Lots of factors at work here but it's pretty simple really. If you have sufficient momentum to make it through the tack without backing the jib
then that's great. If you don't, then you might have to leave it backed for a bit to push the bow around. Even your full-keeled HR35 would have been fine if there had been a bit more breeze and you'd be going a little faster. Sometimes with big, heavy boats it's worth bearing off a touch just before the tack in order to build up a bit of speed.
If you're on the helm
and you're worried about not making it through the tack, tell your crew to hold the sheet until you're happy you've made it. You will judge this based on how far through the wind
your bow is and how fast you are going (read: how much steerage you have).
It's unlikely you want to sheet it in on the other tack 'as fast as possible' on this kind of boat. Here, your trimmer should be judging when to sheet in.
My boat is pretty slow to come through the wind and i often use a big 150% genoa
in light airs. A light air tack goes something like this:
- Chuck the helm
- Back the genoa
if necessary to bring the bow through the wind
- Tell the trimmer when to cast off the old sheet
- Trimmer hauls the genoa over to the new side. While they're doing this i'm keeping the bow of the boat about 30 degrees off the wind for as long as i have steerage (this makes the trimmer's life easier).
- bear off until the genoa is drawing well.