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HYC Winter series race 7 - sunday 23rd August 2015

posted Aug 23, 2015, 2:38 PM by Admin hycnz   [ updated Sep 2, 2015, 1:38 PM ]
1 – Firsty
2 – Eye Spy
3 – Escape
4 – Blue Beat
5 – Nona
6 – Young Entertainer
Winner of the free lift and clean at the Floating Dock - Nona

Race Report from Escape

Short crewed today. Pete and Donna are away and so is Richard. I was too slow to organise more crew so Will and Tim are going to have to do the work of 5. Youth and enthusiasm will have to make up for the lack of experience and cunning. It is in good heart that we motor out to do battle with the elements.

My plan to try the simple approach ( start first don't let anyone pass you)  is executed to perfection once again by Firsty. I should have patented it!  Instead we start near last but to windward had there been any. We use the waiting time to get the Gennaker up and set off in pursuit. More 88s than you could shake a stick at to get past and a bright yellow spinnaker in the distance to mark Firsty's progress.

We soon tick off Nona then Eye Spy but Blue Beat  is proving easier to catch than pass and it takes till Chelsea to do that. In the meantime youth and enthusiasm have very  quickly got the gennaker down  and away and the headsail up and pulling I feel tired just watching them. Eye Spy pick up their very own stalker in the form of a big boat from Clearwater Cove that seems intent on slowing them down. We like that.  Long may it last.

We are second under the bridge but more likely to be caught by the 88s than catch Firsty so it is feeling like a repeat of the last 3 races. Brief thoughts about changing our name to Ground Hog Day.  Round Bayswater, youth and enthusiasm nail the hoist and we're on the homeward journey.  No out of control round ups under the bridge this time and we begin to put some time on Eye Spy and Blue Beat. The sun is shining, the wind is fair and Firsty is so far gone it feels like we're in the lead. Have I mentioned how much I enjoy sailing?

The wind goes light at Kauri Point and we hang on to the gennaker for as long as we can. We're in amongst the Clearwater fleet now so any bit of clear air and boat speed helps.  Dip to clear their line and then having seen Firsty need to tack we go looking for every lift we can find. As we near the mud bank and the moored boats at Hobby we are so close to the mud the seagulls come walking over to see if we have any food and we're only saved from a tack by a last minute gust giving us a much needed lift. The famed Beach Haven curl kicks in and we claw our way off the mud and to the finish.

Second on line (and third on handicap ) is our result from the fine efforts of Will and Tim. I reward them with a high five and the post race clean up, while I sit back and enjoy a beer. There's something to be said for having youth and enthusiasm aboard.

Race report from Nona

Sunshine, light breeze, warmish – sort of. Not all bad.
Onto the boat, hank on the no1 and off to inspect the short start line. Trevor – be nice to us. The ensuing manoeuvres are frenetic as everyone is hanging around the Helliers Creek wind tunnel. At one point we are squeezed between Blue Beat and Firsty and I am anxious not to have any Sky Blue on Nona. It does not match the colour scheme. We swing around, head for the line, the gun sounds ------and we have very little forward momentum.
We finally get going and watch some of the more practiced boats hoist spinnakers. We wait until we are past the moored boats and haul up “Big Blue” – sort of. Look up and the numbers are upside down, well, it needed an airing. We bring her down sort it out and hoist again. Beautiful!
We head middle of the road around Kauri Point and drop the kite -  straight into the water! One tack to sail inside Chelsea Yellow and head for the bridge. The lifts are not coming and we have to tack twice to get through the bridge then head for Bayswater. Firsty and Escape are already around and have kites up.
Around the mark,  and get ready to dry out “Big Blue”. Look up, and it is the no2. At least it is colourful. We head out of the channel to try and beat the outgoing tide. Around Kauri Point and things are getting tight, so we drop the spinnaker and play the lifts while watching the boats ahead. The two front runners look to be pinching and Blue Beat is having to tack up the channel to the finish.
The lifts are not playing ball and when the depth gage reads 0.7 we have to tack and try to lay one board to the finish. We look behind and see Young Entertainer (looking sleek) laying straight to the finish line. We struggle with the shifts but manage to cross in front of YE. Not one of our better days, but as one philosopher would say – “ it beats mowing the lawn”
Thank you to crew, John, Bronwyn and Dave. Thanks to the start tower crew and the Social Club for the hot food. It must be noted that coming up to the Bayswater buoy, there was the strong and tantalising aroma off a bbq coming from a nearby charter boat. This wetted our appetites.
A big thanks to the Floating Dock for their generous sponsorship during the Winter Racing Series.

Race report from Young Entertainer

A lovely day for a sail! Cristin and I got Young Entertainer down to the start line at Hobbie and dropped the pick in front of the Farmers Market and went about setting up the boat. The sun was shinning and the wind was light - the perfect day for a race with fellow club members. Todays race was all about getting Cristin used to helming the boat, reading instruments, reading the wind, feeling the boat etc etc. 
I wont lie to you... we struggled to get the boat over the start line, we struggled to get her to go in the right direction, we struggled to get round the course, we struggled to get over 5 knots of boat speed (Entertainer has not had a clean for over 6 months and has a new green carpet finish on the hull - long story - ask me later), we got caught up in two other yacht races and we only had a few beers on board. So, opposite to Firsty... we started last and finished last but we finished and you cant have a race without people starting and finishing! 
Cristin learned plenty and is a natural on the helm. And no... you cant borrow her for the ladies race...

