Open Country's B&G Simrad 100 2010 report
21 Sep 2010
Old Chinese proverb. "Be careful what you wish for" Well we certainly got our wish!
We had been watching the forecasts for several days - and we knew that "this time" wind was not going to be in short supply.
A quick reach out to Little Barrier and the same coming home - calculating around a 8-9 hour round trip. Not to shabby.- so said the game plan.
Saturday morning - after a bit of a restless night onboard in Westhaven- Who was on the helm all night?? felt a few pot holes!
Called in early - "Watch the Flags" from Brian - Either we are going to the bottom of Waiheke or its going to be the heavy weather option.
The run down the harbour - gave us an indication. We set up with a No2 Genoa and 1 reef in the main - Should do the trick - wind was building but also it had some holes from time to time. A less than perfect start - but a lot of other boats misjudged it also. We stayed out to leeward rounding North head and straight lined it to Rangi Light - Not a bad move as we inched our way up the ranks. Boat beautifully balanced - if not slightly underpowered. Noted that the Farr 9.2's were hanging on to our shirt tails. Daniaide back a bit - but caught up in traffic - some other boats not fully powered up - so we knew more to come.
Around Rangi light - Some of the lighter "tip trucks "- started to pull away, Mix T Motions was slightly ahead and playing hard to catch. The wind dropped - so we shook out the reef- Boat speed up - and we started to inch our way back up - We chased a couple of Stewart 34's to Hay Stack - The fleet started to spread out a bit as we headed back to Motuihe - Those blasted Farr 9.2's ! still hanging on - The Pirate ( N30) slowly gained on us to draw level at the turn at Motuihe. Saw Taiping blast past at Mach 2! - blinked and it was gone.
In the lee of Motuihe- decision time - do we change down to the blade? - Boat felt good and in control - put the reef back in - and headed into the outer harbour frenzy.- Saw 40 kts a couple of times and knew we were overpowered for anything above 30 kts - Regretted not changing down in the calm of the lee shore! .(the blade was worth another knot of boat speed- and a higher angle of attack!)
Other boats also not fairing as well either - Many of the light weight "tip trucks" living up to their name - some under headsail only! "ILEX" looked good and well balanced and making good distance to windward- I just knew we would regret not changing to the blade.- my fault!
We pushed on- making 6.5 kts but a lot of lee way would ultimately cost us at the finish. The beat from Browns Island was telling for many- especially the lightweights.
The Ross's looked very sick as did a few others- the heavy displacements in their element - even if we were over canvassed!! Crossed tacks with Share Delight- but was not a good day for them either.
Things got a bit messy at Bean Rock. We had crossed on "Promise" - the wind was really up around the 35+ so was our leeway- so we decided to tack out - just for safety- Brett drove Promise straight through and got us on the finish as we crossed less than a minute behind.
The results summed it up! - Less than 4 minutes on handicap - Lesson learnt! "be careful what you wish for"
A great refresher for us getting back into two handed - thanks to Don my crewmate from shaking Christchurch. Congrats to SSANZ for such a gutsy call and a great series.
Two handed for White Island In November - then the big one in February.
Adrian McHardy & Don King