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HYC Opening Day - Saturday 1st October 2016

posted Oct 9, 2016, 1:33 PM by Admin hycnz

An awesome day at Hobsonville yacht club today for opening day - with seven boats racing in the mark foy race.

Great racing and great food and banter back at the club after the race.

The Results:

1st Mindbender (also fastest around the course!!)
2nd Eye Spy
3rd Blue Beat
4th Escape
5th Young Entertainer
6th Six Gun Justice
7th Nona

Race Report from Escape!!

Opening day 2016, day of the Marauder.  The fun with a Mark Foy race is that slower boats get to be at the front of the race looking back while quicker boats are at the back looking forward. No sore neck for the helmsperson! It's not business as usual, everyone is trying a little bit harder and no one wants to let anyone past. 

With Firsty absent and Young Entertainer sailing solo we were to be last boat away. Six Gun Justice was off on the gun and flying. With the tide under her and wind on the beam she seemed to be through the moored boats and gone in a second while the next 16 minutes till we started felt like forever. One after the other the rest of the fleet sailed off and suddenly the start line was a lonely place and the clock was on a go slow.

Finally it was our start and when we looked ahead Six Gun was a speck on the horizon and " rent a fleet" (Y88s) were powering along and didn't look like they were going to be easy to catch let alone pass. First though we had to try and chase down Darcy on Young Entertainer. 

The leg to Kauri Point was a reach with holes and gusts aplenty and every time we seemed to be making up ground, with bursts to 8 knots across the ground, it was followed by a lull with the boat slowed to a crawl. As we rounded the point only Darcy seemed closer.

We caught and passed him near Rona only to have him sail back over the top of us before the bridge and no amount of hoping he would get tangled up with the Bungy jumpers  helped!  Darcy, being a gentleman, only gave us bad air for 3/4s of the leg from there to Bayswater before tacking away to gift  us an unobstructed mark rounding.

 Turning back into the tide had closed the fleet up but Six Gun was well through the bridge and racing for home and the 88s didn't look that much closer. Time to play our trump card!  The boys got the gennaker up and pulling quickly and Escape suddenly felt light on the helm and up for the task in hand. Eye Spy and Nona were stalled just past the bridge and looked catchable. 

Seeing us racing up from behind seemed to galvanise them all into action however and suddenly spinnakers popped up on all four 88s. Any gains we made were small. The fickle breeze at Kauri Point played games with all boats' fortunes, so the fleet closed up and everyone rolled the dice. Mindbender was the big winner while Nona was the big loser and we were struggling to get past a fired up Marauder. Six Gun was not going to let us through without a fight and even when I thought we had put them behind they had different plans and came right back at us. Cue gnashing of teeth and barking at the crew. Eventually waterline length prevailed and we left them astern. 

There was no catching Mindbender though. Showing a clean pair of heels to the rest of us, they raced through to the finish and a well deserved win. We gambled on less tide near the mud but couldn't catch Eye Spy nor Blue Beat  so had to settle for fourth. Still it was great to be out on the water after 5 weeks away and a stiff rum on the motor home dealt to any pangs of disappointment . Thanks to Richard, George, Will and Tim for getting us around the course and to Nigel and team for giving us a course to sail round!

Race Report from Six Gun Justice

The summer programme had been published and to our delight the opening day racing was a mark foy race... brilliant!!!!

I cracked open my piggy bank and we had the justice's bottom scubbed!  We callled around to round up crew... Mike unavailable due to shoulder surgery, Jude working at the boat show and Cristin was on house committee duties... bugger.  Hmmm and the initial forecast for Saturday had been for heavy rain.... hmmm ... shall we shan't we was the conversation on Friday night.  With a quick recheck of the forecast it looked like it would be dry... we SHALL!!!

Up early on sunday morning and I may have had a few too many cups of tea... which would come back to haunt me.

