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HYC winter series race 3 - Sunday 16th July 2017

posted Aug 6, 2017, 6:41 PM by Admin hycnz


1st - Eye Spy
DNF – Escape (single handed)
DNF - Nona

Race Report from Escape

Third race of the winter series and suddenly I’m Nobby-No-Mates with my crew all having other (it's hard to believe better!) things to do. I would normally call-off and mope around for the day, but Escape is set up to sail short-handed and it seems like too good a chance to miss. Variable, rising to 10 knots, how hard can it be?

Well the boat can sail single-handed, but pulling the genoa up the foil without a feeder proves a bit of a mission and those lines all around the boat don't cast themselves off. I'm missing the team already.  Finally I'm ready, cast off and underway, roll on the start!

Just three boats, but the start line still feels a bit crowded. A bit of nervous banter,  a couple of trial runs, unfurl the headsail and we’re off.  Not just off though, off first to the  cry of “bottle of wine for the commodore” from Nigel. Who needs a crew?

I’ll eat those words shortly. 

Straight line to Kauri Point and Trev goes past on Eye Spy. I berate the crew for not working hard enough - to little effect. I need to keep Nona behind me at least.  Dead down wind for the next and Eye Spy already have their kite up. I know that's beyond me today, but I’ll give the gennaker a shot! See if I can gybe it once it's up. Never done that before.

5 gybes later and I'm going under the bridge having passed back Nona who got through mid-leg while I sailed a ragged zig-zag around them. A change in wind to the beam has made it easier to go through the bridge and the chance to draw breath rewards me with the sight of another race coming around Bayswater and short tacking up to Chelsea trying to stay out of the tide. This will be interesting…

It's not though; it's a bit of a nightmare. Struggling to short-tack, dodging right-of-way boats with an auto-helm that tacks itself not very efficiently, in a falling breeze and a racing tide would no doubt make for a great boys-own tale, but is just plain hard work. Nona goes past and it’s not till I get nearly to Chelsea that I work out how to make it all happen properly. Come back my wonderful crew all is forgiven.

Round Kauri Point and the promise of a two-sail reach home after the grind of the beat. Escape is doing her thing and Nona is getting closer, but Eye Spy in the distance is struggling to make the line and the wind is steadily dying away. Eye Spy finishes. I catch Nona and lose the wind at the same time.  After a frustrating wait for something to change and allow us to progress against the tide, nothing does and Denise flags it away. I hope that might be the catalyst for the wind to fill in again and carry me to the line a mere 200 metres away. It's cold, the sun is getting lower and I still have to get back to the marina and the one puff of wind I get takes me forward all of two boat lengths. Common sense prevails and disappointing as it is, I turn for home and start the motor. 

Deb and Gina are having a wine in the bar at the marina awaiting my late arrival and stroll down to help me tie up. The crew of Eye Spy are there too and I’m very glad for the help. It's been a long afternoon. 

The single-handed experiment, while interesting, has been ultimately dissatisfying. No one to share the good and bad with. A self high-five for a good start just doesn't work and having to DNF with the finish in sight and no crew to commiserate with is worse. I like sailing with other people. The satisfaction when something goes well is multiplied and the pain of failure nullified. Next time I’ll take the moping option.

Big thanks to Deb, Gina, Trev, Lisa and Jk for the hand at the berth. 

Race report from Nona

My crew today is David and Bronwyn. The breeze is light (SWish)and could get lighter, the sun is shining and it is not raining. The amended course is Bayswater and home – this prompts the call from Nona’s cockpit that Trevor ES will owe me a ginger beer if we don’t finish.

The tide is strong and running out so we stay back so that we don’t cross early. Escape takes the start, he is single handed (obviously doesn’t need crew), Eye Spy next and then us. The wind is reasonably steady around 8 to 11 knots up to Kauri Point and as we sail around the corner and off the wind the wind is starting to soften. We  two sail up to the bridge, managing to pass Escape, who is flying a gennaker. Through the bridge and heading towards Bayswater there is also another fleet sailing on the Bayswater side to keep out of the tide. Finally we round the buoy and harden the sails with the wind around 5-6 knots and join the other fleet on Bayswater side of the harbour. Several dips and two tacks  through the fleet and we get to the bridge still having to dip to go through. Thanks Escape for not making me tack.

The steadily softening wind is on the nose so it is several tacks to Kauri, and trying to stay out of the tide. Around the Point and ES is well ahead and the wind gage is saying 5knts. We crack the sheets for the home ward run and watch as the wind gauge falls and the speed slows. We get to the mooring area at Hobsonville and our speed starts to fall from 2.5 knots. Escape is slowly hauling us in as he is running along the mud line. Any thoughts of pushing him up are dashed as our speed reads 1.2 knots, the same as the tide .

Escape then comes and sits 30 feet behind us and there is not a puff of wind anywhere. It is almost 5 oclock and the temperature is falling and then we start to both drift backwards. Sorry Escape - motor on and head to the mooring. No result for us or Escape, congratulations Eye Spy on finishing and you owe me a ginger beer.

Thanks to The tower crew and Corrina for heating some pizza for us and congratulations for Trevor, Escape coming out to play on his own.

Winner of the Floating Dock Services lift and clean – the “mighty” Nona

Race report from EYE SPY:
Well……..we had the weather for it but not the numbers.

The fleet consisted of Escape (single handed) . Nona and Eye Spy. On board Eye Spy is JK, Lisa and I. I also see that Nona has three on board.
There was a good breeze so a unanimous decision about a course to Bayswater was decided. That’s my story and I am sticking to it!!

It looked like we wouldn’t get any more than 10-15 knts so we hoisted the No.1 headsail with full main. I hoped to get the kite up on the way to Kauri point. The best we could do was a beam reach at times. The kite went up after Kauri point in order to maintain a comfortable lead over the other two entrants. I did note that Trev put extras up single handed…….well done mate! Great kite work from my crew and we fly it all the way to Bays water, drop, gybe then hard on the wind all the way back to Kauri point. We may have tacked once or twice as there was a fast outgoing tide. From there it was cracked sheets all the way to the finish. My concerns about Nona and Escape finishing came true. The wind was dying as the sun got lower. In the end it was a great day for a sail. Thanks Lisa and JK. Another 1st place for Eye Spy…………..nice.