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2013 SSANZ ATL B&G Simrad Series


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Simrad report for Wild Oats

 

Got a great start despite SC's pics which show us buried. Clean air and sufficiently leeward of the boats likely to roll us which they did. Shrek's, Prawn and Pepe powered past us by Rangi Light but the rest were stretched out astern. After the last race when we were too chicken to haul the masthead chute, ruining our race, this time we had no hesitation and by the Aha's we only had those 3 plus No Worries and Motorboat plus one S34 that started 5 minutes earlier in front. Across to Waiheke we failed to take height when available and were forced to tack to clear Matiatia. Lost a place to Grunt Machine who was showing better pace in the gusts thanks to what looked like a smaller blade. The run down to Rocky Bay was fun with 3/4 gennaker flown in anger for the first time. We started laying Motuhie like everyone in front of us had but half way to Park Point it swung west which pretty much put paid to any hope of catching boats in front of us and even more terminal for those behind us. As the wind built we struggled but held our division position although lost out to several S34's and a couple of Y88's. In the end we were delighted with how we did. First race was great. 100 miler best forgotten but at least we learnt a lesson that helped us in the 50.

 

Thanks again SSANZ

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Rafferty rules simrad 50 -not

apart from watching etnz kick or's ass this morning I have just had the worlds most CRAP weekend.

So after losing mast in last simrad, followed by successful protest and redress yay! I manage to contract the worst case of tonsillitis on wednesday. feel like crap, feverous and weak as a kitten, get on antibiotics by Thursday morning. hopefully will come right for the weekend. nup. friday sweating like a rapist and weak as a kitten. its ok because my wife is a great sailor and she can do the simrad with my crew. right until I back the outboard into a f$%king picnic table at GH and break the outboard bracket on Friday night.

game over!

I mean who the F$%k puts picnic tables next to the ramp anyway, is it a boat ramp or a campground.

:( :(

 

Oh well, there's always next year!

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Simrad 50 on Provincial Cowboy

 

First sail on the new boat, the Ross 40 is a bit of a step up from the Y88 we have been sailing in the first 2 races. Quick chat during the week to Cameron Thorpe at SSANZ has everything in order and we're all go.

 

We decided to do the restricted Short haul (contingent on a friendly weather forecast) - a good decision because as things turned out as it really was the First Sail for us in the boat.

 

Bit of a mad week prepping the boat for safety gear etc but having done the first two races plus last year we have a good race day routine now. Forecast good so all systems go and we motor down the river on Saturday morning. Shorthaul cruising division on a Ross 40 - nice. Also a good chance to watch the Y88 action - 3 boats in the hunt there.

 

It's one wonder after another as the sails, sheets etc come out on deck and we sort ourselves out. Pre start hoist the 'cruising' main (loving the lazy jacks!), whoops a couple of sticky back repairs required so drop main, sort and hoist (still loving those lazy jacks).

 

Decision required on headsail. Bit of wind pressure pre-start plus a few folks telling us how easily driven the boats are as soon as the breeze hits 10-12 knots = number 2 headsail -which is a glamour.

 

Still working out where everything goes and we are not quite on to things in the pre start but aim for the windward end and sheet on.

 

A boat length or four back from the start, not our best of the series by any means and even though we have some pace on we are quickly buried under O'Sinnerman which gets wound up for the tight reach to Rangi light. Also Notorius to leeward who we would see quite a lot of.

 

Cruise Control bolts away from the leeward end of the line and we lose a bit on the other longer boats - Moody Blue and Notorious. It's soon clear that waterline length is the key here!

 

Round Rangi light, bear away and pole out the jib - hmmm the number one would be nice on the run down to the Noises but we are cruising after all - instead of changing we have a coffee instead! We slip along with a good view of the Y88 battle just ahead. Slide past Notorious as she takes the outside track. So nice and relaxing without that constant trimming!

 

Round the Noises and Ahaaha Rocks - playing tourist as we haven't been out there in daylight before - followed Moody Blue's track to be safe. Quick chat to Mike and Rebecca on War Machine as they do a tidy drop next to us.

 

Then it's uphill for the first time in a bit of pressure and we are trying to figure out how to sort the rig out - wee bit overpowered but no drama and we wind everything up and in to slowly get the rig looking a bit better.

