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HYC 50 Miler - Saturday 8th April 2017

posted Apr 30, 2017, 4:29 PM by Admin hycnz

Line results:

1st – Eye Spy
2nd – Nona
3rd – Blue beat
4th - Waterwitch

results after handicaps have been applied are still being calculated!

Race report from Waterwitch

The forecast was for 10-15 knots from the East so we arrived at West Park Marina full of confidence for a quick waterline length drag race round the course! This was reinforced by the crew on Bluebeat, who were debating whether to go with the No 1 or No 2 genoa. With a full crew on board, with Gary, Rob and Niall Malone, and Gill as DMO, we headed out of the marina and down the channel. The start from Taikata was a a leisurely affair, with less than 6 knots of breeze, and a short tacking beat around Kauri Point and all the way up the Harbour to North Head. We resigned ourselves to admire the disappearing transoms of all the Young 88s, who relished the light airs and quick tacking duels. 
Off North Head the wind started to freshen to 10 knots and we took the shorter route inshore and started to get in touch with the 88s again. By Rangitoto Light we were within shouting distance, and after two hours of racing we had lined up again; a fresh start! Yeah! Imagine our disappointment when the wind dropped completely, and yet again we watched the 88s disappear into the dim distance. By Navy buoy we were 18 minutes behind Bluebeat and 8 minutes behind Nona. The next leg was equally frustrating as we dawdled  along at under 3 knots most of the time. By Rakino Passage we had lost sight of the 88s and Gary even considered swopping Waterwitch for a Young 88.
By the time we headed for home passing between Motahuie and Motatapu Islands, we hoisted the big kite, and with the wind around 8-10 knots, started to gently reduce the distance between us and the 88s. They were having a grand tussle on the other side of the channel, and our biggest worry was now about watching the tide turn. It was magic ghosting along in the gathering darkness, watching the lights spring to life in the city. All the time we seemed to be gaining on the leaders, but never close enough to get in touch. Nearly 10 hours after the start we crossed the finish line in complete darkness. We were very grateful to Gary and Mark Jones on Bluebeat, who waited for us to finish and guided us up the channel back to the marina. It is a sorry fact that at least three pairs of lights on the channel markers do not work, and they are the worst ones just on the shallow dog leg turn before the final straight into the marina.
The overall results were not surprising, and well done to the 3 Young 88s who fought hard to the end. We thoroughly enjoyed the day and never gave up racing, despite it being a time trial at the back of the fleet.
Gill Moore (Drinks and Food Movement Officer)

Race report from Eye Spy:
50 mile race at last!
It has to be noted that all three 88s went to “Sharpies” for a hull clean the some day prior to the race. Having said that, one would have assumed the race would be very close.  One would not have foreseen it would be as close as it was!!

Eye Spy had JK and Lisa on board for what would be a long time on the water. Lisa provisioned the boat with yummy food on account of not necessarily liking my initial choice of a cold party pack of KFC. We head for the start line at Taikata and hank on the No,1 headsail on the way. The wind is reported to be 10-15 knots however, peaking at 27 knots at Tiri. We started pretty well and quickly got into a tacking dual with Bluebeat. We swapped the lead a couple of times going up the harbour but we were clear ahead by North head. This soon  changed as the wind decreased. We were battling the tide and as Bluebeat and Eye Spy did battle Nona caught up on the inside. Water witch however did not let her away scott free and some close racing between the two ensued. At Navy buoy we took the times between the 88s. Eye Spy was 4.5 minutes behind Bluebeat and Nona was 3.5 minutes behind Eye Spy. The leg from there to Rakino was tricky. It was a tight reach but all three 88s took a different line with Bluebeat going very high. By the time we got to Rakino channel we were a stones throw from each other. Waterwitch was probably around 15 minutes back at this stage but we never discounted the idea that he would soon be in the mix.

It was a bit of a cat n mouse scenario along Mototapu and each awaiting the first signs of hoisting a kite. Good to his word, Greg hoisted first on Nona, Bluebeat next and Eye Spy soon after as we forged a little further out to keep out of the lee of Rangitoto. Bluebeat and Nona now doing battle took the heat off us and we assumed our rightful position in front,,,,,,ha! Getting out of the out going tide was paramount so we decided to head to the container wharf and then over to Shoal bay before getting a slingshot effect through the bridge. Great on paper but how plans can change when you have a massive container ship leaving dock at the same time eh.

Nona slipped through on Bluebeat and us just after the bridge but we made the call to hug the mud banks and go very wide around Kauri point. Still all with kites up we surged ahead and from what I gather the 88s all finished within a couple of minutes. Petty cool considering we were on the water for about ten hours. Waterwitch not far behind either as he was in sight the whole race. 
Epic race had by all.

Many thanks to all competitors.

Race report from Nona

This blue ribbon event dawned a little nippy , sun and light airs with the forecast of SE 10 to E 15. My trusty crew is Mark Patterson and Greg Jones. We set off to the start at Taikata and the competition is a Young affair with Y88’s Nona, Eye Spy(ES) and Blue Beat(BB) with the Young 44” Waterwitch. We via for the transit line and BB pushes us over the line – the gloves are off. The start is taken by ES then BB us and Waterwitch. Hard on the nose with 6 to 8 knots and around Kauri Point and it is tacking up the harbour until North Head. ES while tacking from Orakei losses the lead to BB. We manage to make it in one tack from Orakei around North head. Ease the sheets and we sail level to ES then get hit by an abrupt wind shift ( the only boat in the harbour) I almost spilt the Caramel Lattes and B&E pie. Past the shadow of Rangitoto and the wind gets up to 10 to 14 knots.

We straight line to Navy Buoy (after taking careful note of landmarks on the return journey from the night race). Around the buoy, BB is 4 minutes ahead of ES and we are 3 minutes behind ES with Waterwitch a little behind. It is hard on the wind as we sail to Rakino Passage allowing for the incoming current. BB seems to be sailing to the other end of Rakino and we are slowing hauling in ES. We pass them just before Rakino Passage and half way through find a soft patch and ES passes again. By the end of the passage we have sneaked in front of ES and close on BB who has lost a lot of their lead.

Into Motuihe Channel and we are on BB’s stern. We drop down and launch big blue with BB and ES following shortly after. The winds are a heady 3 to 6knots. BB comes up behind and starts to be a nuisance.” #@^% off Gary.You’re not getting the ginger crunch” . Eventually we shake them off and keep our eyes on the frugal wind and ES who is below. We keep them behind as we come up to Devonport. ES is lower and passes as we note the many fishing lines along the wharf and the wind gauge showing 1.2 knots. The guys keep trimming big blue and we get up behind ES around Bayswater but can’t get past. We drop down and both head for the Harbour bridge that is spectacularly framed by the setting sun. Under the bridge, with the winds from 2.4 to 4 knots. The only thing showing a light is Rhona Buoy.

We manage to pass ES in the dark but make the mistake of not going down to cover them. He is out of the outgoing tide and we are in it. That makes the difference as ES ghosts ahead, with BB not far behind us and we all thinking “where is the finish line?”
ES takes out the finish with Nona behind and BB snapping at our stern. It looked in the dark like about 3 or 4 minutes covering the first three boats. Not bad after 50 miles. Exciting stuff.

Many thanks to fellow competitors that contributed to an exciting, if frustrating – due to the light airs, race. Well done to  Waterwitch for turning up knowing that wind strengths would not help their cause. Also many thanks to my crew of Mark and Greg who worked tirelessly throughout the race and even rowed me back to shore when the outboard refused to work.
A great and tiring day.