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Zora's RNI Summary

20 Mar 2008

Better than any coastal!

Well Done Brian and Team



Not Negotiable, Waka, Ran Tan


The Real Winners, Top Flight parking in Westhaven.


Zora's RNI report


Zora is 45ft , 11.2 Ton dry weight cruising yacht from the board of JJ Design. These guys have been designing yachts for about 40 years. Amongst their achievements is the Bavaria. However the Salona is a big step up, doesn't squeak.

We started a day late and for us a few knots short. We were ready to go on the Saturday 50 knots or more. However the race director saw it wise to delay the start until the wind had gone. Sunday 10am we're off. Bloody feeder fell out and we are stranded over the start like a stranded proa trying to feed the headsail.  While the rest of the fleet head east we are heading back to the start and bugger me going the wrong way. If there is one thing that I have learnt from sailing with the champs is minimize your losers. Turn the corner and we are back with BooBoo at Northhead and back in the game. Reach up the channel to Tiri then slight crack to Rodney ( Cape Rodney, not that guy from a sail loft ) Park up number 1. If only we had started on Saturday!!!!!!! Never mind what do we do now this bus won't move in no wind!!  Leeward pole the 1 strap the main and work the angels. Check the now casting Pete? West Coast is SW 10 hit the beach. Kept us in the game by morning we are off Brett power reaching in 10 knots with Genni. Bugger, who's that behind with big mast Head? The Bloody Poms. While Oracle and others are having breakfast the poms are racing hard out. Brett and our waterline is finaaaalyy working for us. Can't seem to catch that boat ahead. Danaide, bugger the farmer is ahead!! Shooting the gap at the Cavallies to save a bit of distance. Tight Squeeze as we drift through, seems the guys behind are playing follow the leader.


By the last corner we have overhauled them and storming to the finish of leg 1


Leg 2


Up with the genni and carry this puppy as lonnnng as we can. Closing on North Cape only Waka has a genni still up and heading for Fiji, we should have hung on a bit longer ( 2 days) and gone hard. But WE ??. I said it's a left hand turn and we should go to headsail. Bugger Bugger Bugger. Reaching across the top of New Zealand we encounter the chop. Bow on 2-3meter chop with little wind. Nonstop is way high creeping along side the breaking surf. That was the last sail we would see for a long time. Tack inside Pandora. Big Mistake. Tack out again still more chop. Just suckit and sea. Let's get out of here, get away from this messy stuff. Huey has gone for a holiday and left us to flounder in 3 knots and lumpy chop. Our slowest recorded speed was 1.4miles in 5 hours, that's an average of 0.28knots. 2 days later we still have 90 mile beach on our screen. Bugger Bugger.


What's that over there? A slow moving bird. No. it?s a plane. What's a plane doing out here? PETE, PETE it?s coming this way quick look as if we are sailing, could be a camera on board UUUURRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR. Shit they are low. Turn up channel 16. "Yacht 8695 we have just flown over do you copy?" crap that's us. Copy air force Orion what's up? "Have you seen, had contact with, sailing yacht Nevenka? No. Are they lost? "They have not reported in during the last 24hours, do you know were they are?" No, sorry, seams Nevenka had dropped there sails and gone down stairs for some home brew and crackers. Later they would tell me that the Orion flew so low they thought their back stay was in danger of a clipping. So out they go and start waving like drunken yobs at the plane, uuuurrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr around they come again, finally they tune to 16 and let them know all is well, they know exactly where they are, the same place as the day before. Waiting for the wind, a day or so later the wind would arrive and Nevenka would storm down the west coast with 2 reefs and a shredded headsail in 40-50knots, yeha!

Meanwhile back in the land of slip slap slop, we have the #3 headsail and a strapped main pumping our way south. If only we had an SSB we could have seen that most of the fleet had headed for Australia looking for more breeze a lesson that would not be lost on us new chums

70 odd miles off the coast the ocean has sent us some whales to keep us company then just off our port bow this huge tail appears as one goes for a dive, Sunset and 5 green flashes later the breeze has slowly built to 8knots, we can run a genni at this angle. Up she goes and off we go. Finally past West Auckland ( don't want to get stuck out here with the westies so close, they could send out a welcome party. And we all know what that means eh Port Headland!

