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ATL B&G Simrad

Marshall Law B&G Simrad 100 2013 report

14 Aug 2013

Simrad100: Marshall Law.

After a hectic week of last minute work to get the Marshall to the line, (Thanks Gary Patten, Josh and the Norths boys and Grant of coloured string fame) We rocked up with a new mast, new jib and 1 day's practice sailing since February!

I have a habit of shocking 3rd row starts in the SIMRAD series and didn't disapoint anyone with this start. Woeful. We came out eating half a dozen yacht's dirty air looking pretty slow. We slowly climbed up to windward and clear air and settled in just behind Urban Cowboy in about 10-12 knots of breeze heading out to Brown's island. This was the first chance I had had to see how Urban went with their square top main and new keel. Over 10 knots we were even with them, but under that, they had an edge on speed for sure.
Tacking up the Waiheke coast we made some good gains in the shifts in company with Flojo, Finale, Gale Force, Coppelia, Django and Flyer. Urban had stretched out a handy lead over us and Crusader and Overload were well gone. I was so pleased with picking the shifts that I overlaid the corner of Waiheke channel where we headed North East and gave away all our gains. Heading out through the Ruthe Passage it was Django and Finale then us, Coppelia and Gale Force. Gale Force had tried a code sail on the beat up the Waiheke coast and it had cost them time.
There wasn't much to be had in the 2 sail reach over to the Cow and Calf, but Coppelia and Gale Force were smart and went high (South) with the expectation of the wind knocking before the turn point at the Cow and Calf and it did. They gained a bit on us there. Round the Calf in about 15 knots with some puffs to maybe 18 or so coming out of the hills. We were pretty cautious and 2 sailed for a while but saw Finale (I think) raise a masthead genny and take off and also Gale force behind us. Coppelia went for a 3/4 Genny and had all sorts of difficulties. Gale Force also had a few moments but the breeze settled and they quickly caught us. We had gone for our 3/4 genny (cue Chicken noises.. ) and paced it with Gale Force over to Black Rocks. That boat flies for a 1050.. Well sailed too, but surprisingly fast. 

A bit of a scary drop at black rocks which were downwind and coming up fast. Gale force did it well. We struggled and lost a bit to them. Coppelia were nowhere to be seen.
Another 2 sail over to Gannet where waterline helped and we slowly caught Gale Force and the J boats.


Came around Gannet just behind Gale force and had a front row seat to watch them broach spectacularly after hoisting their masthead kite. Very impressive recovery with I suspect some hard pulls on the tiller. Once they got it sorted they were off. We also went for a masthead kite, set the halyard inside the forestay and promptly tangled the kite around the forestay.. Duh. 1/3 of the leg to flat rock later we got it sorted and hoisted, and took off. We were getting a steady 12-13 knots in 15-20 knots. Not spectacular, but there wasn't much in the way of waves tosurf. We caught and passed Gale force and I think the 2 x J boats and it was very dark and black by the time we reached flat rock. We dropped early, and just as well, as we stuffed it up and broached which took a few minutes to get right and get on our feet. 

Tidied up, and round flat rock with the #2 and full main in about 20 knots. We were low and slow, and I suspect the #3 would have been a better choice. We lost a lot of time on the board over to Motuora island due to the sail set up I think, then I overlaid (again!!) the turn to the Tiri channel and lost more.

To add to our woes, we picked up something in the Tiri channel and were going lower and slower than ever before. I wasn't even thinking weed or cray pot until we tacked, stalled (in 20 knots??) and then suddenly took off. The boat felt good again and we lifted up to our usual heading. Unfortunately we were passed by Coppellia and I am guessing Finale and Whitebait somewhere on this leg. Looking at the finish times, I reckon the sail choice and whatever we dragged, cost us 1/2 hour....

We finally finished around half 12 and were pretty buggered by then. We certainly learnt a lot, and the lack of recent sailing certainly hurt. We will start changing gear earlier, and like Booboo we are sure that the Ross boats like to reduce sail early.. Lots of learning done and looking for a big improvement in the last race!

It was an interesting course though, and a lot of fun. The leg from the COW AND CALF to black rocks was excellent with lots of rocks and islands to dodge. The downwind to flat rock was a fun leg as well, or would have been with a clean hoist. 

A big thanks to SSANZ for another cracker race, nice course and for waiting up late for finishers. I hope you had plenty of Rum on board!

Cheers, Smithy and Gary on Marshall Law.