Share Delight's B&G Simrad 50 2010 report
09 Jul 2010
Share Delight 50 Mile race one report
My first SSANZ series was in 1996 and have been a regular entry since. You would have thought by now I would have learnt most of the tricks of shorthanded racing but after last Saturdays race it seems I still have a lot to learn. There was the normal preparation to get Share Delight into race mode with a bottom clean on the Floating Dock and getting the racing sails back on board. By Friday evening our predicted finishing times were coming in around midnight on Saturday night. Phone call to Colin, bring some more food and it is going to be a long race.
It's an early start as we motor down from Westhaven marina with a light westerly of 5 to 8 knots. Looks promising but this is the last of the local breeze with light N/E's forecasted. Focused on the start and yes the Orakei Wharf end looks the place to be. Kite on in clear air and looking around most of the other 8 Farr 1020?s are with us. The race is on and could see the boats rafted up by the Start boat and we are away. They say you should never look back when sailing. Lesson number one: Check the Flags on the Start boat. No good racing when the start has been postponed. Second Start and we managed to avoid the park up and again off in clear air. And like most boats, joined the boats becalmed off North Head only to see all the 1020's, including the V Team go past us. Lesson number two: Don't go where boats have no wind. They say sailing is character building and that was the case on Sat morning.
By the time we managed to start sailing the majority of the fleet are off Takapuna / Narrow Neck beaches and we are on a lifting breeze towards Rangitoto Channel. Needless to say by the time we cleared Rangi Lighthouse we were the last 1020. The 1020's were identified (with the use of high powered binoculars) only once the kites went on past Billy Goat Point. Aquiline has done a horizon job on the fleet with the other 1020's in by the shore. We used the wind angles to work our way clear of Motutapu and arrive at Motuihe Green Buoy with the other 1020's.
With a wide marking rounding we lead the 1020's out from Motuihe and are now after Aquiline once more. What a great shy kite ride for 10 miles down to Passage Rock in ideal 7 to 9 knots as we sail into the night. The North Head park up is a distance memory in such lovely conditions. Now for the next manoeuvre, carry the kite into Passage Rock, gybe, headsail up, kite down and keep the boat moving at all times. Did well and put a good gap on the chasing 1020's. Once again a lovely sail back to Browns Island, a short tack on Port to clear the Beacon and for the first time had the flood tide helping us.
The navigation lights behind were getting smaller as we sailed away in a dying breeze to be second 1020 home to Aquiline at 2242 hrs which was better than our predicted times. Listing to the stories the boats that did not get round Browns Island before the ebbing tide started to run had a long sail to the finish.
Colin and I are looking forward to the next race, preferably with some more breezes. Once again our thanks to SSANZ for organising the B&G SIMARD series with such a great turn out.