The Mexican spinnaker drop
Tom’s Tips – Spinnaker tip one.
Probably the best way of getting asymmetric spinnaker off in a hurry, you could call it a gybe drop.
Conventional Wisdom is to send someone to leeward bear off dead down wind and blow the tack line. There are some improvement you can make to this method fit a Martin Breaker (Syncro has one) and letterbox the kite through the boom-main gap. We’ll talk about those another time. You’ll probably end up with having to repack the kite each time. Or risk losing control.
The alternative is the Mexican. No that’s not racist. This is especially effective if there’s a gybe at the bottom mark.
- · Aim upwind of the mark a few boat lengths – you’re looking to Gybe early not “on the mark”
- · Get the Jib up if you dropped it. Outhaul on etc.
- · When you’re able to gybe for the mark do so – don’t wait too long you want to be nice and deep on the other Gybe
- · Leave the spinnaker sheeted on and Gybe.
- · Keep the spinnaker on the wrong side.
- The Kite will now be happily pinned against the jib,
- · reach up, grab the foot
- · blow the tack line
- · close the foot (always pull the bottom edge of the kite in first)
- · drop the halyard.
Whilst this is going on the Kite will mostly be draped on the Jib, the crew will be on the windward side as opposed to the conventional drop where they’ll be to leeward. Likewise instead of the kite and the heel throwing crew into the sea it will throw them into the jib. Faster and Safer!
Aim a few boat lengths UPWIND of the Gybe mark.
Gybe Leaving the old sheet on
Grab the foot
Blow the Tack line
Close the foot (bull the bottom edge in first)
Blow the halyard and pull sail down
(note the way I already started the turn to windward)
“tidying up” while going up wind – with crew to windward.
The Dirty Mexican™
Ok so ShawThing may have invented this term and it probably is racist…(Please accept my apologies)
This a variation of the Mexican. For when you don’t need to Gybe. Hoist Jib Outhaul on etc:
- · Head a little upwind of the leeward mark – your going to need to run deep for this one
- · Bear right off to DEAD downwind
- · Pull the windward spinnaker sheet round the Windward side the jib till you can reach the foot
- · Carry on as you would part two of the Mexican.
This has the same advantages as the Mexican crew weight etc. With the added bonus that if you on a two lap race and you only did one Gybe you kit will be on the correct side for the next lap.
Or you can do it the old fashioned way….