 

Over the top of Skitzo (sorry guys, the bear away wasn't a good option at that stage!) and underneath Slipstream who are both steaming along under full sail.

 

Notorious chugs through underneath us and we swap tacks nearing Matiatia before they roll over us on the tight reach down to Park Point.

 

I think we also saw Result somewhere around here, which I remember well as a local boat in Waikawa Bay near Picton for many years.

 

Round the Point and we bear away near Phil on Wild Oats, Tickled Pink Y88 and another R930. Nice broad reach down to Rocky Bay Buoy and we slowly roll over the top of Notorious as they are bare headed for a bit while they change down. Up ahead we can see Cruise Control seems to have a momentary problem tacking around - before steaming back up past us. Akatea is long gone.

 

On the beat back to Motuihe we sail back up the Waiheke Shore while Notorious heads across towards Beachlands fora bit. It's flat water and the breeze is nice - the boat feels good. When we come back closer together with Notorious we have made quite a gain and we are going quite nicely. We plan to work the Motuihe shore and complete a tack when there is a bang and the clew patch pulls out of the main. Bugger.

 

So sails down and start the motor to head for home. It's dead low tide so no point in heading to HMB up the Tamaki River for 90 minutes or so - instead we motor slowly upwind to Orakei Wharf and watch the action around us. Take a few photos and then head for the river.

 

Despite the torn main, we had a great day, the race was a good way to check all the systems on the boat and put it through its paces - without the stress of kites. Found a few things to fix and learned heaps about the boat so all good!

 

Thanks SSANZ, another great series and we'll be back next year, in the Longhaul.

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General report from The Entertainer:

 

Colin and I have had an absolute blast in this series. Our starts were all good and downwind we had fair to good pace given the tools that we were working with :oops: . Our crew work was generally good apart from me trying to knock Colin off in the gybe at Motouora and then me dropping the fractional genny in the piss at rocky bay in the last one ripping the carbon fitting off the prod - doh!

 

The real struggle we had was the upwinds. We found it hard to get much power out of The Old Girl with her bog stock 930 keel and being in the sport boat division we just got caned upwind (even though the two of us are not little stickmen). Colin would settle us down every time I'd crack the sh*ts about our upwind pace. I'd get us a feed (mmm cold pizza) and we'd get on with our work. Getting reefs in and out shorthanded is less fun than I'd like eh Col??

 

Sail and keel envy is a horrible thing :wink: So we'll address one issue at a time unless lotto decides to help

 

After giving Phil stick about not using the big kite in the 100 I chickened out on the masthead at Rangi light which cost us a bit. I was sure the breeze was building...

 

All up we we're very pleased at our performances and on H'cap overall we were probably about 4th I think. I reckon Prawn must've just pipped us.

 

Great series and we'll be back next time guns blazing

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Simrad Series 2013 Flash Gordon Skippers: Stu Molloy

Simrad 60

 

First race of the series and we are keen to get away on the right foot, bit of nervous and bit of unfamiliarity with the boat and we find ourselves late to the party. End up being shut out at the boat end and do a nice lap around the committee boat and end up 2-3 to last off the line, good thing it’s a long way to go. Ended up 2 sailing along below everyone and started making progress through the fleet and by Motuihe we are tight reaching with spinnaker up and neck and neck with brix for the lead with the rest of the fleet in hot pursuit.

Next move? Decided to head towards Waiheke shore, wind died out and we all spent the next few hours wriggling our way along the shore looking for breeze and keeping the boat moving and trying to stay ahead of the pack. Later in the afternoon the breeze slowly starts filling in from behind so by the time we get down to Orapui Bay the fleet is all back together covering about 300m from first to last.

Coming through the channel at the bottom end we are to weather with Heaven and Hell a couple of hundred metres to lewd but they manage to carry the breeze through and get a bit of a jump on us through here. We ended up going a bit too high and having to gybe out, could have been much worse though, as we passed wild oats returning to pick up the #3 that fell over the side and slowly disappearing under the waves.

Next is the tight reach across hooks Bay to the turn for home, bit of a lottery through here but Heaven and Hell do nice work to keep their lead and put a bit of an extension on us, now for the beat back to Rakino, Stu and I try a few different things trying to find the right gears for on the wind, we start to feel good about the speed but lose sight of heaven and hell in the dark so hoping for the best.

