Catamaran technique - part 2

In the second installment of our new series Hugh Styles gives his views on rapid deployment chute systems
Click here to read part one of our catamaran technique series (Mitch Booth on upwind technique) One of the most exciting things in the cat world is how the Olympic Tornado has pushed development in gennaker hoist and retrieval systems. In fact we've probably seen more development in high-level cat sailing in the last two years than we've seen in the previous 15, and that's down to the Tornado Sport. Of those developments, the method of gennaker hoisting and retrieval is one of the most interesting and significant. When the Tornado Sport came on the scene three years ago, sailors were using bags on the trampoline to stow their gennakers. Now everyone in the Olympic fleet is using a form of chute arrangement, more akin to a 49er spinnaker chute system. It has made a huge difference in our ability to race catamarans around the cans rapidly. There were concerns initially that a cat would pitch more because of the added weight further forwards of carrying the kite slung underneath the pole, plus you'd have all this extra structure, as opposed to a bag that is quite light and out of the wind on the trampoline. But all those potential disadvantages were far outweighed by the chute's ease of handling. The chute system allows you to hoist the kite sailing a hotter angle away from the windward mark, and you can approach the leeward mark at virtually any angle. You can't do that with a bag. Hoists Sailing past the windward mark in 17 knots of breeze, for example, I would say the difference between chute and bag could be as much as five boatlengths. With the bag, you have to bear away very deep before you can hoist the kite safely in the windshadow of the main, otherwise it will blow out to