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HYC winter series race 7 & 8 - sunday 24th September 2017

posted Oct 8, 2017, 6:33 PM by Admin hycnz

Race race report from Escape

Last day of the winter series and (in the only slightly censored words of one of my crew) a sunny day, not too much wind, two races and the chance to throw some stuff up at the front down-wind.

Crew for the day Ginny, Pete, Richard and my nephew, Ben - up from Wellington to try sailing in less than a gale-force wind.

Talk of the election kept us occupied on the motor round to Hobby and we had a broad range of opinion on the boat. No one completely happy, or completely unhappy for that matter, and no battle of the generations ensued.

Still half asleep after a late night and an earlier than usual wake up, we were not first, but not far from the line when gun went. Certainly close enough to admire the optimism of the Firsty crew as they sailed merrily on - despite being so far over the line that I needed binoculars to see them. Sure enough, the horn and flag soon beckoned them back and we couldn't resist a bit of banter as they came back past. 

A slowly delaminating genoa and an inability to get the best from the boat on my part made for a frustrating reach to Taikata, and then a poorly chosen angle to Meola compounded the problem. Eye Spy and Blue Beat had made good on their better starts and Firsty had got back into it as well. The team got the gennaker up well, but the wind was too far aft for it to work well on a straight line to the mark. We had caught Blue Beat and the gennaker gave us the pace to get past - just not quite in the right direction, as we kept the angle “hot”. Blue Beat dipped our stern and sailed straight to the mark, but a slick drop and gybe put us round Meola hot on their heels and we soon got over the top. 

Eye Spy were the next target, but we didn’t catch much on the short tack to Kauri Point or the two-sail reach back towards Taikata. I had high hopes we could get them with the gennaker on the run along the mud to the finish. It was a great ride and tense in a couple of gusts that threatened to round us out (exciting enough for you Ben?), but in the end it was ‘close but no cigar’ as Trev beat us to the line not too far behind the Firsty boys.

Race two followed quickly and we managed to win the start… only to see it all wasted by sailing into a hole! “First to last in five boat lengths” was Pete’s succinct description, so once again we were playing catch up.  It was a two-sail drag race to Kauri Point and, disappointingly, we made little progress on catching the 88s - let alone Firsty, who were starting to do a horizon job. 

We'd learnt from the earlier race and threw up the kite instead of the gennaker. It was enough to get past the mighty Nona. It was light enough that a bad gybe would only bring embarrassment rather than disaster, and the team pulled it off with aplomb so there’d be no rude comments in the bar later.

The drop at Chelsea was good work done well, and the genoa held together on the up-wind leg, but we didn't gain much on the 88s in front - and Firsty was already in another postcode - so it wasn't looking like line honours for us. Turn Meola, kite up, kite down, round Chelsea and beat back up to Kauri Point. Blue Beat was close enough to give us hope of catching them and our tacking technique had got better - albeit at the expense of Ben getting a chance to catch his breath. 

We caught Blue Beat and a luffing duel ensued. Verbal blows were traded, parentage questioned and then we'd passed. The rest of the race passed like a formula one race: lots of effort, but no danger of anyone passing anyone else!  We moved clear of Blue Boat, but didn't look like testing Eye Spy at any point and Craig and team in Firsty were so far ahead they were probably feet-up at home. 

That’s how it ended and another winter series is ticked off. As with the election, the results leave us neither happy nor unhappy, but it's hard to fault a sunny day, a fair breeze and getting to throw some stuff up at the front.

Race reports from Eye Spy
Race 7:
The weather forecast was true to its predictions and the wind was 10-15 from the west. Lisa and I were to race 2 handed. We get to the club and Denise graciously offers to share her crew. Bronnie agreed to lend us her hands…….nice one. Guess I owe you a ginger beer Denise?
We decide to run full main and No.1
The course is simply Meola to port and home. Don’t mention Port, Gazza sais as he holds his head in his hand. Good nite was it Gazza? We look down harbour and see the usual reprobates from the marina coming. Great, we have a fleet!
We start at the pin end so as to be on starboard and was surprised no one else joined us. Not a bad start but had to slowly get clear of blue beat and escape on the leg to Meola. The kite goes up soon after Kauri point and dropped only a few minutes later. Twas necessary to hold position in the fleet. We race back to the finish line without position changing but were we close enough to Firsty?
Turns out………..yes we were.
Eye Spy first on handicap. Well done to my all girl crew.
Race 8
The second race of the day was supposed to start at 1300hrs but a collective decision got us going at 1230hrs……..nice. We were again surprised to see the bulk of the fleet starting on port. Again we sneaked up the line on starboard and eased down across the line in a great position. Firsty didn’t jump the start this time so soon started to make a break. The course was # 3 start to Meola port, Chelsea starboard, Meola starboard, Chelsea starboard and home. We do battle again with Escape and Bluebeat. Nona is also in the mix until midway to Kauri point. We pull away from Bluebeat but he is hanging on for grim death. Stubborn bugger is our Gazza! Escape takes the track close to Kauri point and seems to drop behind. We gybe the kite around Meola and have blue beat along side. We are a little faster downwind so open a small gap. I call to drop the kite too late and things go awry. The kite gets tangled in the genoa which gets tangled in Lisa oooooops. We stall as we round Chelsea and both Bluebeat and escape get through. Can we peg it back?
We remember our mistakes and the next down wind went great. We still have more work to do and develop great boat speed up wind. We get by Escape and bluebeat and forge a bit of a gap. Kauri point and we see the two boats luffing each other up. Creates a wee smile……….the gap increases. Now……..where is Firsty? He’s crossing the finish as we pass Island Bay.
Well done to Firsty and crew. Thanks to my crew Lisa and Bronnie. 2nd place on handicap.
Thanks to all who came out to play. Here endeth the Winter seaso