Pretty uneventfully beat up to Rakino/Motutapu and round the corner for the lighthouse decided to make the call to play the inside shore of Rangi which turns out to not be the right decision with the incoming tide. Through to the finish and heaven and Hell are in for the win, 10 mins later we are through for 2nd and coming up quickly slipstream for 3rd.

Lots of lessons learned which would be invaluable for the races to come………

 

Simrad 100

Interesting looking forecast with plenty of wind the prediction so inside course is the call from the race committee. Once again we line up in light wind, have a bit of a practise start with skitzo lucky for us one of the guys on the 1020 we are beside politely remind us that we still have a bit of time to kill, Thanks guys. First start looked good so call is to do the repeat for the real one.

Get off the line with skitzo to lewd and ahead and the rest of the fleet up to weather on our hip, glad to be away in clear air and cleanly, lesson 1 from last race. Head off towards Motuihe channel and put the kite up for the tight reach out the channel and down towards Rakino. Play the traffic reasonable smart through here clearing our air when we can and put a little extension on the chasing pack behind.

 

After clearing through Rakino we make the call to play the right hand side on the way to Tiri hoping the breeze will fill more out to the right, have a nice run down with skitzo making some inroad on the way down but we gybe a bit closer to tiri to get the wind acceleration down the side of the island and extend the lead back out to where we were. Tiri to Motuora, skitzo make some nice in roads again and we round side by side. Nice work across the back of the island allows the skitzo boys to make a nice jump when we pop out the other side for reach to flat rock.

Lesson number 2 if you think you should change and talk about doing it on the run, follow through and do it, we didn’t and it came back to bite us in the ass after rounding flat rock in the building pressure. Rounding a few boat lengths behind skitzo we thought we would head out and see what they do, they tacked early and headed back in towards Tiri we decided to carry on which wasn’t the smartest move on our part. As we got further offshore the sea state got lumpier and still with the #1 on we were starting to chop wood pretty hard. Call was made to put a reef into see if that would help being the easier option than putting the #2 on, turns out this gives A LOT of lee helm so the call we should have made at the start had to be done, quick change by Stu to get the 2 on and we are away again 1st reef and number 2 and heading for Tiri.

The beat from flat to Tiri was pretty depressing, safe to say we were DFL in the Y88 division with a lot of work to do, very one else had come round flat and made big gains and our indecisions had cost us plenty. Coming back up to Tiri we started feeling a bit better with the modes of the boat, things learnt from the first race we had worked out upwind targets were to low so now with the different style of thinking we started getting back amongst it with the fleet, after tacking out from tiri we shook out the reef and got ourselves sorted for the long haul through to shag, nice work by Stu on the handle bars and a lot of hiking from me were rewarded with a nice lift from Huey to allow us to lay through to gannet rock.

By gannet rock we had got back into it with Voodoo, Heaven and hell, skitzo and slipstream all converging together, this stage there would have been less than a few hundred metres between us with slipstream leading the charge followed by us, started to get dark again at this point and started to loose people in the sea of red and green behind us. Nice beat up from hooks through to shag saw us edge ahead of slipstream at the island but not far enough to get the tack in first so slipstream lead around the island.

Both of us feeling a bit broken after the beat from Flat rock we decided to 2 sail down back to the corner this soon was decided was not the right decision as the boys on motorboat went screaming past. After a bit of mucking around we decided to go for it and get the kite up but it we were a bit unprepared and if we had just gone for it the potential for it to be a cluster would have cost us a lot more time and by the time we realised we were at the corner, no 88’s had got past and the stern light of slipstream was still in view so wasn’t all bad.

 

We settled into the Stu driving and I settled into my 2nd home on the rail for the beat back up to rakino, started to step out on the boats behind and got back motorboat which I must say have the brightest nav lights I have seen in a while they rode along with us before peeling off. All the time the little white light ahead was starting to get closer…………

Managed to get cleanly around the corner at rakino with little fuss for the beat to home with 1 boat to beat, settled into getting the boat going fast and slowly start to catch the slipstream ,after heading inshore on the first race we decided to hang out in the current which this time was the right way to go.