Some funny questions and answers were had when I was trying to explain what makes a boat sail:
Cristin: 'how does the boat go forward when the wind is on the nose?'
Darcy: 'Well, how does a plane fly?'
Cristin: 'In the sky'
Darcy: hmmmmm...

Thanks to Cristin for putting up with a slow boat and thanks to Nigel and the team for a well run race

Race report from Eye Spy.
The weather gods were looking after us today. The wind was the predicted 10knts from the North east so we hanked on the No.1 headsail and cast off from the mooring. Greg couldn’t join us today so I had mark, Gill and JK with me. There was a short discussion about getting the kite ready for the leg to Kauri point but that was soon quashed as we wind was on the beam. So the kite was put away and we prepared for what was going to be a bit of a drag race. Someone set a fairly short start line so the start was a little cluttered. We did however have a good start, just behind Firsty who was the only boat crossing on starboard. Just as we got into the moored boats kites started popping up around us so we needed to follow suit and quickly. Apart from setting the halyard and one of the sheets around the safety line (spotted prior to hoisting) Mark did a great job and we were soon in pursuit of the leaders.

The standard race between the 88s resumed and we found ourselves behind Bluebeat. This was still the case at the top mark but we were tight on their heels. Firsty and Escape were long gone and Nona had slipped behind so we set to planning our assault on Bluebeat. Then one suddenly presented itself under the Harbour bridge. Bluebeat stalled and we rolled over the top with our kite filling well before his. Job done………..now we have to protect our position. The kite ride lasted to just before Kauri point. We dropped before Bluebeat so the gap closed again. During Bluebeats drop we consolidated on the gap and turned our attention to Escape. Too far ahead but maybe if we close the distance we can beat him on handicap?

The last leg to the finish was a little tricky as there were large wind shifts and looking forward we could see the two leaders tight hauled and struggling to make it without tacking. It was evident we needed to take every lift we could. Managed to cross the line without tacking. This put us well ahead of Bluebeat and maybe close enough to Escape to steal second.This was indeed the case……….a very satisfying race.

Thanks to all competitors and to the tower team.
Well done the Eye spy crew……..top job!

Race Report from Firsty

Winter series Race 7 with TIm, Wayne, Tom, Dave, Tod & Sally from Melbourne. Wind 10 - 15 kt NE. No 1 rig.

The start line was so tight, only about 3 boat lengths before the depth was dicey. We needed to formulate a plan. Being the deepest draft boat, we really need the pin, but that is going to be difficult because we will be windward boat so likely get luffed by boats below. So the only way to do it was to come in on starboard from above the line and gybe on the line. It would have to be a well timed run though, as there were not too many bail out options. As we timed our run, it was looking like we were going to be late, but picked up a puff, which changed everything and we were early and having to run down the line. Although we had starboard advantage the port tack boats had nowhere to go, so we did not have much advantage. Gybing at 8 seconds , if we aren't over then we must be first start. The gun goes and the flag stays down so we must have been clear. Eye Spy was powered up underneath us and climbs out from under our lee whilst we sit and wait for the wind.

No time to wait, lets get the Masthead kite up quick as we can. Shame there is no wind to fill it. The odd puff comes through to get some momentum going and we are off. The run down the harbour gives wind angles ranging from 160 deg by the lee, to 80 apparent, so kite trimming was a full time job. By the time we reached Taikata it was looking like it was going to be too shy for a kite so we hoisted the no 1, but with the boats behind bringing breeze, we can't afford to drip the kite so we hold on to it to maintain all the advantage that we can get until it is too much then we have to drop. Pass through the Kauri Pt doldrums, then on the wind down harbour.

With this rig on and in this wind strength Firsty can point exceptionally well, so we pass most of the Clearwater fleet and build up a handy lead over the Hobsonville boats. Apparently on the run down the harbour, again we have damaged the No1 light and put a hole in it. Second time in 2 races. As we get to Bayswater and turn against the tide we try to hold high and push into Shoal bay as the kite is readied. On hoisting we are certainly sailing a shy kite, but it is only 9 knots so manageable as we make the bridge, then bear away some to try to keep out of the tide. With a shy kite Firsty is going well, with firm and attentive kite trimming.

Trying as much as we can to avoid the Kauri Pt doldrums again we change to the No2 headsail to reduce any further damage to the No1. Up the Beach Haven coast it is eased sheets and we keep low to try to keep out of the tide, until we get a knock approaching the narrows. As we bear away and the depth drops we realise that we are not going to get that elusive lift so tack and tack back once we have sea room. It's slow work against the tide in light winds, but finally we approach the finish, but buggar!! Knocked on the finish line and we have to tack to finish, but as we tack, the gun sounds.

1st start, 1st line, 1st handicap.

Everyone has worked really hard for the whole race and done what they can to get the best out of the boat. Thanks Guys and Sally!