5 EXPERT TIPS - HOW TO HELM AT NIGHT
Yachting World|November 2020
5 EXPERT TIPS - HOW TO HELM AT NIGHT
HENRY BOMBY has raced a lot of miles through the night. He talks to ANDY RICE about how to keep your boat speed up after dark
ANDY RICE
It’s when you find yourself caught out in 50 knots with the big kite up on a single-handed Figaro yacht as you’re trying to get round Cape Finisterre that you appreciate the time you spent getting some night sailing routines sorted. For Henry Bomby, that big night just off La Coruña was much scarier than anything he encountered in the Southern Ocean during the last Volvo Ocean Race.

He’s also charged across the Atlantic aboard a MOD70 trimaran at speeds in excess of 30 knots. All are very different experiences of nighttime sailing, but there are some golden rules that apply across the board, whether you’re on monohull or multihull, solo, double-handed or fully crewed.

1 MAKE IT LIKE DAY TIME

Sailing at night places a greater demand on your other senses. So you should aim to make the night-time as much like the day as you can: dayglo stripes on the sail and torches to illuminate the telltales and the luff of headsails, for example.

On a fully-crewed boat make sure you’re not impeding other people’s night vision, but if I’m racing solo or double-handed I tend to have a bright light shining permanently on the jib and kite whenever it’s flying.

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November 2020