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B&G Simrad

Saint Fintan's 2009 B&G Simrad 50 report

08 Jul 2009

Saint Fintan's Match Report, Simrad 50 2009

With only two Reactors in the first race, we lined up with China Doll in the Small boat 1 division, a mixture of older displacement yachts and lighter planning machines.

The plan from the start was to start at the wharf end, like so many others, But a wee boo boo with the start watch, and not being able to sight the start boat saw us a bit early to the line and having to reach down the line, zig  zag over the line and back to eat up time.

We hardened up after the gun, and had good speed and height passing some other boats as we headed up to Rangi light. As the fleet spread out, we found ourselves mid pack and going nicely. We saw Alan in China Doll over towards Rangitoto, flying his Blue No1 Genoa, reflecting the colour of his jokes.

As we   started to debate the plan once around Rangitoto, we notice that Alan was dancing around his foredeck, doing a sail change to the very Gucci grey no2, reflecting the colour of his hair.

The breeze was building and we thought we would hang on to our no1. We rounded Rangi and headed up to haystack sailing closer to the wind; it became apparent that the No 2 was the way to go. Mark set off to the foredeck to do the change. As we dropped the genoa, we stopped dead. We really needed that head sail to give us some push, the breeze and prevailing swell were against us .It was a good move for China Doll to do the sail change in the smoother water partially sheltered by Rangitoto. Most of the boats behind us had overtaken us and there were only a few astern.

Oh well, back to work. We made our way up to Haystack, not going too far out, we ventured in to shore until the boat speed dropped too much then tacked back. One sally into the shore saw us hard on the wind with  Rebel Yell about 200 metres in front also on the wind but sailing a course 90 different to us. We soon got to that breeze and it was like going up in an elevator. Wacky.

On we headed, pondering another couple of tacks to get around the mark. China Doll had rounded early and had kite up and was charging to Motuihe, Man they are quick. Then everything changed. WOW what a squall, we were over on our ear, driving rain and wind. I was trying to throw off the main and the genoa. Glanced at the wind instruments, 29 Kts. Cool. No visibility, no idea where we were in relation to Haystack, or other boats.  Checked the plotter, wow we were laying Haystack us. Sweet!

Err what's going on here? The clump of boats wee ways in front of us had been knocked about and were now sailing away from the mark.  The squall cleared and we could see we were bang on!  As we rounded, we looked back to see some had dropped headsails, some were reefing   and none were anywhere near us. We elected to hang on to the No2 and full main and try to stretch our lead over those behind.

Kite up and a nice ride to Motuihe where we gybed without incident and headed to Browns, chasing a Piedy. Those behind did 'nt look like catching us. As the breeze dropped, something came up. A pod of orcas surfaced about two boat lengths away. Now that is awesome.  Two adults and 2 juveniles, just going for a swim. Blowholes going, the works...They loitered for a couple of minutes while we completely lost interest in trimming the kite. They left, and it was back to work.

No sign of China Doll. Alan was probably home by now with his slippers on, the red ones that match his nose.

We could nt catch the Piedy downwind, those behind could' nt catch us and so we  rounded Browns, leaving the gybe a bit too late We crossed the finish, with instruction's from the committee boat to get some number's for the kite. I'll start saving.

Back to the marina for beers and to demolish a huge slab or rice bubble cake that my girlfriend made. Then up to the PCC for warmth and stories.

Hopefully we can get more Reactors out next time, its not too late!

Many thanks SSANZ