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Cameron's B&G SIMRAD 100 report

10 Sep 2007

Cameron's Race Report


I'm still adjusting to staying behind watching all the boats sail off into the distance. I'm also struggling with the concept of writing a race report for a race I never did !

But I have gained a huge insight into what goes on behind the scenes and just can't believe how much effort a lot of volunteers put in. I have a new appreciation for race committees and will try to ensure that I do more as a competitor to ease their workload in the future. Hopefully I have managed to add a bit more of a competitors viewpoint into the race committee so they have a better idea of what the competitors want. With 120 odd boats entering every race it is a nightmare to try and make sure you identify each and every starter so that we can make sure everyone finishes and is accounted for at the end of the race. Thanks to those who call in before the start or let SSANZ know if they aren't going to make it to the start. When you see the RIB flying around after the start it's not just me having fun using vast quantities of fossil fuels but an attempt to check off each and every starter, then it's back to the committee boat to compare with their radio check in list and see if anyone is missing. Finally we phone people unaccounted for normally to find they are at home enjoying a sleep in ! To be fair some competitors had emailed to various committee members but without a common contact point it is easy to lose track. Next year maybe a single special email address set up for the purpose could be a good idea ? Regardless of that we double check until happy then cruise back to the marina for a few hours.

The Race officer then updates Coastguard with the starters so they know who to expect for Radio Skeds, this is just the start of regular correspondence between SSANZ and Coastguard about where everyone is and any problems. This race wasn't without it's incidents, firstly startline antics resulted in Danaide withdrawing with a torn mainsail. Secondly McMoggy withdrew when the crew went through the tramp to end in the water, luckily recovered and ok other than getting wet and cold. Finally Ubique bumped the rocks leading to a tow to Gulf Harbour from a fellow competitor. It's always great to see someone do the right thing and put their race on hold to help out someone in trouble.

The Race Committee always dreads the last race because we know it's the longest, virtually all the boats finish at night and we know it will probably be a all nighter ! This time we were better prepared, plenty of food and drink to keep everyone awake, a bigger team allowing people to get a break when required as well as a RIB to get to any boats that we were struggling to identify.  I would particularly like to thank the RNZYS for the RIB upgrade, being able to get out of the weather was fantastic, as well as having more than enough power to catch anything on the harbour (Guys can never have too much grunt !!). All in all it went well, but it's a great sight to see the last boat come in when it's after 4am in the morning. I can assure you the last boats tactics on the final approach to the line are the most intensely discussed and watched of the race ! Especially when they sail past the layline and give away more time.

Hopefully now that I've done my bit this year I'll be allowed to escape and race again ! But it has been a great experience and you see a lot at the starts that you never notice when you are racing. I never appreciated the size of the fleet until I stepped back. Two handed racing has found it?s niche in Auckland, the series continues to be as popular as ever.  Alot of thanks has to go to the long time sponsors ATL who through their Navico and now B&G  and Simrad agencies have continued to support SSANZ while the formula was created and now hopefully benefit from the growth and popularity we see today.