a manner as possible.
When sailing a straight line let out the sail nearly perpendicular to
the boat for maximum speed. As modern sails are aerodynamically Reefing
efficient, using a sail in drag mode (i.e. dead downwind) is actually Reefing the mainsail or shaking out a reef are both evolutions that
slow, as the drag creates less drive than the lift of the sail would. are performed time and time again as they are a quick and easy
Therefore it is quicker to sail at angles to the wind and gybe, rather way to react to a change in wind speed. The Clipper 70s use a slab
than dead downwind. It is safer and more comfortable, too. reefing system which, as the name suggests, allows large sections
(slabs) of the sail to be taken out of or put into play. The following
Basic sail trim explanation does not specify individual winches for the lines used as
There are two simple rules for trimming sails winch selection will depend on the tack the boat is on and which reef
• If in doubt, let it out is being worked on.
• A flappy sail is an unhappy sail
Putting in a reef
An over-trimmed sail is less efficient than an under trimmed one. Preparation
Over-trimming causes the sail to produce more sideways and
• Flake the main halyard on deck for a smooth drop and take
heeling forces which are detrimental to boat speed and direction.
up all the tension on the main halyard winch so as to allow
An under-trimmed sail will flap and generate less lift. It should be
the jammer to be opened
noted that a sail is most efficient just before its point of collapse.

54 Clipper Race Crew Manual


• Ensure the correct reefing line is ready to go on a winch and have Shaking out a reef
the other two ready to be pulled hand tight This is the reverse of the previous evolution
• Have the topping lift ready to be winched in
• Set up the main halyard on its winch with the jammer open
• Set the working reefing line on a winch with its in-boom jammer
open. If the other two reefing lines are involved (e.g. if the first
reef is shaken out, the second and third reefing lines will also
have to be let out) they will have to be flaked on deck and their
in-boom jammers opened

Depowering the main (VMT)

•  ase vang and mainsheet whilst the topping lift is pulled hand
tight until the sail is sufficiently depowered

Shaking out the reef

•  elease the reefing line. It is vital that the aft end of the sail is
released before the luff end, to prevent mainsail sliders being
pulled from the mast track
• Once the reefing line is free the cunningham can be released
and the mainsail halyard winched up to the desired height and
luff tension
• The two other reefing lines must be checked to ensure they do
not catch as the sail goes up

Depowering the main (VMT) Trimming the main (TMV)

• Release the vang, easing it out to avoid the boom bouncing up •  he topping lift is now released and the mainsheet and vang
• Ease out the mainsheet until the mainsail depowers, grinding applied as necessary to properly trim the sail
up the topping lift to support the boom
Tidying up
Lowering the main • All lines are tidied up ready for use
• Ease out the main halyard until the reefing cringle can be
attached to the cunningham, then pull the handy billy tight so
that the cringle is as low as possible

Setting the reef

• Grind in the main halyard to the desired luff tension. While this
is happening the relevant reefing line can be pulled in by hand
on a winch
• Once the luff tension is correct, grind in on the reefing line until
the clew cringle of the sail is down to the boom

Trimming the main (TMV)

• Ease the topping lift so that it is loose and pull the main in until
it is correctly trimmed. Finally apply the vang as required

Tidying up
• If the first reef was put in, both the second and third reefing lines
will need to be pulled in by hand to stop them flogging around.
If the second reef was put in, only the third reefing line will still
be loose and so need pulling in
• The lines should be tidied up as usual, and made ready for use

Clipper Race Training - Part 1 55

Tacking and Gybing Helming
On ‘Ready to tack runner back’ keep on going. Make sure you
We tack and gybe to turn the yacht through the wind resulting in know which way you are going to turn (to windward).
the sails changing sides. When we are sailing upwind we turn the
On ‘Helm’s a lee’ make your turn. Just before you turn, look down
boat so that the front of the boat passes head to wind; this is a tack.
a line perpendicular to the yacht’s heading and to windward. This
Downwind we turn with the back of the boat passing through the
gives you an idea of your new heading. Turn the yacht steadily and
wind; this is a gybe. Both tacking and gybing require a lot of crew
remember to start to straighten up before you think you need to.
members as all of the sails have to be transferred from one side of
the boat to the other. ‘Lee ho’ will be called sometime through your turn; just keep on going.
As your experience grows, you will be making the calls through the
When tacking or gybing all crew members must be in a safe tack and you will learn several techniques to make tacking easier.
position, ideally in the cockpit. Watch out for the boom and
mainsheet which will travel across the deck. Also remember that the Headsail sheets
low side of the boat will become the high side and vice versa. Crew
On ‘Ready to tack runner back’ one crew should go to each
members in the snakepit should also be aware of the yankee sheets
working winch, make sure the line is flaked and clear to run
as they can flog wildly during a tack.
(no feet in the line etc). DO NOT REMOVE THE SAFETY TURN!
Tacking Two crew should go to the lazy winches. One should make sure
there are three turns on the winch, pull in any slack and be ready to
Tacking involves turning the bow of the yacht through the wind so
pull the sheet in, whilst the other gets and holds a winch handle and
that the wind moves from one side of the yacht to the other. The
readies themselves for winching.
sails will also swap sides. In order for this to happen the yankee and
staysail sheets will need to be released from the working winches On ‘Helm’s a lee’ the crew on the working winches remove the
and hauled in on the opposite side of the boat. The mainsail will safety turn. KEEP THE SHEET IN THE SELF TAILOR!
change sides of its own accord however may need to be tended if
On ‘Lee ho’, the crew on the working winch should spin the turns
the sheet is eased or if adjustment to the traveller is required.
off the winch apart from the last turn which strips any twists out of
There are four basic command calls the sheet, and LET GO! The crew on the lazy sheet should pull it in.
When the sail is over on their side and they can no longer pull it in,
‘Ready to tack runner back’ - Everyone should move into the
the sheet should be loaded onto the winch and final tension applied
correct positions by the relevant winches and prepare to tack.
by winching until the sail is trimmed for course.
‘Ready about?’ - This is a question: ‘Are you ready to tack?’ If you
are shout, ‘YES!’ Main sheet
‘Helm’s a lee’ - The helmsman is initiating the turn. Safety turns On ‘Ready to tack runner back’ make sure the slack has been
should be removed from winches. taken up on both traveller lines and they are secured by the jammers.
‘Lee ho’ - The boat has turned through head to wind and sails should If the mainsheet has been eased, take the winch to three turns and
be released from the working winches and pulled in and trimmed on prepare to pull in the slack during the tack.
the new side.
On ‘Helm’s a lee’ pull in any slack in the mainsheet to prevent
There are four main action stations: running backstays, helming, it catching on deck gear or crew as it passes across the deck.
headsail sheets and the main sheet. Once the yacht has settled on its new course, trim the main as
appropriate. Wait for the main to settle on its new side before
Running backstays adjusting the traveller.
On ‘Ready to tack runner back’ one crew mans each running
After each tack all lines should be tidied.
backstay winch. The lazy runner (on the low side) should be brought
back until it is just touching the mainsail. It should then be loaded
up onto the winch, and a winch handle inserted. DO NOT WINCH!
On the working winch, all spare line can be thrown off. DO NOT
REMOVE THE SAFETY TURN – the runner is still needed to
support the mast!

On ‘Lee ho’ ease the working runner to the guard position. Winch
the new runner tight. Once the headsails have filled, on the new tack,
send the old runner all the way forward and close the new runner
tricing line clutch taking out any slack.

56 Clipper Race Crew Manual


Gybing is similar to tacking – Helming
the difference is the stern of the On ‘Stand by to gybe’ keep going straight but get an idea of what
your new course will be.
yacht passes through the wind.
On ‘Helm to weather’ start your turn. Keep the turn slow; you have
Because of this the sails are a lot of time in a gybe. When the wind fills the main from the new
powered up throughout and the side there is a tendency for the yacht to heel and round up. This can

mainsail particularly will come be avoided by a small amount of opposite rudder at the right time.
When the yacht is under control and the main is filled from the new
across with a bang. side, head up onto your new course.

The main is often well out and, for safety reasons, this needs to be
brought into the centre before a gybe. It also allows the lazy runner to
be brought aft.

There are four basic command calls

‘Stand by to gybe’ - Indicates preparation for a gybe

‘Ready to gybe?’ - This is a question and needs an answer. If you are

ready a ‘Yes’ will do, but if not call, ‘No’ and put your arm in the air to
signal this as your shout may be drowned out by other crew’s shouts.
‘Helm to weather’ - Indicates that the helmsman is initiating the turn.
‘Gybe ho’ - Indicates the boat has turned through the eye of the wind.
As with tacking there are four main action stations: running backstays,
helming, headsail sheets and main sheets.
Headsail sheets
Main sheet On ‘Stand by to gybe’ one crew mans each working winch to make
On ‘Stand by to gybe’ pull in the main, initially by hand and then sure the line is flaked and clear to run (no feet in line etc). DO NOT
winch it until the boom is secured in the centre of the boat. Also REMOVE THE SAFETY TURN. Two crew should go to the lazy
check that the slack has been taken up in both traveller lines and winches and make sure there are three turns on the winch and be
secure them both with the jammers. ready to pull the sheet in. Two other crew should be ready on the
On ‘Helm to weather’ wait for the mainsail to blow across the boat coffee grinder and ensure it is connected to the lazy winch.
and then ease out the sheet in a controlled and smooth fashion.
On ‘Helm to weather’ remove the safety turns from the working
‘Gybe ho’ will not be called until both headsails are backed, the
winches but keep the sheets in the self tailors.
mainsail will already have swapped sides by this time so do not wait
for ‘Gybe ho’ to be called. Once the yacht has settled on its new On ‘Gybe ho’ the crew on the working winches should spin the
course trim the main appropriately. turns off the winch, just leaving the last one to strip any twists from
the line, and LET GO! The crew on the lazy sheets should pull it in.
Running backstays When the sail is on their side and they can no longer pull it in, the
sheet should be loaded onto the winch and final tension applied by
On ‘Stand by to gybe’ one crew mans to each backstay winch. The
lazy runner (on the low side) should be brought back as the mainsail
is centred until it is just touching the back of the mainsail. It should It is very important for the sheets to be held until ‘Gybe ho’ is called
then be loaded up onto the winch, and a handle inserted. DO NOT as, if they are released early, the sails will end up in front of the
WINCH. On the working winch all the spare line can be thrown off.. forestay. Winching them back is hard work, time consuming and may
DO NOT REMOVE THE SAFETY TURN - the runner is still needed result in damage to the sail or hanks.
to support the mast!
After each gybe all lines should be tided.
On ‘Helm to weather’ remove the safety turn from the old ’working’
runner and send it all the way forward. Whilst this is taking place the
new working runner should be winched on tight.

Clipper Race Training - Part 1 57


On board the Clipper Race Bow

The bow is the high adrenaline
yachts we have an ethos of position on the boat. The bowman
full participation; you will leads the team on the foredeck
and anything in front of the mast
be able to get involved in is their responsibility. You will
all areas of the boat. Often, need to be agile, strong and
prepared to get very wet as you
however, we find that crew will often need to climb out to
will go on to specialise the end of the bowsprit.

in the areas where their

strengths lie.
By specialising they become more efficient at a job, understand
how that job fits in with others on board, and this improves
communication. In order for a crew member to specialise they
need to understand all the roles so, even if you wish to be Foredeck
bowman, a few days in the snake pit will be invaluable. When
The foredeck crew works closely
training, specialisation is not encouraged, partly for this reason
with the bow and should be able
and partly to allow everyone to experience as much as possible.
to step into their shoes if they are
The definition of the roles below is not absolute; each team finds injured or on mother watch. They
different defining edges to each job. Each watch should be able play a key role in sail changes and
to fill each slot so when all the crew is up, there will be double the preparing sails pre-hoist, as well as
hands in each area. To avoid confusion, clear guidelines need to helping at the mast with the mainsail
be laid down for situations when the whole crew is up, otherwise
during reefs. Like the bowman you
crew will get in each other’s way.
will need to be strong and agile.

58 Clipper Race Crew Manual


Mast Helm
The mast crew is normally made The art of good helming is the
up of the last two members of the ability to maintain a steady course
foredeck crew. They need to be able and get the most out of the yacht
to work together in order to hoist as in all conditions and especially in
quickly as possible. Like the rest of light winds.
the foredeck team they need to be
A good helm should develop a
strong and agile as well as being
natural feel for the yacht and have
able to tie bowlines quickly under
the ability to remain focused when
pressure and sometimes underwater!
everyone else is working rapidly
around them. They are often the first
to notice changes in wind direction
or strength and should communicate
this information to the Watch Leader.

Snake pit Trimmer

A good snake pit is always a step A good trimmer has an eye for what
ahead of the game ensuring that works built up by experience through
each line is ready when needed. trial and error. They should not be
afraid to reverse what they have just
This is the centre of operations for
done in a bid to find optimum sail
every manoeuvre. In the snake pit
angles. Good communication with
you control all of the halyards as
the helm is paramount.
well as many other sail controls. You
should be able to lay your hands on
any line, day or night, and prepare it
for action in a flash. A small mistake
in the snake pit can disrupt the
momentum of any manoeuvre.

Cockpit Watch leader

The cockpit is where all of the The watch leader is the Skipper’s
sheets are controlled. Every crew 2IC. He or she is responsible
member should be able to operate for running the yacht when the
any point of the cockpit rapidly and Skipper is sleeping. They must
accurately. If the cockpit crew get maintain a cohesive functioning
it wrong it can cause a lot of extra team, coordinate sail changes and
work for the rest of the crew. trimming as well as ensuring a steady
course and standard of helming. In
addition to this they must always
have an eye on the meteorological
and tactical situation. With good,
all round knowledge they are able
to act quickly to remedy a problem
encountered during a manoeuvre.

Clipper Race Training - Part 1 59

Sail Trim Racing Rules and Tactics
North U. Performance The Rules in Practice 2017 - 2020
Racing Trim by Bryan Willis
by Bill Gladstone A clear, concise, well illustrated book explaining the Racing Rules.
Perhaps the best and most readable book on sail trim around. Covers
sail trim, helmsmanship and boat handling with extra emphasis on
North U. Performance Racing Tactics
honing your trim skills. Excellent for beginner and advanced.
by Bill Gladstone
This is perhaps the best and most readable book on racing tactics
North U. Trim CD around. It is perfect for both the beginner and more experienced.
The CD puts performance in motion and shows how changes in trim Topics include strategy, tactics, race preparation, starts, upwind,
change the sailing performance of your boat. Use the interactive reaching, downwind, rounding marks and wind shifts.
‘sail shaper’ to see how different sail controls change sail shapes.
Understand how to adjust angle of attack, depth and twist to match
North U. Tactics CD
different sailing conditions. Detailed trim guidelines are provided for
mainsail, jib, genoa, spinnaker and asymmetric spinnaker trim. The CD covers starting, upwind and downwind topics, including
strategy, tactics and rules using animations, graphics, photos,
photo sequences, video, and the interactive wind shift simulators.
Sail and Rig Tuning – Ivar Dedekam Additional topics include mark rounding, finishing and distance
An excellent book for novices and experts alike. In this book the racing tactics.
author has distilled the best rules and theories pertaining to sail trim
and rig tuning commonly agreed upon among the sailing community.
Navigation, Strategy and Tactics
What makes this book different from most other books on this
topic, is the short, concentrated text with adjacent corresponding
by Stuart Quarrie
illustrations. As the title suggests, this book covers all aspects of a fascinating
subject. The layout makes it simple to extract information, while
both the text and line diagrams explain a complex subject in easy

IRPCS to understand diagrams. Anyone who is interested in navigation

or tactics should have a copy whether or not they are the navigator
International Regulations for on the yacht.
Preventing Collisions at Sea
This gives the text of the International Regulations for Preventing
Collisions at Sea (IRPCS) together with a commentary after each
rule for yachtsmen. It is thus the most effective way for yachtsmen to
become familiar with the ColRegs, as they are colloquially known. SIR ROBIN’S
Excellent tutorial for the International Regulations for the Prevention The beauty of sailing is that there is always
of Collisions at Sea. something new to learn. Read as much as you
can and, if you have the opportunity, sail on as
many different boats as possible. It is all great
experience and will help you on your race.

60 Clipper Race Crew Manual


Weather Sailing Theory and Practice
North U. Weather for Sailors The Complete Day Skipper by Tom Cunliffe
by Bill Biewenga Very readable book covering basic boat handling, seamanship,
North U Weather For Sailors explains weather from a sailor’s navigation and life aboard.
perspective, starting with global weather and narrowing in to
explain how local forces and regional weather patterns interact
Blue Water Sailing Manual
to create the sailor’s weather. From there the workbook shows
by Barry Pickthall
how to interpret forecasts and apply predictions to improve your
sailing performance. Included are dozens of examples showing This is the manual for ocean sailing and racing offering up-to-date
how to see if a forecast is ‘coming true’ and how to apply a advice on topics as diverse as equipment, setting sails, rig strength,
forecast to a particular race or cruise. electronic navigation, weather routing, preparing the crew, boat
handling, night sailing, heavy weather tactics, jury rigs, survival
techniques and much more.
RYA Weather handbook
(Northern and Southern Hemisphere)
Ocean Sailing by Tom Cunliffe
by Chris Tibbs
A full-colour guide to crossing an ocean, by a favourite author who
This RYA handbook explains the complexities of weather and is
has done lots of it, in a sailing or power yacht. Covers sextant work,
full of practical and useful advice on how to understand weather
ocean weather, navigation, Skippering, etc. Ideal reading for the
maps and improve your forecasting skills.
Yachtmaster Ocean certificate.

