Jagged Edge's 2009 B&G Simrad 60 report
12 Aug 2009
After studying the forecast all week I could see that it was not going to be particularly good for the SR 26, NW changing to SW in the afternoon meant a beat to Tiri a flat run then a beat back from Gannet, that?s a whole lot of upwind work which is not our strong point! Our main goal was to beat the other SR26s, there were 6 in total and we were the only ones with the original light keel so that made it a real challenge and also meant another big day of hiking hard for me!
We knew that we were going to have to push very hard on the run if we were going to have any chance of a result.
The start was relatively uneventful, we started on starboard (again there were way to many port tacker?s causing issues)near the wharf end with the plan of an early tack out into clear air, for us our whole game plan revolves around clear air being the smallest boat in the division.
The upwind starts make it hard for us to hang in and it is demoralizing to watch the other boats step away. We had chosen to go with the non overlapping blade jib anticipating the building breeze and not wanting to do a headsail change, this was costly for the first bit out of the harbor but was definitely the right call for us.
I wanted to stay left as I knew there would be some big leftys before the front, sure enough about an hour and a half into the beat we started lifting to lay thru to Navy bouy.
Usually we would be out the back door by now with our lack of stability but somehow we had hung on and were in fact the lead SR by a few hundred meters and were steadily pulling away from the Rattle who had chosen the #1 and were now struggling in the building breeze.
Mercenary had initially done OK out of the Rangi shore but were now not looking so flash with the big left hand shift, Rattle and rum were battling it out with us but had positioned themselves just inside us which meant that if it lifted and we laid then we would gain and if it knocked they would be pointing at our transom.
As we got closer to navy bouy the discussion about which kite to use started- BIG masthead Stienlager kite (same as a 1020), Small masthead kite (same asY88) or the masthead gennaker. We decided to put our balls where our brain used to be and put up the biggest bloody sail we had.
We were off. Reasonably well in control and having a few good bursts up to 16kts, negotiating our way thru the fleet of upwind boats that didn?t go so well downwind! We could see the cloud bank over the city getting closer, meaning there could be SW to come but the breeze seemed to be going further to the north making us struggle to lay, as the SW cloud got closer the breeze really went forward and we decided to change to the 0.5oz Masthead gennaker. I guess the breeze was accelerating along the face of the front as if it was a land mass because at one stage with the Masthead gennaker we were heading for Onetangi on the waiheke coast and sitting on a solid 16-18kts. We had got the boat prepared to gybe before the breeze had built as we knew there was going to be something funky with this cloud, sure enough we got a massive lift with the rain and were able to pull off a perfect gybe (it wasn?t easy?) and were heading straight for gannet on the other Gybe fully on the burst. Eventually we lifted again and had to do another short gybe back out, gybing the boat with a masthead kite on and a mainsail that doesn?t go thru the backstay is not that easy and we managed to get the top batten fully hooked up and almost wiped out, luckily the batten broke and with a bit of a tweak it came thru so I put the bow back up and we were off again!
One more quick Gybe into Gannet and we prepared for the drop. A glamour drop followed by a shocker of a jib hoist, the sheets had come out of the T-ring so we had to drop it and re set them. Ended up going around Gannet with no jib but didn?t loose much. Top speed on the run was 18. Something kts, but sustained speeds in the 16s, Im sure there are a few others out there who will testify to that as they watched the fluro green gennaker on the very edge of control screaming down to gannet Rock!
Once settled we rotated back into our upwind positions and I took my much loved spot at max beam. I am actually close to 10% of the weight of the boat so me hiking hard really does make quite a difference! And believe me I did hike hard??.
The sea was a bit uncomfortable for us and the breeze was still pretty solid so we chucked in a reef which seemed to help a bit. Slowly the Eliphunk cruised past and disappeared off into the distance.
We carried on as far as we could and ended up tacking at about Oneroa and shaking the reef just before Motuhie. While we were shaking the reef Cool change snuck past us and we knew they would beat us on handicap.
The breeze seemed to lift a bit and lighten off once we were inside the harbor. The last bit of the race was done in about 8kts of breeze and clearing skies.
We were the first SR26 home with the mercenary about 10minutes behind and the rattle about 30minutes behind, with the last SR26 just over an hour back so I would call that a moral victory even if the overall results didn?t quite stack up our way.
Unfortunately due to some unforeseen circumstances I think the Jagged edge will be on the market soon. Very sad for me as I had really grown a healthy respect for the little boat that just kept on impressing me more and more everytime I took her out. This could possibly be my last race in the boat so im glad it was an enjoyable one. Someone will be getting a little pearler of a yacht with a sail wardrobe second to none!
Once again thanks to the SSANZ committee, you guys do an awesome job.