5 top tips: How to gybe in strong winds

Published on August 1st, 2023

Gybing a powerful offshore boat like a VO70 in big breeze is a fraught manoeuvre; team boss and former Olympian Konrad Lipski shares tips on how to gybe in strong winds and reducing the risk with Andy Rice for Yachting World:

Gybing any boat in strong wind can be loaded with jeopardy but it’s particularly risky on a powerful boat like a VO70. The boat that was originally constructed for US skipper Ken Read’s Puma campaign in the Volvo Ocean Race, Mar Mostro is now enjoying a fulfilling second life as I Love Poland, a low-budget but well-run campaign on the offshore racing circuit.

Lipski says they’re keen to avoid a second mast breakage (Mar Mostro dismasted 2,000 miles from Cape Town in 2011), which is why the team runs such tight procedures on high risk maneuvers like a heavy-air gybe. The rig set up on the VO70 demands slick crew routines.

“I spoke to the guys on the Figaro circuit about how they’re gybing single-handed in the middle of the night, and they don’t care about the runners because the spreaders are angled backwards enough to support the mast through the whole manoeuvre,” explains Lipski. “But on the VO70 we have zero degrees of spreader deflection so zero support from the back of the boat. We’re purely reliant on the runners and mainsheet tension.” – Full report

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