Rockys Baltic 50 race report
22 Jul 2014
Really enjoyed being wet and cold with no wind.
Was a busy start line the pin end was definitely the place to be but were a bit early and starting to get boxed in by a gaggle of 88's so bailed out and started closer to the centrer of the line not too late. Watched the boats with zeros pop them up and make some nice little gains took us a while to get clear air but eventually settled in close-ish to Rangi. Could see Mercenary out to the left under Zero and thought we had them for a while. The Breeze start dropping on the left so we made a little dig in towards Rakino and found some nice breeze, the Rain then started to close in as we approached the Noises and everyone disappeared into the merc. I think the boats on the left made some good gains here as when the rain cleared they were well ahead. We ended up short tacking in slop and very little wind to clear the Noises and Ahaa's in close company with the Rattle, Cool Change and No Worries, did this for a while and were not making much ground so took a long board into the Ahaa's and made a nice little gain to lead the other guys around. No Worries cleared off on the tight reach back towards Waiheke but were dropping off the Rattle until they hoisted a Zero and pulled us back in and were roughly side by side going through Motuihe, we were getting lifted close to Waiheke but it was very gusty and Rattle were rolling us further out in more favourable tide so we put the Bow down a bit and dipped them to get in the more steady breeze and better tide, this worked as we started to drop them off again. The Breeze started to build towards Rocky Bay, we watched the Rattle opt for a head sail change but didn't think this would be worthwhile so lugged the main for a while, we could see Motorboat and Mercenary coming around the mark in reasonable breeze so thought we might get a nice ride back. Wrong! as we approached the mark quietly happy we had Rattle and Cool Change tucked away we could see the Breeze was dying again, No Worries was stalled coming out of the Mark so we had to steer around them but managed to keep our way on enough to be on top of them as we hoisted the Kite, had to run very hot angles in the dying breeze on port gybe to keep moving we soldiered on but could see the others closer to shore had better breeze so we took our medicine and gybed across behind them and made some nice gains back running angles and gybing down the Waiheke shore, things got very tight between Browns and Motuihe but we didn't want to drop the kite so we just strapped it in, we watched Cool Change and the Rattle with Genakkers or Zero's roll us again in here but there was nothing we could do but follow them into the finish.
Great race all the same, thanks to the Guys and Girls at SSANZ for organising what looks to be another great series.
Thanks to the Motorboat Guys for the hospitality and entertainment, we will stay the Saturday night in AKL next time so we don't have to stay sober for the drive home.