Story Images


The oldest boat...Iorangi

R n B

R n B

Hard Labour

Hard Labour... SSANZ committee members out there giving it heaps

Race 3 2005 SSANZ SIMRAD Series

11 Sep 2005


The "Hard Labour" experience...

The race report from Race 2 finished off with something about the boat insisting on living up to it's name and also the need to use every trick in the book to pull of the combined elapsed time win...

Well sadly the boat still insists on being "Hard Labour", although this time was more than a little self inflicted. Before the race we needed to do a little maintenance so the boat was booked to come out of the water. Unfortunately over Friday night was the only option (would be a big problem if anything unforeseen needed to be fixed). Anyway we worked away on Friday and got everything sorted and had arranged to meet to put the boat back in the water at 7:00. I was wondering why Steve hadn't showed up so called him to find he was still at home ! Oops. Guess I'm on my own !

So I get the boat back in the marina, Steve turns up and we unload the excess gear and put on what is required for the race. I'm now expecting a call from Peter Montgomery to go live on air, but still haven't heard from him. Just as I'm thinking it's not going to happen, the phone rings and we are straight into the interview which was shortened a little as everything was running late.

By now everyone else has left the marina and we are the last ones left, so it's a quick exit and hammer down. We knew we would be tight for time as we had to motor into the wind and tide, luckily 1020's go very well under motor and we could go twice the speed of many other boats. As we arrived the longhaul division just got it's warning gun. I quickly hanked on the No.2 and we got the main up and switched the engine off only just before our warning gun and the longhaul divisions start.

Starting tactic's were obvious, had to be right by No8 bouy. It was also apparent everyone was running late. We hoisted the No.2 about 3 min before the start and sailed towards the tower. Grunty Chicken and Rebel Rouser were the only other boats near the line, we tacked underneath and reached back towards No.8 bouy. Higher Ground was 5 min late and approached on port tacking just in front. This made life interesting as we dipped under their transom then came up around No.8 barely squeezing past with the tide pushing us towards it. We bore away and established some clear air to leeward of Higher Ground, set up the outboard jib sheets and settled in for a long reach to Little Barrier.

We were pretty happy with ourselves at this point as apart from Rebel Rouser we had about 1.5 minute lead on our closest opposition. However we knew these were not our conditions and were worried about how long it would take for them to catch us.

Iorangi obviously loved the conditions and was absolutely flying. They passed us by Tiri and proceeded to disappear into the sunset going at least a knot faster. At this point we realised we had no chance to retain the trophy for the Shorthaul divisions fastest combined elapsed time...but it's better to be 2nd than 3rd or 4th ! Sliver, Rebel Rouser, and Namu were all looking dangerous behind us.  The breeze built and dropped a couple of times which kept us busy with the first reef going in, then out, then in again. Mostly we had 20-25 knots with a few lulls to 15 knots and puffs to 27 (once touched 30)

On rounding Little Barrier Rebel Rouser was right on our transom. We both went to set up spinnakers but unfortunately our halyard clip let go part way up...(I was wondering why it suddenly got to easy to hoist). I had a quick attempt to climb the mast, but as every thing was so wet and slippery it didn't really work, so instead we hoisted using the spare genoa halyard. Rebel Rouser had a few issues with twists, so we managed to gybe across in front. The sea state was quite confused, with a backwash from the island and the breeze was very puffy. We carried the kite until we got through the lee then rehoisted the No.2 and headed up 40 degrees onto course.

Sliver had caught up abit around Little Barrier using a gennaker, but lost their gains by hanging on to long before dropping. They were a fair way to leeward. Namu didn't hoist a spinnaker and stayed very close to the island ending up a fair way to windward but still abit behind. Rebel Rouser had a shocker gybe, held the spinnaker too long and lost a lot of distance.

For us it was a three way drag race to the finish with Namu and Sliver either side and close behind. We seemed to be holding Sliver, but Namu was catching. Namu eventually passed us at Tiri, but when we both hit a light patch in the lee of Tiri we managed to sneak over the top of them to get in front. It was huge concentration from both boats all the way to the finish, constantly trimming. Hard Labour's lead varied between 1 and 2 boatlength's but unfortunately we couldn't hold Namu back forever. They slipped ahead at Rangi light and ended up finishing at most 10 seconds in front. Sliver was probably only another 30 seconds back

For the conditions I think we couldn't have expected anymore from the boat and had a great race. Unfortunately we had no tricks left in the bag to hold out Namu let along Iorangi. But 20 odd minutes ahead of the next 1020 (thanks for giving us a break at the start guys !)  

p.s What a fantastic series and amazing to see 136 entries ! Will look forward to next year?.maybe we will see 150 boats !