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HYC winter series race 8 - Sunday 28th July 2019 (mark foy race)

posted Aug 12, 2019, 7:51 PM by Admin hycnz

1 - Escape
2 - Firsty
3 - Eye Spy
4 - Slip knot

Best start - Slip Knot

Escape Race Report 

Time is a funny thing. It seems to pass slowly in stressful moments which explains why it seemed to take a week to sail behind the Chelsea Meola mudbank.  In the end it was worth it but if I hear the shallow water alarm from the depth sounder anytime soon I might scream.

We were three up for the day, Pete, Will and I, so were pleased it was a simple course with not too many marks although  the long multi tack beat against the tide to Bayswater kept us busy, and warm. 

We were a bit late for the start but Eye Spy hadn’t got too far ahead in the minute we were giving them and a Clearwater boat, Nimble, up ahead of them was marking the edge of the wind shadow at Kauri Point nicely. We managed to stay in the wind all the way round and settled down to try and catch Eye Spy. We crossed tacks a couple of times with them comfortably in front  They were sailing higher but slower and approaching Meola beacon we got on equal terms. We just scraped by the post and it was decision time. Keep going up behind the mudbank out of the tide or take the safe route in deep water.

The two Clearwater boats ahead of us had opted for the shallow route and seemed to be going ok and the tide was coming in so what could possibly go wrong! In we went. The depth sounder dropped steadily until it hit the 1m mark (below the keel) and there it stayed for what seemed an eternity. Occasionally it would drop to 0.8m to keep us sweating or taunt us by flicking up to 1.2 and the hope we were through. All the time the alarm set for 1.5 metres dinged infuriatingly on.

When we finally did come out near Watchmans Island, less tide and a bit of a lift meant we had opened a lead up on Eye Spy and kept Slipknot and Firsty at bay . It was slow going upwind and tide but eventually we were through the bridge and on the lay line for Bayswater.  We had a small lead on Firsty and Slipknot at the mark which widened by getting the push from the tide first.

Pete and Will did a slick job of hoisting the gennaker and  we set off for Meola. The GPS was showing 7 to 8 knots across the ground so it was a quick leg. Being only two handed Firsty were without a kite and Slipknot got back in front of them and looked like they might give us a run for our money. We decided to push things at the mark by keeping the gennaker working til the last second before tacking at the mark and dropping it to windward. It wasn’t perfect but it was pretty good as drops go and when we had cleaned up and looked back Slipknot  was having a ‘mare with their drop and were no longer a threat.

We knew if we could make it to Chelsea first then Firsty and Eye Spy  who had got past Slipknot would struggle to catch us on the down wind leg to the finish. So once more we pushed well into mud territory  before tacking on what proved to be a tight .layline to Meola. We scraped around the mark with  half a metre to spare, dodged the boat fishing just past it, hoisted the gennaker and set off for the finish.

We managed to gain a bit on other three and took the gun with a comfortable lead.  We cleaned up in slow time on the sail home and put the boat away feeling pretty pleased with how we went.All in all a great days racing. Thanks to Pete and Will and to the Clearwater team for running the race.

Race report from Eye Spy:

Seems as if its been a while since we raced……….

Lisa, Mark and I on board on this occasion and the wind is predicted at 9-16 knots from the East.

As we set the boat ready to go from the marina we note the wind may have exceeded the predicted high so, we opt for the number two and full main.

The course is # 8 which is Bayswater to starboard, Meola to starboard, Chelsea to port then finish. Pretty much windward leeward today then. The crew were not too keen on the idea of flying a kite but I will convince them yet!

We start at only a couple of seconds pass our allotted start time of 14 minutes. It seems the majority of the fleet are already too far away for us to catch! Oh well, who is closest? We line up cracka as the closest to us but not to forget the chasing four behind us. Gezzzzzz, speaking of those behind, we get pounced on by Escape up wind. We don’t manage to hold off Firsty or Slipknot who pass us just before the bridge. Tacking, tacking……. bugger………..spilt the beers all over the newly cleaned cockpit.

On to Bayswater and we are just ahead of Champosa. Round the mark and I call for the kite…….say again what? They love it really and up she goes!  Doing well now and decide to brave another beer, thirsty work eh. Champosa is trying to pass so I head up to avoid getting monstered by their humungous kite. They eventually pass us and we now hold the envious last position.

Issues at the bottom mark!  What has gone wrong on board Slipknot? The kite is up and they have rounded Meola! That’s goin to end in tears! The kite drop on Eye Spy was clean and we pass Slipknot who is stationary still with issues. Eye Spy scoots by Cracka and we also pass the Pied Piper who got stuck in the hole at Kauri point.

Over the finish line with Cracka on our tail determined to fly his kite till the end. Twas not to be………the wind turned on the nose at the finish boat.

Third boat to finish from HYC. I wonder if Escape would have been caught if Firsty flew a kite……we will never know. Well done to all……….especially my crew.