Rattle n Rum's B&G Simrad 60 2010 report
18 Aug 2010
An early start to a wet miserable morning... made it out to the start line with plenty of time but were still strangely un organized and I was a bit dusty after Trubi's 70th on Friday night!
There was a HUGE amount of weed around and we knew this was going to be a long day of backing up to clear the keel. We made the call that if it was ever discussed that we think we had weed on that we would back up straight away, I think was a key aspect of our race.
Then we played the waiting game after the start delays due to the lack of wind and caught up with some other competitors. Eventually enough breeze filled in for us to get away. We got a mint start at the wharf end, backed up with 1minute to go to ensure there was no weed on, clear air and any boat that was advanced on us was called back so we were clear ahead and good to go. The breeze looked pretty solid but we could see some of the long haul boats parking up under rangi light, and the hole looked to extend right down to the north shore bays so we opted for the high road hoping to punch on thru to the new breeze faster, we did a quick back up while there was still enough breeze to make it quick and so we didn?t have to sail through the hole with weed on. As the breeze lightened we changed to the zero to try and get as much pace and momentum as possible, then once we were parked up we decided to change headsails from the light to the heavy #1 as it looked like there could be some more breeze offshore and we knew that with the hanks a headsail change would be slow in the breeze. We seemed to come out of the hole OK an only a few boats had snuck past. Back to the jib again for the tight reach to Tiri. This breeze slowly died about half way across untill there was only about 2 kts, this suited us nicely as the longer waterline boats could make gains when they were powered up. Slowly the breeze filled back until it was around 12-15kts and we actually got a few surfs coming into navy bouy it was nice at the time but we knew this was real bad for the next leg! We went around Navy bouy as the first shorthaul sports div and settled in for what we thought was going o be a long beat, it was bordering on #2 jib weather so we got it on deck ready to go but just as we were thinking of changing it settled down slightly so we stuck with the #1 which proved to be a good call as the breeze slowly died to nothing about an hour after rounding navy bouy, we had a few boats in our division tack away towards tiri which we couldn?t understand as we were on the making board so we carried on towards the noises then tacked latter once we had knocked. The fleet has a big split at this stage and we were right in the middle which we were happy with, there was a massive swell out there and we tried the code zero with little success, every big swell it would back and then fill with chronic lee helm so we could never get the boat moving, the headsail seemed to get us along a bit better. A few boats made some small gains from the northern route but we could only make out bump and grind and possibly recreation way up north. As soon as the SW filled in we hoisted the gennaker and were heading straight for gannet at 5-6kts, this was a big gain as the windward boats in at the noisies were VMG running out of there while we had a nice fast gennaker angle and the leeward northern boat got the breeze a long time after us. This breeze eventually headed us slightly so we went back to the zero for the last bit of the reach. There was a pile up of bigger boats near the rock and we rounded in the company of Revolution and Elysium, rounding the rock was very nerve racking, a massive swell and pitch black with very little wind made it challenging especially when we parked in its lee and had no speed or steerage! We then changed to the #1 jib for the beat back in 3-4kts of wind, again we tried going deep and fast with the zero but the genoa was much better VMG so we used that for the whole rest of the beat. We stayed offshore a bit laying thru to d?urville rocks which we tacked just before and headed back inshore as we could see that jono had made a gain out of the inshore line. We went quite far in and then tacked to lay thru to almost Rakino before chucking a tack back and another backup which we ended up doing pretty much every tack on the way back from gannet. At this stage the tide was against us and we knew we would be fighting a massive tide thru motuhie passage, we could see 2 boats working the Motutapu shore towards the passage but they looked very light in there, we opted for the motuhie side staying out of the tide for as long as possible and then shooting thru just below the reef and then motuhie red, we held a very high slow course as we had watched the other boats going backwards and forwards against the tide so we knew that a tack would be heinous. We were only crawling over the ground and doing 3-4kts thru the water but were just laying the point so kept that mode going, we seemed to get a small tide lift right near the end which got us around. From there we almost laid to Ilimoana red but had to chuck a small tack out and then back. We could see a boat starting to come at us quickly from behind but were very relieved to find that it was only the triple 8 so not a big concern for us, they quickly went over us and were gone. We waited before doing the big board back until we were sure we would get the tidal lee bow coming out of the tamaki river, this worked well and we made a substantial gain on the one boat ahead, we then reached into bean rock and tacked back into the shore once we were clear for more tide relief. We heard a 2 guns just before we finished one for the triple 888 and one for the boat just ahead which turned out to be the farr 38 Coppelia which was a good sign as this meant we might be the first boat in our div on line which would probably mean another double. Sure enough we got a gun which was a great reward for a LONG race, final finish time was 3:34am and 2 hours in front of the next boat in our division! Thanks to Cameron and the SSANZ team, once again a great effort and a long night for them waiting for us!