Watch our pick of the scariest accidental gybes, see how they happened and how crews got back up and sailing again afterwards
1. The Southern Ocean stormer
VO70 MAPFRE buries into a wave at high speed, slows down and when the apparent wind shoots back suddenly they gybe. Then the crew find themselves pinned flat, with a torrent of water roiling down the leeward sidedeck. This is the 2014/5 Volvo Ocean Race and it’s the middle of the Southern Ocean.
Watch how they extricate themselves from this…
2. The man overboard gybe
This one gives us the goosebumps. The boat rounds up suddenly and is laid flat. As it does so, the guy to leeward is washed off the leeward sidedeck into the water – and the boom nearly hits him as it crashes across. Two more crew nearly follow into the water and just manage to stay aboard by clinging to each other.
Watch the quick reactions of several of the crew in throwing the horseshoe lifebuoy and pointing to the man in the water. Well drilled. The guy is recovered. A close shave?
3. The solo snarl up
In this video solo sailor Bernard Stamm, sailing his IMOCA 60 Cheminées Poujoulat, gybes and is laid flat as the mainsail is pinned against the running backstay. With keel canted over and sails to sort out there’s a lot to do on these boats for one person to sort it all out, and all done at such a difficult angle.
Following the race (it was the Vendée Globe 2012/3), we spoke to Bernard Stamm about those moments and he talked us through what he did step by step. The video is below (click on the link below the image), and his explanation is here.
4. The slingshot gybe
Watch the guy standing on the boom to keep it steady get flung overboard as the boat gybes accidentally. A bit of a scary one this – but at least the crew in question was wearing a lifejacket
5. How to dodge the gybe
Lastly, and importantly, how to avoid the accidental gybe. This is advice on why it happens and what to do when it starts to go wrong by sailing coach and shorthanded racer Pip Hare, part of our 12-part Sail Safer, Sail Faster series.