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Wild Oats Race with Steve "Farrarri"


Got to the boat and pleasantly surprised to find a nice sou-westerly covering the harbour and thought "great, the forecast SW change had arrived early and we can enjoy great conditions".... wrong


Start area with plenty of time and although the boat end was favoured we chose to start halfway down the line in clean air. Good decision looking at the clusterfuck that happened at the boat end. Good start and nice 2 sail reach to Browns Island near the front of the fleet. Dolphins!!!!. After that it lightened quite a bit and boats with code 0's passed but tracking well to windward. We got the new 3/4 genny up and sailed well losing a little height but figured the tide would be less next to Waiheke anyway. Masthead kite up and then the wind died. Limped over to the Waiheke shore where there appeared to be a few ripples and made good ground watching the fleet across the passage becalmed. Only a handful of boats in front of us. Then a breeze came from behind that pushed half the fleet down around us. Genoa, Gennaker then Masthead Kite pulled us back out of the pack and we were off down Waiheke Channel at relative speed passing boats again. Caught up to all but Motorboat by Pakatoa and figured We'd better swap the #1 for the #3 ready for the beat home while the kite was up. Oops I dropped the #3 over the side, quick U turn, douse the kite but too late it sank. Kite back up and head off after the 6 boats that passed us and managed to get back with all but Pepe and Jagged (Motorboat long gone)


Around Thumb Point in company with Shreks, Pawnbroker, Entertainer, Mercenary with rest of the pack back a bit. Headed off to Rakino wondering what would become of carrying the #1 with a gale warning all over the radio but the wind never came and we never saw much over 10 knots. Shrek and Mercenary passed us with Code 0's, Pahi powered through, Cool Change did a buffalo girls round the outside of all of us but by Rakino we had opened a bit of a gap behind us, lots of pretty red and green lights behind, not many white ones in front.


On the wind and it felt like we were flying, pointing higher than anyone and great speed. Lots of Dolphins again. Fluffed our one tack due me hooking up the #1 wrong earlier in my brain-fade sail-tossing moment. But the holdup was brief and we laid up to Rangi light glad we weren't peeling to the storm jib and kinda thankful we hadn't put on the #3 but not so happy about the way I went about making the call. Got passed by a Y88 just before the finish but caught and passed Mercenary just before the line and must have passed Cool Change somewhere. So 6th on line and 4th hcp in class, 8th overall Shorthaul fleet, (excluding cruisers). 2nd of 5 930's

Absolutely stoked :D


Got packed up and walked in the door at home just as the rain started.


Thanks SSANZ.

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Pepe simrad 60 report


With the forecast of variable 5 kts I was surprised to see a steady 5kt southerly, something told me that it was not going to last but there was a glimmer of hope that it was the gradient breeze come in early and that the day might not be so long and painful...

Looking at the line it was fairly obvious that the boat end was going to be a debacle so we got a clean start about 1/3 of the way down, just slightly late but in a reasonable position.

Once we had the zero unfurled we were off towards browns island in good company with motorboat, rattle and shreks house. After browns we stayed low while everyone else stayed high. I was thinking that the breeze was going to shift aft as we got down Tamaki strait so we were one of the first to put up the gennaker and go into VMG soak mode. This paid hugely as the breeze did swing substantially aft giving us a healthy lead over the fleet. We could see a large hole up ahead and not much way around it, there looked to be slightly more wind inshore but we would take a huge hit gybing back while the breeze was still a long way favoured for the STB gybe and it was a risky move with the majority of the fleet to windward. I was worried about a new forward breeze coming down and everyone reaching past us. We ended up parking up bigtime and watched the fleet catch up. Motorboat gradually sailed right up and through us about 100m to leeward. I decided we needed to gybe and get to the leeward side of the channel, we were the first to gybe and passed just behind motorboat then exchanged a few gybes with them to both work down to the waiheke shore. Slowly Motorboat crept away sailing a good VMG mode in the sub 3kt wind and able to keep the boat moving well while we struggled. Sneaking out a few hundred meters ahead to get around the first headland at Waikeke while there was still some breeze and shot off through channel with the tide. Meanwhile the wind died for us and we sat there for 2 hrs before getting a 2kt headwind which eventually got us around the point. Motorboat was out of sight at this stage. Most of the fleet had caught up a fair bit but we extended once out in the tide only to park up at Pakatoa Island again and have the entire fleet sail up to us again. we had found the big gennaker was just too hard to gybe in the lighter air and with the new breeze being a dead run out of waiheke passage we went for a peel to the spinnaker so we could match the competition who were mostly running spinnakers and have more options. After one of the gybes Westy was popping the main battens and sconned me square in the side of my head knocking me to the cockpit floor. Not his fault as he warned me he was doing it but I thought he had popped them on his first attempt and was not expecting the second one. I was a bit dazed and confused for a while but another beer brightened me up somewhat... it still hurts and I cant open my mouth properly, I would say that is my biggest ever head knock and the first time I have been hit by the boom.

