Assuming "non-flying" means no spinnaker, then you had the pole on a winged-out 150 genny, which then filled forward of the headstay because your capt left the pole up too long, and started to round up to windward as soon as it was released. Result is a big jib that's filling wrong-side-out in front of the headstay rather than vice-versa.
Not much you as crew could've done. If you had a sheet lead forward of the headstay, then maybe skipper's advice would've worked, but I'll wager you didn't. So it's very hard to pull that sail back against itself so as to get it to fill on the "correct" side.
You were fighting the wind, and the wind was stronger. Colored sheets may help in general, but not here.
If I've misunderstood the situation factually, then I recant.
That sounds pretty accurate. Of course the captain blamed us (there were two of us on the foredeck BOTH fighting the pole) first, but later admitted that there was also "something that he could have done" but didn't elaborate. I suspected that he steered around the mark much too quickly for us to do our work. I would think that even in these winds you could sail an angle of approach that would keep the jenny filled for at least a few seconds to give us time to manhandle the sheet over.
We didn't have a sheet lead around the headstay but that is one of the things we attempted to do. Didn't work as we couldn't make sense of the macrame (thanks SD).
Truely colored sheets would have only helped to make a really really bad situation just really bad and many other things would have avoided the whole situation all together. I just thought I'd mention the sheets because it's an easy thing to do next time you're buying sheets.
Yes it's a good thing that nobody got hurt. In addition to seeing the huge snafu, tensioned sheets were everywhere, the pole was under tremendous force AND my watch (which I am very partial to) decided to unlatch itself and try and fall overboard.
It definitely resembled a fire drill in an oriental developing country more than a rounding.