Weather at Sea by David Houghton

Racing Skipper – Techniques to Make
Best selling colour-illustrated basic textbook on meteorology
You a Winner by Mike Golding
for yachtsmen. Set book for the RYA Coastal Skipper and
A guide to winning in all types of yacht. Use the Golding technique
Yachtmaster Offshore courses.
to tune the boat, motivate the team and hone your strategy.
As Skipper of Group 4 Mike Golding won the BT Global Challenge
and is one of UK’s most successful racing Skippers.
Weather on the web
Coastal and Offshore Navigation second edition
Brilliant site for everywhere except southern Africa.
by Tom Cunliffe
http://grads.iges.org/pix/wx.html Upgrade your navigation to Yachtmaster standard. This edition
Good for far south but not very detailed. now also covers electronic navigation.
Useful information within Learning section.
www.weathersa.co.za/ Seaman’s Guide to The Rule of the Road
South African Bureau. by JWW Ford
www.bom.gov.au/nmoc/MSLP.shtml An extremely useful visual aid. This easy to read study guide provides
Southern hemisphere weather. Has archives – very good. clear and simple questions and answers to a complex subject.
US National Hurricane Centre, leads on to North Atlantic forecasts.
Many useful YouTube videos available that explain weather systems.

Clipper Race Training - Part 1 61

Aft: Toward the back of the boat. Mainsheet: Line that controls the position of the mainsail.
Backstay: Fixed length of wire from masthead to stern of boat. Mark (buoy): An object the sailing instructions require a boat to
Bearing away: Turning away from the wind. pass on a specified side.
Boom: A pole running at a right angle from the mast. Mast: A pole usually going straight up from the deck, used to
attach sail and boom.
Bowsprit: Fixed strut protruding from the bow of the boat.
Serves to keep the spinnaker away from the forestay. Obstruction: An object that a boat could not pass without
changing course substantially to avoid it, e.g. the shore, perceived
Cleat: Used for securing mooring lines. underwater dangers or shallows.
Clew: After corner of a sail. Outhaul: An adjuster that tensions the sail’s foot.
Coffee Grinder: Used to drive either primary or mainsheet Port: The left side of the boat when you are looking forward.
winches on board.
Port tack: Wind across the port side.
Checkstay: Stabilises middle part of the rig.
Primary winch: Biggest winch on a boat, normally used for
Cunningham (also called main luff downhaul): Adjusts the yankee sheets.
tension of the mainsail’s luff.
Pulpit: Fixed metal railing enclosing bow section of foredeck.
Downhaul: Line running out to the end of the bowsprit. Attaches
to the tack of the spinnaker, used to control the shape of an Pushpit: Fixed metal railing enclosing aft deck area of boat.
asymmetric spinnaker. Reaching: Sailing with the sail eased.
Fairlead: Prevents chafe of mooring lines. Reefing: Reducing the amount of sail area.
Foreguy: Attached to the end of the boom and lead forward Rig: The arrangement of a boat’s mast, sails and spars.
when the apparent wind is aft of the beam. Gives the helm a Rudder: Underwater part of a boat used for steering.
few extra seconds to “head up” if the course gets close to an
Running: Sailing before the wind with the sail out.
accidental gybe.
Running backstay: Used to oppose the load of the inner
Forestay: Fixed length of wire from masthead to bow of boat
onto which yankee sails are attached.
Sail trim: The position of the sails relative to the wind and
Foot: Bottom edge of a sail.
desired point of sail. Sails that are not trimmed properly may
Gybe: The action of turning the boat before the wind, i.e. turning not operate efficiently. Visible signs of trim are luffing, excessive
her so that her stern goes through the wind. heeling and the flow of air past tell tales.
Halyard: Line used to hoist a sail. Seacock: A valve going through the hull which can be shut from
Hank: Clip attached to the luff of a headsail used to attach the inside the boat.
sail to a stay. Sextant: A navigational instrument used to determine the vertical
Head: Top corner of a sail. position of an object such as the sun, moon or stars. Used with
Headsail: Any sail forward of the mast. celestial navigation.
Head up: Sailing closer to the wind. Sheet: Line used to control the trim of a sail.
Inner forestay: Fixed wire between upper section of the mast Shrouds: Fixed wires preventing lateral movement of the rig.
to the deck (runs parallel to forestay). The staysail is hanked Spinnaker: A very large lightweight sail used when running or
onto this. reaching.
In irons: Boat is pointing into the wind, sail is flapping and Spreader: Spars extending toward the sides from one or
probably also going backwards. more places along the mast. The shrouds cross the end of the
Jackstay: A strong webbing strap running the length of the boat spreaders, enabling the shrouds to better support the mast.
on each side. By clipping the lifeline to this, it ensures that Jack Stanchion: Metal post supporting guardwire railing.
stays on the boat. Starboard: The right side of the boat when you are
Jammer/Clutch: Device used for holding lines in place when not looking forward.
on a winch. Starboard tack: Wind across the starboard (right) side.
Kite: Another commonly used name for a spinnaker. Stern: The back end of a boat.
Lay line: The course on which your boat, sailing close hauled Tack: Forward corner of a sail.
on starboard tack, can just make a windward mark which is to be
Tacking: Changing direction by turning the bow through the
rounded to port is the starboard tack lay line for that mark. The
most windward line on which you would approach the mark on
port tack is the port tack lay line. Traveller: Transverse track allowing sheeting point of the mainsail
to be moved from port to starboard and vice versa.
Leech: Aft edge of a sail.
Vang (also called a kicker): A device used to keep the boom
Leeward: The direction the wind is going downwind.
from rising.
Letterbox: The gap between the foot of the mainsail
Windward: The direction the wind is coming from, upwind.
and the boom.
Yankee/Staysail car: Moveable turning block for adjusting
Luff: Forward edge of a sail.
sheeting angle of headsails.
Luffing: Pointing the boat into the wind, sail flapping.

62 Clipper Race Crew Manual


Shout ‘Man Overboard!’


At least one crew to spot

Make all crew aware of the situation
at all times

Press MOB button on GPS

MOB equipment deployed plotter and pass up MOB lifting
hook and strop to crew on deck

Helm immediately heaves to. Check to make sure enough


Crew check for lines and ask crew are on deck and go on
for engines to be started deck if needed

Once hove to, yankee/staysail Start the engine, checking that

halyards to be swiftly eased; gear selection lever is in neutral
dropping the headsails to the deck and no lines in the water

Crew blow the tack of the kite Send a mayday by VHF


by swiftly easing out the tack (confirm with Skipper first) or Sat.
line then move straight into a Comms if applicable
letterbox drop

Once the kite is dropped, helm

to steer into the wind with one Be prepared call out a ranges
crew member easing the foreguy and bearings to the casualty for
as another crew member sheets the helm (Range and bearing
on the mainsail displayed on GPS plotter)

Rescue swimmer in harness Make a note of all

to ready themselves to retrieve communications, actions
man overboard taken in the logbook

Helmsman to position yacht Prepare an area down below to

to retrieve man overboard treat the MOB for any injuries,
at midships drowning, hypothermia etc.

Rescue swimmer lowered to

attach lifting hook to both lifting
beckets of MOB’s life jacket.
MOB and Rescue swimmer then
winched up to deck together

Clipper Race Training - Part 1 63

The Clipper Race Crew It is very important that we have fully engaged Race Crew who have
the base knowledge whenever they take part in Clipper Race training
Assessment has been or join their respective team on the race.

introduced to encourage This will help to continue to improve overall safety and awareness on
all Race Crew to apply board all Clipper Race yachts.

themselves and to reinforce The assessment incorporates several topics both practical and

their learning experience theory which will demonstrate learning, application and commitment
of our Race Crew.
from Level 1 training in order The assessment should be conducted by the relevant Skipper or
to improve their overall Mate and ALL Race Crew should be assessed at the end of Level

awareness on board. 1 training and also at the beginning of Level 2, Level 3 and Level 4
Clipper Race training.

64 Clipper Race Crew Manual


New or re-joining Race Crew that are joining their respective teams PART 3 - Sailing Knowledge
in stopover port locations around the world shall be assessed at the Accurately name and describe all points of sail of a sailing yacht.
beginning of the refresher training day.
Correctly name all parts of the sails on board a sailing yacht.
All candidates will have to demonstrate the ability to pass all parts of Identify all main sail control lines and explain their use.
the assessment and any failure to do so will result in the crew member
having to re-take the assessment.
PART 4 - Safety
In the event of any part of the assessment not being passed Identify the three main areas of danger on deck and explain why.
successfully by any Clipper Race Crew at the beginning of Clipper
Demonstrate the ability to don a lifejacket correctly and carry out all
Race training levels 2, 3 and 4, then the crew member will have to
relevant checks.
re-take the assessment at the end of the training week and MUST
demonstrate the ability to pass all parts of the assessment. Demonstrate correct use of a safety tether and describe
appropriate clipping on points around the vessel.
Failure to pass all parts of the assessment will result in the crew
Demonstrate the correct procedure for an emergency distress
member failing the course and they will have to re-take that particular voice call on VHF radio using the MAYDAY prompt card in the
training week before being allowed to proceed. navigation area.

In the event of any part of the assessment not being passed Demonstrate the correct procedure for activating the MOB button
successfully by any new or re-joining Clipper Race Crew at the on the chart plotter in the navigation area.
beginning of the refresher sailing day in the relevant stopover port, then
the crew member will have to re-take the assessment within 24 hours PART 5 - Clipper Race Agility Test
and MUST demonstrate the ability to pass all parts of the assessment. Climb into and out of, a top bunk (with assistance, if necessary).
Failure to pass all parts of the assessment will result Transit under the mainsheet traveller in full sailing gear
in the crew member failing the assessment and they will and lifejacket (with assistance, if necessary).
NOT be allowed to sail.
Climb onto the yacht without the use of a step or
fender step (using spring line, unassisted).
PART 1 - Knots
Grind a “bricked” up staysail (in bag) to the
Demonstrate the ability to tie any three of the following knots height of second spreader, as a pair.
correctly (as chosen by the assessor);
Demonstrate the correct procedure for
• Bowline activating the MOB button on the chart
• Round turn and two half hitches plotter in the navigation area.
• Clove hitch
• Rolling hitch
• Reef knot
• Admiralty stopper knot
• Sheet bend
• Double sheet bend

PART 2 - Ropework
Demonstrate the ability load a winch correctly and secure with two
tugman’s hitches.

Demonstrate the ability to tie a fender onto a guardrail and

stanchion using the appropriate knots.

Demonstrate the ability to coil and throw a mooring line


Name and describe the use of all standard mooring lines on a

Clipper Race yacht.

Clipper Race Training - Part 1 65


© Copyright 2018 Clipper Ventures plc. All right reserved. 67


68 Clipper Race Crew Manual


Level 2 Training
Total duration: 6 Days
Time on water: 5 Days
Shore based training: 1 Day

During Level 2 Training you will continue the development of basic sailing and
seamanship skills from Level 1 but this level focuses more on the living on board and
sailing in a watch system. The course has a heavy offshore component with a number
of nights spent at sea which will allow crew to experience life on board at sea and
experience the roles that occur whilst not on deck. This level includes a one day sea
survival course.
You will have received joining instructions in the month leading up to your Level 2 course. Please note that although the majority of Level 2
courses start on a Saturday, the location of where the course starts from may differ. On your arrival you will either be starting the RYA Sea Survival
course, the location of which will be provided in your joining instructions, or you will be met by your Training Skipper who will take you to the yacht
that will be your home for the duration of the course. You will be briefed about the safety equipment and on board systems. Out on the water the
primary focus of the week is life on board and sailing in watch systems. Remaining offshore for a number of nights will allow the crew to gain their
first taste of the need for self-sufficiency at sea when racing across the world’s oceans.

Course content
Pre-course reading Talks and demonstrations Practical experience

Collision regulations Onboard radio communications Review all Level 1 topics

Basic sail trim Safety equipment Yankee and staysail trim

Sail trim Mainsail trim

Collision avoidance Racing headsail changes

Basic chart work Man overboard

On board radio communications Emergency steering

Meteorology Mother Watch

Daily engineering and safety checks

General yacht husbandry and basic maintenance

Helming techniques

Living to a watch rota

Qualifications gained at Level 2

RYA Sea Survival

Clipper Race Training - Part 2 69

This syllabus is a guide to the typical course content for this
level of training. The course content may vary, perhaps due
to weather conditions and crew members’ skill set.

Day 1 (may vary) MOB offshore and if conditions allow, at night, including
Sea Survival course recovery, use of and harness, and scramble net (including
Crew arrive for at Clipper Race Training, tethered MOB)
carry out below decks safety brief Proper use of and maintaining the ships log
Evening lecture on meteorology Yacht Maintenance and upkeep
Clipper Race Crew Assessment • Mother Watch
• Yacht Cleanliness and bilges kept dry
• General yacht husbandry including basic maintenance when
Day 2
and if required (whipping, taping of split pins etc.)
Crew complete full safety brief as per the Annex in the SOP’s • Daily engineer checks for both main engine and generator
(slip lines by 1200) • Daily safety checks to ensure the yachts safety equipment is
Recap on: ready to be used
• Tacking and upwind work including running backstays • Steering gear checks
• Downwind sailing, foreguy, and gybing Watch Keeping duties
• MOB including recovery, use of and harness, and scramble
net (including tethered MOB) • Keeping a good look out
• Collision avoidance
Crew to then be placed in watches and to head off on
offshore phase Anchoring
Offshore phase (day 2 till day 6) Emergency steering
In watches crew are to refresh and cover the following skills: Storm sails

• Reefing
• Racing headsail changes (changing up to bigger sails only) Day 6
• Sail trim including Yachts to arrive early morning (0600 – 0800) at Gosport Marina
Tell tales for deep clean and debriefs, crew depart by 1600
Car positions and twist Clipper Race Crew Assessment re-sit (if required)
Use of vang
Use of traveler
Emphasize difference between upwind and downwind
trimming, e.g. can’t use tell tales when apparent wind is
well aft of the beam

• Helming
To tell tales when going upwind
Helming to a compass course
Night helming/blindfold helming practice (feel the boat)
Use of Windex/sailing to wind angles (TWA down wind
and AWA upwind)
Target boat speeds/angles
Communication from helm to watch leader of change in
wind strength/direction, weight on the helm

70 Clipper Race Crew Manual


Test your knowledge 6. What should you do before opening
a loaded jammer?
1. Name the type of knot you would use for the a. Transfer the load from the jammer to a winch
following: b. Make sure you are holding the tail of the line tightly
a. Tying a fender to a stanchion? c. Wrap the line around your hand so you can’t let go
b. Attaching a sheet to the yankee? d. Use a winch handle to hit the jammer so that it will open
c. In the end of a sheet?
7. Name the five main points of sail.

2. Which side of the boat should you walk along

while underway? 8. What are the three corners of a sail called?

a. The low side

b. The high side 9. What are the three edges of a sail called?
c. It depends what job you are doing
d. Whichever is quickest
10. What is the name given to a rope used to
hoist a sail?
3. When should you wear your life jacket

a. At all times on deck

11. What is the name given to a rope used to
b. Only when you have your wet weather kit on
control a sail?
c. When you want to
d. When there are one or more reefs in the main
12. Which part of the boat passes through the
4. What is the first action to be taken in the event wind when tacking, the bow or the stern?
of a man overboard?

a. Stop the boat

b. Throw the dan buoy 12. The bow
c. Raise the alarm 11. Sheet
d. Drop the sails 10. Halyard
9. Luff, leech, foot

5. What is the minimum number of turns that

8. Head, tack, clew
7. Close hauled, fine reach, beam reach, broad reach, run
should be on a working winch when pulling by 6. a
hand? 5. c
4. c
a. One
3. a
b. Two
2. b
c. Three c: admiralty knot
d. Four 1. a: Round turn and two half hitches; b: bowline;


Clipper Race Training - Part 2 71


In order to race a yacht 24 hours
a day the crew needs to operate
in shifts or watches.

Different boats will opt for different

watch patterns; a common system
is four hours on, four hours off
during the night and six hours
on six hours off during the day.

This system has the advantage of the opportunity for a long sleep
during the day (six hours) while keeping your time on deck low at
night. Six hours on deck in cold dark conditions can seem like a
lifetime! No matter what system you work in there will normally
be a mother watch system running alongside it. The on watch
is responsible for running the deck; the mother watch cooks
and cleans, whilst the off watch rests.

72 Clipper Race Crew Manual



When on watch you are responsible for:

• Sailing fast • 
Carrying out routine maintenance
In order to maximise the performance of your yacht the sails As the saying goes, if you look after your boat she will look
and helm will need constant attention. There is no substitute after you. Routine maintenance will need to be carried out
for good boat speed. on a daily basis to keep your yacht running smoothly.

Maintaining a good lookout • 
Waking the new watch
When keeping a lookout, keep an eye out behind the yacht The new watch should be woken in plenty of time to prepare
as well as ahead. It should not be up to the helm alone to for coming on deck. Some watches like longer than others,
spot other vessels. whilst differing conditions also affect the time taken to prepare.
Twenty minutes to watch change is normally sufficient but 40
Navigating and maintaining the Ship’s Log minutes should be given if the on-coming watch needs to eat.
The Log should be kept every hour, preferably on the hour or as
near as possible if a manoeuvre is being carried out.

Collecting weather data It often takes a crew 24 to 36 hours
Weather reports should be received and reported as often to settle into a watch system.
as possible. These come in several forms. Synoptic charts These first few days can seem very hard as you are unlikely
and GRIB files will be sent to the fleet from the Race Office to sleep very well. Once a routine is established that allows
but other weather information can be gathered using the plenty of time for rest whilst also keeping the yacht running
VHF radio and Sat C equipment. efficiently, life will soon seem quite normal.