Our best run yet, as day breaks we have a nice 15knots just off our beam genni dragging us south. The day brings great sailing conditions a little swell has built as we cruise the odd wave 10's and 11's are common with a 13 down a nice northerly swell?? Not easterly, what's behind all this. Then as we sight Mt Egmont, Huey says by by again. The sound of rushing water is replaced with slip slop slap. Bow up a little keep the apparent working, not enough to fill the genni so back up with the headsail. Breeze is back, back up with the genni. Nice 15 ? 18 puffs to 20, poof the head blows out of the genni. Down with snuffer and kite Time, but no, the breeze is now 20 plus and the new kite is of a lighter weight than the genni. So pole out the headsail. Big Sigh, Oh well at least if it gets light we still can use the kite. Didn't have to wait long. 10knots, right, up with the kite, running a bit deeper to lay past New Plymouth, the kite is working well, breeze must be bending us around this corner a little and accelerating, now at 20knots again and we still have the kite on rolling a bit now and again, nice control thu, 30knots shit better get this off while it's still in one piece, snuffer time, just as Huey sends us 35knots. Poled out number 3, bring it on Huey, The glow of the gas rig is huge must be just over the horizon to seaward. Brothers are bearing straight ahead, Bugger shaved too close, should of gone south a bit more. 5 hours later we are still slip slop slapping in sight of Mt Egmont. Dawn in Cook Strait. The forecast is telling us a line from Egmont to Stephens Island west is up to 40knots, Should of worked that one eh. Next time I guess. The strait is sending a few little waves to ride, But wait what's that? A sail, Looks like a big yacht, masthead, that bloody Chico. Crap we have had a shocker. Reaching down to the Brothers we slowly inch past them then the breeze buggers off again. Nice 2meter swell, but no wind. Here we are, middle of Cook Straight becalmed! Dolphins? every where, leaping out of the waves, come over for a play. The horizon has closed in can't see that Chico any more, here comes some wet stuff. Fair pissing down, breeze has come with it too 20knots soon becomes 25, then 30 as we pass Cape Terawhiti its 40 knots, we have the current with the wind so flat water at least. Half a headsail and 1 reef, 15knts of boat speed should get us into Wellywood before dark. However Huey has other plans. Now casting has only 17 at the airport. mmmm Moaning Mini just ahead and a ferry is steaming in at speed. Better keep clear of these, crossing way ahead we have Pencarow light just of our bow. 0.00 wind for the 17th time, parked in the entrance at least the tide is dragging us in. Past the first leading light and dark water from the north east. Within minutes we have 20knots our biggest washing up. Power reaching towards the city. If you had not been here before knowing that the marina is at the city edge it could be a little concerning. Finished at 10:30ish the wind is now blowing dogs off chains 43knots in the marina. Better have a settling Rum.


Leg 3

20-30 Southerly. Lets go to Napier, yea why not only 3meters at the entrance.

Our conditions at last number 3 and a reef as we reach across Evans Bay Ran Tan has caught a nice puff and blasts thru the fleet. Turn the corner, Nevenka is also loving this crash and bash stuff. Staying left is the call pounding into a decent swell up and over Zora is climbing her way out of the harbour. Left turn is beam on to these swells and a couple of times we ship a little water, with one wave taking one of the life rings, better call the coast guard, don't want them looking for us when we are all fine.

Decided to pay homage to Huey, Davey Jones, Jack Sparrow and make an offering on this leg.

Round Cape Palliser heading for Castle Point, staying out to sea abit away from the chop is our call and by day break looks like a few others have done the same, either just cracked of hardon with the 3 and we are clocking 9's and 10's. While I'm trying to set the outboard sheet on the number 3 my favourite hat falls over the side. Oh well better bring us some luck.



Like a coiled spring. Note the Dodger is up Danaide!



Castle Point, Tick, Cape Turnagain, Tick, slight crack and the yacht ahead seems to be having issues; they have turned around and are heading for us, headsail flapping, no flogging. Why would you turn around? MOB? As we reach them the rain has set in a bit and we can't see who they are. Later we would discover it is Danaide the farmers forgot to tie a bowline on to their jibtop and couldn't reach it, so they rolled it up and still couldn't reach it.  Finally sorted by dropping it and doing the job properly.




Caught trying to steal a Heine and popped his jacket


Round Kidnappers and my phone beeps, "F@#$ me. Logged on to see how you were doing and saw Zora wasn't last, Nearly fell off my chair!? Thanks Brett, Brett's the one who sails that P yacht, remember? He wrote a story for yachtyakka about the Balocivic. Cheeky bastard is Peter's reply.



 One of the only Capes we saw during the day

 Huey is not finished with us yet, just as we set the kite for ride to the finish he sends a breeze from the SW??

 What's this we have to tack to finish?


Last leg


Right, East Cape, and let's see what you know?


A beautiful day dawns and a light northerly is forecast. Mirror seas, we are out in plenty of time. Bloody feeder is still giving us grief. Up with the light 1 100 meters back from the line Bang 5min gun sounds. What?s this? They are starting us in no wind pushing tide! Be consistent please, postpone the start because of high winds for 17hours can?t wait 2 hours for some breeze. The more I look at this race the more I see light weighters are the go, those that are 10tonns  or more are just cattle fodder. (ed note... Race winner "Sunstone" would hardly be considered a lightweight !")

