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B&G Simrad

B&G Simrad

MUNETRA B&G Simrad 60 report

05 Aug 2008

MUNETRA Raven 26 Smallest / Lowest Handicap.

We had a reasonable start with No 1 and full main up past Rangitoto light. We then watched those ahead play with their spinnakers. Play is a good word! The chicken chutes seemed OK but the rounded full kites were rolling a lot. We decided to pole out our No 1 and were doing a good 7+ knots on our log, often 7.7 but not sure how accurate it is. We don't do planning like the fast flat bottomed competitors. Not won't, just can't! and 8.5 knots was our top speed for a good few bursts down waves.

Happily we continued to north of Rakino and gybed, passing then very close to the reefs west of Maria Is and north of Zeno rocks. A few trackers were around us doing the same. We watched a yacht (possibly Surveillance) behind us wrap its kite when gybing and it was still well wrapped for a long time. We headed on towards Gannet Rock but into Waiheke on the angle trying to keep as deep as possible. Good action with Cantara going well ahead, but battled with Aquaholic for over a hour before gradually getting in front of Aquaholic. Gybed towards Gannet Rock and passed close to Rat Attack who said they were all Ok under motor, no sails up, heading towards Waiheke and shelter.

We were discussing sail changes and plans to drop our No 1 when square to the wind when abeam of Gannet and going straight to No 3 our working jib, for the beat home, when suddenly the tiller broke off the rudder head fitting. Now we were abeam and very close to Gannet. I struggled with the tiller head and we dropped the No 1 and then let the main fly and we wallowed, going nowhere, but boats were passing us and we were loosing time. I tried slotting in the broken tiller, but this would not be suitable for beating home. Next I tried a long heavy screwdriver which gave me some steerage but not sufficient control. At this time, the mainsheet snap shackle released so we were without a mainsheet. Every thing happens at once! No sails, no speed, no steerage!

Luckily we had an emergency tiller (that we had previously tested it fitted last year) and quickly bolted it onto the rudder head. Then hoisted No 3 and sheeted in whilst struggling with a very short stout tiller that was very sloppy but we were back in control and then started the long beat. Recon we lost at least 5 minutes dead in the water and say another 5+ minutes not going at all well (under 2 knots). Still that?s what happens when you are enjoying yourself.

On the beat, we were close to St Fintan (eventual winner = well done) and crossed tacks several times. Then on one tack inshore and in heavy gusts we were just pushed to leeward. Eventually we put a 2nd reef in and sailed better. St Fintan sailed offshore at this time and must of picked better wind shifts, as we did not close to her again. Then all the gusts and lulls saw us putting in and shaking out reefs all the very long way to the finish.

So a sail in heavy winds for us, with hard work on a sloppy tiller and lots of reefing practice and happy for 3rd on handicap.

Thanks SSANZ!.