 

After crossing a few tacks with slipstream we were around 5 boat lengths behind at rangi light, from there things started to get interesting we setup to lewd of them by around 10 boat lengths and headed for home, there was a ship coming down the channel at terribly slow pace, this allowed us compress a bit, as it turned out both of us weren’t going to cross it and the speed it was going the wind shadow was going to slow us both down for a while. Both of us tacked away to the other side of the channel and once again we settled into the lewd position about 8 boat lengths down and 2 behind. Coming up to north head there were a few shifts that came though and with a bit more pressure and we were back neck and neck but Slipstream still a few lengths to windward. By Bean we were just able to get a few feet bow out but we were less than a length apart and slipstream had to tack away, from there we got a nice lift on the way back and covered the rest of the way to pip them at the post by 16sec. Very satisfying to get back into it and very happy to have come out on the right side for the win, slipstream 2nd with heaven and hell rounding out the top 3.

 

This now set the last race up for a good one with the 3 of us with a few points between us.

 

SImrad 50

Forecast for the day was looking every good with a good turnout expected. Good breeze for the start and the call was made to start down the line clean and see if we could get forward and stay in clear air as the pin end was favoured. Stuck to our plan and Stu pulled it off perfectly and we were off, nice reach down to Rangi light saw us set up for the bear away set for the run down to the Ahahas.

Plenty on for the corner trying to keep it on its feet with weight up and get the halyard on to lewd made for some interesting times, had enough time to look back and see medium dry lay it over pretty nicely and decided that looked like the wet option that I wasn’t too keen on. Managed to get the kite up with out to many dramas and we were off, slipstream and heaven and hell tucked in behind, easy run down to ahahas saw us round and set up for the beat/reach to the top of waiheke.

Bit of traffic coming across here a lot of boats trying to come out high hindsight being the marvellous thing that it is we should have done the same thing, ended up settling into our go fast press on it mode and tried to keep our air clean. Not quite being able to lay waiheke and we had to tack out still managed to cross back in front of slipstream who had done nice work across on the beat but had taken a bit out of us. The reach across the island was in a building breeze and we decided to do the switch to the 2 on the run down to rocky bay as we weren’t being caught on the 1 again. Then things got interesting.

After having a pretty good series when it came to our hoists and drops we set ourselves up to fail coming into the turning mark, ended up twisting the jib sheets around the pole and were unable to tack straight around the mark as we would have liked to, and as always when it goes bad it goes really bad half way through the tack we realised the sheet was under the hatch….. BUGGGER.

Anyway got ourselves sorted and started the grind back up to Motuihe, hang in there with slipstream up the waiheke shore with skitzo behind us doing good work and taking time out of both of us the ride to the corner there weren’t to many gains to be made so we hung in there on the way up. After turning the corner at the island we were a few boat lengths behind slipstream with a stewart 34 between us the stewart ever so slowly started to take slipstream up and with the tide setting right to left we made the decision to go low and press on it and let the tide do some of the work, this paid off for us for a while but we had a 1020 bearing down on us and we were running out of runway to be clear ahead. By the time we got to the mark we had come up behind the 1020 and the call was made to tack around the mark to clear our air. This also helped in making the decision we had kind of made at the start of the day to play the left side on the way home and use the tide coming in to our benefit. Slipstream carried on out to Issy bay and we headed off towards browns island, a couple of tacks around browns and off across the mouth of the estuary, this stage we were still not quite sure where we were going to end up. After crossing the estuary we tacked over and head out towards Rangi, we got a nice lee bow from the incoming tide and started climbing out of there at a pretty nice angle and things started looking a lot brighter. After a bit of looking around to find slipstream and skitzo it was a good feeling to see that we had come out looking good with around 700-800m put on slipstream. Tack over then a reach in to the finish for another gun, slipstream 2nd and skitzo taking out 3rd.

 

Big thanks to Doyle Sails for allowing us to use the boat and SSANZ for allowing us to be get out there amongst it.

 

Cheers, Stubbie

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Pepe Simrad 50 by Josh Tucker

 

The day didn’t start all that well with young Westy still recovering from the Flu that had put him down for most of the week. It was clear he was not going to make it in time to get the subway lunch so I translated his order over the phone and made sure it had only the things that he didn’t want.... His expression when he ate it was well worth the money....

Neither of us are the organised type, in fact every start so far in this series we have been a bit of a shambles and this one was no different. This time it was partially to do with my indecision on which sail we would be using off the start. Anyway with the start debacle behind us we worked hard to find a clear lane and get into it.