Boat set up .... and off we motored to hobby just behind entertainer.  Darcy was racing by himself so I decided that he would need one of my choclate brownies to keep him going.... wrapped in foil I threw it too him and he caught it like a pro (my throwing skills seemed to have improved or  maybe brownies are easier to throw that lion reds - trevor you will know what I am rambling on about!)

We radioed the tower and  informed them that we would be racing double handed and would take advantage of the three minute rule!  While the other yachts were setting up we were already in our start sequences!  And we were off... good boat speed and we were at Kauri point before anyone else had started!!!  It was gusty ... duncan was doing an excellent job helming and I was on main ready to ease during the gust... ... wow 9.4 knotts "go the Justice!!"  We did a quick tack to ensure we left chelsea to starboard and pointed as high as possible to get under the bridge ..... my arms were burning from holding on to the main sheet.  Finally to bayswater we did an awesome mark rounding and cracked sheets...... ahhhhhhhh the bliss.  

Back under the harbour bridge and we were aware of the youngs being on the war path... damn them and their massive mains, and kites.   First  to pass us was Mindbender, then Blue beat.... and the list goes on.  However we did observe that we had good boat speed as it took a while for Escape to get away from us so we were feeling pretty happy about our efforts.  The Darcy pasted us.... wow he must have had his work cut out for  him.  Duncan started to mutter in a disappointed voice.... "last again"... "Oh but we aren't I replied!" .... "REALLY" he replied.... "nope Nona have not passed us!"  His stony face softened ...   

We crossed the finish line and gave a wave to the tower.... headsail dropped and off we headed back to the marina.  Boat packed up and the green bottled refreshments were on deck.

All in all it was a great day on the water! 

Thank you to the start tower and to Cristin for the fantastic burgers!

Race Report from Young Entertainer

Great to be back on Young Entertainer for the Opening Day race! Now that life is a bit more settled I could put my mind to sailing again - and for this race i went out single handed. I got up to the club nice and early and pulled up my old mooring and set about setting the boat up. Yep, all the ropes and sails and other bits are in the same place! I decided to run a full rig of sails for the first part of the race knowing the the wind would be beam forward to Kauri Point. Made a average start and got away without hitting anything. I sat behind Eye Spy for a while but once around Kauri Point I pulled in a bit of head sail to make for easier handling and the mighty Spy pointed nicely up wind to Chelsea. I could not match and had to tack - ouch that hurt - welcome back to sailing....

Then the Elan came up from behind with Commodore Trevor on that big wheel looking to pass me good. I was holding Trev up so I tacked away again - this time it went a bit smoother but still cost many minutes. 

Around Bayswater in last place but I got a good puff of wind at 19knots true. Entertainer picked up outa the water and took off at 10knots of boat speed. That little puff put me back in the race and I sat behind the fleet watching most of them have a few wipe outs with their kites. Back around Kauri Point with reduced head sail and picked a high line back to the finish. Picked up a couple of spots too so all not so bad. 

Great spread back at the club with Cristin and the team on the BBQ. What a great day!

Race report from Eye Spy:
The weather report was pretty good for a fast day on the water. Likely to get wet a little later but all in all just what the doctor ordered.

The course was start to Chelsea stbd to Bayswater stbd then home. I have JK and Mark on board with me. We choose the number one headsail as we don’t believe the wind is likely to increase anything over 15 knts. It’s a mark-foy start today so we watch all but Young Entertainer and Escape start and disappear into the distance. Darcy is on his own so got to start with Eye Spy at 14 mins.

Mark not happy with the new handi-cap but seems excited to try and pick the lead boats off one by one. Darcy stayed with us till just past Kauri point and we manage to point high enough to clear Chelsea to stbd. On to Bayswater and we round it and decide to delay hoisting the kite till after the bridge. Nona manages to stall in the shadow beneath the bridge and we sneak past to windward. We pass all but Mindbender around Kauri point……….exciting stuff. We appear to be catching Mindbender but a second wind saw him finish a minute or so ahead. Second place. Pretty good start to the summer season.

Good course Nigel…….got back prior to the rain. Thanks for the house team for the great burgers.

