Originally Posted by svHyLyte
Running off, a spinnaker will tend to oscillate somewhat. An auto pilot will ignor this and steer a relatively steady course. A novice driver will tend to "chase" the spinnaker, aggravating the oscillation and, in short order, leading to a wipe-out. Frankly, leaving the owner and his erstwhile crewlady driving with the spinny up was asking for problems.
Totally agreed. RD and I did try to helm all night, but each time, the owner insisted on taking over, often around 4am - after which would wipe out exactly as you describe.
RD and I both always tried to get the owner to go back to sleep. I guess you had to be there to understand how impossible it was to insist more than we did, or to put our foot down. (We were not allowed feet.)