Re: Runners and 360 degree penalties
It very much depends on the design of the boat, and whether these are running back stays or whether they are check stays preventing the mast from buckling. Sailingfool is exactly right on designs where the running backstays are mostly there to tension the headstay. But there have been periods (the spagetti mast with staight spreader era) when the mast can get out of column in without the runners (more technically accurately called check stays) are not in place. On those boats, the person on the runners or check stays need to tend them through the tack and jibes to avoid putting the mast at risk. If that is how your boat is rigged, it becomes a carefully choreographed ballet between the mainsail trimmer and backstay tender to avoid taking out the rig. I really hate when that happens.
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Curmudgeon at Large- and rhinestone in the rough, sailing my Farr 11.6 on the Chesapeake Bay and part-time purveyor of marine supplies