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B&G Simrad

B&G Simrad 2011

Communique's B&G Simrad 60 2011 report

14 Aug 2011



Every SIMRAD starts with a visit to Sharpie for a wash down and an exchange ofgossip. A beautiful sunny Thursday morning, bring on the SIMRAD. Eagerly following the weather forecasts I watched the wind forecast track downwards. Our prospects of proper SIMRAD weather diminishing with each day.

On the day Stew and I are on board AT 0700 laden with food and clothes inanticipation of a long slow day. We were not to be disappointed. Motoring out into the fog it was electronic navigation rules. A couple of ferries in the mist but most spectacular a large container ship crossed our path in a very narrow part of the shipping lane just short of Northern Leading. Pity the pilot who would be quite unable to see the bow and whose radar must have been peppered with many approaching yachts.

Withthe start delayed the next two hours was spent eating as much of the food as possible and speculating on what our "Lotto" yacht would look like. At the first opportunity SSANZ got the start away and we concluded that as one of the lowest in our division we would start to windward to minimise the "rollover" effect of the faster boats passing us. This was achieved with quite a tidy start in the very light wind with only Share Delight nearby to leeward and she duly pulled away. As some of the lightweight division came through sporting code zeros it was easy to point out the leeward passing lane to them.

However all grounds for self congratulation came to an end as the wind died off Matiatia. Close inshore looked the go but you need better nerves than mine toget out of the tide. Eventually once a large part of the fleet had demonstrated that heading out to sea worked we followed suit.  I find that once far enough behind you are always sailing in clear air. Despite the steady Easterly sailing conditions Iwas very mind full of all the forecast prediction of SE by afternoon. We tacked back into Waiheke twice and confirmed each time the wind was better offshore.With 5 miles to go to Gannet and the way point bearing 30 plus degrees, we made  one more tack in. On cue the SE arrived and it was an eased sheet lay through to Gannet Rock. With a  predicted 10 minutes still to sail to the mark I felt quite unclever as I studied the familiar spinnakers already quite small on the next leg to Tiri.

With our kiteup it was immediately onto the 3mm kite sheet to keep going in the light wind, despite an apparent wind angle of 100 deg. We watched some the fleet heading high on the course but a 20 deg alteration of our course produced a negligible improvement in our speed so it was a case of sail the course. The skipper issued a liquid morale enhancer for all and we studied the SW cloudformation. On dusk in the SW we were brushing the rocks of Tiri and went to the headsail and hardened up 20 deg, to generate our fastest point of sail for theafternoon.

Once round Navy Buoy we headed into the bays at the first opportunity. We taked out briefly when something large and fast crossed takes with us but once as closein shore as practicable settled down for a long starboard tack board. One tackat North Head to avoid a large container ship which had us skimming the NorthHead walking track and then it was a welcome last board to the Orakei Wharf.

Listening to the Ch80 calls to the Coastguard we had concluded that maybe our position was a little better than our Gannet Rock position had us thinking, but we had no visual contact with any one in our division to give us any idea. May be the transition to the SW in the Tiri channel was slow for everyone? It would all have to wait until the morning.

In the morning one thing is clear, Delicado has sailed well with two good placings and will be leading the series, however we look to be 3rd with apair of 4ths. There is everything to play for, bring on the big one!

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Fendall Halliburton

14 Aug 2011