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How to De-Rig Your Windsurfing Gear While On the Open Water

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 Sometimes you will get into a spot of trouble and you will need to rescue yourself. You can do this by packing your gear, getting on your board and then paddling back to shore. When faced with such a situation, follow the step by step instructions presented below and you should be just fine:

1. Take the time and assess the situation: what it the best course of action to follow? If de-rigging is necessary, then proceed to step two. Keep in mind that once you have made a decision, you must follow it through – there is no room for hesitation.

2. Sit with a leg on each side of the center of the board as this is a stable working position.

3. Unplug the mast foot.

4. If the sail has battens, remove them. Make sure you remove all of them and them place then in the  luff tube.

5. Release the downhaul line.

6. Untie the outhaul. Take the clew and fling it towards the mast.

7. Take the sail and tightly roll it towards the mast. Use the outhaul line and secure the top roll. Use the uphaul line and secure the bottom roll.

8. Once it is folded, place the rig on the board. Make sure the mast is pointing towards the front of the board.

9. Place yourself on top of the mast and from that lie down position paddle towards the shore.

Note that another windsurfer can tow you towards safety. As a rule of thumb you should resort to this course of action only if the other windsurfer is skilled enough to safely tow you back to shore.