The breeze had been about 8kts before the start but had built to probably 12-14kts and quite tight. We had the fractional zero hoisted and ready to go so decided to give it a go even though we were quite powered up as it was. It proved to be petty fast. We went around rangi light in very good shape and peeled to the Masthead spinnaker for the run down to the noises. Us, shreks house and pawn broker were pretty close at this stage and having a good race, I could see Motorboat flying my big Steinlager kite way too close behind us and holding their position nicely. I knew I shouldn’t have lent it to him for the last race when we were only 1 point clear but had to give him a chance....

I had heard that Laurie Jury was on the ‘No worries’ which is another turboed R930 with a carbon rig and all the trimmings so I was pretty concerned that they would be hard to beat. We had a nice lead on them but they were gaining and doing well outside us in a bit more breeze. I thought they were just bringing the puff down to us so wasn’t overly concerned but then they actually sailed right past us. I didn’t like having another R930 in front.. We all gybed similar time at the noises and were comfortably laying down to the Ahaaha’s. Shreks house got a bit tangled with Akatea and let us sneak through but No worries had held their lead on us and pawn broker was a fair bit ahead.

We did a nice tidy, tight rounding there and made some good gains on no worries. My plan was to go low and fast, anticipating a geographical breeze knock, tide relief and a back eddie at the Waiheke shore I wanted to be right in there. The tide also flows about 90 degrees different from motuihe passage to calypso passage so I wanted to get out of the right to left tide flow. We slowly put the squeeze on No worries and spat them back into the tide and carried on into the shore as far as we could. One small tack to clear the rocks and then went with the fractional zero again across the top of waiheke in 14-18kts of wind. We had put a huge amount of time on No Worries and Shreks house by getting right in and motorboat was far enough back that I was happy. We set the big masthead spinnaker up for the run to rocky bay but as we bore away it became apparent that it was the wrong sail and the gennaker would have been better as the breeze had gone forward and built to about 20kts. We thought about changing but I was happy to push it hard and see how the boat responded to being pressed hard as I had heard stories about the rudder letting go easily. We were off, sitting on 12-15kts but 20-30 degrees off course, the boat loved it and was pretty manageable really. It was fun but had to end at some stage as we were running out of water and it wasn’t really sustainable. Still I think it was the right call to send it while the puff was on and make the most of it. We did a quick peel back to the fractional zero for the last bit into the mark and went around right next to Pawn broker and both tacked over to be almost laying up to Motuihe. There was a massive squall line coming down and so I knew there would be a big right hand shift. We banged it all the way right into the knock quite far. Pawn Broker kept going but I thought the breeze would swing back left slightly after it had passed through and we also had to cover no worries and shreks house that had tacked much earlier. Sadly for us the breeze never came back left and pawn broker put about 100m on us. I was still not worried as we had them on time and just needed to consolidate on the rest of the fleet rather than risking hanging it all on one side and we had gained on everyone else in the fleet. The breeze was pretty patchy up the beat going from 8 to 18kts and with some lumpy seas at times which made the light spots hard work.

We went around Motuihe green 3:40 behind Pawn broker and 2:30 in front of Shreks house. The flatter water and stronger breeze at that stage seemed to be good for us and we started gaining back some time. I think pawn broker had a problem with the water ballast which would have affected their performance a huge amount but I was still very happy with our beat.

In the end we had a good battle with pawn broker for line and finished about 3 boat lengths or 18 seconds behind them to take the handicap win and with it the series. Pretty happy with our 2,1,1 score line but probably didn’t do our handicap any favours for the ultimate goal of the round North island race.

Westy did a great job especially considering how crook he was. Our corners and sail changes were where we seemed to make the big gains and a lot of that was due to him. Having the confidence to put the right sails up and do proper sail changes/peels between the sails made the difference. Westys father Steve who owns the boat put a huge amount of effort into helping to prepare the boat and was always there when we came back into the dock. Big thanks to him for letting us use his boat.

Really looking forward to the white island race 2 handed as a qualifier for the round north island 2 handed in Feb. This is the best possible start to our program.

We are still seeking sponsors for the Round North Island race so if anyone has any contacts that might want to get involved, I have a full sponsorship proposal I can email (tried to attach it but it was too big). I can promise lots of exposure.

Email me on josh@nz.northsails.com for more information.

