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Looking up the mast

4.   This complex set of wires is what holds up the mast. Going to the top of the mast is the backstay, which is controlled with a powerful set of blocks and tackle. The wire below the backstay is actually a rope. It is the main halyard which is attached to the end of the boom.

The wire below that is the running backstay, which balances the forces on the forestay.

Looking up the mast

The continual concern is that if the runners are not applied properly then the mast is going to fall down (any views?). So far we have not had any problems, although we have not a full standing gybe with the spinnaker up!

Below the running backstay is the checkstay, and you may notice what looks like a piece of string hanging from it. That is in fact a broker piece of elastic.

Inside the checkstays you can see the lazy jacks, which guide the cruising main into position when it is lowered. These are taken off when racing.

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