I was really was hoping to get around Kauri point before the tide changed but this wasn’t to be and instead we were fighting 2kts of tide with 2.5kts of boatspeed, 20 other boats and a headache..

Eventually we cleared the point and reached past hooks bay with the code zero on in 6kts of breeze. Around thumb point we hardened up and were laying Rakino passage with the zero in around 6 kts of wind as the sun set, it was a beautiful evening. The breeze slowly built to 8 -9kts and we decided it was time to change to the #1 headsail before we broke something. We layed right through to Rakino and hoisted the zero for the lighter air through the passage and back to the jib again once out into the stronger breeze. It was a really nice beat to rangi light, dolphins, a strong moon, flat water and clear skys with the wind steady between 9 and 11kts. It doesn’t get much better upwind sailing that that. After Rangi light we peeled back to the zero for the last bit to the finish. We suspected that Damon had finished a long time ago and sure enough we had all been taught a lesion bigtime with them finishing over a 2 hours ahead and had the party cranking on the motorboat when we arrived back to the dock, we took a bottle of rum over and congratulated them- the bottle didn’t last long.....

We were happy with our race and glad to get out time back on the rest of the fleet in the beat home to take a second on line and handicap and still be in a strong position for the series.

Well done to Damon and giddy for a flawless race on the motorboat- Go the SR26!!

Will the sportsboat fleet be dominated by an SR26 again this year?

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Simrad 60 report – shorthaul course – MOTORBOAT

Having missed last year’s ssanz series due to doing some modifications inside the boat I was really looking forward to doing the series this year. Giddy and I did some tweaks and last minute prep to the boat during the week and we were all ready to go on Saturday morning and gave ourselves heaps of time to get out to the start, which in usual fashion ended up being a just in time mad panic rush.

Giddy drove the start and got us out of the blocks in good shape given the fuster cluck that was going on around us at the boat end. Once clear of the start line we peeled to the fractional gennaker as it was quite tight through to brwons. The fractional wasn’t quite as quick as a proper zero would have been but our zero is quite small so we figured this was the better of the 2. We had to just sit and watch the rattle n rum and pepe slowly pull away from us. After browns we hardened up a bit more and peeled to the zero which seemed to work quite well and we concluded that we should have been on it from the start but you live and learn. It was the first time we have used either sail for more than 4 minutes racing. As the breeze started lightening off in Tamaki strait we peeled to the masthead gennaker and as the breeze slowly died we could see boats in front parking up and it looked like there was better breeze to leeward of them so we stayed low and ended up sailing right up until we were about 150m to leeward of the pepe. Looking around the course we could see there was more breeze close to waiheke and looking back up the course we could see the boats beside waiheke had the breeze from about 30 degrees more south than those towards the middle of the strait. That along with our game plan of hugging the waiheke shore lead us into doing some gybes on a breeze vain that we had and we made our way to the shore. At times going gybe for gybe with pepe. Giddy was doing an awesome job of keeping the boat is a really good mode (3.6-3.8 knots of boat speed was target, while trying not to sail to high) and the boat was proving quite slippery in those really light conditions (as SR’s tend to do). We slowly pulled away from the pepe with gains and loss between the two of us at every gybe. All up we did about 8 gybes. The closer we got to passage rock the lighter the breeze got and it was obvious that the only wind (approx. 1-2 knots) anywhere was within 100m of the shore as everywhere else was a full glass off, so we went right into the shore, at times we would have been only 3-4 boats lengths from the shore doing between 0.5 – 2 knots of boat speed, with a couple more peels from the masthead gennaker to the code zero and back to the masthead geannaker again we managed to sneak around the point inside passage rock and lost sight of the fleet behind us, then the breeze completely died, a full glass off. The tide was taking as down the channel and with no wind and nothing on the horizon we took the gennaker down and just drifted with the main only while we had a beer and waited with the speedo reading 0.00 but we were doing about 1.2 over the ground. We saw a breeze line starting to come down from the firth so we put up a headsail and tried to work our way towards it and as it filled in we ended up on the wind in about 6knots of breeze, after a couple of tacks it quickly clocked and built to 10-12 SE and we peeled to the fractional gennaker and shot off towards kauri point at 7 knots. At kauri point we peeled to the masthead kite and sailed downwind across hookes bay, at which time we were starting to go through the A division boats on their way to shag island so determined it must be quite light down the outside of waiheke as well. After a gybe we peeled back to the masthead gennaker at gannet rock and poked it up as the breeze lightened off and we ended up heading straight down the rum line at 4-5 knots. The breeze slowly died and we ended up chasing small patches of the dying breeze as best we could until we completely parked up off onetangi. We could see the new SW breeze starting to fill in at the top of waiheke so with the little breeze we had we made our way towards it. we were only completely stopped for about 15 minutes. When the SW finally got to us it came through at about 8 knots, so we peeled to the zero and we were off again pointing straight at rakino doing 7 knots. As the breeze filled in a bit more we got rid of the zero and went to the #1 about 2 miles short of rakino, at which time is was starting to get cold so we put on more gear and got ourselves ready for the final upwind leg home. We stayed cracked sheets to motutapu and then put it on the wind in about 12-14 knots of wind. We went straight out into the middle of the gulf to make the most of the incoming tide, we were flying upwind even with only 1 person on the rail. We did a couple of tacks and laid through to the finish from rangi light by which time the breeze had dropped to about 8 knot.

