Runners and 360 degree penalties - SailNet Community

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Old 12-21-2012
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Runners and 360 degree penalties

Hi all,

I'm very new to racing, so please don't mind the very basic question: For a boat with running backstays, how do you handle a 360 or 720 degree penalty? Do you keep both runners taut or both loose or do you charge from port to starboard and back tightening and loosening runners?
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Old 12-21-2012
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Re: Runners and 360 degree penalties

On a fractional rig, you ease both runners, tensioning one set as you get back on the intended tack. The runners serve to tension the forestay, the backstay keeps the mast in place.
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Old 12-21-2012
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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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Old 12-22-2012
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Re: Runners and 360 degree penalties

On a boat I race on we use one guy to put the new backstay on and another to take it off. For a 360 we keep one guy on each side. The alternative is losing the wand. Not very fast. :P
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Old 12-22-2012
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Re: Runners and 360 degree penalties

...or you could avoid breaking a rule, and not have to do turns.
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Old 12-31-2012
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Re: Runners and 360 degree penalties

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Originally Posted by paulk View Post
...or you could avoid breaking a rule, and not have to do turns.
That would be best of all, :-D but as I said I'm very new to sailing and racing.
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Old 01-02-2013
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Re: Runners and 360 degree penalties

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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.

Jeff
OK, so I meant "check stays". Sorry I was not familiar with the terms. These boats are the ancient seabird half-raters with gunter rig and check- stayed mast.
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Old 01-03-2013
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Re: Runners and 360 degree penalties

Another question: Is it possible to tighten both stays for the duration of your penalty so that you don't risk snapping your mast? Admittedly you won't get the best sail shape, but since this is only for the duration of your penalty it shouldn't matter, right?
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Re: Runners and 360 degree penalties

Depends on the mainsail/boom and wind strength. If it's honkin, you need to ease the leeward runner. Otherwise the sail and boom would hit it during the gybe. Breaking battens or wipping out b/c the main is sheeted in too much. Most of these boats (modern ones) have very large main sails.
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Old 01-04-2013
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Re: Runners and 360 degree penalties

Thanks zz4gta. Makes sense at last :-)
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