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B&G Simrad 2010

Mix T Motions B&G Simrad 60 2010 report

30 Aug 2010

Simrad 60 Report - Mix T Motions


The start to Navy Buoy


The day started well, Tom 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 which was achieved in blustery winds) in contrast today was windless. Still I didn't expect that the conditions would result in a delayed start and a general lack of wind for the whole race AGAIN.

We motored out to the start line and prepared for our start and while drifting to the line the start was delayed, we took the opportunity to improve our starting position by motoring up to the wharf end of the line and securing our boat to a mooring in Okahu Bay, and listening to CH77 while waiting for the start. Eventually a light breeze wafted in and the fleet looked a bit more lively, we joined the fray and it wasn't long before we were in our starting sequence. Unfortunately we were involved in a collision (no fault of our own) before the start, which was unsettling, but there was minor damage, and we all carried on without any protests being lodged. I have debriefed the incident (post race) with the other two boats involved and the promise of a few rums was the settlement agreement.


Sailing up through Rangi channel, our boat felt sluggish, and when Travelln Man then Crac a Jac passed us like we were standing still, we realised that we must have picked up weed around the keel and rudder, so after getting some of it off with the boat hook, we decided to sail backwards to free the rest, this did the trick, and our boat speed increased immediately, still we had lost a lot of ground because of this, and were bringing up the rear again. Its amazing how much weed around the keel slows you down.

After a slow trip to Navy buoy we ended up rounding, close behind Travelln Man.


Navy Buoy to Gannet


The wind (what little of it there was) was pushing the fleet below the rhumb line and towards the Noisies, a large group tacked over for better positioning but fell into a hole. Somehow by not tacking we drifted up on these boats, the wind becoming more favourable, and enabling us to make course without having to tack. The wind if any was very light, and it didn't look like any more was coming, we watched as boat after boat pulled the pin. We saw Travelln Man and Lightfoot depart the scene. We decided to persevere. We found ourselves quite close in behind the Noisies as darkness fell, and we could hear the loud roar of crashing waves, I was keen to get past these rocks and then past the Ahaas, as I didn't want to be drifting towards them in the dark if the wind died completely, especially with the  good swell that was running. Eventually we crept away from both sets of rocks, we tried our masthead spinnaker, our fractional gennaker, goosewing and our masthead gennaker, all to no avail, there just simply wasn't enough wind to fill them. It was about 4 miles from Gannet at about 10.30 pm when we got a hint of breeze abeam and Tom hoisted the masthead gennaker again, it flapped away but every so often pulled us forward a little, the lights of the other boats were getting a little closer, it was working! Gradually the wind increased, and we were sailing along nicely by the time we reached Gannet. It was exhilarating to round Gannet on a jet black night with the stench of guano in the air, the gannets squawking away and the sound of large waves hitting the rock on an otherwise quiet night (the highlight of the race for me). I called the coastguard on 82 with crystal clear reception, it was 11.33 and we still had a way to go, it was going to be a long night. Then the rain kicked in again.


Gannet to the finish


The wind was still light and and from an undesirable direction (almost right where we wanted to go) we had VMG  on a port tack. However after an hour or so the wind direction changed and we found ourselves on the rhumb line and making the course. When we got to the Motihui channel area we had to tack again, and it was slow going (tack,tack,tack), but with more wind now, all the way to the finish against an outgoing tide, with the cold creeping in to our bones. We crossed the finish line at 5.53 am, it had taken 18hrs and 48 mins, we ended up second on handicap and third on line in our division. Only four boats from our division completed the race.


We are entered in the around North Island race next February, so for us the race was and opportunity to torture ourselves in a test in mental fortitude, as we will be faced with much bigger challenges. We were thankful for the run back from Gannet, and the wind that we got, as it could have been an even longer night.


Thanks SSANZ again for manning the finish line all night. Lets hope we get some wind for the next one so we can make a real race of it