Clipper Race Training - Part 2 73

Standing orders • Maintaining course control and standard of steering
• Maintaining a cohesive functioning team
Each Skipper will publish a set of standing orders. While these will
• Coordinating sail handling and trimming
vary from boat to boat the fundamental standing orders will be the
• Avoiding other vessels
same across the fleet. The aim of the standing orders is to enable
the safe and efficient operation of the crew and yacht. The standing • Keeping track of yacht positions by regular fixing
orders should be followed at all times and will include at least the • Ensuring an up to date log is kept
following topics: • Overseeing daily checks on standing and running rigging as well
as all deck fittings and safety equipment
• Informing the Skipper
• Analysing changes in wind strength and direction with a view to
• Use of life jackets and life lines pass detailed information onto the Skipper and navigator
• Safety on deck
• Winch safety When to wake the Skipper
• Ships Log and chart work
The Skipper is ultimately responsible for everything that happens
• Lookout
aboard their yacht. However it is unrealistic to expect them to be
• Watch handover
awake all of the time; in fact it is important that everyone on board gets
• Traffic
as much sleep as possible in order to be able to continue functioning
• Safe navigation and passage planning
as an efficient crew member. This is no different for the Skipper.
• Gas procedure
Before going below most Skippers will tell the watch leader when
• Working aloft or under what circumstances they should be woken. In order for the
• Smoking Skipper to sleep they will need to be confident that they will be woken
• Ship and personal hygiene up when appropriate. The Skipper should always be woken for any
• Prescription medicine form of emergency or if the watch leader has any doubts concerning:
• Alcohol
• Drugs, weapons, laws of the land • any injury or illness to any crew member
• Swimming • any damage to the yacht or systems not working as expected
• Safety drills • whenever visibility is reduced
• whenever there is a significant (Skipper to define) change in the
It is very important that all crew members are aware of the standing expected weather conditions
orders and comply with them at all times. In the absence of the • whenever another ship or yacht is within a three mile radius
Skipper from deck it is the watch leaders’ responsibility to ensure
• whenever a ship is considered to be on a collision course
they are enforced. (irrelevant of distance)
• when approaching land or a navigation hazard the Skipper
The watch leader shall specify an ‘inform/wake me’ distance for known navigation
hazards or land (eg. “Wake me when we are at this point or
Each watch will be led by a watch leader. This will be a member of
distance,”) whenever there is a concern or a question over set,
the crew who has been selected by the Skipper to lead the watch
drift or course to steer
in the Skipper’s absence. To be a good watch leader you do not
• an MOB situation
necessarily need to be the best sailor on board but you will need
outstanding leadership, communication and decision making skills. • an evacuation due to fire or flooding
These are required in order to motivate your watch, keeping them • on receipt of urgent communications from other Clipper Race
working together effectively and also making appropriate decisions vessels, the Clipper Race Office or on receipt of any MAYDAY or
concerning the performance and safety of the yacht within the PAN PAN call and
boundaries set by the Skipper. • whenever there is concern over the crew or ship’s safety

Responsibilities of the watch leader:

• Ensuring the Skipper’s standing orders and instructions are
Nobody should hesitate to call the
carried out by the crew Skipper. They are on call 24 hours a
• Waking the Skipper when needed or if in any doubt day. If in doubt, SHOUT!
• Sailing the yacht, her safety and the safety of the crew

74 Clipper Race Crew Manual



Mother watch duties Mother watch duties include:

• Assisting the duty watch on deck as required
A high performance sailing team • Preparing meals and washing up
needs fuel in order to perform. It is • Helping re-pack sails

the responsibility of the mother watch • Keeping below deck clean and tidy

to prepare and serve food for the rest • Cleaning heads and grab rails
• Providing stand-in for any injured crew member
of the crew as well as cleaning and • Encouraging the on watch to stay hydrated
tidying the yacht in order to maintain
a healthy crew and living area. Mother watch provides a change from the usual routine.
Every crew member will take their turn as mother on a rota system.
Mother watch duties need to be taken very seriously. They form a This also gives you an opportunity to catch up on some sleep as,
fundamental part of a race team as without adequate good food provided no sails need stitching and help is not needed on deck,
the team cannot function. Take care when preparing the food and after the yacht is cleaned and all meals have been cooked and
try to make it as tasty as possible. If you are not naturally a cook or tided away you are left to your own devices. This normally results
do not have much experience, make sure you read the instructions. in the mother watch catching up on their sleep, enabling them to
There is nothing worse than coming below after a cold, hard watch, arrive on watch next day refreshed and raring to go.
dreaming about a hot cooked meal, to then be presented with
something inedible.

Clipper Race Training - Part 2 75

Nutrition and hydration The average, moderately active individual requires 1.9-2.6 litres of water
The varied sailing environments that you will experience during the per day. Compared to this an active, persistently sweating individual (for
Race result in dynamic nutritional and hydration requirements. During example an America’s Cup sailor in tacking duel) will require 1.8-2.0
long distance races intense, vigorous activity needs to be supported litres per hour. They may need to replace upwards of 11 to 15 litres
with the appropriate intake of energy in order to sustain proper blood per day. The quantity of water you will require will not only be affected
sugar levels throughout the event. Studies have shown that offshore by your level of physical activity but also the climate. In hot, tropical
sailors need to consume between 3500 and 5000 calories per day conditions you will obviously need to consume more fluids. The most
in order to sustain these high levels of exertion. This equates to about important thing is to monitor your own hydration level in order to prevent
twelve portions of spaghetti Bolognese! The normal recommended dehydration. It should be noted that someone who is only five per cent
daily intake is 2000 calories for women and 2500 for men. It is dehydrated will experience at least a thirty per cent drop in both physical
important to make sure you eat enough of the right type of food at and mental performance.
regular intervals throughout the day in order to sustain your energy
levels throughout each race. “What colour is your urine?”

You may laugh but this is an excellent

means to check your hydration levels.
If you are fully hydrated your urine will be clear. If this is not the case
the deepness of colour or lack of clarity gives a good indication of your
level of dehydration. It is important to keep a regular check on this and
adjust your fluid intake accordingly.

Dehydration may be the cause of poor

sailing performance

Similar to a car needing fuel and oil, the

body requires water and electrolytes
During the race up to 22 people will be living, eating and sleeping
to perform all the cellular processes in the confined space of a Clipper Race yacht. In this situation good
necessary for both communication and hygiene is of paramount importance in order to prevent the spread
of bacteria and illness amongst the crew. If the crew becomes
function in the body. debilitated due to illness their ability to race effectively will be
significantly reduced.
If water is low and electrolytes out of balance, cell communication
deteriorates and systems do not function properly. It then becomes There are three main areas where hygiene is of
hard for the body to physically respond, limiting your ability to function paramount importance
effectively on board. It can sometimes be difficult to maintain good levels
• Cooking
of hydration at sea as you need to consume much more fluid than usual.
• Cleaning
It is a good idea to carry a sports bottle with you all the time so you can
drink at frequent intervals. • Personal Hygiene

76 Clipper Race Crew Manual


Ten food hygiene requirements when preparing food Ten boat cleaning standards for good hygiene
• Always tell your Skipper if you are suffering from any skin, • Use separate cleaning sets for the galley, the heads
nose, throat, stomach or bowel trouble or infected wounds and below decks
• Keep any long hair away from face • Use a disinfectant cleaner in the heads, never in the galley
• Clean down any food preparation surfaces and wash • Use an antibacterial cleaner in the galley and for all food
hands properly and hand contact surfaces
• Cover any cuts and sores with a waterproof high • Always wash hands after visiting the heads, handling raw
visibility dressing food, touching ready to eat food, cleaning the galley and
• Make sure raw meat is kept and returned to the bottom of heads and before preparing food
the cool box. It should always be stored in sealable containers • Clean as you go – clear away used equipment, spilt food
• Cover food etc., as you work and clean surfaces thoroughly
• In preparation, separate raw meats and ready to eat food and • Clean food areas and between tasks, especially after
use separate chopping boards and preparation surfaces handling raw food.
• Make sure food is cooked or reheated right through and is • Wash any cleaning cloths after use and leave them to
piping hot in the middle. Don’t reheat it more than once and dry in the air
cool leftovers quickly • Store cleaning equipment away from food
• Do not prepare any food which has passed its ‘Use By’ date • As soon as rubbish bag is full, double bag it, tie it securely
• Clean knives and utensils thoroughly after use with raw food and store in the lazarette until next ashore to dispose of

Personal hygiene
Personal hygiene is of great importance on board a yacht. You will
be living in close proximity with the rest of your crew and life can
become very uncomfortable and smelly unless everyone maintains
high levels of personal hygiene.

Due to the restricted availability of fresh water on board you

will not be able to take a shower on a regular basis. Instead we
recommend the liberal use of wet wipes to keep yourself clean.
This is also much more practical in rough weather than trying to
stand up in the shower. The use of antiperspirant/deodorant is
also very important.

On any long voyage fresh water needs careful husbandry. On
the Race the yachts all have water makers on board however any
piece of machinery can break down and water makers are no
exception. In addition to the water maker the race yachts have
water tanks but these too should not be totally relied upon. There
is always the risk of contamination. For all these reasons you
must bear in mind that rationing of water could occur. Careful
husbandry of fresh water supplies should become second nature
SIR ROBIN’S TOP TIPS on the yacht.

When cooking the meals remember that in most • Use salt water for washing of dishes and personal
watch systems the crew eat in two shifts. If this is washing with salt water soap
the case, cook foodstuffs such as rice, pasta etc • Clothes can also be washed in salt water, saving fresh
in two lots. This way the amounts are smaller and water to rinse them
each watch has fresh food.
• Use a small cup of water when brushing teeth rather
than running a tap

Clipper Race Training - Part 2 77

The off watch
When you are off watch it is important to ensure you get as much
rest as possible. This is not always easy, especially in stormy
conditions nor the extreme temperatures of the Tropics. It is always
worth remembering that you never know when you will get your next
good sleep so take any opportunity you can to get some rest.

The Clipper Race yachts have enough bunks for everyone on board
so you will be allocated a bunk when you arrive. However this does
not mean you will always sleep in it. When racing we operate a ‘hot
Electricity on board comes from batteries. These can only supply bunking’ system. This is ensure everyone is sleeping on the high
a certain amount of electricity before they need to be charged. side of the yacht which helps with the boat’s performance. In order
Therefore, when you have finished using a light, turn it off. The to operate this system you will normally pair up with someone from
batteries are charged using the generator when at sea, whilst shore the opposite watch who’s bunk is opposite yours. This way you
power is used in harbour. can always sleep on the high side. It is important to remember to
keep the area around your bunk tidy and clean at all times as your
counterpart from the opposite watch may need to use it.
While on board you will have a bunk which comes with stowage space
for all your clothing. Space is limited so think carefully about what you
bring. There is no space to store suitcases on board so bring a soft
bag instead. It is very important that you keep your bunk and stowage
area clean and tidy to prevent your belongings being spread around TOP TIPS
the boat as it heels over. It cannot be guaranteed the stowage area will
remain dry at all times, it is therefore highly advisable to use some form
Living on board with 22 other people is as much
of waterproof dry bag. of a challenge as sailing across the oceans. You
will need to be tolerant but when problems arise
Seasickness deal with them quickly before resentment develops.
Remember, never go to bed until the issue is
Seasickness affects different people in different ways. Some are not resolved. As you will be going to bed three times a
affected, while others are incapacitated. Each crew member normally day that should nip any problems in the bud!
develops his or her own methods of dealing with it. Some throw up
and get on with things, others eat ginger biscuits, whilst others know
they will be better after a certain amount of time. The important thing to Watch changeover
remember is that most people recover well after a short time, usually 24
to 36 hours or less. Once you know you get over it the actual experience The ongoing watch should put on oilskins and lifejackets before

is easier! During your training you will spend a significant period of time going on deck unless otherwise briefed when called. Harnesses

at sea and you will often find crew on day three enjoying a jovial meal must be clipped on before leaving the companionway. At night

down below in Force 6 or 7, when 48 hours earlier they were laid low crew should call out their names as they come up as it is difficult

in a Force 4 or 5. There is life after seasickness and until you know that, to recognise people in the dark. The oncoming watch need to all

you will just have to trust us! be on deck ten minutes before watch change in order to be briefed
and to give them time to settle in. Always remember to be careful
Avoid working yourself up as this can make things worse. Crew often going on deck as you will be a little disorientated at first. Give
get worked up about going below and nightfall. If you feel sick below, yourself time to acclimatise.
try to make it back on deck. If you are sick below, use a bag, try not
to be sick in the heads or galley sinks as this can spread germs. On The watch leader (or anyone who navigates on his/her behalf)
deck make sure you are clipped on and go to the low side aft. Let your should carefully study the chart with the navigator they are
Skipper know you are feeling sick. relieving before going on deck. Watch leaders are to hand
over their watch on deck.
If you are feeling well, look after those who are not!

78 Clipper Race Crew Manual


The following points should always be covered
during a watch handover:

• Course ordered and any navigational hazards expected The Clipper Race yachts will be
during the next few hours your home for the duration of
• Sails carried and present weather conditions the race. Good habits of yacht
• Wind and weather trends during previous watch husbandry and seamanship should
• Race tactical situation and Skippers policy; for example, become second nature. It helps
tack if the wind backs
with your comfort and the comfort
• Movement of any shipping in sight or on radar/AIS
of members of your team as well
• Any other instructions from the Skipper
as safety. Good practices start from
• Sail changes or checks performed during previous watch
training and should be continued
• State of deck
throughout the event.
‘State of deck’ means anything unusual should be pointed out. Barber
haulers, foreguys, sheet car positions etc should be all pointed out, as Everything ready for use
should information such as, “The starboard yankee halyard is on the
Always tidy up after a job and put things away. Every piece of
middle winch (in the snake pit). We left it there so that we do not lose
yacht kit has a stowage place and if the piece of kit is not in use, it
any more tension,” or “The kicker is on that winch so it can be eased
should be stowed ready for when it is next required. Winch handles
if the boom goes in the water. Someone needs to be standing by it all
especially should always be re-stowed after use. Anything that can
the time.” And so on.
move, will move!

On deck
Halyards and sheets must be stowed or coiled away for instant use
and should be recoiled or stowed should they be disturbed. Before
use, halyards should be flaked to ensure easy running.

• Don’t lash sails to the guardrails

• Keep checking the sails for chafe – using binoculars
where necessary
• Ensure leach lines are at the correct tension
• Don’t drop hatches

Watch out for and prevent wear and tear

Keep all ropes taut – a flapping rope wears. Halyards that are
not in use should be pulled taut and secured off the mast.
The same applies to spinnaker sheets. Nothing should be
flapping in the breeze.

Routine checks and maintenance are a vital safeguard on a long

voyage to ensure that everything is standing up to the strain.
Anything out of the ordinary must be reported so that it can be
investigated and remedial action taken.

Clipper Race Training - Part 2 79

Sheets and halyards should be adjusted regularly so that the section • Prevent plastic bags, drinks cans and loose items from
in the sheave is varied. Prevent sails chafing on spreaders, running blowing overboard. Ban loose items such as sandwich
backstays, shrouds and guard rails. Put leather patches on chafe wrappings or the plastic yokes on multi-packs of cans of
points. Look out for cringles (eyelets) working loose. Try not to drink from coming on deck
damage anything by thoughtless actions like dropping something
• If litter does find its way overboard use the opportunity to
heavy or slamming doors. A door swinging and banging down below
practice your man overboard procedure
is not only noisy but is damaging itself – tie it back. Sails should be
folded carefully. • Set an example to the rest of the crew by not throwing any litter
(including biodegradable waste) overboard
• If you see a job – do it
• Cigarette ends can last up to five years and can cause birds to
• If you do a job – do it properly starve if swallowed. If your team decides to allow smoking on
board provide receptacles for cigarette ends
• Time spent in preparation and maintenance is seldom wasted
• Remove as much excess packaging as you can before heading
off to sea

• Recycle as much waste as possible as you would at home

There are two basic principles to remember in order to adhere to the

International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships.
Fines can be levied against offending businesses or individuals who
break these rules

• It is illegal to dump any plastic, including synthetic fishing nets,

ropes and plastic rubbish bags into the sea

• Food waste and other ground garbage including paper products,

bags, glass, metal and crockery must not be dumped within 12
miles of land

How long until it’s gone?

Discover the
Traditionally, oceans were seen as rates of common
vast areas in which rubbish was debris and help
dumped regardless as it became save the planet
invisible, either decaying or sinking. and prevent
Today attitudes are different and more rubbish
the situation has changed, mainly in our seas.
because of the number of
non-biodegradable products Orange/Banana Peel: 2-5 weeks
Cigarette Butt: 1-5 years
that are used. Plastic Grocery Bag: 10-20 years
Once thrown into the sea, non-biodegradable products may not Tin Can: 50 years
sink or decay and can be fatal to marine life. Plastic bags can be Aluminum Can: 200 years
mistaken for food by fish and seabirds and other marine life can try to
Plastic Bottle: 450 years
eat them. Plastic material also entangles seabirds, seals, turtles and
Fishing Line: 600 years
fish, trapping them and slowly choking them to death. There are a
few things that you can do to help prevent pollution. Glass Bottle: 1 million years

80 Clipper Race Crew Manual



Clipper Race Training - Part 2 81

In addition to sailing your boat Engineer
and maintaining your boat during The race yachts are full of mechanical equipment such as
generators, engines, watermakers, plumbing, pumps, steering
the race there will also be other gear etc. all of which require regular maintenance. The engineer
roles that need to be fulfilled that is responsible for carrying out this work, ensuring that the yachts
may not seem that obvious initially. equipment remains in good working order. If things go wrong the
engineer may be required to come up with improvised solutions to
keep the yacht operating until it reaches port.
This role is normally filled by someone who has medical training, a
doctor, nurse, paramedic or even a vet. Working with the Skipper
(who is also medically trained) they take responsibility for the
welfare of the crew, treating any illness or injuries that occur on
board. The medic is supported by doctors in the UK who are on
call 24 hours a day to offer advice and support, as well as other
medics within the fleet who offer advice within their own areas of

Sail repair
In any ocean race it is inevitable that sails will be damaged and
need repairing. When a spinnaker is blown it is replaced by a
smaller, heavier sail. The down time can cost miles so it is important
to be able to repair them as quickly as possible. The Clipper Race
yachts carry heavy duty sewing machines for this purpose.

The sail maker/repairer will often find themselves working under

great pressure in hot, cramped conditions. Photography and media
State of the art satellite communications systems are on board
each Clipper 70 makes it easy to send back video and photos to
Clipper Race HQ, as well as live broadcasts mid-race.

James Rogers, media and round the world crew member on board
Qingdao, said: “On board we decided that keeping the best record
of our adventure was going to be really important from the off.
We took advantage of all the kit that the media team provided,
as well as the cameras that crew had brought to capture the action.

