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B&G Simrad 2012

2012 B&G Simrad 50 Communique's race report

15 Jul 2012

 Communique SIMRAD 50

The weather forecast is encouraging but on arrival at Westhaven it is still pitch dark and calm. Colin joins me soon after dawn and we seem to have enough warm clothes and food for a major expedition. Memories of last year and the long day and night are still strong.

On motoring down the harbour fortified with an instant cappuccino it would take a lot to spoil my day.

The Longhaul start gets away in a very light northerly, for our start I spend the 4 minutes from the preparatory trying to sail from the pin to the committee boat. This is very slow indeed, as we debate the moment to gybe for the line , Erazer skims across our bow, keen. With 20 seconds to go we gybe and trim for a reaching start. We are about 75% down the line and it is a modest start but we are applying Fendall's First Principle, "low is best". The pin is busy with a lot of the smart money but we have our own lane and seem to be holding our place. The wind is very soft approaching Browns Island and heads us. We are not laying the Island but resist the temptation to tack. We are able to maintain our forward momentum and when the wind fills in we find ourselves at Browns in a very mixed group but with many familiar boats around us.

The leg to Passage Rock is a gentle reach ideal for making food and enjoying a hot drink. We apply Fendall's Second Principle "the shortest distance between two points" this keeps us to leeward of the bulk of the fleet. Panacea rumbles past with a magnificent Hyundai spinnaker. Is it faster than a genoa? I am not convinced. We watch our contemporary Hot Gossip struggle with a spinnaker, not my idea of a happy place. On rounding Passage Rocks it is another opportunity to apply the "second principle". We arrive at Motihue with our old mate Romany 2 nearby and a group which includes Bump n Grind, Rewa, Rush, and others. We can see Delicado well on her way from Motihue Green looking very comfortable, we share the same PHRF so Delicado looks likely match last years podium at least.

Tacking up the Motatapu shoreline Bump n Grind shows the most enthusiasm for the tack in and gains accordingly, however this little group all go round Billy Goat point in close company. We set off for Rangi Lite and apply the Second Principle, leaving the subtleties of VMG sailing to others. As soon as possible we gybe onto port and sail along the Rangi shore to the light and onto the finish. We have held on well against the boats around us and are pleased to finish. Delicado has clearly done well in front of us. Rewa in front of us at the finish demonstrates an alternative interpretation of the finish line, which is disappointing to see after all day on the water.

For us it is nice to phone home with the news "home for tea".

Ok SSANZ, it has been a nice day out but enough already of this "namby pamby soldiers sailing", bring on race two and some proper SIMRAD weather, let the pain and suffering begin.

Fendall Halliburton

15 July12