There we were doing our stranded proa tricks again. The guys that had parked on the line were able to sneak away leebowing the current Ran Tan cants to leeward and Waka wins the pin. One by one they drift away leaving us Sunstone and Bushido to wallow, 39 minutes later we cross the start line as a gentle zephyr comes to our aid. Not a happy camper. As soon as we can lay the pin we tack heading out towards the middle of the bay where the air is building from. Tacking back onto port straight between some rocks on a sunken reef, we slowly pull back to the back markers. Bushido has had the worse start of the fleet getting stuck under the port. Slowly inch by inch we catch Topflight. Sunstone and Carenza have elected to tack north while we continue on out to sea. Nevenka is next. We can't point as high and in the soft breeze struggle to pass them. Sunstone has come back on a wicked lift and is way ahead. Bugger can't have that. The breeze is shifty about 40 degrees lets work these Pete, 12 tacks later we have put Nevenka and Sunstone behind us and are catching Escapology and Nonstop. Carenza and Topfilght are way behind heading to Chile. Round Portland Island the breeze is building as we punch a sloppy chop. Still with our big sails and a building breeze, now at 20knots we barge our way through the remaining back markers. Better role some headsail up, 30knots now and with a baggy headsail we parallel the coast, the breeze is now swinging right so time to get back inshore. As we do we lift up almost to lay the Cape, Glamour. Sails start to appear inside us. Carenza, bugger, Nevenka what? A cheeky wave from them as we just cross ahead. Then 3 more, Expressway, Escapology, Oracle and 2 others way inshore. We are still lifting as we head for Tuparoa. The 2 yachts way inshore look very bow up on the other board, then a big knock, great, lets just get into this a bit more and flop over. Glamour. Laying the Cape on port in good pressure we finally start to pull away from the other yachts. Nonstop have decided to work the opposite side of the shifts than us, must be a south island thing eh Pete. He would later admit to throwing away a healthy lead at this point. East Cape a beam and the slop is back, waves from every direction, little ones, some others further out will tell tales of punching 2meter slop. Dead maggot to the next corner, mmm do we go out or go left and head for the southerly that is predicted. The Starboard tack is slightly favored so off we go across to Hicks Bay mmm breeze is dropping and we are no longer clearing the corner. Lets get out of here, we are going north out to sea. As we get away from the coast the sea state settles but the breeze is steady, 8 knots, but steady. Our VMG is hopeless only making 1.5 but tacking into a soft breeze is going to be worse. With our Raymarine readout on Ground wind we can see the lifts and knocks tacking back and forth we creep our way out to 85miles off the coast. Half way across the bay the breeze does a big bend.


Tack over and we are almost laying Gt Barrier. Glamour, Steady building breeze as we cross another yacht still on port., too far away to pick it out but looks like a 1050. Some hours later another big shift off Mayor Island, tacking onto the SW we are laying nicely outside the mercs, slight crack and our VMG hits 9. As we approach the last big corner the odd red and green light start to appear. Not having an SSB we have no idea were we are in the fleet, oh well, next time. The breeze has bent again this time allowing us to lay Channel Island. Tune the radio to Channel 1 to see who is calling in at the rock. SSANZ sports this is Waka, we are at Channel Island, What The F????? They were gone at the start, wonder if they have had a shocker or our time at sea has paid off. Station calling SSANZ please repeat, nothing, Then the Sheepshagger calls up. SSANZ Sports this is Danaide, Waka is just a head and White Bait is just behind. We have managed to get our grader up to the leaders. Two more yachts pop up from behind, Expressway is creeping a long the shore and Mrs. Jones is about 2mile behind. 


Hold the phone, another parkup is just ahead. Not wanting to get too close to Coromandel we stand off a bit into clear air, but Huey wants to send us a little parking lot before the SE kicks in. Both Mrs. Jones and us are drifting in while, now that's not fair!!! The Expressway guys have creep along the shore in the lee of the hills in pressure and pop out along way to weather and just in front.




Channel Island for breakfast


Better celebrate this before it turns to shit again. OK going outside Rangi is 1 mile longer than going past Browns but the tide is turning and we will be pushing it. As we reach the Noises the breeze that is forecast to be 20 SE has died and bent aft, We can carry a genni in this, Expressway has opted for the longer track and heads for Takapuna. Mrs. Jones has seen what we have and are trying to go down the Waiheke Shore. We have a genni on doing 3knots pushing tide heading for David Rocks and the Arharrs. I know there is a gap between the rocks but need to focus on sailing not rock watching so Peter runs the plotter, your fine, your fine, up a bit, down a bit.

Have you had the plotter checked? Does it really know where the rocks are? Lets hope so. We thread the needle boat lengths clear, but clear. The tide is really flowing now, rapids over the half submerged brown bits. Mrs. Jones has found a little puff to get her past us.

Expressway still be behind the Haystack. Using the tide to leebow us we managed to drift our way to St Heliers Gybe back just lay Bean Rock, Genni back on the bow and reach our down the harbour before the Stewarts come out for their sprints.

Powering to the finish a rib appears at high speed taking pics, we are fully powered up with the genni. Who's that with Steve in the Rib, Bugger it's the Farmer with the biggest grin I've seen. Come to help us pack up and park, Thanks Mate.



Didn't they do well ?. For a cow farmer from the bush and an exsparkey



What a great race, I?ll be back, next time with SSB on board instead of in the lockup!






Rum and Pizza Yummy. Note the Jacket Quintin!