It was a great race for us, it make it so much easier when you have a good crew and Giddy did an awesome job of driving the boat in that light stuff down the inside of waiheke while our game plan of getting close to the waiheke shore really paid off. Josh and the guys at norths have done an epic job with our sails which couldn’t be better and kept the boat feeling nice and fast. And to cap of an epic day we ended up having a rather large debrief back at the dock with the stereo cranking and far too much rum being consumed.

It was a great day to be on the water, you can’t complain about shorts and tshirt yachting in the sun in the middle of winter that’s for sure.

Looking forward to the next one.


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I really wish I had not spent all night at the sail loft with Damon on Monday night working on the Motorboats sails...!

Its scary to think what you boys could have done with a proper masthead gennaker and code zero....

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A few more from the SSANZ site:


Communique SIMRAD 60




A dark morning as I drive thru the CBD to Westhaven, no rain but no wind either. I struggle down to Communique with Stew, both of us laden with food. I left home with "Don't wait up darling I will be late home". At least we won't starve.


Motoring to the start area in a flat calm sipping a cappuccino and thinking at least the batteries will be good for the long night ahead. SSANZ run to schedule, a feature I always like and have laid a nice starting line with the pin relatively forward on the course. A leeward start for a small slow cruising boat is an easy choice. So it proves to be a nice start but from Browns Island onward the slow day gets into its stride. We are passed by Stewarts with vast spinnakers and a very fruited up Challenge 29 from our division. Towards Beachlands a large group of VMG sailors develops, to leeward several very patient boats do well including Hot Gossip and Romany 2 sliding quietly along the Waiheke shore.


By mid-afternoon we are approaching Passage Rocks and witness some extreme VMG sailing as the fleet converge for the corner of the Island. Our very rhumb line course has us at the back of the pack. However we all drift forward in contact. It is quite apparent a breakaway group have sailed a VMG strategy very successfully and these boats are quite faint in the distance. Around us are many others who have not made this approach work and we speculate on what their "distance run" might look like.


I am very impressed to see 3 boats hard against the Ponui Island shore, these boats go through the passage to the South of Pakatoa and one at least one a Y88 (Rush) makes it pay handsomely to be in the bunch at Kauri point. From Kauri point staying off shore and timing the spinnaker drop well is a vital decision. On board Promise, Steve does a headie change while carrying on under kite. We urgently consult channel 21 trying to guess what it is that Steve knows that we don't, it must be plenty, so we carryon. We drop the kite in the last of the daylight and head on around Thumb Point towards Rakino.


