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3 handed 3 legged race - Friday 11th march 2016

posted Mar 28, 2016, 6:40 PM by Admin hycnz

For the 3 Handed 3 Legged Race we joined a mate of mine Dave Woodward who has raced on Firsty in some of the Hosonville races. He talked us into doing the race again as he has done it every year for about 20 years. He has a 30 ft yacht called Je Taime.

Joining the Firsty crew were Tim Mann, Darcy Blackmore and myself. The race is a 3 day event. The first day from Devonport to Te Kouma, the second day Te Kouma to Kawau, and the third Kawau back to Devonport. 

Race 1. Friday 11th March 

We started in a 15 knt SW at 0900 at Devonport. After a practice start the starters did it for real this time. It was very hard to see the signals ashore sow we weren't too sure that we were on target for the start. So it wasn't the best start that we'd had and we were behind out closest rivals on the Farr 1220 Rainbow V. Hoisting the masthead kit we tried what we could to get them back, but being a bigger boat we couldn't make any time on them. On the positive side, they weren't making time on us either. Together we left the rest of the fleet behind. Through Browns Is, and on to Motuihe the wind came a little forward and increased in strength to the point that we were overpowered. Lets get the kite off and get the No2 up. But we're not the only ones. Rainbow is in similar condition and trying to get the kite off. They had their kite off and passed behind us as we were about to ping the kite. Nice guy, he could have forced us up coming from underneath that would have been a disaster. Anyhow he soon made it up again as we got our shit together and started on the 2 sail reach down the southern side of Waiheke in chase again. 

As we approached Passage Rock the wind freed a bit and Rainbow hoisted a Gennaker. It wasn't working for them though so we continued for a while longer until the wind freed a little more and hoisted our Gennaker. Shortly afterward the wind freed some more and it was time to peel to the Masthead Kite. 

The masthead kite saw us well through Waiheke channel to Ruth Passage and we were on course for Tekouma with the Kite still up. Wind was about 12 kts 110 deg apparent and a nasty chop coming out of the Firth of Thames. About 3/4s of the way across the Firth the wind dropped with the chop just flicking the boat about and shaking what little wind there was out of the sails. Unbelievably Rainbow picked up a slight breeze that we didn't and off they went heading for the south side of the Island guarding the entrance to Tekouma. Finally we picked up a breeze but the wind had backed so we headed for the Northern entrance with the kite pole on the forestay. 

We readied the No 1 light on the foredeck for the close hauled run to the finish. Hoisted then dropped the kite and finished 12 minutes behind Rainbow at 1418. 2nd on line and 2nd on handicap. 

Race 2 Saturday 12th March 

Saturday saw a nice Easterly with a nice start and the masthead kite up right on the start line we were first out of the blocks heading for Kawau. A few light patches outside Coromandel Hr but then the wind started to fill in and build as the seas started to build we started to surf. First a couple of runs up to 9 knots, then 10 then 11. Finally a top speed of 11.6!, and sustained surfs over 10 kts and we are eating up the miles. 

The extra waterline length of Rainbow however was starting to show as she slowly dew alongside and as we approached Kawau she moved slightly ahead. As we were about 8 mile from Kawau the wind dropped and we were left with a nasty chop that flopped the wind out of the sails. Shades of yesterday as Rainbow picked up a breeze and managed to move ahead. As we headed up to maintain some sort of wind in the sails we finally picked up the breeze again, although it was a little forward on what it was earlier. Still the wind pushed us on our way and picked up until we were again doing 9 - 10 & 11 knots as we surfed down past Bosanquet Bay  Kawau. 

We readied the No 2 headsail for the close haul to the finish. Kite down off South Cove and on to the finish the wind was light under Kawau until we came around the corner and wham! the wind was back. 

Finish 1413, 7 minutes behind Raianbow. 2nd Line, 3rd Handicap. 38 miles with an average speed around 8 knts. Shame we hit the light patch. 

Race 3 Sunday 13th March

Sunday was light. No wind at the start at 0900, we drifted over the line and picked up some slight movements of air to reach the front of the fleet then by the Behive the wind started to come in, fortunately from our side of the course to enable us to consolidate on our lead. As the wind increased it freed a bit to the point that Rainbow to leeward hoisted their Gennaker. 

Since it was still light we opted for the Masthead kit and as we did the wind freed a little more as we went through Tiri channel. 

Sailing a light northeaster all the way down to Rangitoto Channel we tried to keep the wind around 150 deg true to generate a little apparent wind and get the boat moving. This seemed to be working as we moved ahead of Rainbow. At the last gybe around north head we headed for the finish off Devonport and Torpedo buoy under a shy kite to take the finish. 1st on line 2nd on handicap. 

Overall result 2nd on line and 3rd on handicap for the series. A great weekend with great socialising with a great crew, and awsome sailing with the wind following us around the gulf. 

We recommend others come and join us next year. This is an excellent series.

Cheers - Craig.