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Sunday 6th July - HYC Winter Series race 4

posted Jul 6, 2014, 3:55 PM by Admin hycnz   [ updated Jul 14, 2014, 11:09 PM ]
Eye Spy racing during winter series race 4 - photograph taken by Jos Ford 

Stratus' Race Report poem by George Higgins

“A Grand-daughter’s Lament

We sailed on the sloop Strat…us
My grand-pappy and us
Around Rhona’s buoy we needed to roam.
Started ahead, but Blue Beat left us for dead,
He such a good sailor we think we go home.

We catch up the front boats fast,
“Now don’t let the rest go past!
Just sail the quickest way over the foam.”
At Meola go wide, Eye Spy takes us inside!
He such a good sailor we want to go home.

Now the old man he is blind
Never look for Nona behind
 But round Rhona buoy he lets her free roam
Firsty now he gone long, can’t hold Nona strong
She such a good sailor, please let me go home!

So hoist up the Stratus sails.
“Just get the damn things set!”
Send idiot helmsman ashore and let me go home.
I want to go home and take refuge in Rome!
We such bad sailors I want to go home!

Well sailed all!!!”

Race Report from Firsty

Nice to sail a light steady breeze
And in one that we didn't freeze
So in number one rig
We sailed it real big
First leg on the wind then we ease.

On the first leg the wind it was light
The starboard tacklers gave us a fright
But we pulled in the sail
Then sent the mail
And at the top mark by god it was tight

On the down wind we hoisted big yellow
A truly magnificent fellow
Although some boats we caught
Passing lanes were so short
Between Blue Beat and Pile was too narrow

A spinnaker dual was to follow
With a boat not racing, hard to swallow
But we got round at last
And the boats going fast
On the last of the wind we could borrow

Seriously though it was one of those races that everything fell into place. Great to have Wayne back on the foredeck along with Tim, Tom, Bruce and Lou.

Race Report from Nona

As per usual, the wind is looking patchy but the number of boats fronting up gets the blood pumping. We get ourselves lined up for the start ... the gun goes, and.... it goes quiet. Care of a large boat called Cool Change.
We eventually struggle past and inch our way to Kauri Point. The course of Rhona, Chelsea Red, Rhona and finish is looking decidedly optimistic.
Staggering around Kauri and there is some wind. At least double figures. We are spoilt.
The tacking duels and tactics begin.
Up to Rhona we hold out Wild Horses as we go around and head to Chelsea. The front runners hoist spinnakers but we conserve our energy and leave ours in the bag.(Don't want to crease it too much)
We pinch up to the mark with a large CCYC boat breathing down our sails. A lovely rounding and its back to Rhona. Coming towards us is a fleet - on starboard and flying spinnakers heading to Chelsea Yellow via a very close course to Rhona. Out of the corner of our eye, there is Stratus coming across from Watchman Is direction and somehow squeezes his 70ft beam through a 20ft gap between one of the other fleet and Rhona. I close my eyes. No sounds of scrapes or collision and Stratus is around and heading to the finish ahead of us. George, you are a true professional.
We go around and start hunting Stratus. Up goes Big Blue (nice work Dave)  we take a closer line to Kauri while Stratus is further out. Out of the blue in Gaucho inside of us changing his spinnaker and then stealing our wind. We manage to get around the corner just ahead of Stratus, drop the spinnaker (and did not get it wet) and tighten up to the finish and continue to Hobby.
Good work from the crew, John, Dave and Bronwyn. The wind could have been more consistent but beggars can't be choosey. Thanks to the other competing boats, welcome Elan and thanks to the House Committee.
It is a great sight to see so many competing yachts in the Upper Waitemata. Sailing is alive and well.

Race report from Elan

Well what can I say?????
New yacht, new epoch, watch out the Campbell’s are coming. The plan had been to hoon down the harbour on Saturday night and stay over In Issy bay for the night and come back up the harbour Sunday for the race. But as usual a guess with a new boat that had been left to languish for 18 months or so, we had a few teething troubles. Almost every fitting was either partially or wholly ceased. No LPG and out of date cylinders meant that Saturday night was spent getting gas so the squabs could be fed, wiring up broken nav lights and a lot of CRC being applied, plus a large hammer!

So completely knackered, Sunday morning arrived, and we set off to practice sailing, where is the wind when you need it????  Race start did not do too badly but we quickly sailed into a hole bugger. Watched Nimble a few boat lengths to landward catch a narrow ribbon of breeze and take off while we drifted towards Meola reef. Head sail kept catching upon the inner forestay and number 1 squab was called upon to tack and gibe the clew, until I could get it back to the mast!! CFC required again. A lot of mistakes later we finally got to Rhona and hoisted the spinnaker for the first time COOL!!!!!!! It is huge bigger than ISIS total sail area put together!! Over took Bill only to muck up the spinny drop and they took us back, dead last again but a whole lot of fun. Thanks to the galley maid for all the help with steering and feeding the squabs. Apologies to Isis who is glowering at me in the driveway. Here’s to next time and more constant wind, Élan standing by.

Race report from Ché

Wind... not much but there is wind! Woohoo!
It was our best start so far, as I write I'm anticipating the published race results to show how brilliant we were (great crew calling time and distance).
It took them a while but eventually most of the fleet sailing past us - the joy of being a smaller, wooden boat.  We sailed the downwind homeward leg not alone for a change but with the Entertainer ahead and Cool Change (both racing for CCYC) chasing us down and sneaking past before the finish, two much bigger faster boats so I can't complain about how Ché performed.
I think it was our best race so far, it felt as if finally everything is coming together shame we'll never compete with the 88's and that there weren't other "slow" boats out... it's lonely back there with no-one to play with.  
Guys get out and race, Élan and Ché need some competition and there is no better way of spending a day than on the water with a good boat, good breeze and good company.

Race report from Eye Spy
Well.......didn't it blow on Saturday. There we were....Jos and I, replacing all the stanchions on Eye Spy, all the while hoping the wind was going to continue through to the race on Sunday. That was not to be.

Greg, John, JK, Mark and Gill on board leaving from the marina for the last time. Yep ......Eye Spy to return home to the mooring after the race.

Great to see a strong fleet fronting today. We could see breeze around the corner from Kauri point and the "old salts" on Stratus kept close to the point. Their 70ft beam didn't seem so wide today as we passed them on the way to Rhona. The Eye Spy was trucking up wind and we were hunting and positioning for the strongest wind. "Firsty" was also trucking and it wasn't long before he was on our tail. How's that handicap Craig?

The kite hoist went well with Greg on the bow and we made more positions down wind. Where's "Blue Beat"? The next goal was to pass him on the next upwind to Rhona. Success.........now all we have to do is hold him off to the finish. Couldn't manage that one as he seemed to bring the breeze down with him and passed us just before the finish......damn.......nice one Commodore.

Great to see such a strong fleet and good to see Jamie and family with "Élan" out there.
Lee Ho