From Kauri Point we are in a large bunch and these boats sort themselves out on the uphill grind after Thumb Point. It seems a comfortable lay through however just short of Rakino a westerly shift of 30 degrees has us tacking to clear the island and its outlying reef. One larger boat sails all over us some where past the Ahaaha Rocks and I blame "some big average white boat". In the Rakino Passage this is revealed to be Romany 2 and in a soft patch around Billy Goat Point we slip away from them.


Heading up the Motatapu shore I am anxious not to tack into Administration Bay, a tricky enough area in daylight so we stand out to sea until the temptation to be on the "paying tack" gets the better of us and we tack in towards the Gardiner Gap. On tacking out again we cross a couple of familiar boats, Romany and Settlers Reach. Back onto starboard tack well before we can clear the island we are rewarded with a persistent westerly shift and we follow another boat around Rangi light. On to the finish with channel 77 alive with familiar calls. We know Wandering Star, Perfect Alibi and John Barleycorn have done well. For the rest we will have to wait and see the results.


The next morning the results flatter us, 4th we are pleased; after all we were 7th in this race last year, so it is a healthy trend. The post on the SSANZ site that really amuses me is the video of the start. The display of barging can only be explained by "advanced stupidity". My great friend Gil Hedges looking down from the ultimate vantage point must be shaking his head at the ignorance of those unable to recognise "coffin corner" in the start.


Fendall Halliburton


14 Jul. 13



Romany 11

Hi Cameron,

Here is how I saw the day.


The forecast was for light air for the first part of the day. It seemed the wind would fill in from SW in the afternoon, but would be light from SE in the morning. We also expected some rain and for it to be cold, so I packed a lot of food for the long day, and plenty of dry clothing.

The start went off right on time, and we had started well, choosing to be down at the pin end with a faster sailing angle on the reach to pass Browns Island. The breeze was better than we expected and we sailed OK till we passed the beacon. Some yachts that started high had deployed spinnakers and gennakers, and these boats did OK as the wind did allow these to work if the yachts started on the high line. It was a toss-up, and a fairly even distribution of our Shorthaul fleet passed Browns Island, when nearly everyone got their downwind sails up and working, ourselves included. In our fleet, Perfect Alibi had showed fantastic pace early on, and they led away heading right I think. Strathspey had done well, so too several of the others, and the T32 Wandering Star was already showing great judgement and pace to be well up in the fleet.

It was hard to follow where all the yachts in Shorthaul went after Browns Island, as the fleet spread out a lot across the full width of the Tamaki Strait, so I can only talk about those that we were close to.

We had decided to sail a straight-line during this race, always going towards the mark as fast as we could, as we just did not know what to expect from the breeze. We did not know for sure when the SW change would arrive, and so we just held a line towards the corner at Passage Rock, and followed any breeze lines that came to us. Wandering Star was doing the same, and they were ahead of us and going away most of the time. That T32 is very well sailed and was performing nicely in the light breezes. Hot Gossip was just to leeward of us, and Communique somewhat to windward and astern. We resisted the urge to climb to windward for speed, as we were uncertain as to whether we would ever be able to get back from there. This tactic seemed to be good for us, and we steadily made our way towards the corner doing 2 to 3.5 knots depending on the breeze. When the wind really died away, it was about 1:30 pm and we were 2.8 miles from the SE corner of Waiheke. We looked really good here, and were almost on even terms with a few boats in our fleet that had stayed to the left ? Wandering Star was very slightly right of our line, and Hot Gossip was low with us, and Strathspey up to windward but fairly even. Communique was more out in the centre, and we were well ahead of them at this time. There were a great many boats that had headed right and were in a huge flat spot with no way to make all the extra distance back to the left.

At this point the wind stopped pretty much, and so did everybody, and we waited for wind. Some yachts were able to find enough breeze against the shoreline to move towards the corner ? we were just a tiny bit too far right to do this, but we could see breeze astern and we had to await its arrival.

It came from the WNW, probably about 3:30 pm, and was mostly on our (left) side of the course. We could see all the boats that were behind getting picked up and brought along to us, this is what we had expected.