“It is just the simple pleasure of looking back over the videos,
photos and blogs and being reminded of one of the thousands
of memories that you find hard to believe are real when you have
returned to your normal life.”

Team Coordinator
This is a highly demanding role as the Team Coordinator is
responsible for the majority of administration related to the day
to day running of a race yacht. The Skipper’s time requires careful
management and it is important for them not to try and micro manage
the campaign. The Team Coordinator will normally liaise with the
Clipper Race Manager and the Boat Secretary to ensure that the
Skipper is presented with all pertinent information in a timely manner.
Via the Team Coordinator, the Skipper can then delegate tasks to the
various other heads of department within the team.

82 Clipper Race Crew Manual


Safety Officer
The role of the Safety Officer (SO) is to ensure that all safety
equipment is checked and maintained in a fully operational condition.
The role will include ensuring that all safety equipment is on board
prior to the start, is fully operational and undamaged and if relevant is
within its service dates. The role also includes ensuring that all crew
are kept up to date and trained on how to use the safety equipment
correctly i.e. running fire drill practice. The SO will also ensure that
new crew joining the yacht are fully briefed on the operation of safety
equipment and are familiar with drills.

Stopover Manager
The Stopover Manager works in conjunction with the Skipper
and the Team Coordinator to manage the day to day maintenance
and activities that are required to be carried out during each
of the stopovers. This position requires a lot of commitment in
port and will normally be shared around the crew from stopover
to stopover to ensure everyone gets their fair share of R+R
between races. Crew members with hands on project and man
management experience would be well suited to this role.
Boat Secretary
Helps to co-ordinate team events/contacts and acts as a Bosun
useful focal point for communications to the Skipper and Team
The Bosun is responsible for the routine maintenance, care
Coordinator. This is a great position for someone doing a later
and repair of all sailing related deck equipment including sails,
leg of the race as a lot of their job requires them to have a decent
standing and running rigging, winches, halyards, sheets, guys,
internet connection and the ability to provide information for
blocks, stanchions, guard wires, dinghy, etc. The Bosun will
leggers waiting to join the boat. The boat secretary will normally
organize the repairs and maintenance pre-start, during each leg
also manage the team’s social media threads.
and at each stopover port, ensuring sufficient spares and tools
are carried on board and topped up when used. They are also
Social Secretary
responsible for ensuring the deck and hull of the yacht look clean,
This role would either suit a round the world crew member or a tidy and free from rust stains before arrival in port. Some training
group of leggers acting as a committee. Responsibilities include: will be given for this role prior to the start. While the Bosun
Organising all crew social events, crew parties, management of manages all of the above, they will be calling on team mates
the crew kitty, sorting out crew entertainment whilst racing and of assistance with the rolling jobs list.
the organisation of crew clothing. This role requires significant
commitment prior to the start and at each stop over.

Quartermaster/Chief Victualler
This role carries significant amounts of responsibility. The role of the
Quartermaster is to ensure that all the correct supplies are purchased,
prepared, loaded and correctly stowed aboard prior to the start of
each race. Their main responsibilities include: Organising the menu
plan (taking into account the nutritional and dietary requirements of
the crew for each specific leg), organising the purchases of food
stores in each port, managing the menu whilst at sea, tracking the
usage of stores and implementing stock takes pre-stopover. This
position would ideally suit a round the world crewmember with
experience in organising logistics, menus and food supplies for large
groups of people. The Quartermaster will be assisted by several
other crewmembers at each stopover and will also be responsible for
managing the yacht’s food budget on the Skipper’s behalf.

Clipper Race Training - Part 2 83


84 Clipper Race Crew Manual


International Regulations Rule 12
Sailing vessels
for Prevention of Collisions a) When two sailing vessels are approaching one another so as to
at Sea (COLREGS) involve risk of collision, one of them shall keep out of the way of
other as follows:
As you will know from your Level 1 training, the International
Regulations for Prevention of Collisions at Sea (COLREGS) i. When each has the wind on a different side, the vessel which
incorporate a vast number of rules. It is very important that everyone has the wind on the port side shall keep out of the way of the
who goes to sea has a good understanding of the rules in order to other;
enable each of us to play our part in preventing a collision at sea.
ii. When both have the wind on the same side, the vessel which
It is not our intention to present you with all of the rules of the road
is to windward shall keep out of the way of the vessel which is
here. There are many books which already do this and some of
to leeward;
these can be found in the further reading section. However, we will
highlight a few selected rules that have particular relevance to the iii. If a vessel with the wind on the port side sees a vessel to
race and sailing vessels.
windward and cannot determine with certainty whether the
Rule 5 other vessel has the wind on the port or starboard side, she
Look out shall keep out of the way of the other.

Every vessel shall at all times maintain a proper look-out by sight and
b) For the purposes of this rule the windward side shall be deemed
hearing as well as by all available means appropriate in the prevailing
to be the side opposite to that on which the mainsail is carried or, in
circumstances and conditions so as to make a full appraisal of the
the case of a square rigged vessel, the side opposite to that on which
situation and the risk of collision.
the largest fore-and-aft sail is carried.
Rule 7
Rule 16
Risk of collision
Action by give way vessel
Every vessel shall use all available means appropriate to the prevailing
Every vessel which is directed to keep out of the way of another
circumstances and conditions to determine if risk of collision exists. If there
vessel shall, as far as possible, take early and substantial action to
is any doubt such risk shall be deemed to exist.
keep well clear.
A yacht should take a series of compass bearings on a closing vessel.
Unless the bearings change appreciably, a risk of collision exists. Rule 17 (abridged)
Action by stand on vessel
a) i. Where one of two vessels is to keep out of the way, the other
shall keep her course and speed

ii.  The latter vessel may, however, take action to avoid collision by
her manoeuvre alone as soon as it becomes apparent to her
that the vessel required to keep out of the way is not taking
appropriate action in compliance with the rules.

Clipper Race Training - Part 2 85

Headsail Changes Great care should be taken not to let go of the end, even when
the halyard is connected to the new sail. As with the sheets, the
snakepit crew should control the tension on the halyard to allow the
The speed of a headsail change bowman to work unimpeded.
is not measured by the overall
evolution time but by the time that
the yacht does not have a trimmed
headsail up, otherwise known as
being bareheaded. To minimise
the time for which the yacht is
bareheaded, a racing change is
usually done.
The new sail should be brought up from below tack first and
pulled up to the bow along the windward side of the boat. Raising the new sail
The new sail is tacked on to the appropriate deck strop and then • When the bowman, the mast men and the cockpit crew are
hanked on to the bottom of the forestay by the bowman, who will ready the sail is hoisted smartly. The final tension is applied
be in the pulpit. Depending on which sail is already flying the under the control of the bowman at the pulpit.
lower two hanks may need to be undone on the existing sail. • During the hoist the cockpit crew should endeavour to ease enough
The headsail halyard is put on to the appropriate winch, the sheet so that the hoisting party is not battling against a partially filled
jammer released and the halyard flaked to ensure a smooth drop. sail but at the same time trying not to let the sail flog excessively.
The sail bag is taken down below and the foredeck crew should • Once the sail has been hoisted it is then trimmed immediately.
place themselves along the foot of the sail. The furthest forward
crew member should be as close to the tack of the sail as
possible as he or she will be vital in gathering in and controlling
the major part of the sail. SIR ROBIN’S
Dropping the old sail TOP TIPS
On the bowman’s signal the halyard is smoothly eased out so that
the bowman can release the hanks of the old sail as they drop Communication is the secret here. The bow team,
down to his or her level. The speed of the drop should be matched snake pit and cockpit need to work in unison.
with the speed at which the bowman can undo the hanks. Remember communication is not just verbal; keep
The foredeck crew gathering in the sail should tie it securely with your head up and watch what is happening in other
parts of the boat so you can react to their needs.
pre-positioned sail ties as quickly as possible and then two of
them stand by to sweat the halyard.
When the old sail is safely under control, the cockpit crew ease
the sheets in order that they may be changed from the old clew
to the new and one member goes forward in order to change the
Tidying up
leeward sheet car to its new setting. The windward car can be
changed while the foredeck crew are preparing the hoist. • The old sail should be brought back on the windward side of
the boat and neatly flaked with the luff forward. Be careful to
The foredeck crew member at the clew of the sail should change
pack it in the correct bag and have the tack end of the bag
the sheets from one sail to another as soon as possible. The
matched with the tack of the sail.
working sheet should be changed first. The cockpit crew should
• The sail bag is taken down below and the foredeck crew should
closely observe this operation so as to give the right amount of
place themselves along the foot of the old sail. These crew should
slack whenever it is required.
position themselves as near to the tack of the sail as possible
Once the old sail is completely un-hanked the bowman swaps the
as they need to control and gather the main bulk of the sail.
halyard from the head of the old sail to the head of the new sail.

86 Clipper Race Crew Manual


Basic sail trim
The purpose of this section is not to be an exhaustive guide
to sail trim (the web and books in the recommended reading TOP TIPS
section are excellent) but to give the basic theory of how
sails work as well as how to maximise their performance. Your
training and race Skippers will spend a large portion of the Good boat speed is vital when racing, without it
training time talking to you and teaching you about sail trim. you will soon drift to the back of the fleet. Always
And rightly so; the difference of 0.1 knot in boat speed equates remember, TRIM, TRIM, TRIM and then TRIM again!
to 2.4 miles each day which, at the very least, gives you about
20 minutes extra in port and, at worst, could be the difference
between first and last place.

Before we can start discussing sail trim we need to define a
common language. Only once we are able to describe sail The pessimist complains about the wind;
shape can we look at the difference it can make to a boat’s the optimist expects it to change;
performance. and the realist adjusts the sails.
Draught – This is the depth of the sail at its deepest point William Arthur Ward
Chord length – This is the horizontal distance from a
sail’s luff to a leech.
Draught position – This is the position of maximum draught. It
is measured along the chord length from the mast and is usually
expressed as a percentage. For example, if a sail’s maximum
draught is half way between the luff and leech the draught
position would be 50 percent.


Draught position
Basic sail shape can be
described by the amount of
draught and its position along
the chord length

Chord length


Clipper Race Training - Part 2 87

How sails work We have now established that air accelerates as it flows around
the outside of a sail. Bernoulli’s principle states, “As the velocity
The theory of lift of a fluid increases, the pressure exerted by that fluid decreases.”
Therefore the air flowing around the outside of the sail exerts a
In order to sail we rely on air flowing around a sail (or wing).
relatively low pressure on the sail and creates lift. It is this lift that
As air flows over the two surfaces of the sail, the air on the inner
drives the boat forward.
(concave) surface is slowed slightly but has a shorter distance
to travel than the air passing over the outside (convex) surface.
The result of this is that air passing over the outside surface of
the sail accelerates. If it did not accelerate, a vacuum would form
which nature will not allow and therefore air accelerates to fill this
High Pressure
potential vacuum. Low Pressure

Air flowing around the outside

convex surface travels faster
than the air on the inner Difference in
concave surface. pressure creates lift

The lift acts as perpendicular to the sail at the point of maximum

draught. The lift generated has two components – one forward
and one sideways. Assuming the shape of the sail does not
change, when the sail is sheeted in the lift produces a lot of
sideways force, and when the sail is eased out, then the lift
produces lots of forward force, and a little sideways force.
If the air flowing around the
outside did not flow faster a
vacuum would form at the leech

The forward component acts against drag (friction) caused by the air
and the water and what is left causes the boat to accelerate. When
the forward component equals the drag, the yacht is travelling as
fast as it can in the conditions (i.e. it is no longer accelerating). The
sideways force acts against the lateral resistance of the keel, rudder

SIR ROBIN’S and hull. The keel and rudder also act as foils, and generate their own
lift as they travel through the water.
TOP TIPS In order to maximise the boat’s speed in the right direction, we want
to minimise the resultant sideways force and any drag caused, whilst
Never be afraid to re trim the sails but always do maximising the resultant forward force.
it in measurable steps. This way if your changes
cause the boat to slow down you can return the Two or more sails can be used together to increase the lift generated.
sails to the original settings and return the boat When the sails are set together correctly then the combined lift
to its original speed. It is only through trial and generated is greater than the sum of both sails independently. So,
error that you will learn the intricacies of sail trim. when setting the headsails, think about how they affect the main and
vice versa. The spinnaker also acts as an aerofoil. It also interacts with
the mainsail.

88 Clipper Race Crew Manual


Use of ‘tell tales’
Tell tales are very simple and highly
effective trimming devices attached
to the luff of headsails and the leach
of the mainsail. We shall explain the
use of leach tell tales in the Level 3
section of this manual.
There are two important factors to remember when using tell
tales on headsails. Firstly, they will not work when sailing deep
downwind because if the apparent wind is very far aft, the sails The reason this happens is because there is not enough air passing
are no longer working as aerofoils. The second point to bear in over that side of the sail to keep a good laminar flow of air attached
mind is that they work most effectively once the correct amount of to the inside of the sail. Conversely, if the boat is sailing too far away
leach twist has been set. This is done by moving the sheet cars to from the wind then the outside (leeward) tell tales will start to flutter
the appropriate position. We shall explain this in more detail after due to them not getting enough clean air passing across them.
looking at how tell tales work.

Tell tales are a visual representation of how well the air is flowing
over either side of the sail. If the tell tales on both the windward
and leeward sides of the sail are flowing straight along the sail in a
fore and aft direction, there is a good, equal and attached laminar
flow of air over the sail. The tell tales will start to flutter and point
upwards when there is turbulent air on one side of the sail.

What we aim to see is the leeward tell tales steaming straight aft and
the windward ones pointing just slightly up from the horizontal. This
will provide the best compromise between speed and pointing ability,
or Velocity Made Good (VMG) to windward.

As soon as our course dictates that we start to ease sheets, tell

tales are used to assess how well trimmed our headsails are. If the
windward tell tales start to flutter, see figure 2, we need to sheet on
and present more of the inside face of the sail to the wind, thereby
The easiest way to understand tell tales is when sailing as re-attaching a good laminar flow of air to that side of the sail. If the
close to the wind as possible. When sailing close hauled, the leeward tell tales start to flutter, see figure 3, we need to ease the
headsails are sheeted in as close to the centreline as possible, sheet and present more of the outside of the sail to the wind.
and the tell tales can be used to steer the boat by. If the boat is
One final point to remember is that a sail is always most efficient just
pointing too close to the wind then the inside (windward) tell
before its point of collapse. It is therefore best to ease the sheet until
tales will start to point up and flutter.
the windward tell tales just start to break away and flutter and then
sheet the sail back in a small amount until both sides are streaming
nicely fore and aft along the sail.

Clipper Race Training - Part 2 89

Headsail car position If we luff up and the bottom windward tell tale starts to flutter first,
it indicates that the sail has too little twist and not enough air is
flowing past the bottom parts of the sail. To correct for this we
Our aim when setting headsail cars is to have an equal
move the car aft.
amount of tension on the foot and the leach of the sail. If the car
sits too far forward on the track, the leach becomes tight before If we luff up and all the windward tell tales break and flutter
the foot and we lose drive from the lower parts of the sail. If the simultaneously then we have the correct amount of twist.
car is too far aft, the foot becomes tight before the leach and air
will spill out of the upper parts of the sail, this is known as twist.
We can use our tell tales to assess if we have too much or not
enough twist in our headsails.

A good rule of thumb when initially setting headsail cars is to

have the sheet angle bisecting the sail and pointing to
approximately half way up the luff of the sail.

This method works when reaching under white sails too. After
we bear away and ease the sheet then we need to move the
car forward to bring the top windward tell tale back into line as
easing the sheet changes the sheeting angle of the sail. We would
normally only do this if we are planning to stay on the same point of
sail for a decent amount of time as moving the cars when the sheet
From this starting point, we can then use the tell tales for fine is loaded can be a little tricky.
tuning. If we deliberately point a little too close to the wind (luff
When we change to a different sized headsail, we always need
up) and watch the tell tales, we will normally see that either the
to move the cars. This is because the clew of the sail sits further
top or the bottom windward tell tale will start to flutter first. If the
forward the smaller the sail is and therefore the sheeting angle
top flutters first, it indicates that the sail has too much twist and
changes. Once you start sailing on your own boat on Level 4
the top of the sail is spilling air. To correct for this we move the
training, you will compile a list of different car positions for different
car forward.
sails on all points of the wind. This will allow you to quickly set the
cars during headsail evolutions.

90 Clipper Race Crew Manual



Clipper Race Training - Part 2 91

Emergency Situations Search and Rescue
and Sea Survival In the event of a yacht having a man overboard or having to
abandon ship the whole Clipper Race fleet, as well as any
Safety is the number one priority commercial vessels in the area, will be required to assist with the
during training and on the race. search and rescue operation.
Before you race oceans you must Helicopter rescue
be familiar with all the safety
Before a rescue helicopter initiates a rescue they will contact the
equipment and procedures boat via VHF radio. Always remember that they are experts and
on board. their instructions should be carefully followed. Everyone on board
needs to be briefed about what is going to happen as when the
To maximise your chances of survival at sea four priorities need to helicopter is overhead it is very noisy on the yacht and communication
be attended to: protection, location, water and food. is almost impossible.

Attend to any injuries or disabilities and set up the canopy to provide
protection from the elements.

You must be located, seen and heard by rescuers. Equipment for this
ranges from emergency locator transmitters, night and day flares and
distress rockets to strobe lights, whistle, torch and reflective tape.

Sourcing drinkable water is difficult at sea. Generally you need
at least two litres of water each day to sustain normal bodily
functions. Without water most people will not survive longer than
three to four days.

