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B&G Simrad

B&G Simrad 2010

Mix T Motions B&G Simrad 50 2010 report

12 Jul 2010


 Simrad 50 Report ? Mix T Motions


The start to Rangi


The day started well, Bill and I turned up at Westhaven at 7.00am, the boat had been readied the day before (a clean bottom thanks to the floating dock), and a new main which we fitted the night before. We opted to motor out to the start line early. There was a quick safety inspection carried out by the committee boat (being early meant this was easily accomplished). There wasn?t much wind around but we remained optimistic about it kicking in because of the forecast information from the briefing.

We readied the masthead spinnaker for the start. Early into our starting sequence we hoisted it and started drifting towards the line, we got almost to the line and stopped dead for a good 15 minutes, we still hadn?t heard the gun so turned the VHF back on to discover the start had been postponed. We also heard that some of the long haul boats had taken more than 20 minutes to get across the line, possibly meaning they were classified as DNS (this rule seemed harsh considering the circumstances and we hoped it wouldn?t be enforced, especially if the same thing happened to us).



We repositioned the boat for the next start and away we went. We then made the first crucial mistake of our race and headed away from North Head, not wanting to fall into the big hole we perceived to be there, however we fell into our own hole (which was bigger) and we could only watch as most of the fleet sailed off into the distance along the east coast bays. When we got closer to Rangi shore we saw Travelln Man a little way ahead, it was nearing 12.00, and with high tide at 11.55 we decided to get back in the channel for some tidal assistance.  Close inspection of a channel buoy seemed to indicate the tide was still coming in. It was about here that Bill confessed to bringing two bananas aboard, we quickly disposed of them but I fear the damage had already been done. We were back in our hole again and Travelln Man had made some serious gains on us. We were now positioned near the rear of the fleet.


Rangi light to Billy Goat Pt


We opted to stay wide, away from Rangi shoreline, and this payed some dividends, with some tidal assistance at last. We were running at the same speed as Crack a Jack who took an inside line. But some of the other boats on the inside were not moving much and we were making gains on them, we edged past Navenka just before Billy Goat and hoisted the mast head kite again. As we turne the corner (a group of 5 or 6 boats formed a possey 50m behind us).



Billy goat Pt to Motuihe Green Buoy


We made a few more gains on this leg and overtook another two boats, by sailing the kite shy and working the angles a little it was possible to generate more speed (the wind was still very, very light) we thought we could make out Travelln Man in the distance sporting a big blue gennaker.



Motuihe Green Buoy to Passage Rock


As we rounded Motuihe Island we were carrying the kite shy, and we started to get some wind, however we were losing speed on the boats around us, and the two boats we had overtaken now overtook us. Our masthead kite wasn?t the best sail for this point of sail, so we dropped it and hoisted the masthead gennaker instead. This was good successful  R & D for us (having not used this sail before), and we gained a couple of knots boat speed immediately (we were enjoying ourselves now) the wind was finally here and bound to steadily increase as per the forecast.


Passage Rock to Browns Island


We gybed the gennaker as we rounded passage rock and held onto it, it was giving us superior boat speed and we were carrying it well forward of the beam (smething I didn?t think this sail could do) we weren?t to worried that we were dropping below the rhumb line at that stage, as we believed the better boat speed was more advantageous, and as the wind increased (supposedly) we might get a lift as we got closer to Browns. The opposite ended up happening, the wind got lighter, we were deposited into the mother of all holes (Bill and his bananas). We were then stuck there for hours, every now and then a puff of wind a quick little run then gone again, getting around Browns Island was a total mission from our position, the situation was becoming disheartening.


Browns Island to the finish


After finally rounding Browns Island beacon we were again becalmed. We were in the company of three other boats, and I am sure these were the very last boats of the whole fleet. We were determined not to give up. I made the call that if we were still out there at 6am we would start the motor and pull out. Looking over to Browns Island didn?t give us much hope as we certainly weren?t making any ground on it. Eventually we started to move, very, very slowly we made our way to Bean Rock and around with a nice little run from bean rock to the line in the company of Cool Bear, crossing just behind them at 3.19 am it had taken us 17.44 hours to complete the 42NM course. Good on you Cool Bear and the other boats that finished near us, for sticking it out and finishing in those conditions.


So there you have it, a bit of a shocker for us, coming last in our division, and a complete contrast to last years Simrad 50 where we won our division on handicap. This year we seemed very good at finding where the wind wasn?t, maybe if Bill have left the bananas at home it would have been a different story.


Thanks to SSANZ who also had a late and tiring night waiting up for us.


Bring on some wind for the next one. We need to prove we can actually sail.