Spectacular in this bunch was John Barleycorn, who made a fantastic job of getting round the corner after we had just managed to avoid being rolled by them by climbing to windward. Going away from our plan of holding the line to the corner was something we had avoided doing all day, but I felt it necessary with the big cloud of boats rolling up to us, and it was a bad move, we should have stuck to our line. The folks on John Barleycorn somehow slipped by to leeward and just disappeared round the corner and up the channel. It was not long before a bunch of boats that had hugged the corner had made gains on those that did not, and we all had to do our best to catch up. John Barleycorn simply slipped away, and held the breeze in their spinnaker all the way through the channel, but they must have been sailing their boat wonderfully well to have made such a huge gain as they did, as they were soon nearly 2 miles ahead of us. Most of the boats that had been behind and not too far to the right were brought up by the breeze, so there was quite a crowd at the SE corner of Waiheke, all trying to work out how far to travel to the East before gybing North in the WSW breeze as it was now.

It was slow work up the Waiheke channel, with big holes in the breeze, especially to the left. Sensible yachts that stayed well out to the East did better here, and eventually we fought our way over to the right a bit and also made some ground. We found L'Avanti over there, and Super Severance had done a good job of sweeping by out wide. By the time we cleared Pakatoa and approached Kauri point, our friends on Communique had done well to catch up also, and were right there, judging the exit from the Waiheke channel very well. They had overtaken Hot Gossip who were close to us the whole time throughout the race to that point, and Communique continued to show great skill to carry their red spinnaker to advantage further than everyone else towards Thumb Point. There was a bit of a wind shadow off Kauri Point, and it was a matter of fine judgement as to how far out to the East you had to be to maintain decent breeze. There were some small gains and losses to be made here, but nothing really significant.

Now at last the yachts were getting up some speed, and things should have gone along the lines of boat speed from here on. John Barleycorn had already got well away from the rest of our division that I could see, but the quicker boats would have been gaining on them all the way from here on I think.

It was dark by the time we turned the corner at Thumb point, and Communique was just to leeward of us and ahead, having sailed extremely well up the East coast of Waiheke. We were both heading more or less on the rhumb line towards the Northern end of Motutapu, and we continued to sail on that straight line expecting that the SW breeze would be reasonably constant now. Most other yachts seemed to sail a higher line than us, so there was only really Communique and ourselves down on our straight line, and possibly one other yacht. We could no longer identify anyone else in our fleet except Communique.

We were sailing in the dark and not doing it that well. Our boat is slightly quicker than Communique in a straight line in those conditions, but only if it is correctly trimmed and sailed well. On this night, we were very inconsistent, and Communique was able to hold us on speed almost all the way across to Motutapu as we went faster and slower depending upon how we were sailing the boat at that moment in time. We should have taken a bit of distance out of Communique on this leg, but simply did not, and were only about 150 metres ahead at the time we had to make our first tack.

In the end, it proved sensible to have a bit of windward gauge in case the wind went right, as the wind did indeed swing right a long way when we were still some distance from Motutapu, and all the yachts on the left were able to make the lay to the turning point, while we had to tack to get up there.

In the channel, we made a mess of our first tack as in the dark, as I had made a mistake with some tidy up of the spinnaker downhaul, and this halved our lead over Communique. When Communique tacked back, we let them go through without dumping on their nose, there was no reason to persecute our old mates and there was a long way to go. As we sailed in light air past Waikalabubu, we lost focus again and failed to change gears for the lighter breeze. Communique successfully rolled us and sailed away ? very nice move by Fendall there, a bit embarrassing for us, but a sailing lesson to remember.

On the beat from there on, Communique immediately piled on the pace and sailed away from us as we still struggled to find the best trim and speed for Romany II. The difference between night and day sailing for us really was like the difference between night and day. During the daytime, we had reasonable pace and were content with our positioning and trim, but during the night we were completely out of sorts with the boat and did not get the best performance for where we were trying to sail. In the final analysis, Communique took 5 minutes off us in the beat and reach from Motutapu to the finish, and that is down to skill.

John Barleycorn were easy winners on this day. Wandering Star had sailed another fine race making sound decisions all the time and getting excellent pace from their yacht, they were rewarded with a well deserved second, though perhaps with luck they could have expected even better. Perfect Alibi was badly affected by the wind stopping when it did, but they show tremendous speed and will be a serious contender for this series. It was especially hard for the faster boats in the fleet, as the whole race basically reset after 3:30pm (6 and a half hours of sailing) and all the fast boats had to try and make up handicap on that.