Food Below is a guide, but remember each circumstance is different and

the aircrew are in charge, so it is important to follow the instructions
An average adult can survive 25 to 30 days without food. Do not
that they give you to the letter.
eat until your water problem is solved. Food such as chocolate
and fish require water to digest them and, as such, are not ideal • Stow all loose gear on deck as the downdraught from the
emergency rations. helicopter is very strong
• If necessary use a hand held flare or smoke flare as a signal to
the helicopters. Never use a rocket flare if a helicopter is nearby
SIR ROBIN’S TOP TIPS • Always follow the pilot’s instructions

It has always been the tradition at sea to help those • The helicopter will lower a lightweight line. This line develops a
in danger and should we get into trouble we can still static charge as it is being lowered so you should not touch it
rely on this today. But remember the cavalry is not until it has been earthed by being dipped in the water
necessarily going to come charging over the horizon
• Once you have hold of the end of the line the diver will
immediately. Although the response will be instant,
the closest rescuers may be hundreds of miles away be lowered. Pull in the line and flake it into a bucket
and will take time to reach you. • When the diver indicates, pull him on board
• The diver will then take charge of the situation

92 Clipper Race Crew Manual


Abandonment to liferaft
The thought of having to abandon a
yacht and seek the sanctuary of a SIR ROBIN’S TOP TIPS
liferaft is a sobering one and, for the
We all hope that we will never have to abandon our
majority of us, it is something we boat but we must always be prepared. Make sure
will never have to experience. you know the location of all of the liferafts and how
to launch them in an emergency but remember:
Before we go to sea it is important that we understand the your best chance of survival is to stay with the
yacht for as long as possible.
process in case the worst should happen.

One of the major lessons learnt from the Fastnet Race disaster of
1979 was that the yacht remains your best survival craft and should
never be abandoned unless it is on the point of sinking. Of the 48 If the decision to abandon ship is made then the actions
yachts abandoned during the storm, 38 were later recovered. By to be taken are as follows:
contrast, five of the 15 crews who took to the liferafts reported
• Crew musters on deck with lifejackets and oil skins. If time
that they were capsized by the seas and one liferaft broke up
allows, spare warm clothing should be stuffed into oilskins
completely. The design of liferafts has been greatly improved but
pockets and survival suits should be worn
the simple lesson is stay with the yacht whenever possible.
• Send distress message by all means possible
Each Clipper 70 has three 12 person liferafts, thus enabling
• Gather grab bags containing:
the entire crew to be saved even if one raft should be lost. It is
important that everyone on board knows where the liferafts are - Emergency rations and survival equipment
stowed and how they are launched. The liferafts are only used on
- EPIRB (Emergency Position Indicating and Reporting
command from the Skipper or senior person present and will only
be used in extremes, i.e if the vessel is sinking or if there is an
uncontrollable fire. - SART (Search and Rescue Transponder)

- Torches
It should be noted that stability and protection from the elements
are largely a matter of size, thus the Clipper 70 provides greater - Hand held VHF radio and GPS
potential for safety than a life raft. Only extreme damage should
- Additional food, flares and water should also be collected
lead to the abandonment of a vessel since the use of emergency
pumps and watertight bulkheads and doors can control flooding. - Documents such as log book, charts and passports

- Medical kit and personal medication

• Liferafts should be launched on the leeward side after checking

that the painter is attached. If the boat is on fire it may need to
be launched to the windward side

• Strong members of the crew should board each liferaft first in

order to load stores and assist those weaker than themselves.
Try and stay dry when boarding the liferaft

• The liferafts should then be tied together and the painter cut
allowing the liferaft to drift clear of the vessel

• Everyone should take sea sickness pills once on board the


• Everyone should also urinate after getting in the liferaft

Clipper Race Training - Part 2 93


94 Clipper Race Crew Manual


RYA Sea Survival
A one day course providing an Session 3: Medical aspect to sea survival
Subjects covered
understanding of how to use the
• Effects of immersion
safety equipment on board your boat. • Cold shock
• Protective measures
A genuine lifesaver • Long term immersion

The one day basic sea survival course consists of theory • Hypothermia
sessions in a classroom followed by a practical session in an • Post immersion
indoor swimming pool. All the instructors are approved RYA • Secondary drowning
Sea Survival Instructors with over 25 years practical experience. • Frostbite
They are supported by fully qualified lifeguards and all the • Heat exhaustion
instructors are first aid qualified. • Burns

On commencement of the training all students are required

Session 4: Location and recovery
to complete a short medical questionnaire, this won’t restrict
Subjects covered
any student , it is only required to inform the instructors if
additional precautions need to be introduced to the practical • Rescue equipment and how to use it
session, such as inhalers etc. • How to be rescued using a rescue vessel and helicopter

The theory session consists of four Session 5: Practical

presentations on the following: This session is designed to put into practical use the lessons learnt
during the theory sessions. You will spend up to a maximum of two
Session 1: Principles of survival (the basics)
hours in the pool area. All trainees will be wearing 150N lifejackets
Subjects covered
during the practical session.
• Principles of survival
• Survival requirement (what makes you a survivor) The practical session will cover:
• Prevention
• How to inflate a liferaft and transfer a full complement of crew
• Protection
into the raft from the poolside and from the water
• Location
• Immediate actions on boarding
• Water
• How to right a capsized liferaft
• Food
• How to haul a casualty into a raft
• How to tow an unconscious person
Session 2: Modern lifesaving equipment
• Assistance using throwing line to recover nearby survivor
Subjects covered

• Lifejackets You will be awarded the one day RYA Sea

• Launching a liferaft Survival Certificate on completion of the course.
• Actions on entering a liferaft You will also be given a sea survival booklet.
• Righting a liferaft
• Casualty recovery
• Immediate actions on boarding a liferaft
• Secondary actions on boarding a liferaft

Clipper Race Training - Part 2 95


© Copyright 2018 Clipper Ventures plc. All right reserved. 97


98 Clipper Race Crew Manual


Level 3 Training
Total duration: 6 Days
Time on water: 5 Days

While continuing to draw on the skills learnt on the previous levels, Level 3
will introduce you to the Clipper 70 and asymmetric spinnaker work. This level
enables you to further develop your sailing skills and acquire new sail trim
and racing techniques in an offshore environment. After a day of Level 1 and 2
consolidation, you will head offshore to sail around a simulated race course.
The course will incorporate plenty of spinnaker drills.

Although the procedures and general deck handling of a Clipper 70 are the same as on a Clipper 68, the Clipper 70’s are faster, more powerful
and less forgiving to sail. They feel very different on the helm and require different trim settings to attain their maximum performance potential.
The hull shape is designed for achieving electrifying speeds down wind and as a result, they can be hard to get in the groove when sailing
on the wind. The 70s are real racing thoroughbreds that in the right hands can deliver excellent performance.

The key difference is the type of spinnakers used. The 70s utilise asymmetrical spinnakers flying from a fixed bowsprit, whereas the 68’s
employed symmetrical spinnakers with twin poles. The use of asymmetric spinnakers simplifies the processes for rigging and gybing the sail
and also changes the way in which the boat has to be sailed tactically. An asymmetrical spinnaker cannot be sailed as deep downwind as a
symmetrical spinnaker. This means that to achieve a decent Velocity Made Good (VMG) downwind the boat must be gybed more frequently.

Course content
Pre-course reading Talks and demonstrations Practical experience

Racing Rules 70 Orientation Review Level 1 and Level 2 Topics

Advanced Sail Trim Racing Rules Clipper 70 Familiarisation

Start Line Tactics Spinnaker Hoists

Advanced Sail Trim Spinnaker Trim

Spinnaker Gybes

Spinnaker Drops

Helm Coaching

Advanced Sail Trim

MOB under Spinnaker

Race Boat Handling Skills

Qualifications gained at Level 3

World Sailing Offshore Safety Certificate

Clipper Race Training - Part 3 99

This syllabus is a guide to the typical course content for this
level of training. The course content may vary, perhaps due
to weather conditions and crew members’ skill set.

6 days, crew arrive at 0830 on first day and depart at 1700 on last day

Day 1 Offshore race training

WS Offshore Safety Course (0845 Start) • Crew to be given a race course to sail round
Crew join the boat at 1700 and commence full safety brief • Crew in watches to simulate a race and whilst keeping the
as per the annex in the SOP’s boat racing carry out duties including
Clipper Race Crew Assessment Mother Watch
Safety checks
Day 2 and 3 Proper use of ships log
Complete safety brief as per the annex in the SOP’s Ensuring weather forecast are obtained by VHF
Recap on previous training including
• Upwind work, tacking and running backstays Racing rules and race tactics theory chats and then to be
• Downwind work, use of foreguy and gybing applied practically, to include
• Reefing • Practise Race starts
• Racing headsail Changes (changing up to bigger sails only) • Sail selection
MOB including recovery, use of harness, and use of scramble • Upwind Performance headsail and mainsail fine tuning
net (including tethered MOB) Angle of attack
Shape (draught)
Day 4 to 6 Twist
Changing ‘gears’ on the boat to suit prevailing conditions
Asymmetric Spinnaker Training to include:
• Setting up the asymmetric kite ready to hoist • Definitions
• Hoisting the Kite
Clear astern
• Show and explain the reason for leaving the lazy sheet/tack
Clear ahead
retrieval line ready for a letterbox drop
• Dropping the Spinnaker (do this before gybing so crew
Keep clear
understand the actions if needed)
Leeward and windward
• Gybing the Spinnaker with a foreguy
• Helming with a Spinnaker
Proper Course
• Trimming a Spinnaker including
Sheet • Mark Rounding and giving mark-room
Mainsheet • IRPCS (not RRS) at night
Tack line
What to do in a broach, dump the vang! Day 6
• Yachts to return between 0100-0400
• MOB under kite including recovery, use of harness,
• Clipper Race Crew Assessment re-sit (if required)
and use of scramble net
• Deep clean and debrief
• Crew depart at 1700

100 Clipper Race Crew Manual


Introduction to the Preparing for hoist:

asymmetric spinnaker • Bring the spinnaker on deck and make sure to immediately
attach the bag to the guard rails on the leeward side,
as far forward as possible on the foredeck
Asymmetric spinnakers operate
• Next, the sheets need attaching to the clew of the sail.
more like a yankee, generating The sheets need to run outside of everything and come back
lift from the side, rather than the over the top of the guardrails before attaching to the sail.
top like a symmetric spinnaker. Make sure the lazy sheet does not drop over the end of the
bowsprit and get pulled under the boat
This makes asymmetric a better
choice on reaching courses, than • The tack line should be then run either under the sheets
(for outside gybes) or over the sheets (for inside gybes)
symmetric spinnakers which and attached to the tack of the spinnaker
excel when running.
• The tack of the sail then needs ‘sneaking’ to the end of
the bowsprit, by hauling in on the tack line. We are now
Due to this, when using asymmetric spinnakers, a better ready to hoist the sail.
VMG downwind can be achieved if you sail at a shallower
angle and gybe more often, rather than trying to sail too
deep and slow.

Another advantage of asymmetric spinnakers over symmetrical

spinnakers is that they have fewer control lines and are easier to set
up, hoist, control and drop. The tack attaches to a tack line run to
the end of the bowsprit, the head to a halyard and the two sheets to
the clew. However, unlike a yankee, the luff is not hanked on to the
forestay and is instead ‘loose luffed’. This allows the sail shape to
be dramatically changed by tensioning or loosening the halyard.

Lazy Sheet

Outside Gybe
Tack Line

Active Sheet
Inside Gybe
Spinnaker bag

Clipper Race Training - Part 3 101


The hoist Crew positions:

Sheet trimmer needs to be in a position they can see
The helm needs to steer a course the luff of the sail and communicate well with the helm.
deep downwind so that the main The trimmer should NOT sheet on until they hear the call
of ‘made’ from the halyard sweater
and headsail blanket the spinnaker,
• Grinders need to be ready on the coffee grinders to sheet on
allowing it to be hoisted all the way the sail once the trimmer calls ‘grind!’
without filling prematurely • Pit crew ready to adjust the tack line and tail spinnaker halyard
(prepared to grind the last of the halyard if the sail fills before a
full hoist can be completed by the mast crew)
• One or two mast crew ready to sweat the halyard
Bowman on foredeck ready to help spinnaker
out of the bag
• Once all crew are in position and ready, the command to,
“hoist!” is given by person running the deck (usually the watch
leader or Skipper)
• Halyard is sweated until the head of the sail reaches the top of
the mast; sweaters then call, “halyard made!”
• Once the trimmers hear the call of, “made” they sheet on hard
and fast to pop the wool and open the spinnaker
• Crew then swiftly drop and secure the headsail on the foredeck
to allow the spinnaker to breath and fly properly
• The helm then settles the boat onto course and starts a steady
dialogue with the trimmer. Together they helm the boat and trim
the sail to attain maximum VMG downwind
• Tack line is adjusted to create appropriate luff tension

102 Clipper Race Crew Manual


Trimming an asymmetric spinnaker

Flying a spinnaker well requires Conversely, if the luff is not curling at all then the sail is over-sheeted
and the boat will be sailing slowly. In this case, the sheet needs to
excellent communication between be eased until the luff starts to curl again.
the trimmer, and constant attention
to the sheet.
The trimmer should always have their eyes on the luff of the
spinnaker, watching for the amount it curls. A well trimmed It is vital the crew work as a team, the helm will
spinnaker should always have a small amount of luff curl as this constantly be looking for feedback from the trimmer
indicates the sail is eased as far as it can be before it collapses and the navigator/tactician to make sure the
racing yacht is in the best position relative to
(remember, a sail is most efficient just before its point of collapse).
your competitors.
If the luff starts to curl dramatically and it looks like the whole
sail is about to back and collapse, the sheet needs tensioning.

under trimmed correctly trimmed over trimmed

The trimmer’s goal should be to keep the sheet as eased as The aim is to keep the sail fully powered up whilst sailing as
possible without the spinnaker collapsing. The trimmer should far downwind as possible. In the stronger gusts, the helm will
also be providing a constant flow of information to the helm about be able to bear away whilst keeping the sail pulling well, but when
how much pressure/power there is in the sail. I.e: the wind goes light, the helm must head up to keep plenty of
drive in the sail by increasing the apparent wind strength.
• “I’m losing pressure in the sheet, come up higher.” Or...
• “I’ve got a lot of pressure here, come down lower.” Spinnaker trim takes time and practice to get right. The more time
you can spend trimming the spinnaker during training, the better.

Clipper Race Training - Part 3 103

Tack line Helming Downwind
The tack line should be seen as an The importance of the spinnaker trimmer
active trimming component and Helming downwind on reaches and
although it is not adjusted as often runs is a highly dynamic exercise that
as the sheet, it will still require requires excellent communication
regular attention and adjustment. between the trimmer and helm.
The tack line controls the tension in the luff of the spinnaker and
The spinnaker trimmer often has the best feel of the boat’s
due to this, also moves the draft position in the sail, fore and aft.
performance as they can feel the pressure in the spinnaker via
After the initial setting of the sail, the tack line should be adjusted
the sheet. Working together as a team allows the helm to take
using the following rules of thumb:
advantage of slight changes in wind conditions.
• If the tack line is angled to leeward or if the luff becomes
unstable, tighten the tack line. If the tack line is angled to
windward and you want to open up the upper luff, ease
the tack line
• Generally, the closer to the wind you sail, the tighter you want
the tack line, in order to keep the luff as straight as possible
• As you bear away down wind and start sailing deeper, the
tack line needs easing to allow the luff to open up, float away
from the bow and eventually, when sailing deep enough
downwind, rotate to windward
• The tighter the tack line, the more stable the spinnaker will be.
If you are finding you cannot ease the sheet sufficiently to
achieve correct trim without the sail becoming very prone to
collapse, take in some tack line
• In lighter conditions, easing the tack line helps the spinnaker
The spinnaker trimmer is also in the best position to tell the
to breath and creates a better sail shape for light airs
helm when to sail higher and lower, dependent on how much
• Before hoisting or gybing, the tack line should be brought
load is in the spinnaker sheet. As the wind builds and the load
right in to keep the spinnaker as stable as possible during
on the sheet increases, the trimmer should tell the helm to
the manoeuvre
come down (sail deep).

In strong winds, it is possible to sail very deep downwind

without sacrificing boat speed. Conversely, as the wind decreases
and the load on the sheet drops, the trimmer can call the helm
up (sail higher).

Sailing higher increases the apparent wind speed which, in turn,

enables you to sail faster. It should be noted however that as your
angle to the wind is higher, less of your progress is toward your
destination downwind! For this reason it is always a good idea to
keep a watchful eye on the VMG to the waypoint, or away from the
wind. This information is provided by the on board instruments.

When sailing higher on the wind with an asymmetric spinnaker, not

only does the spinnaker sheet require lots of attention but so too
does the mainsheet.

104 Clipper Race Crew Manual


Trimming on and easing out on the mainsail will move the centre
of effort aft and forward in the sail plan, which will have a big effect
on the balance of the boat.

If the boat is trying to turn towards the wind all the time and the
helm starts to get heavy (weather helm), the mainsail should be
eased and depowered. However, if the mainsail is eased too much
when reaching under spinnaker, it will become backwinded by the
spinnaker and disturb the clean flow of air coming off the leech of
the sail, which increases drag and decreases lift.

In short, if the mainsail is back winding, the spinnaker will not be

performing very well and the boat will be sailing slowly. Often if this
is the case, the boat will sail faster and more upright with a yankee
flying, rather than the spinnaker.

Helming downwind with an asymmetric spinnaker

It is very unlikely that you will spend

much time sailing dead downwind
with an asymmetric spinnaker flying,
as this is not the fastest way to get
downwind in the majority of conditions.
However the one exception to this is in very strong winds where
target boat speeds can be achieved even when the wind is dead
astern. This tactic can be risky though as the boat is less stable
and quick, instinctive helm inputs will be required to prevent the
sail from wrapping around the forestay during a collapse.

