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HYC 50 miler - Saturday 10th March 2018

posted Mar 19, 2018, 7:46 PM by Admin hycnz   [ updated Apr 9, 2018, 9:59 PM ]

HYC 50 Miler - Saturday 10th March 2018


1st Nona
2nd Eye Spy

Race report from Nona!

With the preceding week of strong winds we roll up to the start at Taikata to 5-7 knots. Could be a long day. The crew is Mark Patterson, John Hanson and David Meek. We nail the start with Eye Spy some distance behind on an incoming tide. We slowly make our way around Kauri Point and then run out of wind. We drift one side of the isolated rock marker and Eye Spy around the other side.

Our original plan with the Volvo in harbour racing is to get through the harbour to North Head by 1200-1230.

Not at this pace. A very slow tacking duel up to the bridge and ES gets in front. We get through the bridge at 1200 and the Volvo course is set and the fringes are packed with anchored boats. With no hope of sailing through the gaggle ES and we go to plan B. Motor up to North Head and re-start. ES gets the jump on us  but tacks early away from Rangi. We continue and this leg which ultimately gives us the lead that we will retain to the finish.

The breezes up to Whangaparoa are 8 to 12 knots. Up and around the mark and the guys hoist Big Blue, I close my eyes and we head to Rakino passage on a very tight spinnaker run. ES makes a little gain on this leg but is still well behind. Through the passage and the wind is slowly softening. We gybe the kite at dusk and watch the sun set behind Motutapu. This is definitely a 3 B&E pie race. Shame I only bought one. We will just have to binge on chocolate cake.

We sail slowly through the harbour which looks very picturesque under lights. ES we can’t see behind us.

We carry the kite to Kauri Point but there is not enough wind to keep it up. Luckily the tide is coming in. The last 100mts are frustrating with the tide our only saving grace. We finally finish at 2258 and crank on the motor for the need for speed.

Thank you to ES for the competition and my crew and it was better than weeding the garden.

Signing off


Race report from Eye Spy:

The 50 Miler is one of my favourites as we can stretch our legs and play with the trim of the sails to optimise performance. I knew the fleet size would not be great but expected more than two. Nona and Eye Spy were the two starters. Taikata was the start line and we motored at 2000 RPM to prevent any over-heat. At ten minutes prior to start we had No.1 and full main with motor off. We were still 50 meters from the start so with the tide against us we would be late. Nona started well and we would need to work hard to catch them. We being Nicole and I.

We managed to sneak past Nona and hold them off through the tacking duel towards the bridge. The slow going meant that we were not going to make it through the harbour prior to the execution of the exclusion zone for the in-port Volvo race. It was decided that we down head-sails and motor through the spectator boats and restart the race at North Head.

The race started again with me saying GO once we were side by side. The wind was still very light and had turned to create another tacking duel to Navy Buoy. I made the wrong assumption that there would be less tidal flow over the east coast bays and this meant Nona who stayed over by Rangitoto light crept ahead. We close the gap and were only a couple of minutes behind as we rounded Navy Buoy. Nona put there kite up and the lead stretched until we managed the same. The wind increased and at times we hit 8 knots but the kite was veeeery shy. The pole was only an inch off the fore-stay. This was a lot of fun and we were nearly along side Nona by the time we got to Rakino channel. Through Rakino and we see Nona is not shaping to go around Motohui island so we confirm this through VHF and correct our course to do the same (no Motohui in the sailing instructions?) .

I might have enjoyed the kite run but, I knew the kite would eventually need to be jibed. This is very likely to go pear shaped as there are only two of us on board.

We see the kite on Nona gracefully set on the opposite side. We prepare to replicate. What could possibly go wrong?

Jibing!............I take too long to transfer the pole and the kite wraps around the fore-stay. That will shake out I thought………..no it had wrapped around and between the fore-stay and both halyards! We were bare-headed apart from the top of the “wine-glass” filling beautifully. I managed to get the kite down without tearing it and stuffed it down the hatch. A little ”gun shy” now, I hoist the headsail only to find the two halyards wrapped like a hair plat over the fore-stay. I dropped the sail again and separate the halyards. Twas dark so it took quite some time.

We can see Nona. A lovely silohete in front of the city lights. Not much chance of catching them now eh.

We concede that second place is still good points but can we make it to the finish line before the tide turns? A DNF is not happening! We persist and cross the line at 1126hrs. That a hell of a long day at the office!

Thanks to Nona and crew for the competition. Thanks to Nicole for the crew work on Eye Spy…