The Lost Art of the Spinnaker Roll

The trusty spinnaker packing technique gets your symmetric spinnaker up and flying.

At the 2014 and 2015 Nantucket Race Week Celebrity Pro-Am, sailed in IODs, my teammate, Hank Stuart, kept our spinnaker sets old school with his favorite packing technique he calls, “The Soling Roll.” Back in the day, this is how they got the kite up without having to drag clew out and around the shrouds.

Essentially, you're balling the thing up, tossing it airborne, and pulling out the corners to fill it. Most spinnaker twists start at the head, from reversed flow off the back of the mainsail before it fills. That doesn't happen with this technique.

Stuart says they used to use a strop with snap sewn onto the Soling spinnaker to keep it closed, so for the IOD spinnaker we had to rely on a nice tight roll to prevent it from coming undone. This technique worked incredible on the IOD, as well, and we had the best sets of the fleet. The roll can be done before the first set of the day and between races. Give it a try…what’s old is new!