When something goes wrong on the foredeck, the natural instinct of most fore-and-aft sailors is to luff up head to wind. This often does us no favours. It puts strain on the forestay as everything comes on the shake, and it increases the apparent wind. If the boat can be run off instead, the headsail – be it a genoa whose roller gear is playing up, or a cruising chute gone temporarily mad – will be sheltered in the wind shadow of the mainsail. This collapses it and leaves it docile. There’s no stressful clattering about and the apparent wind drops magically as well, so there’s less chance of general damage.