The V Team's B&G Simrad 50 2010 report
07 Jul 2010
Hi everyone ,
Like in earlier ears l have been ask to write about the 50 mile 2 handed race this week end .
The normal early morning start to primp and prep the boat -extra anchor/warp/chain to comply with cat 4 regs (have to admit not sure how many others actually have real back up ground "tackle") and sussing out or secret weapon !!!.
Then the relaxed motor out into about 5- 9 knots of westerly breeze with a great feeling about the day (especially if this breeze stays in ) and all these boats,170 or there about, you do have to take your hat off to Brian and his SSANZ crew !!
All pretty normal in the milling around before hand , catching up with a few, keeping out of the way and just enjoying being there .
The Long Haul division gets under way and rapidly disappear to North head , we now try to position ourselves for the start ?whoops the wind dies -the start gun goes and -nothing , not going anywhere -after 19 minutes and no movement we suddenly (after all this time !! ) realise that there had been a postponement, phew !!!! now we motor to where we want to be and await the restart -30 mins later we are away- good start ,right up with the front boats , overtake Share Delight easily (ed note What's going on here Mike ?) and then try to avoid the long haul division boats all caught by the lack of wind and the incoming tide -many actually anchored !!!!
We went in close to North Head , but not close enough and then stalled, we were pushed out by the tide, then the sports boats and those who were able to ,managed to get very close under North Head and got a tongue of wind-they were away but not for long ---after an hour or so we managed to work our way over to this tongue of wind and decided to work the coast line ?this worked really well in very little wind with 2-3 knots of boat speed , the depth sounder alarm (set a 2 metres ) continually going off and us overtaking lots of boats (who had got the earlier wind ) -at one stage Brendon suggested we should tack as he could see the bottom -it was sand off Cheltenham !!, this was good fun actually .
We kept this up all the way past the reef off Narrow neck and then when all the boats decided to duck across to Rangitoto light as the tide changed we continued up the coat to opposite Takapuna where we could see the end of Motutapu .
The wind was now 4-5 knots , gusting to 6-7 !!.from the NE .
We tacked over and made really good time across to the bottom of Motutapu ,finding ourselves in front of all the 1020,s (although we're not sure about Aqualine )----we fell into a little hole and Rainbow IV slipped through and then into a shy kite ride -up went our new secret weapon -big ,white with a large green stripe ?the new Number 1 !!!!!!
This did us well and we gybed well but somehow Rainbow IV slipped away and Ferrari went pass -are we to heavy , are we not sailing the angles right , was it tide -a bit of frustration here which is added to by seeing Share Delight going really wide , doing one gybe and steaming up the Motuhie Channel going from being at least 10 minutes behind us to being at least 10-15 minutes in front -another 1020, Strathspey, also did the same -something to learn here !!
Now its off down the back of Waiheke, its now getting late afternoon , really nice steady breeze still from the NE, a tight but very manageable kite ride and its great sailing .
The first long haul boats start going the other way just on dusk and they have a really nice reach and wind, things look get for the return trip .
Its now dark , lots of nav lights , we have drawn level with the other 1020's by staying a bit low and out in the strait, we plan to reach into passage rock -at speed- rather than carry the kite in .We're actually feeling very pleased as on dark Share Delight and the other 1020's are either in sight or just around us -in the dark we drop the new weapon .
We now reach up towards Passage rock and overtake the other 1020's , going around Passage just in front of Strathspey and then just leaving them for dead with the outboard sheeting working so well -we think we are well placed and certainly will be pacing Share Delight and not falling behind .
Another hour of really great evening sailing, flat sea , 5-9 knots of breeze , brilliant stars and not too cold -just really pleasant and we are sailing well, pick up a couple of boats, then the wind gods intervene as we come across to the Motuihe/ Browns island area, it falls down to 2-3 knots and less , is fickle in direction and its frustrating (looking at the results the boats that were ahead of this area finished before midnight ).
Now its getting frustrating and we manage to claw our way past Browns island light, we pass a Stewart 34 for the second time here , then we stall, no wind and we go a little further out towards Rangitoto and get into a wind line, we are off to Bean rock at about 3-4 knots -really fast it felt now --just before Bean rock we run out of wind , then we get it again and go past Bean rock and then we stall, the 10 or so boats we have passed now come up to us , the fleet from behind dribble in as we search for different answers. Strathspey comes along side and then tack into shore (this required pumping the tiller for most of us as we were generally doing .5 to 1.5 knots at this stage (if we were lucky !!). This was a really great move on their part, the Stewart 34 (Panacea or some similar name ) pass us and say "not the V team again ?!!!!" it had been a lottery from about 8pm !!
The remaining 2 hours are just really ,really ,really frustrating -Ferrari (a 1020 ) comes up to us and edge ahead -we finally get a whisper of wind and manage to sneak across the line ahead of Ferrari at 2.24 (Strathspey at 1.14 and Rainbow IV at 1.17 )?to know we went from being ahead of Strathspey and Rainbow IV within sight of the finish just off the Tamaki Yacht club (but further out ) to being over an hour behind is another thing to work through (deep breaths involved ,here with another wine !! )
Then its back to the Marina ,bundle the sails away and then after dropping the Co Skipper back at home its finally into bed at 0400-knackered !!!!
Some things from this :
Brendon is really great company and has lots of good ideas , we are competitive with other boats but maybe a bit heavier , we did sail well in the light but not the super light , follow the old fox Mike Lanigan at the back of Motutapu and go wide away from the tide and hide behind Motuihe when going against the tide, go into shore in the super light and work the land breezes, there nothing like a beer in the middle of the afternoon , with a nice breeze/flat sea and nice breeze ; taking 8 hours from the bottom of Waiheke to Orakei is not fun and is frustrating -there's nothing like sailing !!
I had three objectives for the race, not to be the last 1020(easily done !!) , beat the farr 9.2's (just pipped by their first boat -we heard the gun !! and we beat Hot Gossip ) and to beat the Farr 1220 which we did, all in all successful -now to go further up the pecking order !!
I'm sure Brendon (aka Isaac ) will make some comments and add to the things to remember from this -what l can assure everyone is that there was no competition for the Mankini (and no l didn't wear it ) and that we will be back for more !!!!.