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What it means to self rescue: You de-rig while in the water, stow your rolled up rig on top of the board (or give it to someone else, and paddle your board back.
Self rescue simple rules:
1- ALWAYS stay with your board. Do not ever under any circumstances leave your board.
2- Only self rescue when you are sure you can reach safety by paddling. If you are in the middle of the Atlantic, keep your rig together with your board, it is more visible and slows drifting.
3- While de-rigging only have one loose piece of gear on your hand at a time. Secure loose items to the board as you de-rig.
Sit on the board with the legs to the side of the rig, (or straddle the board in the case of narrow or shorter boards). Disconnect the rig from the board. From this point on, rule #1 applies!! You cannot catch a loose board in 20 knots of wind. If you fall off the board, immediately grab your board.
Move the rig around so you can reach the outhaul and clew.
Release the outhaul and be sure to place your finger in front of the cleat so the tip of the line does not get stuck on the cleat. If this happens, you will not be able to self rescue!!.
Remove the inhaul and separate the boom from the rig.
Tie the uphaul to the footstrap so the boom is tethered to the board.
Remove the downhaul completely. Use the same trick with the finger on the cleat so the line tip does not jam inside the cleat.
Remove the extension and connect it to the mast foot, so your hands are free.
Remove the sail from the mast. Careful to keep all the pieces together. If a mast has broken, careful with the sharp edges of the mast.
Once the mast is off the sail, hold the mast under your leg, and begin rolling the head of the sail around the battens.
As soon as you give it a few wraps, place the mast pieces inside each other if possible, or both side by side inside the roll you just made.
Roll the sail as tight and neatly as possible, keeping the mast pieces and the battens parallel to each other.
It really helps to spread the legs and keep them extended so the sail is kept as flat as possible while rolling it up.
Tie the boom front to the roll, using the uphaul, then use the outhaul to tie the opposite end
Turn the roll around and tie now the outhaul around the other side of the roll, so the boom is holding it all together
Place the extension inside the roll and use the downhaul to tie the roll securely.
And this is your complete 1 piece package, ready to stow on top of the board and begin the joyful paddle back!!
At this time, unscrew the mast foot from the board and connect it to the mast extension.
Next , maneuver the rig across the board. If you have a short board, lay down on the board and begin shifting the rig lengthwise, gradually getting on top of it. It is important to keep the boom front end facing down, and facing the front of the board, so the boom tubes stabilize the rig package.
It's time to paddle. Do use your arms as deep as possible in the water, rest your head on the rig, and keep a rhythm.
Do practice self rescue with your equipment. You will need it one day.