We enjoyed our day out. The weather was way better than we had anticipated, and the bourbon and beer and pies and sandwiches all helped to make it another very pleasant day of SSANZ racing for us. It had its frustrations, and sometimes the day felt like a game of snakes and ladders, but we honestly expected it would be that way. We are happy with the pace of the boat, but will need to sail better for longer to achieve decent results. Looking forward to the next one already.


Thanks SSANZ, you are still clearly the best.


Justin Graham.

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A report from Division 1 Longhaul - Django (J/111)


With quite a bit of last minute stuff going on until Friday night (meant we couldn't Rum Race), we thought to get away early on Saturday, to be at the start in plenty of time....the best laid plans.....so got to the line about 10 mins before the start, main up, and decided to start near the pin, looking at the line up near the boat end, we could see a bunch developing. This proved to be a good call, as we unfurled the new Doyle's Stratis Code Zero for the first time 15 seconds before the gun. Hit the line nicely powered up and headed straight down the channel, with both Wired and Venture 2 overtaking us to windward. Then it was Zero down, A1 up, gybing just before Matiatia Bay. Overload and Andar were coming down on us, but as it looked lighter ahead (with Wired standing up straight close in towards Onetangi), we carried on to the North before gybing onto starboard again to lay the end of Waiheke. We managed to cross the boys on Wired (has to be a first for us!) and then promptly sailed into a hole off Ruruwhango Bay. The Overload guys did a nice job on us, sailing inside to pass us rounding the point to head up to Tarahiki. On the wind now, sloppy sea, with Wired, Venture and Overload all ahead of us. Looking back, we could see alot of very calm water on the North side of Waiheke, with a bunch of boats well and truly parked. We rounded Tarahiki about 50 metres behind Overload, with Omega close behind. Popping the big A2, we chose the inside line to Gannet Rock. Time for a cup of coffee, a few gybes (one of which went a bit askew, but luckily got things untangled quick). In about 12-14 kts of breeze, we briefly saw 9.99 (really!) kts of boatspeed on a short wave, which would prove to be the best speed of the day. Still behind Overload at Gannet Rock, we elected to head more North, while they chose a more westerly heading. Although "choice" wasn't really what it was - we just tried to find every little puff available, which saw us slowing to f*** all boatspeed, and heading everywhere but the next mark...by this time, Wired and Venture were way to the North, and we could see Omega coming up quite quickly. Up went the Zero again and we picked up speed in a light SSW. Time to shoot some goPro footage (

), and enjoy the ride across to Tiri. Magic stuff, powered up, smooth sea, sun shining, boatspeed better than windspeed, coffee hot (thanks, Atka!!), both of us grinning from ear to ear. With the breeze going increasingly West of S (from about 210 to 240T), we changed down to the No 1, sailing at about 44-48 TWA to the Navy Buoy at Tiri, rounding this at sunset. Zero up again, and in a freshening breeze saw late 8's early 9's on the clock. Given the forecast, we decided to change the headsail for the small No 4 - probably (only a guess, as we are still getting to know the boat) a good rig for upwind shorthanded in 15+ kts. Coming around Haystack onto the wind, we were a bit pissed to sail into less breeze rather than more. So got down to business, working the shifts until we closed to within a couple of hundred metres of Rangi light, crossing tacks with a multihull (think it was Tigre) along the way. Heaps of lights behind, and not many ahead was a good sign, but we could see that one of the bigger monos (turned out to be Omega) was closing. As the TWA widened, we (once again) hoisted the Zero, by now our favourite sail - and rode 5-7 kts of breeze at 70-90 degrees TWA towards the finish. Almost glassy water, good light, smooth sailing - we crossed the line less than 2 minutes ahead of Omega. Time for more than one cold beer - earned it! Big thanks to the Race Committee, this series is a cracker, and our first attempt at this two-handed business - and many thanks to the "above and beyond" Doyle's team - lots of last minute stuff (sails and rigging) which actually got done, on time and almost stress free! Hell of a day, managed to make more good calls than bad, ate well, pretty happy with the handling, great company (AP rocks!), got a couple of lucky breaks - bring on the B&G SIMRAD 100! Cheers to all, see you on the water...


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