Waitangi Weekend Enduro Tests the Endurance!
10 Feb 2006
The Waitangi Enduro lived up to its name with a wide variety of conditions to test the crews.
On the longhaul course, boats experienced winds of 30 knots on the Friday night out by Channel Island followed by several periods of being becalmed on Saturday. X Factor was first to finish closely followed by McMoggy who closed the gap by coming in with the new breeze. Of the Mono's, Truxton took line honours but the standout performance was from Oracle who finished under two hours behind to clean out the handicap prizes under both PHRF and ORC (as well as the informal bets made with R n B).
Excel Express retired on the Friday with gear damage and apparently Fun n Games got into their rum supply early and decided to withdraw while sitting becalmed. Murphy's Law of course resulted in the breeze filling in within 10 minutes of their retirement. Peter Smith was the man responsible for the concept of the race in that he had asked and asked and asked for a longer distance race. We suspect his crew would have prefered the Shorthaul course but that option wasn't really open for the R n B !!! Anyway Peter made the most of the long course and made sure he spent more time racing than everyone else to maximise his value from the entry fee. Not beating Oracle is going to cost him, but we are assured that many valuable lessons have being learned and everyone better watch out for them in the next SIMRAD series !
On the Shorthaul course, Hard Labour won the start before being run down by Stratocaster, Sliver and then Prawnbroker. But the leaders all hit a 'no wind' barrier while heading down the Tamaki Straight. Lightfoot and Share Delight both went hard over to beachlands and sailed around and away from the fleet to be well ahead. However they too eventually ran out of breeze and the fleet all bunched up at Passage Rock. Everyone (including smallboats and cruisers) were all within a hundred meters or so of each other! It was a stop start affair until the boats were in the Firth of Thames where a Southwester set in. The trailing boats kept catching the leaders as the breeze filled in. Sharp eyes on Hard Labour spotted a big wind shift to the north, and by being first to gybe meant they were first to the Cow and Calf (just behind Ubique). On the way back to Gannet Rock the boats that kept to the left side of the track were handsomely rewarded as the breeze shifted back to the Southwest. Stratocaster showed impressive boatspeed to sail through the lee of Hard Labour to take the lead while Share Delight moved up to third but Prawnbroker dropped back after being trapped out to the right. By Flat Rock Stratocaster had a impressive lead but the beat back to Navy bouy in the dark saw the 1020's make the most of their strong point with Hard Labour getting back in front and Share Delight closing in on Stratocaster. By the time the boats got to Navy Bouy the tide was running strongly so rounding first was a big advantage and a chance to extend your lead. Hard Labour won comfortably, with a close battle for second going on behind. Share Delight caught Stratocaster napping without a spinnaker (that issue got resolved real quick) but never quite got past. Less than a minute behind these two was Prawnbroker who must have scorched in from Navy Bouy using their huge arsenal of downwind sails.
On handicap it was the Farr 1020's one and two, but apparently the third 1020 had been held up by doing circles after lightly nudging Navy bouy...Whoops !
Everyone who made it to the prizegiving walked away with a prize which once again we must thank our sponsors Musket Cove Resort, Altex Devoe, Quantum Sails, Floating Dock Services, North Sails, Hart and Associates and Doyle Sails. Unfortunately the rowdy Young 88 owners had upset the local's on the saturday night which resulted in us having to tone down the music a touch. But the Shorthanded sailors definately consumed more alcohol (two rubbish bags of empties more then the 88's managed!) and told far more lies and tall tales. I'm sure everyone enjoyed the night despite the one boat that decided to wake everyone at 4am with a blast from their stereo.
So next is the SIMRAD series which promises to be bigger than ever ! Last year we got to 136 entries, this time lets try crack 150 !!!
Tell all your mates and get ready !
Click HERE to link to Waitangi Enduro Photo Gallery...
Click HERE to link to Waitangi Enduro Race Results...