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Clipper

2014 SSANZ SAS Series Evolution 100

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The Entertainer report

 

It was a real race of two halves for us.

 

We were one of the tools that missed the course change and happily sailed off to Tiri... Glad we weren't the only ones though! Lesson learned and move on as we knew it was a long race. Hard mentally to try and play catch-up two sail reaching looking at your competition using extras km's to windward but we kept our nerve and had made up a bit of ground. We got to put up our fractional genny about 2/3rds of the way from tiri to LB and started to pass a few boats.

 

Wind built nicely and had us cranking into the high teens at times getting close to the mark. We chickened out from trying to hold the fractional past the lee shore as it was pretty tight and some forecasts had it building to over 30. Well done for Wild Oats holding their nerve and chasing us down; you must've seen some good numbers Oats?

 

Chose to put the fractional spin up for the run down barrier, which was fun in the waves, so that we could change down to the #3 headsail. Our gybe to to a major clusterf*#k with the spin wrapped around the forestay which took us a little time to sort out.

 

We were a bit exhausted and shaken after that mess and quickly (a bit prematurely) tucked a reef in for what we thought would be a real slog home. Time for settling down and assessing the evolution of Colin's B&E pie which with the addition of a touch of curry powder was a triumph. We didn't have quite enough power into the waves so shook the reef out quite soon after. Spent quite a bit of time trying to get a fast mode going to keep the boat going in the waves which paid off as we were keeping up with Namu relatively well but losing a bit of height. We saw Motorboat off in the distance with probably 40mins on us but knew they gave us a bit on H'cap so were determined to reel them in.

 

We tacked out from Kawau to keep our fast-mode going as trying to pinch to get round just choked the boat up everytime.

 

Closer to Whangaparoa the wind dropped and went south so we changed to the #1 and had what looked like an SR come belting up to us out of the dark and do the same headsail change (T-Rex?). We got some nice shifts closer in to the headland and snuck round and out of the tide as soon as we could. Dolphins were a constant companion from Kawau, I reckon the way our runners were humming in the wind kept them curious.

 

Carried on about 1/2 way to The Shore then tacked back to get the most from the changing tide over in the channel.

 

Coming in to the finish we were astonished to hear Motorboat (well done on the gun boys) calling in just ahead of us so our spirits jumped, we'd clawed back a huge amount to finish just under 5mins behind. As it turned out the star on PHRF was T-rex finishing over 20mins ahead of us on corrected, great effort guys. Rocky obviously had a good one as well in 3rd.

 

Bloody buggered at the end and enjoyed a beer on the trip back to dock. Thanks SSANZ for a great comp.

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Well done for Wild Oats holding their nerve and chasing us down; you must've seen some good numbers Oats?

 

And for the benefit of PC......

 

Thats another story, arrived at the boat to find batteries flat even though the charger had been on overnight, grabbed the car battery and jumper leads. Motor is driving me nuts..... eventually ran but because I had no idea how much we had drained the battery and how long the race would take, we ran no instruments to keep what we could in reserve for nav lights and radio. As it turned out even the boat batteries ran the LED nav lights and vhf fine.

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Quite a tough Race with heaps happening on Rocky.

We got quite a good start dipping behind Wild Oates at the pin end but took a while to get clear air, all very close all the way out through Motuihe with the usual suspects on the Rattle close by, Gaucho and Squid Viscous closer inshore, we decided to keep high in the hope of getting a kite run as the wind shifted, we snuck just inside the noises with the Rattle going outside.

We were making some little gains whilst 2 sail reaching but as soon as they put their gennaker up they started to smoke us.

Went for our pretend gennaker (flat cut kite) but probably just lost ground as we couldn't stay high enough to lay the Island so had to drop it again and head back up, the sheet decided to come un-clipped during the drop which made things interesting.

As we closed Little Barrier the wind went further south so we went to the small fractional Kite and were laying the Island nicely, as we watched faster coyote fly past under masthead gennaker we could see the wind building behind and most of the boats dropping the big gear, with no run off room we decided to do the same. There were some spectacular wipe outs from those that opted to hang on.

