I'm hopefully going out today with the 17, winds 10-15 knt's, I'll be definitely testing the re-launch so I'll let you know.
NO, I don't use the by-pass leash on the recon, at this stage I'm always hooked in to the chicken loop.
I would'nt worry about it, the by-pass is only there for when you do unhooked moves ie: handle passess.
If you're learning, but especially with the recon, hook yourself into the chicken loop, as that's your leash.
Not only that, you can then depower the kite with the bar by sheeting in and out. If you not hooked in you are powered up all the time, plus when learning you'll have a tendancy to let go of the bar, you'll then spend alot of time resetting the recon and having to re-launch from land etc.
But most importantly, you need to be hooked in to use the re-launch system.
If you go with the Cabrinha recon, 1 tip, I use a second pin to securely lock in the chicken loop to my harness.
The Cabrinha pin looks a bit too flexible and as this is your leash, if it comes out - by, by kite!!
I run a extra safety pin from my harness back through the spreader bar.
If you haven't already go to the Cabrinha website;
they have a instructional video you can download and pictures of the recon system.
Will let you know how I go with the 17.