The first hoist needs to be in light winds. It is easier to hoist the spinnaker with the jib set
– this avoids the spinnaker wrapping round the forestay before it’s trimmed. Secure the bag on the foredeck on the leeward side by the rail at the foot of the jib. Attach the sheet and guy to the sail. Double check that the sheet and guy are over and not through the guardrails – every racing skipper will have had this problem at least once. The guy goes round the front of the forestay. Hoist the heel of the pole on the mast to about head height. The outer end of the pole should be on the windward side of the forestay.
Put the guy through the jaw of the pole. Attach the halyard to the head of the sail; this is quite tricky as it has to pass outside the jib. Hoist the outer end of the pole with the uphaul until it is horizontal. Have a little slack on the downhaul but secure it or it will lift up too far when the spinnaker fills
Using the guy, pull the corner of the spinnaker out of the bag. This is known as sneaking the guy. Hold on to or, if short crewed, secure the sheet and guy so they don’t run when they come under tension.
Right, now for the big moment. Steer downwind to keep the spinnaker blanketed by the mainsail and pull the spinnaker halyard handover-hand as fast as possible. You might have to winch the last metre or so to get it to the top.
Winch in the guy, which will pull the pole back, and slowly steer up from a run to a broad reach. Sheet in the spinnaker and drop or roll up the jib. Wow! It fills and the boat’s speed jumps up.
Before you hoist, prepare the spinnaker on what will be the leeward side