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Dave Barker

The kicker tension you refer to would be a good starting point for sailing close-hauled. In very light airs you might get better results from letting more kicker off and keeping the leech more open to let the air flow across the sail nicely.

Off the wind you can also let the kicker off more, but don’t overdo it – use your telltales to guide you – they should stream straight back off the leech for most of the time.

On a run in stronger winds don’t let the (upper) leech blow forward or you will find that the boat starts to heel to windward, often in the oscillating pattern known as death-roll!