Clipper Race Training - Part 3 105


Helming on a broad reach

In most conditions, the best way Be aware that helming a boat is not a numbers game and over time

achieve a high VMG to a destination you should aim to use as many sources of information as possible
to assess how well you are performing. If you constantly focus on
directly downwind of your position the instruments and pay no attention to how the boat feels then you
is to sail on a broad reach, aiming will always be playing catch up.
to sail as low as possible without During your training, make sure you spend some time helming the
dropping below the boat’s target boat with your eyes closed and concentrate on the feel of the wind
speed for the prevailing true wind on your face and neck, how much the boat is healing, how much

strength. pressure you feel over the rudder through the wheel. This will help
you to learn to trust your instincts and work with the elements to
keep the boat on its feet rather than chase numbers around the dial
If the wind then shifts far enough aft to make the other gybe
due to lag in the instruments. (It should however be stressed that
favourable, the boat should be gybed and the same process
you must inform one of your instructors before trying this).
repeated on the opposite gybe. As we mentioned earlier when
looking at trimming the spinnaker, the general principle of sailing
Be proactive
fast downwind is to sail deeper in the gusts and sail higher in the
lulls to keep the boat speed and apparent wind up. Good helming requires you to be proactive rather than reactive.
If you are constantly reacting to the information conveyed by the
Helming is as much about trusting your senses instruments and compass, you will always be trying to catch them
as it is about reading instruments up, will sail less of a straight line and will require more input from
the helm.
Good helming is essential on all points of sail in order to keep the
boat performing to her maximum potential speed. Helming is a skill Larger helm input slows the boat down because the more angled
that can take some time to perfect and no matter how much time the rudder is; the more hydrodynamic drag is exerted on the boat.
you spend on the wheel, each time you do a stint, you will improve. The sooner you act, the less you will need to turn the wheel and the
faster the boat will sail.

106 Clipper Race Crew Manual


If you are on the helm in big wind and sea conditions,
there is always a chance that you may end up a little high
on the wind, with the sail starting to overpower. Before
you know what’s happening, the boat can “broach”.

A broach is a rapid, uncontrolled turn, usually to windward. If the boat is trying to broach regularly, either the sail plan or
If the boat starts to broach, the pit crew should be instructed course needs adjusting to prevent the boat being sailed at the
to immediately dump the vang and the mainsheet, which helps edge of her performance envelope. A couple of big broaches
depower the mainsail and move the centre of effort forward in are normally enough to cause major damage to the spinnaker
the sail plan. The spinnaker sheet should also be rapidly eased and often on the third, the sail will explode completely.
(but not dumped) to help reduce the heel of the boat and make
the rudder more effective again. Pumping the helm back and
forth can also help the rudder to start working correctly as
often, it is the fact that the rudder has stalled that caused
the broach in the first place.


 bove all else, the most important thing is that
you understand what you are trying to achieve and
appreciate that boat speed should be your primary
focus when helming the boat on any point of sail.

Clipper Race Training - Part 3 107


Gybing with an asymmetric Listed below are the steps required for both methods:

tends to be simpler than gybing • Tack line to be pulled on tight to straighten the luff and
a symmetrical spinnaker, due to stabilise the sail

the reduced number of control • Helm keeps the boat on a steady course, normally a broad
reach while;
lines to be attended to. However,
Bowman checks that both sheets are free to run and
timing, excellent communication that the lazy sheet has not dropped below the end of the
and coordinated team work are bowsprit (usually only a problem in outside gybes)

essential if the gybe is to - 

Active trimmer ensures that slack from the working sheet
is flaked and free to run
run smoothly.
Second trimmer loads the new sheet onto the new winch
There are also two methods of gybing an asymmetric spinnaker that - 
Two crew ready on the grinder, ready to take in the last of
you are likely to use dependent on wind strength: the sheet after the second trimmer has tailed in all they can.
(Double check that the grinder is directed to the correct
In stronger winds winch and that the winch is in top gear)
The sail should be gybed outside of itself with the sheets running • Foreguy is disconnected and main sail is centred
outside of the tack line as mentioned earlier in the Preparing for a • Running backstays are switched over
Hoist section.
• Main trimmer stands by for a big ease on the mainsheet
In lighter winds once the mainsail has gybed over.

The sail can be gybed between its own luff and the forestay.
This is known as an inside gybe and the sheets should be run
between the tack line and forestay.

108 Clipper Race Crew Manual


The next six steps must be performed simultaneously as one fluid
manoeuvre to ensure the boat does not come out of the gybe either
too slowly and wrap the spinnaker, or too fast with the sail flogging
hard on the new gybe.
The key aim is to have the clew of the spinnaker sufficiently eased so that it floats around from one side to the other as the boat
passes through directly downwind:

• Helm calls, “helm to weather” and starts • Once the clew has gone forward of
a slow but continuous turn downwind, the forestay the new sheet trimmer
only aiming to stop the turn as the works with the grinders to rapidly
boat come out on the other gybe on sheet the spinnaker into the roughly
a broad reach – around 110-130 correct trim for the new gybe, as
degrees Apparent Wind Angle (AWA), the old trimmer let’s fly and completely
depending on wind strength.”They dumps the old sheet
must keep the turn going at all times
throughout the manoeuvre but should
adjust their rate of turn to keep in sync
with the two sheet trimmers

• The trimmer on the old active sheet • As the mainsail flicks over to the new

gives large, continuous eases, to side, the mainsheet trimmer rapidly

send the clew of the spinnaker eases the mainsheet so that the

right forward of the forestay as boat does not round up too fast, and

the boat reaches dead downwind, allows for the foreguy to be swiftly

then prepares to dump the sheet re-attached on the new side

completely once the new sheet has

the load of the sail and the clew is
gybed over to the correct side

• While the old sheet is being eased, • NB: After the old sheet has been

the trimmer on the new sheet tails in released, it needs to be kept under

the slack that they are receiving on control to prevent it dropping under

their sheet. They need to be careful the end of the bowsprit and potentially

not to take too much weight on getting pulled under the boat

their sheet until the clew has floated

around to the new side of the forestay

Please Note: If the sail is being gybed inside the tack, the bow crew should be helping to pull the clew between the forestay and tack line
at this stage. By pulling down on the new sheet just as the clew reaches the forestay, they help the sail to float through the gap between the
forestay and the spinnaker’s luff. If the sail is being gybed all the way around the outside of itself, the clew needs to be eased much further
forward of the forestay than for an inside gybe.

Clipper Race Training - Part 3 109

Tidy up:

• Normally the tack line needs easing and to be re-trimmed

for the new course as it was pulled on tight before the gybe.
If however, the new course is higher on the wind than before
the gybe, the tack line will need to be kept on fairly tight
• Assuming the new course puts the apparent wind aft of a
beam reach, the foreguy should be re-attached as soon a
practically possible and ground on tight again
• Any slack from the active sheet should be flaked neatly onto
the deck to allow for a rapid ease or another gybe without
the risk of twists jamming in the winch or blocks

Gybing an asymmetric smoothly and successfully every time

takes plenty of practice and excellent team work. When it goes
right it is a very rewarding experience, where the boat speed only
temporally dips before the sail is filled on the new side and the
boat is back up to target speed again.

If the manoeuvre goes badly and the sail wraps around the
forestay or twists itself up, it is generally a better idea to abort
the gybe and get the spinnaker re-inflated on the original gybe
before attempting to gybe again. Often, trying to make a bad
gybe stick will result in compounding the wrap and potentially
damaging the spinnaker.

If the boat is helmed too rapidly through the turn and the
trimmers do not get enough time to tail in the slack on the
new sheet before the kite re-inflates on the new side, the
spinnaker will start to flog hard. This puts massive shock loading
into the sail and sheet, often resulting in damage to the clew
of the spinnaker.

The only solution here is to keep the boat on a broad reach

while the grinders winch the sail in like their lives depend on it.
Next time the boat is gybed, the helm should slow the rate of
turn down during the manoeuvre to keep better time with the
sheet trimmers.


There are many different ways to drop an asymmetric spinnaker

but in this manual we shall look at the most commonly used
method, the “letterbox drop” where the spinnaker is blanketed
behind the mainsail during the drop and “posted” through the
foot of the main sail and the top of the boom.

110 Clipper Race Crew Manual


Letterbox drop set up:
The trimmer on the active spinnaker sheet ensures that
• The lazy sheet should be removed from the blocks on the
their sheet is flaked and free to run when the call is given
windward side and run forward to the forestay
to release their sheet
• The lazy sheet should then be passed around the outside of
The bowman prepares to trip the tack line which will release
everything, back down the leeward side and a bight (loop) of
the tack from the end of the bowsprit
rope led through the gap between the top of the boom and the
foot of the mainsail (the letterbox) - 
All remaining available crew line up along the windward
side of the boom, making sure they stay inboard of the lazy
• This bight of rope should then be run through a snatch block on
sheet and eventually the sail itself as it comes through the
the windward rail and then back to a winch
letterbox. (They must stay inboard, if they are outboard of
The drop: the sail and it fills during the drop, they will be knocked over
the side.) The two crew right at the boom have the vitally
important job of ‘bear hugging’ the luff and leech of the
sail together. This helps keep any wind out of the sail and
prevents it from re-inflating part way through the drop

• Once crew are ready at their stations for the headsail hoist, the
yankee is hoisted which helps blanket the spinnaker during the drop

• The helm then steers the boat deep downwind before giving
the command to “trip” the tack line
• Tack line is then tripped
• The crew then tail the lazy sheet and almost immediately
release the active sheet to allow the clew to come through the
letterbox. The crew at the boom should pull all the foot of the
spinnaker through and get both the tack and clew together. The
halyard can then be eased as the crew ‘bear hug’ the luff and
leech of the spinnaker together, working toward the head of the
sail as it is eased down
• It is important that the crew do not just pile the sail on deck
as it drops. They need to ensure that the spinnaker all gets
dragged down the main companionway as swiftly as possible to
prevent it getting caught by a gust and pulled over the side

• Once all three corners of the sail (head, tack and clew) are
through the letterbox, the sheets, halyard and tack retrieval line
(if used) can be disconnected and reset for the next hoist

• While crew on deck tidy up and re-trim for the course, a team
• In preparation for the drop, the crew need to get themselves in
below deck work to wool the spinnaker as swiftly and tightly
the correct positions as follows:
as they can, before re-packing the sail into the correct bag

One crew ready to tail the yankee halyard when the
As with all spinnaker work, timing, communication, team work
headsail is going up and then quickly switch onto easing
and lots of practice are required to get drops running well. If the
the spinnaker halyard for the drop itself. It is imperative that
drop goes badly, there is a good chance that the spinnaker may
they ensure the spinnaker halyard is correctly flaked and
end up in the water. Some very good advice follows in this next
free to run all the way until the spinnaker is below deck
section about recovering a kite that has been pulled over the side
and is full of water.

Clipper Race Training - Part 3 111


112 Clipper Race Crew Manual


 s Hyde Sails prepare
A • Pump Rudder to keep laminar flow across it
• Avoid snap filling the ASO at all cost
to power the Clipper
Race, here are a
• 0 to 10 knots: Inside ASO or outside of ASO
few top tips from the • 11 knots and above: Outside of ASO only
international sail makers. • Keep tack line tight
• Make sure the ASO luff is tight before gybing
Clipper 70 asymmetrical (ASO halyard)

care and trimming tips: • Helms person needs to be in sync with sheet
trimmers during gybes
Here are some tips on how to improve performance • If the helms person turns too quickly, the ASO
and care of your asymmetrical Spinnaker (ASO) will wrap or snap fill
in various wind conditions. All wind speeds given • The ASO trimmers need to gybe the ASO sheets quickly
below are Apparent Wind Speed (AWS) and angles Tack Line:
are True Wind Angle (TWA) unless otherwise stated.
Never let the tack line out more than 1.5 feet max. When gybing,
Conditions: keep the tack line (luff of ASO) tight. Helms person needs to drive
to the sheet trimmers.
0 to 12 knots / Code 1A (Lightweight spinnaker)
ASO Rotation:
10 to 18 knots / Code 2A (Mediumweight spinnaker) This takes a lot of skill. Rotating the ASO to sail deeper than 150
degrees is the number one reason why the ASO gets wrapped
19 to 30 knots / Code 3A (Heavyweight spinnaker)
around the headstay. The best way to avoid this is to try not to
rotate the ASO. Unless you have a very skilled helms person
Wind Angle:
and ASO trimmer working together, I would not recommend this
150 degrees is the maximum you can sail an asymmetrical downwind. trimming technique. However, if you do decide to rotate the ASO....;
150 degrees is a very difficult angle to trim and requires a very skilled
Rotation Step:
trimmer and driver working in sync to keep the asymmetrical from
starving for air behind the mainsail. • Ease out tack line 1.5 feet.
• Tweak ASO lead forward. This will help the ASO to rotate.
Starving the ASO behind the mainsail is one of the most common • If the tack line does not fly to the windward side, do not attempt
reasons for collapses. When this happens in light airs, it can lead to to rotate the ASO. There is not enough wind, or you are already
the ASO wrapping around the headstay. When this occurs in high running too deep with this sail, starving it behind the mainsail.
winds, it leads to snap filling of the ASO. Snap filling is the number • Over sheet the mainsail a bit. This will allow more airflow to the ASO.
one reason that causes the ASO to explode.
ASO Drops:
Rounding Up: If the ASO goes into the water on the drop, make sure to do
If you feel the boat starting to load up and lean over, ease the ASO the following:
sheet out. Do not dump the ASO sheet and cause the ASO to • Everyone only pull “upward” on the luff of the ASO to get it out of

collapse. Also the helms person should pump the rudder to reattach the water first.

laminar flow across the rudder, in order to regain steerage control. • Once you reach the tack, start pulling in the foot of the sail. Start
at the tack and work towards the clew.
Reducing Round Ups: • If you follow these steps you will not shrimp the ASO under the boat.
• Tighten ASO luff to flatten the ASO Avoid the crew rushing to grab the leech, luff or the foot at the same
• Move ASO lead aft to twist off head time. This will shrimp the ASO under the boat.I hope these tips will help
• Twist off mainsail with traveller with the performance and care of your ASOs.
• Release the boom vang when boat is loading up
• Flatten out the mainsail or reef Harry Ostoposides
Hyde Sails USA
• Do not ease the ASO halyard or tack line
• Do not over-sheet the ASO

Clipper Race Training - Part 3 113

Racing Techniques It is therefore generally best to change the trim of your forward
most sail first (normally the yankee or asymmetric spinnaker) before
and Sail Trim then re-trimming the staysail and mainsail respectively to suit the
new headsail trim.
Put very simply, boat speed wins
Sail Trim Definitions
races. In this section we will
• Groove
introduce you to some of the ways
in which you can optimise your trim
settings to best suit the prevailing
conditions, maximise boat speed,
and ultimately arrive first into port.
Even if you get everything else right out on the water by sailing the
shortest distance, making no mistakes during evolutions and have
no breakages; without good boat speed, you will never win. Boat
speed is one of the most important factors in all forms of sailing
boat racing and it forms the back bone to any successful campaign.

One statistic that beautifully illustrates this point is: If your team’s
average speed is consistently 0.1 knots slower than the rest of the
teams’ over the entire race around the world, you will have spent
When a boat is sailing in the ‘groove,’ the sails are working effectively
another six days at sea in comparison to the rest of the fleet.
and the boat is sailing at maximum efficiency. The width of the groove
If you are to have any chance of placing a good finish position in a can be defined by how much tolerance the sail has for changes to the
matched fleet of yachts, you must be constantly focused on getting angle the wind hits the front of the sail.
the best possible performance out of your boat...at all times.
The narrower the groove, the less tolerance for changes in this angle
and the more easily a sail will stall if small course errors or slightly
incorrect sail trim are applied. However, a narrower groove will allow
you to point closer to the wind than a wide groove.

A sail with a more forgiving shape will give a wider groove for the
helm and trimmers to work with. Generally, the rougher the sea state,
the wider you want your groove – to allow for the boat getting thrown
around by the waves. If the groove is too narrow in these conditions,
the sail will be constantly stalling and produce only small amounts of
occasional lift.

• Chord depth (draft)

In simple terms, ‘draft’ identifies the fullness of a sail, how flat or curved
it is. This can be difficult to assess from the deck so the sail has a
series of black lines (draft stripes) running from luff to leech.

One crucial factor when considering sail trim is that the whole sail The black draft stripes create some definition to the sail and allow you
plan works together to act as one large driving force for your yacht. to see how curved it is. The deeper the draft in a sail, the more lift it
This means that if you change the trim of one sail, it will affect the will create but with more lift comes more drag. A flat sail will produce
airflow passing the other sails in the sail plan. less power but also exert less drag.

One rule of thumb states that in flat water you should have flat sails
and in choppy water fuller, deeper sails.

114 Clipper Race Crew Manual


• Draft position

This is defined as how far back from the luff the maximum amount of draft can
be found in the sail. A good starting point is to have the draft at 50 per cent (half
way between the luff and leech) and then try moving it forward and aft from there
to suit your conditions. The draft stripes on the sails can be used to judge draft
position as well as chord depth.

Moving the draft further forward gives a lower lift/drag ratio and also means that
you can’t point quite as close to the wind. It does, however, provide a rounder
entry for the wind to start interacting with the sail (more forgiving sail shape),
which in turn widens the groove. In rough conditions, or at night, this makes the
boat easier to helm, as discussed previously.

Moving the draft aft on the sail improves the lift/drag ratio, meaning the sail is
working more efficiently. It also allows the boat to point closer to the wind and
big gains can be made on a long upwind beat by having the draft set to the
correct position.

Be warned though, moving the draft aft makes for a finer entry (less forgiving
sail shape), narrowing the groove and making it more difficult to keep the sails
from stalling.

As you can see, it is always important to consider the abilities of the helm and
sea state before deciding on where to set your draft position on sails.

• Twist

The amount of twist a sail has in it can be defined by how much the upper parts
of the sail fall away to leeward when compared to the lower parts of the sail. Due
to the true wind speed being higher at the top of the rig than the bottom, the
apparent wind angle is slightly further aft at the mast head than it is at the boom.

For this reason, we need to always have a little bit of twist in our sails otherwise
top sections of our sails would be over-sheeted most of the time. The taller the
rig, the more noticeable this effect.

More twist creates a wider groove (more forgiving sail plan) and is better for
getting the boat moving after a tack, or in light winds. More twist also depowers
the upper aft sections of the sail which will reduce the healing force on a boat
and decrease weather helm.

Less twist creates a narrower groove as the sail is more inclined to stall. It will
also increase the healing force on the boat which, in turn, increases weather
helm. Decreasing twist in the leech of the sail does allow for higher pointing
ability, although this height comes at the expense of a little boat speed.

