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B&G Simrad

Mix T Motions B&G Simrad 100 2009 Report

07 Sep 2009

Mix T Motions ? Richard Edlin design 8.0 Metre


Simrad 100 Report, Shorthaul Sport Boat Division


The Crew

Our crew for this race was made up of myself (Ben Allen), and Mike Little, this is the first time we have sailed together. Making it a different crew member for each race of the series.

The Start

It was a spinnaker start. Pre ? start I readied the spinnaker, checking everything thoroughly as I wanted this to be clean, all that remained was to pull on the halyard and we would be in business, hopefully all the way to little barrier, I kept time, and Mike positioned the boat perfectly, the call went out to hoist and up she went in one swift movement, instantly set and we were off and across the start line right up there with the leaders - the best start of the series for us.

 Up to Tiri

Travelling through Rangi channel, it was a refreshing sight to see most of our division behind us and to be in the company of some faster boats than us, like Drop Dead Fred, Bump n Grind, and Light Foot. Because of the light wind forecast, about 80% of the boats we could see, opted to pass Tiri to port in order to pick up more wind, this seemed a good idea so we followed, Bump n Grind, started to pull away from us sporting a very big blue kite.

Tiri to Little Barrier

At times the wind was light and a lumpy south easterly chop meant our spinnaker was being thrown around a lot and not setting all that well, looking around us it was par for the course, so we carried on, happy to be enjoying such beautiful cruisy sailing conditions, we were holding our own against most of the boats around us, but could see none in our division except for Bump n Grind who had now put on a healthy lead over us. We opted to straight line it, whereas Bump n grind seemed to be working the angles a bit.

Approaching Little Barrier we found ourselves in the company of four or five young 88?s Waka Huia and Sonic being two of them.

Around the back of Little Barrier

We sailed around the back in close quarters with Waka Huia and Sonic, Sonic and us both fell into the same hole and it was kite down time and out with the furling headsail, a few frustrating moments were spent here as we watched the fleet of spinnakers behind us draw closer and a couple of lucky boats somehow negotiate the hole and edge in front of our group. Eventually we gained breeze and came out the other side into a short steep localised boat stopping chop, once we were past this it felt like we were clear of the rubbish and I called coastguard, (good feeling to have crystal clear reception on the boats VHF). The chop was still there just not so intense.

Little Barrier to Tiri

The wind direction meant a beat home, heading straight ahead meant more chop, turning right to early meant unfavourable land effects from Little Barrier, so we opted to head straight for a bit then turn right at 10 past 5pm (very important that we turn at exactly 10 past 5). After our turn we were laying Takatu Point approximately and shortly after we received a gift ? a healthy breeze ? we were especially grateful for this, as it was unexpected. Now we had some really favourable conditions for us, being a bit stiffer than a lot of our competition, and this lifted our spirits with thoughts of holding this breeze all the way to the line. A beautiful sunset was followed shortly afterwards by an even more beautiful moonrise, pity it was over my shoulder and I had to twist to look at it, we were now on our own little mission, other boats being merely shapes and lights in the night, and nameless to us. The moon cast shadows of us on the mainsail it was so bright, a good night for visual navigation. We tacked our way back to Tiri, cutting inside Flat Rock.

Tiri to the finish

When we had Tiri abeam the wind started to lighten, and this was to be the beginning of a long cold frustrating journey to the finish. I remember looking at my watch and it being 10 pm somewhere around here, and up to this point the consensus between us was that we had sailed a good race and were well positioned (unsubstantiated of course). Our wind was dying, we crept toward Rangi Channel, the wind changed direction a little enabling us to now lay the tall Takapuna building with the red light on it (good news), it was an out going tide (bad news), and as the wind lightened further our progress was halted dramatically, We tacked in and out but the Takapuna building was proving hard to pass we couldn?t seem to get out of the tide, Ghosting along in very light winds is probably our worst point of sail, and this plays havoc with your psychi when your already cold and tired, and so it was a test of patience. Going downstairs and putting on every bit of clothing I had helped a bit, turning on the radio and listening to the rock and breaking out the party pack lollies also helped, but the other boat shapes around us appeared to be ghosting faster. We had the VHF on 77 and listened as several boats pulled the pin and went home. Eventually we got there, crossing the line just after 5am, getting 9th across the line and 3rd on handicap in our division. Unfortunately little or no wind is one of the realities of sailing, so for me it was good to build up some mental fortitude for this.

What now for Mix T

Our race calender has us doing the Coastal Classic (fully crewed) next month, the Around White Island (fully crewed) the month after, followed by the fully crewed around North Island Race in February, as we work towards the two handed around North Island Race in February 2011 (at 8m we will possibly the smallest boat doing this). Look forward to seeing some of you out there.

Thanks SSANZ, congratulations on hosting another successful series, We?ve enjoyed it and look forward to doing it all again next year.