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We finally had a decent breeze to start with and showed a clean pair of heels on the reach to Rangi light Had a bit of a whoopsie and trawled the genniker but only tiny so soon got it back on board. Go deep or sail angles decided to sail deep, a few dives but only passed by 4 boats at Hay Stack. Nice little reach to Crusoe rounded good lift with tide. One tack laid Motuhie tight to green and hard on to Issy bay red. Discovered forestay clevis pin was almost out, had lost split pin somewhere, and stay was held by one side of toggle. Quickly put spin halyard on to prod then hammered pin in and put new split pin in and taped it. Tack to starboard and laid up to almost Tamaki yacht club. Had a 37 foot hanse behind us at the start of the beat and he was still there at the finish . The boat has the speed upwind and on a reach but work needed flat off.

Thank SSANZ great sailing,

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Race report Expedition Coppelia - Rob Croft

 

The forecast was right. .

 

It didn’t feel like our favorite conditions. Two long reaching legs to suit the newer (gennaker /reaching oriented) boats. Then a beat home, could we catch up ?

 

First process goal: Positive attitude.

Second process goal : Use best sails at all times, changing where necessary, trim hard.

 

The first leg we held our gennaker, holding on while some were less comfortable. We gybed the gennaker at navy bouy then went quickly to our big spinnaker as the wind went aft. It was the right thing to do at the time, we were happy with a confident call and the quick change. Tick both process goals.

 

The reward for our efforts, however, was not obvious as we approached Gannet rock at the end of the reaching legs. Fully a mile behind our target competitors, with an 18 NM beat to the finish.

 

Time to review the attitude, double check the weather and tides on Expedition, sail hard and smart. We have spent some time tuning the rig lately, combined with confidence in our instrumentation, and I feel we have regained some form on the wind, which is nice.

 

We managed to work our way back through the fleet and had some great close racing finishing 1 second behind the Elliot 10.5 Gale Force.

 

The end result was 2nd on handicap, giving us a win in the 2013 series.

 

For the record the course we did in the weekend was the same as the very first 2 handed race Sally and I ever sailed together. Nick White (Expedition) generously lending his Young 88 Nijinsky, we won that year (Special mention to Glen Phipps who sailed the First race, not me). So it had pretty cool significance for us.

 

Since then we have won our division (in the Simrad) twice, been second twice, and sailed around a few other islands too.. Thanks again to Nick for his continued support, and everyone else who has helped us along the way, I hope you feel part of our story.

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Report from Lawless XP 44

 

Crew Bart and Muttley

 

 

Weather we had some wind so good start.

 

We hoisted a A-5 after Rangi, but because of a little issue with the Winches could not put a handle in so the trim was the trim, had the GS set inside, 1st beer consumed.

 

Dropped early to set up for gybe set at Navy bouy, All good rounded right behind Omega.

 

Had a good set to the S4 on the pole soaked inside Omega, 2nd Beer

 

Nice run but was expecting the breeze to go aft but we had a forward puff into Gannet.3rd beer debating which sail to use for the beat home went with the 3+ this was the right sail for about 50% of the beat but I think overall we would have been better with the Heavy.

 

Had a few more winch issue and trade places with Hupane about 4 times on the beat great fun. Well done to Quintin and crew on Outrageous Fortune!

 

Good time had in Marina nice to be on a boat with a interior for the after match.

 

Awesome boat thanks to the guys at X-Yachts for the use of it!

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Motorboat race report - race 3- simrad 50

After the usual cider/beer for hewy on the way out to the start line, we set about preparing ourselves for a disappointing day. Being 1 point behind Pepe for the series our only chance of winning was going to be in a complete drift off, needless to say the prefect sailing conditions that greeted us on Saturday morning we great for everyone expect us.

