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B&G Simrad

Drums of Time's 2009 B&G Simrad 50 report

06 Jul 2009

Race report: Drums of Time

Race objective: Use kite at every opportunity, improve on last year

We joined the crowd at the startline with a few minutes to go, working our way into and up the line of piles. Pretty tight for that many boats, we only got to a position where we could lay the inner distance mark with about a minute left and probably 1:30 to the line. Clearly not in the first boats to the line.

Our sail trim was crap for the first 45 minutes, out past rangi light.

We were fast enough, but very low. Low enough to get concerned about laying North Head and had a short tack away to make sure. We stayed up the left side of the channel and watched the navy blast through the middle of the pack, fixed our sail trim gaining about 5 degrees, then tacked across. for a mile or so before heading out again. Must have picked that one OK as we made big gains over the boats we crossed both ways, and cannily avoided a squall bearing down from Rakino. Overlaid Billy Goat by a 100m or so as the wind freed a little.

To tight to kite straight away, so set things up and tried to launch as we rounded toward home bay. Sail won't go up, FACK. Five minutes dicking around and we had it cleared, and up for a (by now) short run to Motuihe green. An efficient and uneventful drop made us feel better and we steamed around the mark in company with Lionmark and one of the 88s.

Lionmark proceeded to luff us halfway to the beach, fair enough but we weren't racing them and hadn't had enough room to go under them at the mark.

Procession straight down to passage, making ground on the boats around us, but not enough to catch the better 1020s. While things were quiet I made a quick trip up the mast to retrieve the pole uphaul and take a few pictures. As we got to Awawawaroa the wind heated up and died. Not many boats in the shorthaul had got around passage before the wind died.

Those that had made big gains. That included a decent swag of 1020s. The rest of us suffered, and then suffered more when the light weights put their bags up and starting ghosting away, and the others got their masthead kites out.

As for us, another dud hoist, and another few minutes to fix it up. We must check the setup better next time.

Then we made the worst call of the race (not alone in this one). Looking at the forecast we heated up on starboard in a light patch and moved closer to Waiheke. And then watched as all the boats down towards Maraitai took off into the distance. Worst of that was most of those boats got around Brown's before a hosing rain came down between Brown's and Motuihe. No wind, sodden kite, going nowhere. Then a quick build and shift to the North, and suddenly our kite blew out. Not ours only. Wild Blue lost one about a minute earlier.

No spare on board, there didn't seem to be enough wind to bother with the No2, and already dead last in the 1020s, we crawled home.

Ah well. Next time.