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B&G Simrad

B&G Simrad 2010

Communique's B&G Simrad 2010 report

18 Aug 2010

Trial By SIMRAD Communique SIMRAD 60


The wind rattled the garden overnight  and I dimly recall the dearly beloved asking if "it" would be cancelled. Even in a coma induced by cheap shiraz  I recall replying it is the SIMRAD dear.


Stew and I met at Communique at 0700 to be greeted by vertical rain, a hint for he day ahead. The start area was an oily calm, never mind run the engine charge the electrical system. The start was a test of ability to stem the tide, I quickly emulated the Mike of Sheer Delight  example and readied the smaller anchor for anchoring on the start line. I did not need to worry code flag AP for our start and later code flag N for the Div 1 race and a restart for div 1. Note to self must check SIs and RRS for abandoning a race already started.


Our own start 2 hours later was a busy one,. The smart money as well as the not so smart money was all on a wharf end start. The ensuing tangle involved other people and we were away cleanly and soon enjoyed a private lane. Or at least it was private until Hot Gossip sailed over and around us. I do hate that.


At Rangi Lite a brief parkup developed but as a wind ward boat we were soon away and enjoying a delightful and brisk reach to Tiri Navy buoy. We round in credible company of 1020s and S34s and are off into the brisk easterly.  As we closed on Rakino the wind went AWOL and the northerly swell dominated. A brief easterly zephyr prompted large scale tacking to the North but this temptation was easily resisted. The only forecast activity was from SW albeit a long way in the future. Much flopping of sails ensured and little forward movement of any description. An inventory of the food was made and we declared it was time for the "soup of the day".


Dusk fell with us rolling and flapping and distinctly queasy and very tired of the unchanging geography. Around us the consensus was home time as engines started, and the VHF crackled with retirements as the fleet disappeared towards Auckland. I looked at Stew and we agreed "quiting was not in our DNA" retirement is for other people! Lets just imagine it is like an ocean race?.


 A very slow sail to Gannet rock ensued. A brief puff of 4 knots of wind was celebrated with a round of instant cappuccinos. Rounding  with Drop Dead Fred we setoff in the best breeze of the night for home. A long port tack watching for an opportunity to tack back to Waiheke.. We came back at Thompson Point crossing tacks once more with Drop Dead Fred.  Working the Waiheke shore we were pleased  to get out off the Motihue Channel in good breeze against the strong ebb tide. Approaching the finish the wind held and we finished at 0454 to a welcome whiff of gunpowder.


This SIMRAD series has been out of step with the wind. A dramatic change from the test of physical strength of recent years. The level of retirements from first race 1 and then race 2 greatly detracts from the series and is a real shame. It seems the mental challenge of the light is more difficult to overcome than the physical challenge of the heavy.


The appeal of this series for me continues to be the variety it offers and a challenge so different from reaching up and down the ditch. If I wanted to be home for dinner I would sail in any one of the winter series afternoon harbour reaches offered by any one of the harbour Yacht Clubs. I look forward to race 3 the big one and will be ready. This time I will be sure to have my sleeping bag! If those words do not tempt fate nothing will.


Fendall Halliburton