Setting the correct amount of twist on headsails has been covered in Part 2 of
this manual when we discussed using tell tales to set car positions. To assess
the twist on the mainsail, we must look to the leech tell tales on the back of
the mainsail. The leech tell tales show us whether the air is flowing cleanly off
the back of the mainsail or not. If all they are all streaming cleanly aft then we
probably have a little too much twist in the sail for most conditions.

Clipper Race Training - Part 3 115


Remember, a sail is most

efficient just before it’s point
of collapse; a boat will sail
much slower with over-sheeted
sails than it would with
under-sheeted sail.

116 Clipper Race Crew Manual


When sailing upwind, the main trimmer should aim to have the top tell We alter a sail’s angle of attack to the wind by using either its
tale flying around 50% of the time as this gives a nice combination of sheet, or in the case of the mainsail, a combination of sheet and
helm balance, power, groove width, and pointing ability. traveller. Bringing the sail more inboard will increase the angle of
attack, and letting the sail further outboard will decrease it.
A good way to set a nice, average amount of twist in the main is to sail
close hauled with the traveller centred. The mainsheet should then be The easiest way to assess if the sail has the correct angle of attack is
adjusted to get the top tell tale flying about 50 per cent or the time. If to let it out until the luff just starts to ripple and collapse, we then sheet
all the tell tales are flying then the main should be tensioned to reduce on or move the traveller up until the luff section of the sail just fills.
the twist and get the top one curling around to leeward of the leech
about half the time. Remember, a sail is most efficient just before it’s point of
collapse; a boat will sail much slower with over-sheeted
If the top tell tale is never streaming, the main should be eased to
sails than it would with under-sheeted sail.
increase the twist as the top of the sail is stalling. Once the top tell tale
is flying at least half the time, the correct amount of twist has been set
Sail shape rules of thumb defined by gears
and the traveller should be used to change the position of the boom
on a car
relative to the centreline.
One way to simplify how to decide on a good sail shape for the
Generally speaking, more twist creates a more forgiving sail plan conditions is to imagine sail shape selection in
that is good at getting the boat going again after she is slowed by a the same light as you would gear selection in a car.
large wave or error on the helm. For this reason we tend to have more
twisted sails in rough water and tricky helming conditions. 1st Gear/Low ratio:

(Good for strong, unstable winds and rough,

In flat water, where our objective is to point as close to the wind as
short sea states)
possible, very little twist will be employed in a bid to increase VMG to
windward. Low gearing gives lots of power for acceleration after a tack or when
the boat is constantly being knocked about by big waves. It will not give
In very light airs (2-6 knots) it can be very hard to get the boat moving.
ultimate top speed or pointing ability but will allow the boat to quickly
In this situation, we set the sails with lots of twist, to help encourage
regain a good pace after the sails have been shaken about and her
what little wind there is to stay attached to the sail along the whole
forward motion has been hindered by dropping off the top of a wave.
length of the chord, which will create some lift.
To put the boat in low gear we need to:
• Angle of attack
• Create full, deep sails that have a lot of twist and the draft far
In simple terms, the angle of attack of a sail is the angle of the wind forward to give us a wide groove
relative to that sail; how far in or out the sail is.
• We achieve this by: Easing the outhaul, easing the mainsheet
For the sail to work efficiently, this angle between the luff of the sail and vang (depending on point of sail), easing both headsail
and the wind must remain the same on all points of sail. We wish to sheets a little and ensuring the halyards on all sails are
keep the angle of attack of the sail the same as our course, relative sufficiently tight to take the draft position well forward of
to the wind changes. 50 per cent

Clipper Race Training - Part 3 117

2nd Gear/Medium ratio: 3rd Gear/High ratio:
(Good for medium to strong, consistent winds. (Good in medium winds and flat seas)
Works well in more moderate sea states)

Now that the boat is no longer slamming and being knocked wildly High gear gives us maximum pointing ability and speed but at the
off course by waves, we should be able to settle her down into a expense of creating a very narrow groove. When sailing in high gear,
smoother rhythm as the waves have a steadier pattern and longer the helm focus on steering the boat with the upmost of accuracy; if
wavelength. Medium gear increases the top speed by reducing the they get it wrong the sails are likely to stall very quickly. We are now
amount of drag on the sails and it also allows us to point higher too; more concerned about reducing our drag than creating powerful sails.
giving us medium power and medium pointing ability.
To put the boat in high gear we need to:
To put the boat into medium gear we need to: • Flatten the sails right off and have minimum twist. The
draught position can also be moved further aft in both sails
• Flatten the sails and reduce the amount of twist they have.
However, we still want the draft position relatively far forward to • We achieve this by: Tightening the outhaul, tightening both

allow the helm to guide the boat smoothly over the waves headsail and main sheets and easing off slightly on all halyards
to drop the draught further back on the sails
• We achieve this by: Tightening the outhaul, tightening the
mainsheet and vang and bringing the traveller up the track a Trimming devices
little. We also need to sheet on a little with both headsails to Mainsail trimming devices to be found on a Clipper 70:
decrease their twist. We may ease the halyards a small amount
• Mainsheet, traveller and vang
as we want to have a forward draft position, but not as far
forward as for first gear.


 he crew need to work as a team to ensure that boat
speed is maximised at all times. The boat that sails
the least distance, at the maximum speed attainable
for the prevailing conditions, will always win the race.

These three trimming devices work together to determine the angle

of attack and amount of twist a mainsail has.

When sailing upwind, the angle of attack of the mainsail is

controlled by the traveller and the twist in the leech is controlled by
the mainsheet tension.

118 Clipper Race Crew Manual


When sailing upwind the vang should just be brought hand tight as • Staysail/yankee sheet
it plays no part in the active trim of the mainsail until the boat has
The sheet mainly controls the sail’s angle of attack to the wind, but it
borne away past a close reach.
will also have some effect on the twist of the sail. This is due to the
Once the boat bears away from the wind enough, the traveller fact that as you ease the sheet, and the clew moves outboard, and the
will not drop sufficiently to leeward to achieve the correct angle of sheet is no longer pulling down as much as it was when the clew was

attack for the mainsail. At this point, the mainsheet is used to control closer to the sheet car.

angle of attack and the vang must be used to control the amount • Staysail/yankee car position
of twist in the mainsail.
The position of the headsail sheet car on the track has the biggest
This is due to the fact that as the sheet is eased to let the boom out, influence on the amount of twist in your headsails. The further forward
the angle of pull on the mainsheet becomes less vertical and more you move the car, the less twist there will be in the leech of your
lateral. By tensioning the vang before easing out on the mainsheet, the headsail and vice versa.
height of the boom remains fixed and therefore so does the amount of As mentioned in Part 2 of this manual, you can use the tell tales at the
twist in the mainsail. luff of a headsail to assess where your cars should be set to get the
correct amount of twist you desire for the prevailing conditions.
• Outhaul

The outhaul is used to control the chord depth in the lower part of the Upwind performance
mainsail. Easing the outhaul creates a deeper lower section to the sail
Good sail trim is crucial for maintaining optimal upwind performance.
providing more power, but also more drag.
As on all points of sail, the sails will require constant attention and
Tensioning the outhaul flattens the lower part of the sail creating adjustment in order to maintain optimum shape and performance.
less power and less drag. The outhaul can obviously only be used to Very slight changes in wind strength or direction, sea state and even

change the sail shape when there is a full mainsail flying (i.e. no reefs.) helming styles will all require you to tweak the set up of your sail plan.

• Main halyard It is the job of the yankee trimmer to guide the boat upwind. This is
achieved through constant sail trim and clear communication with the
By varying the halyard tension we can move the draft position forwards helm. The two must work together to find the optimum balance between
or aft on the sail. Tightening the halyard moves the draft forwards. speed and pointing in order to attain maximum VMG to your destination.
Loosening the halyard moves the draft aft.
There are several ways in which you need to constantly monitor your

Headsail trimming devices boat’s performance:

• Boat-on-boat comparison if in sight of another Clipper Race yacht

• Staysail/yankee halyard
• Whether you are attaining the target boat speed for the conditions
As with the main halyard, changing the tension in a headsail halyard • Current performance vs. recent performance in the same
moves the draft position forward and aft on the sail. conditions
• The ‘feel’ of the boat

Clipper Race Training - Part 3 119


By continuously assessing as many The boat will tend to pivot around her CLR so the positioning of
the CE of the sail plan, relative to the CLR, is of vital importance
of these factors as you have available to attaining a balanced boat.
to you at the time, the trimmers can
If we set a full mainsail but only a very small amount of
direct adjustments in sail trim and headsail, the CE is likely to be well aft of the CLR. This will have
driving style. The trimmer should be the effect of pushing the stern away from the wind and the bow
toward the wind.
constantly communicating the boat’s
current performance and suggesting To keep the boat going straight, we would need a constant
amount of helm input, steering away from the wind to stop the
ways to improve it. boat turning to windward. This is called ‘weather helm’ and the
more we have, the more the defection of the rudder will slow the
Sail plan set up boat down by causing drag.

Before you can begin to think about sail trim, it is important to If we regularly need to use more than around 8 degrees of rudder
consider your sail plan for the prevailing conditions. The boat will deflection, we know that the sail plan set up could be improved.
be easiest to handle, more comfortable and generally fastest when
she has the correct size sails up in the right combination. We refer If we set a very large headsail and a small amount of main, the
to this as a ‘balanced’ sail plan. CE in the sail plan is likely to be well forward of the CLR. The
bow of the boat will get pulled to leeward and to keep the boat
The aim is to get the combination of sails working together in in a straight line, we would need a constant helm input steering
harmony as one continuous ‘sail plan’. Within any sail plan there toward the wind. This is known as ‘lee helm’ and can be very
is a sweet spot of power, where the majority of drive comes from.
dangerous as the boat is always trying to bear away
This sweet spot is known as the Centre of Effort (CE). and eventually gybe.

The underwater profile of a boat (especially the keel) plays a vital

There are other factors that affect helm balance on the boat
role in stopping the boat drifting sideways when wind fills her but for now, we should aim to have a small amount of weather
sails. This hydrodynamic resistance to slipping sideways also has helm all the time when sailing upwind.
a focal point, normally the top centre point of the keel. This point
is called the Centre of Lateral Resistance (CLR).

120 Clipper Race Crew Manual


Sail selection Boat speed and working with targets

Each headsail has a designed

strength and performance range.
The table below gives the wind
ranges for a Clipper 70 race yacht’s
Sail Maximum recommended
wind strength guide

#1 Yankee 16 knots apparent

#2 Yankee 25 knots apparent

#3 Yankee 34 knots apparent

Staysail 40 knots apparent

Windseeker 8 knots apparent

The key skill when it comes to sail selection is choosing the correct As we have already discussed,
sail when the wind is around the crossover point between two sails.
boat speed is our primary concern
Here, there are two main factors that influence our decision.
on any racing yacht. One of the best
Firstly, the sea state will affect our choice of sail. In big waves and
choppy conditions, we should consider using the larger of the
ways to keep crew focused on boat
choice between two sail. The boat needs plenty of power to punch speed is through the use of target
through the waves and get moving again after she is stopped by boat speeds.
slamming off a steep wave. In flatter conditions, the smaller of
two sails will let you point a bit closer to the wind, thereby
A target boat speed is a performance prediction based on the
increasing your VMG.
true wind speed and wind angle. For every wind speed and angle,
The other big factor in sail selection is to consider the trend of a predicted target boat speed can be calculated. This can be
recent wind conditions. In simple terms, if the wind is increasing done in two ways: either by using a computer model or through
then plump for a smaller sail; conversely, when the trend has shown recording your boat’s actual performance.
a steady decrease then the larger of two sails should be used.
Many boats utilise both of these methods, starting with
predictions from a computer model and updating these figures
to represent their boat’s actual performance.

The main benefit of target boat speeds is that they provide a

constant measure of performance. They also provide a common
goal for the crew, keeping them motivated and working together.
Target boat speeds are excellent for letting you know if you are on
the pace, however if you are not achieving your targets, they do
not tell you what to do about it!

Finally, always remember that the boat’s performance will be

affected by such things as sea state or wind gradient (wind
shear), and sometimes you will need to adjust your targets to
take account of this.

Clipper Race Training - Part 3 121

Introduction to strategy, In ocean racing there are not so many boat-on-boat situations,
due to the fact that the length and duration of the races tends
tactics and racing rules to spread the fleet out more than inshore racing. Therefore,
boat-on-boat tactics are less important, although they will come
Like all sports, yacht racing requires into play at the start and often, in the last 100 miles of each race.

tactics. You cannot head out onto Introduction to start line tactics
the race course without a plan and The start of a yacht race can be one of the most exciting and
expect to win. demanding moments of any race. Getting a good start demands
dexterity, close quarters manoeuvring, impeccable timing and
Tactics, in the broadest sense, incorporate strategy, tactics and boat handling skills but most of all, the ability to stay calm when
the racing rules. The strategy is the overall plan for the race and everything about the situation screams “PANIC!”
is dependent upon the weather, expected changes in the weather,
tides and ocean currents. The aim is to arrive at the selected spot on the line at full speed
with clear air and no interference from other competitors as the
The race rules are the Racing Rules of Sailing (RRS) together with start gun fires. This is no mean feat and achieving this best possible
the Notice of Race and a specific set of sailing instructions for each scenario requires clear communication and excellent teamwork.
race, which the Race Director explains at Crew Briefings during
stopovers, ahead of each individual race start.

Strategy is all about wind and currents. The race strategy The first tactical decision is deciding where on the start line you want
should be in place prior to crossing the start line, and its aim is to to be. This will depend on the set of the line and also your first leg
plan an optimal route, taking advantage of favourable winds and strategy. The set of the line means the angle of the line to the wind.
currents whilst avoiding unfavourable conditions such as areas of Since we normally start to windward it is advantageous to start at
light winds or adverse currents. the end which is furthest upwind. This is known as the favoured end.
As an example of how important this is; when starting at the correct
When preparing for an offshore or ocean race, the prevailing winds and
end of a line which is 5 degrees off from being square to the wind,
currents can often be researched well in advance and an overall strategy
you will gain a 25 per cent distance advantage over a boat that starts
formed. As race start day approaches you will need to look at the long
from the unfavoured end of the line.
range weather forecasts for the area of the race and modify your strategy
to take account of current conditions. For example, when crossing the Another consideration to bear in mind when deciding where on the
Equator you need to identify the point at which the Doldrums is the line to start is your first leg strategy. If the conditions dictate that you
narrowest. Although this can be monitored over time, it is not until race should sail up the right hand side of the course, then you should start
start day that the most up to date information can be obtained. at the right hand end of the line. This will allow you to tack to the right
without being obstructed by other boats. Likewise, if you wish to
Tactics tend to be more spontaneous, short term techniques, used
work the left hand side of the course, start at the left hand end of the
to implement your strategy. Tactics are used to deal with boat-on-
line, although the advantage here is generally less.
boat situations or for trying to control the actions of other boats
so as to make the best use of the rules and enhance our strategic
decisions whenever possible.

122 Clipper Race Crew Manual



Once you have decided where

on the line you want to start,
the challenge is to get to that
point at full speed when the
start gun is fired.

Clipper Race Training - Part 3 123

A practice start is always a good idea to help get your timing and
approach correct. Then, as the start approaches, keep your wits
about you as the Skipper manoeuvres the boat into position and call Clear astern, clear ahead and overlap
for more or less power. On your final start approach (as opposed
to your timed practice runs) there are likely to be other boats trying One boat is ‘clear astern’ of another when her hull and equipment
to get to the same point on the line so there is normally some in normal position (including the bowsprit) are behind a line abeam
aggressive and exciting jockeying for position just before the gun. from the aftermost point of the other boat’s hull and equipment in
normal position. The other boat is ‘clear ahead’. They ‘overlap’ when

Application of rules to ocean racing neither is clear astern.

However, they also overlap when a boat between them overlaps

Ocean racing is primarily governed both. These terms always apply to boats on the same tack. They do
by the Racing Rules of Sailing (RRS) not apply to boats on opposite tacks unless Rule 18 applies or both

which are issued by the International boats are sailing more than 90 degrees from the wind.

Sailing Federation (World Sailing) and

the application of the International B
Regulations for the Prevention of
Collision at Sea (IRPCS). A
The World Sailing RRS are more complex than the IRPCS rules
but are derived from them. IRPCS rules apply AT ALL TIMES
and between all vessels on the high seas, whereas the RRS Boat A is clear ahead of boat B; however boat C is NOT clear
apply only from dawn until dusk (as defined by the times of astern of boat B. Therefore, there is an overlap between boats B
sunrise and sunset for that date and location, which are located and C.
in the Nautical Almanac).

The full RRS are quite complex. You will find the complete rules at: A
Here are some extracts from the RRS which illustrate the basic
principles that you need to be familiar with.

There is an overlap between boats A and B as well as boats B and

C. As boat B is overlapped with both A and C there is also an
overlap between boats A and C.

Keeping clear

One boat keeps clear of another if the other can sail her course
with no need to take avoiding action and, when the boats are
overlapped on the same tack, if the leeward boat can change
course in both directions without immediately making contact
with the windward boat.

124 Clipper Race Crew Manual



Leeward and windward

A boat’s leeward side is the side that is or, when sailed head to In round-the-cans racing it is slightly easier to define, as you can
wind, was away from the wind. However when sailing by the lee see the start and finish of each leg. There is no proper course
or directly downwind, her leeward side is the side on which her before the start. This implies you can luff to your heart’s content
mainsail lies. The other side is her windward side. When two boats before the start gun goes off.
on the same tack overlap, the one on the leeward side of the other
is the leeward boat. The other is the windward boat.
This is not mentioned specifically in the RRS, but is a common term
and practice. You have ‘luffing rights’ when you have the right to
An object that the boat could not pass without changing course steer higher than the proper course to force an overlapping yacht
substantially, if she were sailing directly toward it and one of her to windward of you to keep clear. The permutations of under what
hull lengths from it. An object that can be safely passed on only circumstances you may obtain luffing rights over another competitor
one side and an area so designated by the Sailing Instructions are quite complex and lengthy, but the three common scenarios are
(SI’s) are also obstructions. as follows:

However, a boat racing is not an obstruction to other boats unless • You are overtaking on the windward side of the other yacht,
they are required to keep clear of her, give her room or, if rule 22 within two boat lengths of her. In this case, once you overlap
applies, avoid her. A vessel underway, including a boat racing, is the leeward yacht then has the right to sail higher than her
never a continuing obstruction. proper course and luff you.

