Yes, that was my post incident conclusion as well. To return to port required a downwind run. I figured the main wasn't absolutely needed and because I was singlehanded and didn't want to fight with it closer to shore, I furled it early.
Because I was essentially using the Genoa as a large chute in a dead run I was able to keep much more canvas in the air than the winds would have actually allowed. What appears to have happened is the furler was over stressed and the huge load on the Genoa elevated the furler drum off the bearings and allowed a washer next to the forestay turnbuckle to bend. That prevented the furler from re-seating and thus turning.
Usually overpowered sails will present themselves with excessive heel to give inattentive sailors a warning (on a monohull
). Since I was in a dead run there was no heel to provide such feedback. Regardless, I should have known I was overpowered in the run when the helm began to become increasingly light. Instead I was too busy enjoying the speed and wasn't paying attention to the boat trying to talk to me.
you need good sailing gloves
Believe it on not but the blisters were THROUGH the gloves!!! It was the twisting motion that caused the blisters.
Think about what would have happened if the genny had knocked you overboard
I was tethered in but if the boat was any bigger I would have been SOL. It took everything I had to get that sail controlled in that wind. I would have eventually turned up in Cuba!
Actually, if I hadn't gotten it partially controlled the first time, I would have been blown ashore with likely catastrophic consequences
Anyway, it was a learning episode I will always remember.