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Communique's B&G Simrad 60 report

07 Aug 2007

It is not about the boat.


Down to the marina at 0715 quite psyched up after a good first race. Out to the start at 0800 with a cup of tea to start the day. A wave to Tracy and Cameron, we did the safety check last time. Some time to look at the start line, read the description again Stu. Some timed runs to help the skipper settle and practice maneuvering in the starting area. The tide is strong, so the plan is cross the tide quickly and sail along the East Coast Bays.


A nice start, a lane of clear air, tacked at Torpedo Bay. Already looking like the right strategy, the alternative to cross the tide to the Rangi shore would be a big call. Made a short stab into North Head in the confused seas, we seem to be in good air with not too much traffic close to shore. It?s quite shallow and maybe that helps. As we head north some heavy metal rolls over us but at 9.2 metres some things you cannot help.

The big picture looks good. A couple of 1020s just a head and lots of the larger and faster behind. We tack regularly along the shore admiring the homes of the rich and famous. The last tack in is at about Torbay, we hook a large lefty, is this the NW filling in? Have we over cooked it? Crack sheets a little rather than sail to Gulf Harbour, after 15 minutes the lift fades and we look good rather than silly.


Arrived at Navy Buoy or rather two very similar looking buoys but everyone has the same issue and we set off for Gannet. The pencil line on my chart is marked 83 deg mag. No chance with the kite but kite it is, Rakino here we come. A change to the #1 in readiness for a two sail reach. Settle to the kite work, maybe this will be OK VMGwise maybe a little out going tide is helping. Cetacea thunders past leeward with kite and reefed main. We seem to be doing a little better now with the kite making 90 to 85 mag. We clear the Ahhas by about 100metres, pleased about that. 300 metres to leeward of Gannet rock Genoa up and kite down, nice and slow, let?s get it right, all tidy as we sail into Gannet with the two leading 88s alongside, both with there #2s. Cetacea is just behind after detouring heavily to leeward with some sort of issue, or a crew conference on the foredeck. Around Gannet at 1415hr. Quick call to AVCG on the handheld all good.


Fast two sail reach up the Waiheke shore, time to heat up the soup and enjoy a ham and cheese bun. We studied the crew work on Waka Huia as they changed up to #1 and slipped through to leeward. Cetacea now well ahead and Waka Huia ahead and to windward. A good squirt off Iliamoana Beacon. Should we change down? It?s a reach and we can see the finish but a quick check on ch21 is pretty alarming 36 peak 29 average 299deg. very scary. We will loose time dragging the tangle of the #2 out of the hatch and resolve to tough it out despite my misgivings. Stayed close inshore in the flat water rumbling along quickly despite the hammering protest from the sails, lots of drag now. At the barges we turned for home despite sailing another20 deg lower it is still tough. Passed my first love F727 Green Pepper, skipper and crew immobile at opposite ends of the boat presumably not speaking.


On the dive to the finish Promise looks strong to leeward but we are gaining on Waka Huia. We cross at 1731, 10 sec behind Promise and a length ahead of Waka Huia. With a huge sigh of relieve its drag the #1 down as the rain belts down. We sit in the cockpit and contemplate the days achievements, we have beaten all the sport boats, no Y88 has gained back their 5 minute starting difference, the smallest boat in front of us is 34 feet long. We are very pleased with a good day at the office.


Communique is a F9.2 built as drawn by B Farr. She is in class with no exotic sails.

Stu and I have been sailing friends for 30 years and enjoy a good day out. Class PHRF 0.725, our IRC rating 0.722.