Originally Posted by paradix
Experienced heavy weather
sailors out there, any thoughts on how she might have prevented so many knockdowns? Would trailing a drogue
have helped (assuming she could have safely got one out there, of course)? How is Abby Sunderland's Open 40 likely to behave if she meets a similar storm?
In my experience with knockdowns, I doubt that trailing a drogue would have been of any help. The knockdowns appeared to be caused by a lateral gust of wind
just as I topped a twenty foot swell.
Not being able to reduce any more sail area in the conditions I was in, I disengaged the autopilot
and hand steered. When I felt a gust of wind
on my cheek, I'd steer a little up into the wind to meet the gust as I came up over the wave and then ease off as I came down the otherside of the wave.
It was exhausting but survivable.
Leason learned: reef early and reef deep.
Others may have had different experiences