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Night Race to Kawau

posted Jan 27, 2014, 7:01 PM by Admin hycnz   [ updated Jan 29, 2014, 5:28 PM ]
Young Entertainer Race Report

We had an all boys team for the Night Race to Kawau to race for the prestigious 'Jim Ellice' cup.

We had a clean boat and Blair, Dunc, Tim and I knew we had the weather and sails to make this a good race. The start line was short and we had to hit the start boat end to make our play for Kauri Point. Commodore Gary sent it a bit hard and was over the line. Young Entertainer took the line and made for the point. The boys cranked her up and we were off around the point heading for the bridge. We tried the gennie but the wind was a little forward. Montego held hers but then again her shoulder are a bit smaller than ours. No worries we had a nice tight reach and Young Entertainer was paying us handsomely! We got past the big wind break in town (container ship) - we knew Trev and Eye Spy would find it...

Uncle Arthur holding Eye Spy's boom out, with Young Entertainer in the distance. Photograph taken by Jos Ford 

Up with the gennie and we are goneski! Same as always, wind goes aft close to Whangaporoa and we slow down - the kites were hunting us down!! We knew the wind would go forward and freshen once through Tiri  - and it did. We said hi to Trev and uncle Art and then went about our business. A sweet ride to the finish with a nice gennie ride to boot. Blair, Dunc and Tim - take a bow - you boys rock! Was it enough to win? nope - but we enjoyed being part of it!
Had some good times on the Island too thanks to the House Committee.

Nice ride home on Sunday.... 9.5 knot reach in 1m seas - it was great to be alive!

Nona - Race Report
The fleet was massed before the short start line waiting for the gun. We were lined up third from the Start boat looking good until a very large boat barged through between the start boat and yacht Bill to calls of "barging", and "windward boat keep clear". While this boat trucked through, the rest of us were left dodging each other and trying to avoid rubs and bumps. A promising start sunk.

We managed to squeak past Kawau Point to a more favourable broad reach through the bridge and around a VERY large in bound tanker. The horn blasted out but is was not Trevor or us that slid past the high and wide bow.
Eye Spy hoisted the spinnaker before North Head then gybe around the head. We took the conservative approach and waited until around the corner before hoisting Big Blue. A nice line past Rangi Light and headed for the Tiri passage. Young Entertainer and Eye Spy are ahead and quite a bit port of us.They gybed in front of us to what looked like the far end of Tiritiri Island or even towards Fiji before tacking back through the passage while we continued straight through. The sea state is wondrously calm - ideal for an Y88. Time for a bit of bacon and egg pie and apple pie to keep up the energy levels.

As the sun sets the lights of Motuketekete Island and Martello Rock beckon. Then it happens. The dreaded red light. Where is that white light. Up and down we go. No one bought their glasses to read the GPS.
Finally the light goes white, relief, as the spinnaker tightens and no rocks ??? to blight our path. Past abeam of Martello at 2246. Time for a tidy up before inching into Mansion House Bay in search of a place to drop the anchor and put on the jug for a nice cup of tea.

Many thanks to the crew of Nona - Thomas Wedlock, Greg Jones and friend of Thomas, Mark. The night sky of Mansion House Bay is breath taking as the boat rests and the crew make plans to go visiting (rum bottle in hand)


A very sharp and sorry end to a wonderful weekend on Satisfaction as we snapped the forestay in 25 knots near westhaven.
Our  headsail was shredded in seconds, the furler, foil and sheets destroyed the pulpit and the whole sorry mess was flying around our heads until the roller foil snapped and smashed to the back deck.
Luckily we had the inner forestay clipped on otherwise the mast would have been over the side (again).
Our first reaction was to start the engine and motor into shelter, however as we had sheets, furling lines and headsail pieces in the water we had to stop before wrapping something around the prop.
The broken stainless forestay also slashed the mainsail and smashed off the SSB and VHF ariels,.... its remarkable how much damage can occur in such a short space of time in heavy weather.
Insurance will cover all the repairs and fortunatly there were no injuries, however we will be missing for awhile.
All in all, a very dangerous and scary situation but it was well handled by our very competent crew.

p.s. Trevor, your bottle of rum is on its way thanks, a very exciting race home!

Satisfaction and Montego Bay (CCY) on the race up to Kawau - photograph taken by Jos Ford

EYE SPY Race Report.
We had been looking forward to this one..........
The Night Race to Cow- wow.
Arthur, Jos, Mark and Terry. My cheerful crew. 
I managed to clean the hull on Eye Spy on the Wednesday night prior to the race. Twas a long night as she didn't float off the grid till midnight. That meant we should be at least competitive with the other 88's.
As it happened the first three boats to the start area were the 88's. Are we keen or what?
The forecast was such that after conjecture the sail configuration would be "biggest is better". Gary on "Blue Beat" out-clevered himself on the start line which allowed "Young Entertainer" to take line with us  a close second. A short tight reach to Kauri point then broad reach down to North head saw position changes as those with Gennakers tried there luck. Some with more success than others it seems. Fortunately we were still in touch with the leaders prior to hoisting the Westpac kite at Northhead. Three jibes later and we were in the Tiri channel. Young Entertainer had quite a lead at this stage but were struggling to get the gennaker working with the wind being square behind. Eye Spy clawed back the advantage they had and our crew was getting a little excited. This turned out to be counterintuitive. When they got it sorted they whipped passed our bow at twice our speed. The angles they were doing meant it appeared we drew level at Tiri tiri. They snuck away again and from that point on we could only see their lights, not knowing how much of a lead they had. We had the dingy standing on the transom so the rear vision was impeded. Got a hell of a fright when who we thought was "Satisfaction" snuck up on us .Turned out it was " Montego Bay". After their kite collapsed they lost ground to us. We carried the kite to the finish and I assume we were around 10 minutes behind Darcy. Don't' know if we did enough as there were no results at the prize-giving. 
Our finish time 22.40.30
Great sail on the sparkling Hauraki Gulf. Thanks to Jos for the time and effort she put into the crew costumes. A rival cow from another field lead to promiscuous thoughts but fortunately not acted upon.
I look forward to some results!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
More stories about the trip back to follow........think I will leave Phil to explain