Proper course • You are being overtaken by a yacht to windward. As soon as

an overlap is established, you may sail higher than your proper
This is the course a yacht would sail to finish as soon as possible course to luff the other yacht.
if no other yachts were present and covered under RRS. In
• If two yachts are overlapped and sailing nearly parallel but
an offshore race this is a moot point as different yachts will
slightly convergent courses, when they get within two boat
undoubtedly have different strategies when it comes to making best
lengths the leeward yacht may luff the windward yacht.
use of the weather and tidal systems.

Clipper Race Training - Part 3 125

Racing rules
Below are some of the key racing 11. On the same tack, overlapped

rules that it is worth getting to know When boats are on the same tack and overlapped, a windward boat

before you start racing. The RRS shall keep clear of a leeward boat.

are revised and published by World 12. On same tack, not overlapped
Sailing every four years. The latest When boats are on the same tack and not overlapped, a boat clear
edition is the World Sailing Racing astern shall keep clear of a boat clear ahead.

Rules of Sailing 2013-2016. These will 13. While tacking

be updated on the 1st January, 2017
After a boat passes head to wind, she shall keep clear of other
and can be found on the Crew Hub. boats until she is on a close hauled course. During that time, Rules
10, 11 and 12 do not apply. If two boats are subject to this rule at
Part 1 – Fundamental rules the same time, the one on the other’s port side or the one astern
shall keep clear.
1. Safety

1.1 Helping those in danger Section B – General limitations

A boat or competitor SHALL give all possible help to ANY person 14. Avoiding contact

or vessel in danger. A boat shall avoid contact with another boat if reasonably possible.
However, a right-of-way boat or one entitled to room or mark room;
Part 2 – When boats meet
• Need not act to avoid contact until it is clear that the other boat
Section A – Right of way
is not keeping clear or giving room or mark-room, and;
A boat has right of way when another boat is required to keep clear • Shall not be penalised under this rule unless there is contact
of her. The general RRS rules for right-of-way are as follows: (There that causes damage or injury.
are limits to the actions of the right-of-way boat explained, in detail,
in the full RRS.) 16. Changing course

16.1 When a right-of-way boat changes course, she shall give

10. On opposite tacks
the other boat room to keep clear.
When boats are on opposite tacks, a port-tack boat shall keep clear
of a starboard-tack boat. Section C – At marks and obstructions
Section C rules do not apply at the starting mark surrounded
by navigable water or at its anchor line from the time boats are
approaching them to start until they have passed them.
When Rule 20 applies, Rules 18 and 19 do not.

126 Clipper Race Crew Manual



(d) If there is reasonable doubt that a boat obtained or broke an

overlap in time, it shall be presumed that she did not.
(e) If a boat obtained an inside overlap from clear astern and, from
the time the overlap began, the outside boat has been unable
to give mark-room, she is not required to give it.

Race Mark

When rule 18 applies

Rule 18 applies between boats when they are required to leave a

mark on the same side and at least one of them is in the zone.
*NB: The RRS dictates the zone to be three boat lengths radius
However, it does not apply:
from the mark, however, Clipper Race SI’s stipulates the zone to be
(a) Between boats on opposite tacks on a beat to windward; five boat lengths.

(b) Between boats on opposite tacks when the proper course

at the mark for one but not both of them is to tack;
(c) Between a boat approaching a mark and one leaving it, or;
(d) If the mark is a continuing obstruction, in which case
Rule 19 applies

18.2 Giving mark-room

(a) When boats are overlapped the outside boat shall give the
inside boat mark-room unless Rule 18.2(b) applies.

(b) If boats are overlapped when the first of them reaches the zone,
Three-length zone
the outside boat at that moment shall thereafter give the inside
boat mark-room. If a boat is clear ahead when she reaches the
zone, the boat clear astern at that moment shall thereafter give
(c) When a boat is required to give mark-room by Rule
18.2(b), she shall continue to do so even if later an overlap
is broken or overlap begins. However, if either boat passes
head to wind, or if the boat entitled to mark-room leaves
the zone, Rule 18.2(b) ceases to apply.


Clipper Race Training - Part 3 127


Protests and redress

i. If the other boat is beyond hailing distance, the protesting boat
60: Right to Protest, Right to Request Redress, or Rule
need not hail but she shall inform the other boat at the first
69 Action
reasonable opportunity;
60.1 A boat may;
ii. If the hull length of the protesting boat is less than six meters,
(a) Protest another boat, but not for an alleged breach of a rule of she need not display a red flag;
Part 2 unless she was involved in or saw the incident; or iii. If the incident results in damage or injury that is obvious to
the boats involved and one of them intends to protest, the
(b) Request redress
requirements of this rule do not apply to her, but she shall
60.2 A Race Committee may; attempt to inform the other boat within the time limit of Rule 61.3.

(a) Protest a boat, but not as a result of information arising for a 62 Redress
request for redress or an invalid protest, or form a report from
an interested party other than the representative of the boat 62.1 A request for redress or a protest committee’s decision to
herself; consider redress shall be based on a claim or possibility
that a boat’s score in a race or series has, through no
(b) Request redress for a boat; or
fault of her own, been made significantly worse by;
(c) Report to the protest committee requesting action under 60.1(a)
(a) An improper action or omission of the Race Committee,
However, when the Race Committee receives a report required protest committee or organising authority, but not by a protest
by rule 43.1(c) or 78.3, it shall protest the boat. committee decision when the boat was party to the hearing;
(b) Injury or physical damage because of the action of a boat that
61 Protest Requirement
was breaking a rule of Part 2 or of a vessel not racing that was
61.1 Informing the protestee required to keep clear;
(a) A boat intending to protest shall inform the other boat at the (c) Giving help (except to herself or her crew) in compliance
first reasonable opportunity. When her protest concerns an with Rule 1.1,or;
incident in the racing area that she is involved in or sees, she (d) A boat against which a penalty has been taken under
shall hail “Protest” and conspicuously display a red flag at the Rule 69.1(b).
first reasonable opportunity for each. She shall display the flag
until she is no longer racing. However;

128 Clipper Race Crew Manual


Racing mindset If you have no idea what the next move is, ask. The important thing
is to understand what the options are and be ready for all of them.

Being a good racing sailor is not Anticipation

simply about technical sailing ability Always be ready for the next move. By anticipating the next move,
although this is important. It is about you will be ready to perform the moment an evolution is called,

having the right mindset. A good which will significantly speed up any manoeuvre.

racing mindset requires the right Detail

attitude. As the saying goes, ‘the devil is in the detail.’ Always pay attention
to the small things and make sure they are correct. Something that
appears small and insignificant will often come back to bite you on
a boat, so keep an eye on the small things and always make sure
they are right. The big things will then tend to look after themselves.

Racing is all about speed. Performing any evolution will slow the
boat down, therefore it is important that everything is done quickly.
It must, however, always be done correctly. It is better to complete
an evolution once, correctly, rather than having to repeat it to
correct for mistakes made first time around. Always try to complete
tasks as quickly as possible, but not so fast that you make mistakes.

Having excellent situational awareness will help you with all of the
above. If you are aware of what the bow crew are doing during an
evolution, it will allow you to anticipate when they are likely to need
you to do something in the pit. The more aware you are of how the
rest of your team is getting on during an evolution, the more primed
and ready you are to help them at a moment’s notice, and so the
Attitude smoother the manoeuvre will run.

• Anticipate – are you ready for the next move?

• Detail – pay attention to the small things
• Speed – if you can do it, do it quickly
• Awareness – be aware of everything that is going
on around you

• Do it right
• Do it fast
• Do it now

If you are new to sailing, it will not always be easy to achieve every
one of these elements. For example, it is difficult to anticipate the
next move until you fully understand all of the sailing manoeuvres.
The important thing is that you are aware that at the same time as
developing your technical sailing ability, you also need to develop
your racing mindset or attitude.

Clipper Race Training - Part 3 129

Race team development
 igh performance team lessons from
missionperformance.com – the learning
and development partner to the race.
Mental preparation for your race:
As crew allocation and Level 4 training approach, your attention
will turn to your personal and team preparations.

Personal preparation:

Research from the 2013-14 race edition indicates that the degree to
which each crew member prepares themselves mentally for the race
will have a large bearing on both the value they add to the team, and
the satisfaction they take from the race.

At a very basic level you could start to identify and

share the following:

1. Your personal values that guide you through life.

2. The expectations that you have of yourself and others.
3. Your fears and anxieties.
4. Your personal objectives and measures of success for the race.

Once you and your crew mates have thought deeply and honestly
about these questions, it would be a useful exercise to share them
with your friends and family as a first step to sharing them at crew
allocation and Level 4 training.

Success on board, however measured, will rely on the quality

of relationships that you have on board.

130 Clipper Race Crew Manual


The model suggests that there are three fundamental components
to a high performance team

High performance teams have (1) Clarity (2)

Culture and (3) Interdependence, or CCITM

1. A Clarity of purpose at the individual and team levels:

• The individuals within the team will be clear on their values,
rules, expectations, and principles that will guide their behavior
and will be comfortable in sharing them.

• Your team has a clear understanding of where they are

going, their common purpose and will understand how their
contributions and roles support the central purpose team.

These will rely on you exercising trust and tolerance. For without 2. A well-developed Culture that defines consistently
them, your success and that of your crew will be limited. how they behave.

Building a high performance team on the race is a two way Culture:

relationship between the crew and the Skipper. You have a
• Your team will have an agreed set of principles and values that
responsibility to yourself, your fellow crew and the Skipper to
will guide individual and team behaviors.
prepare appropriately for the race.
• These principles and values will underpin how you do business
Once you have prepared yourself, you are ready to contribute to as a team and how others experience you.
building your team.
3. Mature independent people who choose to work
Team Preparation:
There are many models to help you and your Skippers to
• It is a conscious choice to work interdependently and it requires
build a high performance team.
greater levels of trust, effort and tolerance to achieve it.

A simple and effective • Individuals will need to make sacrifices and be mentally

model or blueprint prepared and resourceful to achieve it. Each member will
choose a mindset that facilitates greater collaboration and
used on the race is the coordination.
CCI – Clarity, Culture, • As a team you can identify the mission critical aspects of
Interdependence performance to achieve your purpose and know at an individual

model illustrated here. level how your efforts support it.

More detail and support will be given to you as Crew Allocation

approaches. In the meantime, work on your mental game and read
around the subject of building high performance teams.

Clipper Race Training - Part 3 131

Man Overboard (MOB) The Drop

under spinnaker If we plan on being on one gybe for a significant length of time, it is
prudent to have the spinnaker rigged to drop at a moment’s notice.
The standard MOB drill has been covered in Part 1 of the Training Either the lazy sheet or the tack retrieval line should be lead through
Manual, but the basic drill can become more complicated if you the letter box and then through a snatch block on the windward
have the spinnaker up at the time of the incident. A MOB under rail, as described earlier in Part 3 of this Manual. By having the sail
spinnaker leaves the crew with two options; always ready to drop, vital seconds can be saved and the amount
of time spent sailing away from a casualty reduced.
Firstly, you can simply drop the spinnaker, or secondly, you can
ditch the spinnaker. The former of these two options should be As soon as the call of “Man Overboard!” is heard, the helm
done in any drills and, in normal circumstances, is the preferred should aim to sail the boat on a broad reach and make a note of
option as there is less to go wrong. However, in extreme conditions, their heading. The tack line should be released quickly as this will
the latter may be preferable. let the spinnaker fly like a flag from the halyard and the sheet only,
dramatically reducing the speed at which the yacht is sailing away
Remember: from the casualty. Noting the heading sailed directly after a MOB
• All the time the spinnaker is up, the yacht is heading at speed allows the reciprocal heading to be sailed/motored when returning
away from the casualty to the casualty.

• As many extra lines are in use when flying a spinnaker, make The drop should then be executed in the normal way in a swift
doubly sure that there are no lines in the water before starting but controlled fashion. The very last thing anybody wants in this
the engine situation is to trail the spinnaker in the water, so make sure the drop
is clean and not rushed.
• The foreguy may well be on so this will need to be released or
removed as appropriate Remember, there will be fewer crew available for the drop than
normal as not only is one of the team in the water, others may
well be tasked to pointing, communications, MOB equipment
deployment, etc.. The key priority in any MOB situation is to keep
tabs on the casualty’s location.

Ditching the Spinnaker

If the decision has been made to ditch rather than drop the
spinnaker, then the lines must be dumped or cut rapidly in the
following, strict order:

1. Lazy sheet followed by active sheet: Cutting the sheets

allows the sail to fly like a flag from the masthead and bowsprit

2. Tack line: Cutting the tack line allows the sail to lift clear of
the water and stream out more horizontally from the masthead.
At this point the helm can turn back towards the wind, reducing
the chances of running over the spinnaker and reducing the
distance to the casualty

3. Halyard: Once wind is on, or just forward of the beam, the

halyard should be cut allowing the spinnaker to fly away from
the masthead and be clear of the yacht before it hits the water

If order is altered or any of the lines snag, there is a good chance

the yacht will run over the spinnaker which, in turn, will minimise the
chances of even getting back to the casualty at all. It is imperative then
that everyone is prepared and clearly briefed before the first line is cut.

132 Clipper Race Crew Manual


MOB recovery procedure when flying the spinnaker

The casualty should be

Wind direction
recovered in the same way
as a conventional MOB

Prepare to drop spinnaker

as quickly as possible
Once the spinnaker has been
dropped or ditched turn up
wind and return to the casualty

Searching for a Man Overboard

In the event that you lose sight of a casualty in the water you will need to initiate a search.
There are several ways that you can do this and two good examples are described here.

Expanding box search pattern

The expanding box search pattern is
carried out as follows:

• Create datum by deploying the danbuoy and

noting the GPS position
• Head past datum on heading 090o
until the marker is visible only 50 percent
of the time. This is the EDR (Expected Detection Range)
• Continue on course for a total distance of 1 x EDR
• Steer 000o 1 x EDR
• Steer 270o 2 x EDR
• Steer 180o 2 x EDR
• Steer 090o 3 x EDR
• Steer 000o 3 x EDR etc to establish an expanding
‘anticlockwise square spiral’

Clipper Race Training - Part 3 133

Sector search pattern
The sector search pattern is carried out as follows:

• Create datum by deploying the danbuoy and noting the GPS position
• Head past datum on heading 000o until marker is visible only
50 per cent of the time. This is the EDR (Expected Detection Range)
• Continue on course for a total distance of 3 x EDR
• Note distance run or time (this is the pattern leg length)
• Steer 120o for 3 x EDR
• Steer 240o for 6 x EDR
• Steer 000o for 3 x EDR
• Steer 120o for 6 x EDR
• Steer 240o for 3 x EDR
• Steer 000o for 3 x EDR

This returns you to approximate datum and a second circuit can be made with the same headings plus 30o.

Post-recovery care
In an offshore or ocean environment medical assistance could take
some time to arrive so as soon as the casualty has been recovered
they will need medical care. They will very likely be suffering from
shock, hypothermia and any other injuries sustained during the man
overboard. The Skipper, in conjunction with any medically trained
crew on board, will see to this. One of the central bunks should be
prepared with sleeping bags and suitable medical kit whilst recovery
is in progress. Also remember that if a swimmer was deployed during
the rescue they may also be suffering from shock and hypothermia and
may need some attention.

Hydrostatic squeeze
Hydrostatic squeeze is the effect of water pressure on a casualty’s
body, particularly the legs which are suspended in deeper water.
While a casualty is in the water the pressure around their legs squeezes
the blood up into the body core and reduces the blood circulation
in the limbs. This is beneficial as it helps to maintain the body’s core
temperature. When a casualty is recovered from the water this effect
is lost and the effects of hydrostatic squeeze are suddenly removed,
allowing the blood to rapidly flow into the legs which in turn causes a
sudden drop in blood pressure which can result in heart failure.

Hydrostatic squeeze has been suspected as a cause of post-rescue

death in many immersion hypothermia victims. In order to prevent
this, rescuers should attempt to maintain the casualty in a horizontal
position during retrieval from the water and aboard the rescue vehicle.
If rescuers cannot recover the patient horizontally, they should lie the
casualty down as quickly as possible after removal from cold water.

134 Clipper Race Crew Manual


Shout ‘Man Overboard!’


At least one crew to spot

Make all crew aware of the situation
at all times

Press MOB button on GPS

MOB equipment deployed plotter and pass up MOB lifting
hook and strop to crew on deck

Helm immediately heaves to. Check to make sure enough


Crew check for lines and ask crew are on deck and go on
for engines to be started deck if needed

Once hove to, yankee/staysail Start the engine, checking that

halyards to be swiftly eased; gear selection lever is in neutral
dropping the headsails to the deck and no lines in the water

Crew blow the tack of the kite Send a mayday by VHF


by swiftly easing out the tack (confirm with Skipper first) or Sat.
line then move straight into a Comms if applicable
letterbox drop

Once the kite is dropped, helm

to steer into the wind with one Be prepared call out a ranges
crew member easing the foreguy and bearings to the casualty for
as another crew member sheets the helm (Range and bearing
on the mainsail displayed on GPS plotter)

Rescue swimmer in harness Make a note of all

to ready themselves to retrieve communications, actions
man overboard taken in the logbook

Helmsman to position yacht Prepare an area down below to

to retrieve man overboard treat the MOB for any injuries,
at midships drowning, hypothermia etc.

Rescue swimmer lowered to

attach lifting hook to both lifting
beckets of MOB’s life jacket.
MOB and Rescue swimmer then
winched up to deck together

Clipper Race Training - Part 3 135