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Ladies race - Sunday 8th November 2015

posted Nov 15, 2015, 3:00 PM by Admin hycnz
1st Eye Spy
2nd Nona
3rd Blue Beat

Race Report from Nona

After David had helmed Nona to a podium finish for the forward hands race, despite the interesting spinnaker work by the rest of us it was my turn to take the helm for the ladies race.
A picture perfect start was of course planned to the second…..it was a great way to get underway. We were leading halfway down to the first mark but then Eyespy and Bluebeat popped kites and got ahead of us. Unfortunately the bigger boats disappear for the ladies race and it was just the three youngs participating. After deliberation with the crew we put up a spinnaker ourselves just before Kauri point and luckily Eyespy and Bluebeat had fallen into a hole. This meant we caught up and rounded meola first and were in the lead again.

All three youngs were neck and neck all the way home and some serious trimming was being done by my crew. The course had been shortened; somehow I missed that and was in rounding mode at the bottom mark. That was until right on the finish Gill threw in a tack onto starboard very close to me to challenge the line which made things clear as a bell very quickly. To avoid a collision I threw the helm over into an unplanned tack with little to no warning to my crew perhaps slightly prematurely, this allowed Gill and Eyespy through and take the win on the line by 7 seconds, congratulations Gill that tactic worked a charm!

But that wasn’t the end of the excitement and drama of the day; I came in thinking we had it in the bag like the previous year……. BUT it had been decided that since we were racing in the same class of yacht the youngs were all equal with females at the helm so handicaps didn’t apply for the ladies race and we came second overall. A lesson in not counting your chickens I guess. Sailing is a sport like any other and clever tactics wins races and the referee is always right, a thoroughly enjoyable day glad I was out there. Thanks to all the organisers!


Race Report from Eye Spy

The Ladies race followed immediately after the Forward Hands Race, which was a highly competitive race in itself, involving both luck and judgement, depending on which side of the flat spot you were in. The Eye Spy crew were in high spirits, and the pressure and expectation on me, to follow Greg's spectacular win, was huge. Only time for a quick bite of lunch, and then we were into the starting sequence, with five minutes to go before the start. Our start left lots to be desired, third boat to cross the line, with only three starters! So eating dirty wind from Blue Beat and Nona, we tried to find clear air to get the spinnaker filling and driving us through the turbulence. Dropping well to leeward we found clear air, and despite slightly stronger tide, managed to slowly creep ahead, to have a commanding lead by Kauri Point.

At this point the wind dropped, the tide swept us sideways, and we battled to avoid tangling with an anchored fishing boat, who came rushing at us as our spinnaker collapsed from lack of wind. Gradually the wind picked up again, but guess what,  both Nona and Blue Beat came back to play and passed us to reach Meola buoy in that order. Rounding onto the beat back to the ODM the wind had picked up and it was close tacking, and place changing between the three of us all the way back to Kauri Point. Heading into the home straight all three Young 88s were in line abreast (apologies for female pun) with Nona to windward in the lead, Eye Spy just to leeward and Blue Beat nearest the shore, slightly ahead of us. We tried to sail above Nona, but she had none of that and luffed us up. Meanwhile Blue Beat started to squeeze through to leeward with our infighting! Change of plan and we dropped well to leeward, covering Blue Beat and gaining gradually on Nona. As we got close to the line we spotted the shorten course flag, so knew we had to fetch the line to finish ahead of Nona. The wind had other plans and headed as we approached the line, putting us ahead of Nona, just, but unable to fetch the line without having to tack onto starboard. This we did, giving Nona prior warning of our plan, just in case.........! What a close finish with less than half a boats length between Nona and Eye Spy, and Trev getting a few more grey hairs with my dinghy tactics.

Many thanks to Trev, Greg and JK for a great day's sailing and some superb crew work. All three now have bad shoulders and we have invented a new warm up before sailing based on my Pilates teaching....... it is called "Eye Spylates". It could catch on!?*****

Gybo Gill
Sensible Lady on Eye Spy