That aside we went about preparing for the race, we got an awesome start, right on the pin in clear air and at full pace (as caught on camera) with the entire fleet to leeward. A good start to the day, now to try and keep it that way. We had the code 0 set up but there was too much wind so we just 2 sailed to rangi light. We rounded rangi light in 4th spot behind prawn broker, shreks house and the pepe, all who had stretched out their legs on the 2 sail. We hoisted the big chute (kindly donated by Josh off the Pepe who we were trying to beat for the series) right on rangi light and went into boost mode. For some reason a lot of boats didn’t hoist straight away which we couldn’t understand, the gains were obvious and can be clearly seen on the predict wind tracker. As we made our way to the noises the breeze clocked aft and there wasn’t quite enough to really get a boogy on in the waves, the breeze was coming down in vains which made for interesting back and forth movements compared to everyone else around us. Towards the noises we (I) decided we should get the number 2 on deck and ready for after the Aha rocks as we don’t need a lot of sail area upwind with no rail weight. After a couple of quick gybes just before the noises to keep our air clear and keep the inside track (which paid nicely) we were aiming towards the Aha rocks and the breeze was dying, epic fail on the headsail, change back to number 1 headsail, we had a great drop by the aha’s and hardened up onto the wind in 5th Place. The No Worries had a fantastic run from rangi light and had sailed around the outside of half the fleet. It was just cracked sheets to the top of waiheke, as the breeze increased it became obvious that we were on the wrong headsail, should have stayed with the number 2, hmm bugger. Rather than make the change we decided to slug it out as we weren’t truly on the wind. One of the bigger changes I have made to the boat was to remove the genoa tracks, instead we run a in-hauler and down-hauler system so we have more control over the head sail trim, as it turns out, this really helps when you are way over powered on the number 1 headsail as we can effectively dropped the jib car back to the primary winch. So, really over powered and the headsail more open than you’ve ever seen in your life we slugged it over to the waiheke shore while still in shorts and t-shirt (this is a winter series right???).We could see the breeze clocking forward and decided to stay high, usually you would crack and go as fast as possible towards the knock but that isn’t an option for us when really overpowered as we just fall over. We missed laying by about 100m, we hugged the shore as much as possible (otherwise known as rock hopping) and just slipped around the top of waiheke, again we made some really good gains on the boats around us who all seemed to sail between 100-200m further west than needed to clear waiheke, there are no rocks, what you see is what you get . While it had felt less than flash on the way over it turned out that we had quite a good leg and were still holding 5th but unfortunately the front 4 boats were a long way ahead. Across the top of waiheke we got the chart plotter out and figured it would definitely be a gennaker down to rocky bay, but which one masthead or fractional? A lesson I learnt on the Young 88 Sonic with Mike Grant a number of years ago in a ssanz race was ‘if in doubt put the big one up’ so with that in mind we got the masthead gennaker ready to go. As we neared the point we started seeing the boats ahead, from the quick glimpse we got it looked like gennakers were just laying and spinnakers definitely weren’t. Given our zero stability issue, the gennaker was definitely the right call, as soon as we boar away up it went and we were off, best ride of the series, epic! Giddy drove while I went forward and changed the headsail to the number 2, great – the best ride of the series and im getting soaked on the bow while giddy gets to have all the fun, another epic fail by me! The ride down to rocky bay was great, we sat between 10-12 knots for the whole leg and only underlaid by 50m, after a clean drop we hardened up around rocky bay mark and tacked over, the breeze dropped considerably and within 10mins we had gone from 25 to 10 knots with a sloppy sea with the number 2 on, wrong headsail again, and we were going slow but we could see more breeze coming down to us. We were about 15 degrees below lay to the southern end of motuihe, and with the breeze predicted to swing right to the NW during the day we were more than happy to go towards waiheke. Over the following 30mins the breeze slowly clocked right and we took the knock all the way into waiheke and folded over in huruhi bay. The no worries and a S34 had gone a long way left and when they came back we crossed them by 100m, which was proabably around a 10min gain to us. We had a good little tussle with both boats around the southern end of motuihe and settled into the 2 sail to motuihe green just behind the S34 and with the no worries about 50m behind. For the final beat home we decided again to play the right hand side of the course, we had an awesome battle with no worries all the way to the finish, we were near on identical speeds, but in the end Laurie got us by 15 seconds. The Pepe and Prawn Broker were 18mins ahead, not close enough for us to beat them on handicap unfortunately but still a great day on the water, which handed the series win to Pepe, well sailed guys – awesome effort!

Overall it has been an epic series, the first full series I have done in the motorboat, a huge thanks to giddy for sailing with me, he did a legendary job.

A huge thanks to the SSANZ and Race committee, you guys do an awesome job and make this series a highlight of the yachting calander.

That is all the racing for the motorboat now until the Auckland regatta next year, time to put her in cruise mode and enjoy the summer, see you on the gulf!

Damon

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