Though asymmetric spinnakers date as far back as 1865, credit Australian skiff sailor and designer Julian Bethwaite with the invention of the modern asymmetric, which he tested and developed on his Australian 18 designs during the 1980s. Bethwaite needed a spinnaker with a long luff and flat leech on either gybe. This would enable crews to sail the skiffs tight apparent-wind angles without
The Inside Gybe
The techniques shown in the following photo sequences can be done with three crew—the helmsman and two trimmers—though more is merrier; most J/105s race with five. In the inside gybe, the lazy sheet is led inside the spinnaker luff and forward of the forestay. The alternative is an outside gybe (sheet led outside the sail), which forces the trimmer to haul in more sail.