Saint Fintan's match report B&G SRMRAD 50
07 Jul 2010
Reaction - Saint Fintan's match report B&G SIMRAD 50
First the first time, we managed to rustle up 5 Reactors for a class within the small boat fleet. Yahoo !With the longhaul boats struggling to make it over the start line in the light conditions the subsequent starts were delayed and we started about half an hour later. Phocoena and us on Saint Fintan elected to start at the Orakei wharf end of the line whilst Wishbone, Ecstasy and China Doll were down towards the start boat.
Looking ahead, there was a big "Park up" alongside North Head and we decided to keep clear and try to skirt the inbound tide to Bean rock, cross the channel to Rangitoto and up the side to "Rangi Light". Well, after a pretty good start the breeze died and we had nt made it across the channel alas. We were close to stopped, Phocoena was a bit behind us and we could see the other Reactors over North Head way. We hung on and figured when at least when the tide changed and went out, at least we may pick something up by being in the channel. We ended up drifting towards the east, not the way to go and Phocoena had assumed a windward position to us and seemed to be doing ok. Ecstacy, CD and Wishbone were all further ,up the course, actually we were the most leeward boat of all the fleets, not only last in our division, but last in everyones !!
Eventually, we made our way over to the Rangi side of the channel and looked back to see that Wishbone had elected to head towards Rangi rather than skirt up the beaches. No idea where Ecstasy and CD were..
We tried to tack back into the now outgoing current to sweep us up the harbour and were in touch with Phocoena. As we approached the lighthouse Phocoena gradually worked ahead and in the course of two boards into the Rangi shore pulled quite far ahead, "Wow" we thought. We headed in there and there was way more breeze and we hadn't noticed until too late, as we were focused about being in more tide. Wishbone looked like they were putting a board into the North Shore beaches. As we got to Rangi light Ross was quite far ahead, could not see Ecstasy or CD. Oh well. Ok, so this leg was Rangi to Haystack and was going to be a long way if we couldn't make some inroads. We stayed high on Phocoena and just tried to trim for every puff and try to run them down. It looked like it was working, gradually the 'smudge' on the sail revealed itself to be a dolphin. We were getting closer. A look behind revealed that Wishbone didn't seem to be making inroads into us.
We steadily crept up on the dolphin and figured they would have to put in a longer board to get around Haystack, they did, we tacked after them and they rounded behind Ecstasy who we could now see in front of us. Phocoena overtook Ecstasy and we got our kite up and hope to be able to catch the two others in front. They were both down towards the Rakino side, and we went down too. We gybed to pass astern of Ecstasy and they gybed back to what we thought would be a gain, we seems to be in better breeze and a more direct route than Ecstasy now. Phocoena was between us and Rakino still, we looked to make made some gains. As we approached Serjeant passage, we closed the gap on Ross and were now to windward of him by 5 boat lengths. Ecstasy was behind us, and we could see Wishbone's kite coming for us too. As we rounded Motuihe, we carried the kite as long as we could and sneaked past Phocoena, no sign of China Doll. Was Alan at home already with his slippers on?
Right then "kite down !" we couldn't carry it anymore and Ross used the action onboard SF to get into a good position to overtake us to leeward, which is always annoying! So, off to Issy red now. Took a wee bit to find the dimly lit Issy Red buoy, and we eventually rounded about 8 boat lengths behind Ross, next stop the finish! This was going to be a "Death or Glory" leg. Hmm what to put up in the breeze that never got above 5-7 Knots ? We went for the kite, even though the breeze was quite far forward. We had the pole right on the forestay and sheeted well aft, we were to leeward of Phocoena with their smaller Gennaker up. We seemed to be making good ground on them and soon overtook them to leeward and established a reasonable lead. Things were looking good at the moment.. Uh oh.. the breeze was dying and we were slowing, Ross was going faster then us now, drop kite and genoa up to climb up to some breeze. No, no luck.. damnation. Genneker up, to better harness what little breeze there was, this was better but not great, we could see Ross sail around us, followed by Carol, from 2nd to 4th in minutes! Thats sailing.. No way to identify how far Wishbone was behind, but we sailed on with the genneker eventually finished at approx 10 30 PM. A frustrating day in on the water going from last Reactor to 2nd (twice!) then finishing 4th. Well done to Alan for a great race on CD , a great win on Hcap and line for him beating a hefty proportion of the small boat fleet for a top 5 finish on line.