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Communique's B&G Simrad 100 report

10 Sep 2007

SIMRAD 100 from Communique


After much speculation about the course all was revealed on the day, #2. A good choice with the prospect of freshening ENE. Large bias on the launch end of the line for the Short haul start, so the launch is the place to be. The race begins at the start so a good start will give us some breathing space before the heavy metal rolls over us.


Two minutes to go we are on port tack heading deep past the launch against the tide, tack with just under a minute to go and begin racing. Time on distance looks good, our own patch to play in here. Thirty seconds to go and the heavies are thundering down the line power reaching towards us. "Go up" no response, Danaide calls "no room". This is not a good look; we bear away from our track to the line with 20 sec to go. Danaide rolls over us we standup in the wind shadow. Our rigs cross, it looks ugly we heal towards Danaide and are pulled around, with a bang our masthead gear falls into the cockpit and we are released to sail over the starting line. Unfortunately we see Danaide to windward; wounded with a torn main we are grateful for the narrow escape from disaster.


The first leg is a time to be patient, keep low, stay in our own lane of wind remember the coaches words to my Opti sailors. Thirsty work sails around us and heads high. Tiri nowcasts 40deg versus the 70deg we had at Bean Rock. The NE is ahead in open water at Rangi light we are maybe 200 metres below but there is traffic and some holes we are happy with our compromise. We continue on starboard until we get lonely. A couple of tacks along the Rangi shore are uninspiring. A long tack out to sea and in at Rakino is a good call. Port tack past the D'Urville Rocks, its light now the boats further ahead and out to sea look better. Around us the fleet is tacking off, L'Avanti crosses us, not a good look for a 1020. How does the VMG look on starboard? Not good, so patience is the call and we continue.


Approaching Waiheke the breeze fills and we feel satisfied with our choice. At Thumb Point Grunty Chicken and Thirsty Work cross but no one who tacked out appears to have been rewarded. Around Tarahiko scrapping by on starboard tack. Its along leg to Flat rock, we cook and eat while speculating on the track followed by the boats to weather, have we made mistake with our Flat Rock waypoint ? Flat Rock appears as expected. Three boats have pasted us on this leg, Ilex, a R930 and a sportboat, a fair effort for us. Call AVCG and we are away very square after our gybe set. Insight 2 behind us. Glowing red and green in the night.


Around the island we get the kite off in the lee a much harder and slower task in the confusion of the night and the dinghy on deck is no help. Heading for the North end of Whangaparoa it is a brisk 2 sail reach, Insight 2 blows by. It's a procession now we debate the kite at Tiri Navy buoy but talk ourselves out of it. At Rangi light we find our selves with more company than expected. I think we have stumbled into a parking lot.

Keep the sails eased and we ghost, Pirate passes under a cloud of Kevlar. It is painful, an Y8.4 passes at Northhead but we feel no shame. At last it is over Trinidad slides into view, thanks guys. Engine on, have we done enough? We have the perfect score going into this race. The Stewarts have done well but it is Azure who was second and unseen all day.


In the marina Azure is quiet and dark; if she wins we must be 5th or better to claim the series. In the morning Justin calls, have you seen the results? Good one mate !