Race report from Nona

The wet weather gear is on and we are ready to go. Race team comprises of Bronwyn and Tim. Regular, Dave M, the snow bunny is enjoying the last flakes of snow. Seven boats turn up to play, four of them Y88’s. It’s a mark foy start and we are paired with Blue Beat. We start ahead in the 7 knots of wind/NE and outgoing tide, but BB soon powers through and away. We head out away from the land in a hope of getting stronger wind pressure and have Mindbender and Eye Spy not far behind. Around Kauri Point and the wind freshens with gust of 18knts. We manage to scrap inside of Chelsea Yellow on our way down to Bayswater. Through the bridge and we are trying to pinch in the gusts up to Bayswater but have unco-operative boats like the Ted Ashby impeding the plan. We do a sloppy tack to line up for the rounding of Bayswater and ease the sails with Eye Spy close on our transom. Mindbender has already sailed by. Through the bridge and we hit the soft patch before being smacked with a gybe from I don’t where. ES slips by so we go and try and sit on his transom and maybe steal a little wind from his kite.

That plan does not work so it’s up with our kite – the small one. It has a more colourful pattern. We try a line a little closer to land than the rest of the fleet, which does not pay dividends as we hit the edge of Kauri Point wind shadow. The kite is not helping much with the wind doing a little bending, so down it comes and the crew plays the main and headsail with the gusts through the valley’s. We finally finish – last. Must do better next time. The good points – the sails are dry, the crew is dry and the Clubrooms beckon.

Thanks to the start tower, Cristin and Yvonne with the great healthy burgers, fellow competitors and the Floating Dock Services who generously supplied a free lift and clean. Won by Young Entertainer – racing single handed.

Mindbender Race Report.
Our motor up to the start from Westhaven had a nice breeze from NE that prompted a lot of debate of what headsail to run with. “It’s gonna be a kite to here, a reach to here yada yada” was getting louder as the pre race beers were consumed. Upon calling Nigel for course number we still thought it’s similar track to what was previously anticipated. The shifty track up from Kauri saw the motor being started again and another few thoughts on tactics were discussed, lets run with the #2. Getting up to the line seeing all the other 88’s with genoas had us rethinking our plans. 

We were on minute 13 and were able to see how 6 Gun got away and shot through to Kauri before we even got our start, great to see Dunc and Sam mixing it up with us all. Next away were Nona and Blue Beat 2 minutes ahead of us, so up with the headsail, a little scrub of speed and we were off, Brad’s time keeping was a little better this race than the last. Ruth doing a great job putting Mindbender  in a good position around Kauri with Blue Beat and Nona not far ahead. 

Someone who shall remain nameless told her to point for Bayswater forgetting that we needed to keep Chelsea to starboard, had us put in a tack to get around the mark, fortunately we were able to keep ahead of Eye Spy who was on a charge for the front of the pack. We managed to slip past Nona once under the bridge and sheeted for Bayswater. We fortunately got a few puffs that gave us enough height to lay Baywater and pip Blue Beat around the mark. An interesting rounding had us play some tactics with BB and push them high which had them sit on our stern through to the Harbour Bridge. 

The crew was disappointed that Gary didn’t pass a few beers over as we were beam to beam as we both fell into a hole. Breeze on, and we were away, BB setting up for a kite left us thinking we had no choice but to follow suit. Popped the shoot and we were off, righto lets setup for the #1 for the ride from Kauri. Brad who by this stage was the designated bowman took forever to sort his task out getting to grips with soft hanks. In the nick of time (with BB still storming down under kite) kite was down, #1 up and we sailed to cover BB. Opting for a tighter line nearer to Kauri in the tide, saw us keeping a handle on BB but questioning our decision with Trev and Escape going wide and very very fast! 

We then headed down to cover Eye Spy and hopefully not hit the mud. A bit of mooring navigation and crack of the sheets then had us across the line for Mindbender’s first gun with us as owners.

Thanks to Nigel in the tower and to everyone who helped to put together a great burger to finish the day.