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B&G Simrad

B&G Simrad

Exodus B&G Simrad 50 Report

22 Jul 2008

B&G Simrad 50  19 July 2008



This race is exactly why you should make sure you come out winter racing in the Gulf and if you haven't got a multi-hull, go and get one as soon as you can.  48 miles of mostly two sail reaching in 20-25 knots is a multi-hull dream come true.


The B&G Simrad Series is hugely supported with over 160 entries, and this race was the first in this year's three race series.  The first start was postponed due to severe weather warnings two weeks ago, so this re-run race last weekend will not actually count for the series.  However, the entries were still huge.


Driving to the boat in the driving rain, in the dark gave reasons to question your own sanity but as soon as the light was up and the potential wind forecast was realised, the prospects of an exciting race got the adrenalin up. Its always worth getting up to go sailing.


For this race, the SSANZ Safety Inspector made a point of visiting each multi-hull to check in particular that grab bags were readily accessible.  This is an important safety feature and the SSANZ organisers are quite rightly placing a strong emphasis on safety.


Once off the mooring, the wind began building from the north shortly before the start, which made for some exciting spectacles for a small band of multi-hull supporters off the end of Orakei Wharf.  Quite a bit of one and two wheeling was reported , always popular with the fans.( nb finish boats love a fly past!)


The start was a port lay on the wind with all the multis getting away nicely with a beat up to the end of Rangitoto.  The multi-hull fleet started 20 minutes after the A division fleet, and soon worked their way through the other divisions which had started earlier, and not long after Rangitoto Light, the water became clearer as the fleet all spread out. It was now a lay through to the end of Mototapu.  The wind lifted nicely, favouring the inside boats, including X Factor along the  Rangitoto Coast.  A short reach across to the bottom end of Rakino saw all of quite closely bunched . A few boats put up extras but not for long. It was soon a tight two sail reach all the way from Rakino to the bottom end of Rangitoto.


By this stage all the boats were going very fast, that leg took just 45 minutes on Exodus, who somehow managed to look at the watch despite hanging on to all the sheets.  X Factor worked its way quite quickly over to the Waiheke Coast, with the rest of the fleet taking a direct course across to  the end of Waiheke.  By now the wind was increasing and northerly sea building making for extremely exciting two sail conditions.  About half way across the wind increased noticeably which gave all of us a flying reach into the end of Waiheke.


Once around the point it was a deep run down towards Pakatoa.  This is where it got interesting and choices had to be made as to whether to fly an extra or not.  From all accounts everyone had a very exciting time down the passage between Pakatoa, with some very strong northwesterly gusts starting to come across.   Dirty Deeds put up their big red Gennaker and had "an exciting time" to say the least running down past the bottom end of Waiheke.  Taeping just got round Pakatoa with everything "hanging out".  Not to be out done, Exodus tried the same trick but due to the catastrophic failure of the tack line equipment, which did not appreciate the load, resulted in the Gennaker being used to see whether there was a school of fish which could be harvested.  This necessitated a 15 minute "pitstop" while the crew stopped the boat and hauled back on board the rather large red net trailing behind, having first sailed clear of a lee shore.  Don't you just hate the noise of tearing spinnaker cloth. It can only mean one thing!


Sundreamer took off from Exodus at this stage, as Need for Speed also quietly slipped past.  Once round the bottom end of Waiheke the boats could point directly at Browns Island, the next way point for an extremely high speed two sail reach all the way up the bottom end of Waiheke.  The conditions were perfect although strong intermittent gusts off the land made main and headsail sheet trimming very lively.  Extremely high speeds were encountered by all boats , with the flat seas making for perfect reaching conditions. Everyone was flying lot of sheets, hanging on, yahooing, and marvelling at the long 2 sail reach all the way back to the finish. 


X Factor put three miles on Taeping in just one hour from the bottom end of Waiheke which meant they were going very fast! X Factor, Taeping and Dirty Deeds finished within eight minutes of each other, with X Factor completing the course in 3 hours 52 minutes.  Sundreamer unfortunately lost her main headboard at the bottom end of Waiheke, but finished the course under headsail.  X Factor, Taeping and Dirty Deeds shared the honours on line, with Dirty Deeds, X Factor and Akarana Express getting the handicap prizes.


The finish boat tender came along side to deliver two bottles of the sponsors product and we all finished so quickly they did not seem to be quite ready for us.  The stories of course got even better in the squadron members bar later in the afternoon.


It was a truly classic course around the Gulf, and is the very reason why this series should be more supported by multi-hulls than it is.  The event is category 4 which everyone should be anyway so lets aim for an even bigger fleet.


Matthew Flynn/Chris Middleweek : Exodus.