2012 B&G Simrad 50 Rattle n Rum's Report
16 Jul 2012
We got away to a very good start at the Windward end of the line with pace and held our position nicely going into the hole at Browns Island.
A few of our division tacked away when the first knock came and headed north towards Rangi which got me a bit concerned but looking ahead seeing the big boats with eased sheets pasts Motuhie and a small lifting puff coming down from the passage I could see no way that they would do any good so we carried on. Sure enough as planned the lift came and we were off with the code zero eased sheets past browns with the northern boats all stuck up in no wind and having to hoist kites to get out of there. Our biggest gains of the day were made right there.
We set up for the long reach to passage rock and hiked it down hard. We looked back and were glad to see the rest of our division caught up with all the traffic from other divisions while we were relatively clear. Marshy on the Mercenary was the only boat from our division that was appearing out of the mass of boats behind so we kept a good eye on him.
Eventually we saw the Pepe start to gain rapidly on us with their big squaretop main and Code Zero setting nicely. We tried our hardest to hold them off but they managed to roll us just before passage rock, our only answer to this was to have another beer as we knew it was inevitable . We went around passage rock about 2 boat lengths behind them and both set our zeros again, it ended up being too tight and breezy for us to hold ours and so we dropped and went back to jib before we broke something or ended up to far to leeward. Pepe managed to hold theirs a bit longer and made a small gain but eventually they had to drop and go to a headsail as well. We were no match for their waterline length 2 sailing and they pulled away to have a good lead by the time we got to Motuihe. The other fully turboed R930 "No worries" also put a lot of time on us to be only about 100m behind as we rounded the southern tip of Motuihe island. We decided to chuck a tack back into the beach to avoid the tide and come into the channel with some height so we could just clear the green mark rather than having to tack back up the channel like pepe. This ended up good as we came into the channel from uptide and sailed fast slightly cracked into the mark while they were plowing straight into it. We made some big gains here and were back to within 2 boat lengths of the Pepe. On the beat through the channel everyone compressed up to us and the game closed up a lot with Mercenary, fast company and Cool Change not far behind. We had a nice little match race with Pepe beating into the shore of Motutapu just missing marshys rock and avoiding the tide. They slowly pulled away upwind as soon as we got into the real breeze and sailed away to have a decent lead at the top. We managed to hold off the No worries upwind which surprised us and were more than happy with our position at the top.
We set the gennaker as we thought it was going to be fairly tight and the breeze was going to build but decided to peel to the masthead spinnaker to get more depth as I wanted to stay close to the rangi shore to keep in the accelerated flow along the side of the island down by Rangi light. Rich pulled off the glamour peel and the kite stayed set though out the whole exercise. I think it was even better than we could have done fully crewed!
No Worries was going very fast with a massive running gennaker set off a rotating prod and sailed right up to us, they tried a few times to get past to leeward eventually deciding to go above us. I let them roll us as the breeze had already lifted enough for me to consider gybing back in and would rather have them outside us. We chucked a quick gybe inshore while they carried on, Pepe had also carried on a fair distance so I really wanted to be the inside boat for the turn especially if the breeze build and the downwind angles reduced with the increased pressure. When no worries finally gybed they were pointing at us and a few hundred meters behind so that was a good gain, we had also gained a lot on pepe who were a long way to leeward and just ahead but having a tighter faster angle as we soaked down the channel towards North Head, I was hoping the breeze was going to really build which would have given us the better angle but it never really eventuated.. No worries eventually caught up to us again and tried again to roll through to leeward 3-4 times before putting the bow up to go above. Again I was happy to let them go as I wanted to have them outside us. This is where having the spinnaker up and not a gennaker like them really paid as I could completely dictate the angles we were sailing to stay in the pressure and keep ourselves positioned nicely against them, where as they had less options. We ended up beating No worries by 2 minutes on line.
Pepe sailed a very good clean race to finish 3 and a half minutes in front and take the gun and handicap double (we gave them time on PHRF).
We could see marshy on the mercenary behind us with the MASSIVE mumm 36 spinnaker up, we worked out that we had to beat him by over 10minutes to get him on handicap and but he was just over 8minutes behind putting us back to 3rd on PHRF. Still we were pretty happy with the end result of 2nd on line and 3rd on PHRF, it?s a good start to the series. A great day on the water and nice to see North Sails on the top 3 boats in our division.
Thanks to SSANZ and well done to the Pepe for a good race.
Looking forward to the next race.