Second Nature's B&G Simrad 60 2009 Report
12 Aug 2009
Elliott 1050 Second Nature, long haul
Took the conservative approach to start on stb up by the wharf to give us clear air and some options. Breeze was a little more north and steady not favouring the pin too much, couple of big zig-zags up the harbour to take advantage of any outgoing tide that was hanging around and then planned to hit the coastline for the NW which eventuated and to keep left of the incoming tide. Hung with Satellite Spy and Marshall Law Karma Police and Overload up to Tiri. Pretty Boy Floyd managed to get to the coast earlier and hooked into the breeze nicely for a good gain. Picked a good line through Tiri passage with a few ahead struggling in the lee and popped out of there in good pressure putting time on the two Ross boats and edging in front of Overload. Decision time, tack and go for smoother water or hang on on port tack, keep the nose up and hope for enough tide assist . we stayed with this option until we found a knock, tacked and headed back into the shore. This proved to be a good move and we gladly took it. Once laying the island tacked back to port to lay through, the increase in pressure helped us squeeze through before freeing up for the reach to Flat Rock. Overload hoisted a large reacher and took off, we decided to hang with the #1 as was still a little tight for a genie for us. About half way across the "wall" of rain started to loom and looked like plenty of west in it judging by the fleet behind looking like they were going to lay the rock in pressure. Truxton was absolutely trucking with a genie so decided to respond with masthead genie. This was going to be a good ride, worry about the gybe at Flat when it happens. Hopefully there is not too much in it and and it will blow through!!
Auto pilots are a great invention and Ian and I had a trouble free run with it all the way around the north island last year (famous last words). Got the genie all hooked up ready to hoist, set the auto pilot in 10knts of breeze and prepared to hoist. Tack line out and went back to mast to hoist with Ian tailing. I knew the pressure was coming but just not as quick as it did damn it. Puff on, boat rounded up, caught the tack of the genie in the piss and the bloody thing self launched!! Shit need to hoist now but was too late and started to trawl. Blew that tack line to take the pressure of the tack and smoked the halyard to lay the head down before it all went really bad and ended up with a High Voltage lookalike stump. I was pretty sure there was a knot in the halyard last time I looked but it managed to go through the jammer and the deck organisers, up through the exit box at the bottom of the mast and stop at the top of the rig!!! Bugger! So there was actually a knot there! Anyway it was enough release the pressure on the rig and get the genie back on the boat, albeit in pieces, while only letting through Truxton. Probably only lost only 5mins here but 5 mins at 14knts is a fair chunck of race course.
Got the boat under itself again and we were off. We still had the #1 up in 30knts and managed speeds around 14knts to flat rock, with an outboard sheet it was quite manageable and a testament to the stiffness of the 1050 . No masthead halyard but still had a rig none the less. Arrived at Flat rock to a barrage of carnage, with boats laid on their side all over the place. Managed a gybe and just hung on to find we were on course for Gannet rock coming at it with good pace catching the guys in front. Once it blew through got the fractional genie up, had a little tidy up while surfing the waves but was 20deg high on course. Decided to hang with this course for a beer and hope for another squall to get us down. Why is it when you want it its not there, and when you don't want it it always shows up!!
We were still in pretty good company and no-one behind for miles so half way down poled the genie aft to get some soak while keeping an eye out for Demonstrator behind, sure enough they were quick downhill and went through us about 2/3rds down the run ? that?s ok we still had a long beat home in 15-20knts to catch them. Didn't quite lay Gannet, gybed back towards Surething who were still on stb and hoisted the #1, this could get interesting, as we crossed their stern we dropped the genie, gybed back and rounded Gannet nice and high on course just off the hip of Surething for a lay through. Managed to lift off and overtake them and set to catching Demonstrator who had put a hitch in, and Satellite Spy. With a dying breeze and an outgoing tide it was important we got in before it all went bad so as soon as we could we got the boat in a footing mode and headed across the tide in the channel heading for Emu Pt. Just managed to go through Demonstrator in the lee of the point and hung just in front of them to finish a minute ahead. Never got to Satellite and just got pipped by Viva to finish in 5knts of breeze and the tide pouring out around 7:20pm. It was going to be hard work for those behind. I understand some dropped picks at bean rock for some time. Back to the marina for a clean up and set to on the bottle of rum. Was a great night until we lost the test match!!
Well done to Truxton, solid performance and deserved win, they will be hard to beat in the series but looking forward to the challenge that is the Simrad 100 (im stiff after 63miles, 100 may take some recovery!!)
Be interesting to hear some DNF stories, hopefully not too many breakages !!