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HYC Winter series race 8, sunday 6th September 2015!!!

posted Sep 7, 2015, 7:39 PM by Admin hycnz   [ updated Sep 13, 2015, 3:03 PM ]

The Results:

1 Eye Spy

2 Firsty

3 Escape

4 Nona

5 Blue Beat

Race report from Nona

We front up with a forecast of 25 to 35 knots, so it is a reef and number 2 and NO spinnakers.
Get to the congested start line and the breeze seems a little light and we do the usual slow take off and follow the fleet. Passing the bomb dump headland and the front boats have a definite lean. Eye Spy is putting a reef in on “the fly”. It is official. It must be windy.
Get around Kauri Point and things are slightly lighter and we head to Chelsea, round the mark and I trip over something and we are in ‘irons”. Eventually we build up some speed and manage a tack and head for the gybe around Meola.
Back to Chelsea and we manage a better and faster tack in front of the advancing CCYC fleet and head for home with Blue Beat as our target. We start to slowly reel him in and around the Bomb dump headland we are admiring his boom over our cabin top. The ducking and diving continues to the finish accompanied by raucous calls of ”hold your course”, “how much water do you want” to name a few. All to no avail. We finish behind Blue Beat by 2 seconds.
We are all feeling a little wind swept and chilled and happily head for the mooring noting that Eye Spy is having to hang around before they can tie up and rest.
Thanks to the crew of John and Dave, the gallant start tower crew and the social committee for the hot food. The day was a good test of the boats and certainly cleared any cobwebs from the mind.

Race Report from Escape

This race was such a buzz. I love sailing and I especially I love racing. The drive to do things that you haven't done before and might not need do otherwise. Improve your down wind sailing or improve your "prawn fishing" are just two sides of the same coin.

The day dawns unpleasant and the forecast isn't much better. 25 gusting 35 showers and cold. Common sense says stay in bed but if I had any common sense I wouldn't own a boat. The rain clears before I head for the boat but we still have to dodge the odd shower as we set up. Nearly a full crew with only Richard and George away. Donna and Pete regale Will and Tim with tales from their recent visit to the roller coaster rides of Queensland on the motor to the start. The wind is no warmer but we're suitably distracted and in the right mindset for a roller coaster race!

I must be a slow learner. The wind drops in the last minute before the start and once again we're too far away when the gun goes. Well past déjà vu now, practically Ground Hog day. There is a variety of sail combinations on display and with a bravado  born of ignorance we opt for full main and no. 2. I have no idea how Escape will handle this wind strength but for now it pays off as we sail out from under Nona and Blue Beat in the lighter winds around Hobby. Eye Spy proves a little more difficult  to get round and we finally pass them when they pull a reef in. Escape is handling well at this point and relishes us cracking sheets as we round Kauri Point. We debate what to do round Meola and decide the gennaker will be "good" in these conditions.

Pete gives me a bit of time to let common sense kick in but it doesn't happen. The team gets the kite up really well and we just hang on. The speedo kicks up to 10 knots and when we catch a wave it goes past  11. We race down the front of a wave and Escape rolls to windward and stays there.  "Like sailing a bloody laser" says Pete. We catch up to the wave in front and dig the nose in. I pray that she'll round up not down but she charges straight on. Pucker factor is kicking in big time. All too soon it's time to get it down. The kite is wrestled into submission just before the mark and we achieve a semblance of order in time to tack.

Full main is starting to feel a bit much but the tide is with us so we grit our teeth and tough it out. We gain a bit of space on Eye Spy as Pete and Will get the sails working better, with plenty of advice from the rail. Round Meola and common sense makes a brief appearance. No kite this time and it's almost an anti climax as we slide easily down to Chelsea.  We did get a wave big enough to wet Donna"s shoes though. Just ask her. We're ready for the uphill this time and despite the wind picking up and a brief shower that feels like hail we lay through to Kauri Pt and turn for home.

I've sailed the leg from Kauri Point to Hobby in a sou wester a few times over the years. We've put the kite up more often than not and I don't have to take both hands off the wheel to count the number of times it paid off. But when you're behind it always seems like a good idea and anyway common sense was used up on the last down hill leg. We pull the gennaker up in its sock and straight away the wind jumps 10 knots to be closer to 30 than 20 so we take it down again. The wind immediately drops and there's some adrenalin left over from earlier so we go for it again. Give Donna and the guys their dues they worked really hard to get it working but we only got it to fill twice and one of those was with water. After three round outs it's time to get it down and when It's finally dragged back on board we two sail reach efficiently but tamely to the finish. Third on handicap but who cares really. The kite rides, good and bad, the up wind bash and the fun of sailing with friends excited about pushing our limits, has made for a great days sailing. Two weeks till the next race seems like a long time.

Eye Spy's race report!

Our crew list was a short one as Gill and JK showed up keen and raring to go. Mark was flying out to warmer pastures and Greg had other commitments. Could prove to be a fairly tough day at the office as the wind was registering over 30knts at Bean Rock.
 Number 3 course was decided and this placed us in the more exposed section of the harbour. Start, to take Meola to port, Chelsea to stbd, Meola to stbd, Chelsea to stbd then home.

Sail configuration was discussed at length and we decided to go with full main and the no.2 headsail with the option to reef on the go. We figured we would probably need to reef on the upwind leg.

We all approached the line on stbd and Eye Spy was in a good position. Firsty snuck up along side and then ran out of puff. We maintained a small lead till about Island Bay before Firsty powered past and Escape soon after. Things got a little tough and we decided to reef on the go. All three 88s had different sail configurations so we were a little nervous about them catching us especially as Eye Spys hull was a tad dirty. This was proved to be not an issue as they had a very entertaining battle with each other a safe distance behind. Speaking of entertaining…………Escape was brave enough to launch an extra sail from the foredeck. Good on ya Trev. The leg to Chelsea worked well but you’d have to say the leg to the finish not so much. Any prawns in the net Trev?

Eye Spy was sailing short handed so we chose to keep the spinnaker tucked away in its bag…………..good call I think. We finished in sight of Firsty and Escape and expect to finish behind on handicap.
 This was not to be……….we finished first on handicap and took first on the start by about a meter over Firsty.
 Great result and many thanks to my crew.

Oh and………….just to top things off…………a plonker in a Raven 26 had got my mooring wrapped around his rudder and chopped one of my mooring buoys off which we had to retrieve and he also cut the dingy painter. Still not sorted, two coast guard boats had to help him out in order for Eye Spy to be put to bed about 45 minutes later.

Fun n games………..

Race Report from Firsty

5 On board Firsty, Tim, Lou, Dave, Tod and I. Could have done with another body on board. Tom would have been handy. Gusting nearly to 30 on the way up to the start so we opted for a reef in the main to go with the number 3 headsail.

Eye Spy got the better of us at the start as they picked up a puff that we missed. You wouldn't have thought it was so windy out there. Eye Spy held a good puff and was able to get out from our lee side and were holding up on course. We have to go below as Trev is not going to let us go over top, so we managed to get through to leeward and climb up on course. Then it hit us as we went past the Bomb dump. F*#< its windy! Dumping the main all the way to Taikata until we could ease off a bit and get under control. Meola to Chelsea it still felt pretty fresh and a still not far aft of the beam so we decided chicken out on the kite. Up hill it was pretty fresh but manageable and we made good boat speed. Down to Chelsea and back up hill again then ease sheets back up to Hobby to the finish for a first on line and second on handicap. Well done to Eye Spy for the win. Thanks to Nigel and the tower team. It was good to get out and race in a heavy breeze for a change.