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HYC winter series race 6 - Sunday 29th July 2018 (harbour race)

posted Aug 20, 2018, 2:46 PM by Admin hycnz

1st – Escape

2nd – Eye Spy

3rd – Waterwitch

Best start – Eye Spy

Fastest boat - Escape


Race report from Escape!!!

Sunday morning and the gallant crew of Escape, Pete, Gina, Will and I head out for the 10 o’clock start with a few comments about the early hour being tossed about. Consensus is that none of us knew that Sunday had an 8 am let alone been up at that time and promises to be awake by the start time seem both bold and unrealistic. 

Forecast is for a westerly of 15 knots getting up to 25 gusting 35 and an outgoing tide so a early start is probably a good thing! There’s a good fleet out although only 3 from Hobby and the start line is hotly contested. 

We get away in about 4th, well up towards the favoured boat end and with clear air.  It’s a tightish reach so Champosa’s attempt at a kite below us seems a bit bold. They get it halfway up, it tangles so they give it away and that is the last we see of it for the rest of the race. Ours is on the deck ready to go but it’s staying there till we get to Kauri Point and can free off. We’re passing the boats to windward, including Eye Spy who have not got a kite on deck so must be feeling half  asleep like we were earlier. Trevor always goes hard.

Soon enough we are at the point and up goes the kite. We learnt our lesson about not using a Gennaker downwind last week so despite being a bit short handed and the certainty of several gybes being required our very blue and little used extra gets an airing. Up ahead Champosa  has resorted to gullwinging her Genoa, no kite in sight and I m sorry we’re not close enough to give them a bit of “encouragement “. Just behind Eye Spy has also opted for no kite  but there are plenty up in the rest of the fleet and there is enough wind to make it a bit interesting.

Off Chelsea we’re well over the mud and memories of a couple of boats hitting there last week are still fresh so the depth sounder is getting a good watching. We’re up into 3rd behind Champosa and Crucial Fix but no one is far away and Eye Spy haven’t suffered too much for a lack of spinnaker. First gybe goes ok and we follow the leaders through the bridge. Wind speed is steady on about 15 knots and there’s not much traffic ahead.

Gybe 2 is bit more dramatic than the first, with Pete taking a run across the boat rather than let go the pole which he worries might hit him in the head if left alone. He stops when he hits the life lines on the leeward side like a jet  being “trapped” on an aircraft carrier. He wrestles the pole back onto the mast and grabs a quick breath.

If our gybe is a bit tense then Hot Lips soon puts us to shame with a spectacular broach that looks like they are going in for a beach picnic at Stanley Point. Let’s not do that!  Crucial Fix are also having fun with the kite but they’re only 3 up so no surprise there. By now we’re past the container wharf and it’s  time for one last gybe and the team are ready. It’s both our best and worst. Gina and Will have the choreography  in the cockpit down pat and the difficulty of managing 3 sheets between 2 of them when all need attention at the same time is made to look simple.  All I can do is keep the boat steady and watch as Gina  times the mainsail change over to perfection despite the wind hitting 20 knots and Will keeps the kite full. But on the bow Pete is feeling the extra  puff in  the sail and the pole won’t cooperate and when he finally wrestles it on to the mast it’s let go at the guy end. Cue a little help from his friends and we’re away. Not perfect but not bad either. No tangles, no loss of pace or place and everyone in one piece.  Round North Head and heading for Rough Rock the wind has come onto the beam and it’s time for the spinnaker to come down.  That’s done no fuss and suddenly it feels like the fun bits over. A beat home against 25 knots and an outgoing tide are ahead of us but first we round Rough Rock close to Crucial Fix  and with Champosa already stretching their lead, our fight will be for second ( we hope).. Not for the last time we choose a slightly  better line  than Crucial and at Northern Leading we make the turn for home ahead but there’s nothing in it.

The rest of the race? Thats a story for another time. My thanks to Gina, Pete and Will for turning up early and hanging in till the end.


Race report from Eye Spy:

The forecast is for 15-20 knot Westerlies and we have 5 knots at best when we head out to the mooring. The crew today is Lisa, JK and Ben. Ben is new to sailing but keen to learn. We were two crew short so we gave him a call. He had left his number on the club notice board. I encourage all others to do the same if they would like the “Sparkling Upper Waitemata” experience.

We left a couple of things at the club so we got to the BeachHaven cardinal marks and decided we had to return for JK and my smokes. This reduced our time to get to the start line so we gave the engine quite a workout.

Our start went well but we still had two boats ahead and to windward which gave us dirty air and we consequently lacked the power to break free. It was not till we rounded Kauri till we had clear air. Kites were going up all round us but we aired on the side of caution as we were short handed, and elected to Gull-wing. We didn’t lose too much time heading down the harbour and were entertained by various issues on other boats. Most with kites were ahead at Rough rock but not by far. We had two boats behind us, the rest ahead. A broad reach across to Northern Leading gave us an opportunity the change the No.1 headsail to the No.2 for the up-wind slog up the harbour. The tide will also be against us. Lets see how many we can pass prior to finishing. Unfortunately we got held up at the harbour bridge by another fleet start and we were only able to pass three before finishing. Fifth on the water and second on corrected time at HYC. Many thanks to my crew once again and to CCYC race coordinators.

On corrected time: 6 mins between 1st and 2nd and the same between 2nd and 3rd. Well done all, lets try and get a few more boats out next time.