We 2 sailed around the corner and got the Kite ready to hoist but as we were already seeing 13's on the dial decided to keep 2 sailing and stay in close round the back, (after watching Mercenary Flying along under gennaker and then wipe out a few times I think 2 sailing was the better bet in the long run).

We keep in close around the back getting some nice lifts which set us up well for the slog back, Mercenary slowly closed in after the Island and passed us, she was just a notch higher and a notch faster we tried everything but just couldn't match her in the waves and she sailed off into the night.

We stayed high of Kauwau with some big waves and bangs for the next few hours.

Things got more pleasant near the peninsula as we went in close-ish and put a tack in caught up to some more boats in the light wind then changed to the 1 in the Tiri channel.

Crossed tacks a few times with a boat (which turned out to be Cool Change), they had a little boat speed on us so we tacked away and put a long board way over close to Motutapu, was a little nervous as we were the only ones over there but made some huge gains, we kept getting lifted along the Rangi shore and ended up cracked sheets all the way to Rangi Light.

Then a very pleasant late night sail into the finish.

 

Interesting series (not quite the weather we were expecting but it never is).

Certainly a different experience with such a rough slog uphill in a little boat, (was thinking about a for sale sign for a while). But the rest of the night made up for it.

Am even more impressed with the little SR's ability even 20 knots upwind in big waves.

Well done again to the Motorboat taking line and to T-Rex for taking it out on PHRF.

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Frustrating day. Terrible course choice.

 

I strongly disagree, Upwind start with tacking, then a reach, a run, a gybe, a run, a reach and a beat with some tacking. That's pretty much a sail boat race if you ask me.

 

Thank you SSANZ, Safety at Sea, NZ Rigging, Evolution Sails, Baltic. For another epic edition of this awesome series, we'll be back next year.

 

Team Borderline Sailing

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Upwind start with tacking, then a reach, a run, a gybe, a run, a reach and a beat with some tacking.

 

I strongly disagree ;-)

 

Aside from the fist few miles,and the last few, it was a reach and a lay. just look at the tracks?

 

84 miles - how many tacks did you do? How many gybes? What tactical options did you think about?

 

For the smaller/slower boats, they had more of a beat home with some options, so it possibly made for a more interesting race. For the faster boats, not so much.

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Clipper.

 

After Stealth leeward chicken rolled us while we we're stuck in a rain shower things got interesting, we followed him around the island and took the very risky inside route in the lee of Little Barrier, it paid off!! after a very nervous couple of mins and we rolled out from under the island with Stealth right beside us 200m to leeward. I would say that was tactical, as was the tacking up the shore.

 

Unlike Freedom neither Stealth or ourselves managed to lay Whanagaparaoa, we also had to tack up the Rangie channel, we hit the beach at Milford at tacked all the way up the bays to stay out of the horrible out going tide.

 

Do you think that you were sailing a bit too tight with your gennaker loading the halyard up? was this not a tactical decision?

 

Are you really claiming that it was a bad call on the organizers side, because as I see it you had some gear breakage which in turn slowed your progress to the point that the breeze was lighting off further hampering your progress? If my memory serves the 60 had a very large amount of reaching with possibly fewer tactical options, however I don't believe you had a go at the race committee about that course. I wonder what was your result like in that one? didn't you win that one on handicap?

 

For the record I really dislike people bagging the volunteers in our or any sport, they give up their time and watch others doing what they would probably much rather be doing themselves. Yes some decisions are not perfect for you, but they may have been perfect for others, it's impossible to please everyone all the time. If you have an issue, how about instead of bagging them publicly send an email to the committee raising your concerns. Better yet get on the committee and do something about it,

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This was our first series on board Substance and we loved every bit of it. We found the triple series to be very well run, well thought out and challenging at times.

 

Congrats and a big thank you to all the race organisers and volunteers, you did a fantastic job. Thank you also to the race sponsors, I am sure that without you there would be no race.

 

We had a really good last race with all points of sail covered in all conditions and some great competition between ourselves and Rafferty Rules with the lead changing several times over the course. Congrats to them for getting us on line by 3 minutes in the end, nice one Phil.

 

Already looking forward to next years event, where do I sign up?!!!

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