Romany II B&G Simrad 50 Report
18 Jul 2011
Romany II B&G Simrad 50 Report.
This year was the first time in our Don Senior 10m boat ? we did the last 5 B&G Simrads in our Farr 9.2 Cool Bear. Romany is not setup as a race boat, our only worth-while headsail being the furler, so we decided to be conservative with all our sailing till we understood how the boat would go. I had only seen the spinnaker up once before in about 10 Knots of breeze, and I know that it is a much bigger kite than the Farr 9.2 spinnaker.
The start was easy, it was excellent having the start out at Northern Leading with plenty of space to approach the line. We were a little slow getting the kite up, but it all went fine, the broad reach to Browns was OK, then came the park-up. Romany seems to go quite well in the light air, and we slipped past a few boats on our way close-hauled towards Motuihe, but could not make any ground to the right. When the wind came, it came from the SW (right and behind) and we were left and ahead. Suffice it to say that we were one of the last boats to feel the breeze. That?s bad positioning.
We got the kite up once the traffic cleared enough, and all went OK for a while though we were well behind and to leeward of the majority of the fleet. With the kite up, we found that we were almost even, maybe slightly slower, than the Farr 1020 yachts that were near us.
We were going along nicely, when suddenly the outboard screws on the starboard mid-ships stanchion pulled free, and the stanchion bent inwards, held in place by the bolts on the inboard end. The pressure of the brace against the stanchion and lifelines further forward was too great. So, from less than half way to passage rock, we had to 2-sail. The boat was going OK, but we did lose a bit more ground.
We rounded passage rock near the back of the fleet, maybe second last, in close company with a Farr1020 and a Stewart 34. The one-leg beat up to Motuihe was tough with the full furler but we did not have much choice in headsail so stuck with it. Passed a few boats uphill, but the Townson 32 Delicado flew past us going much better than we were ? no surprise there. By the time we reached Motuihe we had only drawn level with Farr 9.2 Communique whom we had to beat by a long way on PHRF. The Farr 1020 and Stewart 34 were long gone, much quicker than us uphill.
From Motuihe the 2-sail reach to Motuihe Green buoy was fine, and the spinnaker up was OK. We were going along all right, but the wind was gybe-ish and quite firm breeze. We had to gybe this kite for the first time on this boat. It was really hard, as the pressure on the pole was as much as I could manage, because I gybed dead downwind with the kite fully powered. We must find another way to manage the gybes for the future, that was just too hard.
Now sailing along the side of Motutapu, and the breeze was still fresh, and we would have to gybe again. With my experience from the previous gybe fresh in my mind, I decided against trying to do the gybe, and chickened out, just dousing the kite and 2-sail reaching to the Northern point of Motutapu. This lost us more time so we really MUST sort this out before next race.
Coming home on the beat down Rangitoto Channel, we chose to hold onto the furler fully deployed at first, but this was pretty tough on the sail and the boat. We were going worse here than we had on the leg from Passage rock to Motuihe, so decided to try a couple of different things with the headsail. We rolled it in and sheeted between the stays. This did not go well. We then rolled some out again and sheeted outside the stays. Still not very good, but better than before. Eventually the wind backed off enough that we could roll it all out again and like this we were better, but we had lost miles of ground in messing about with sail flapping etc while we were trying these settings, and never could recover from it. To make things worse, we did not go very well down the last segment of the beat even with the full furler in place, so finished well down in the rankings.
A learning experience for us, and hopefully we will go a little better for the next race, but we will still be slow to windward. We have to get a jockey pole to manage any reaching where the pole is well forward, and we need to find a better way to gybe this boat.
We really enjoyed our day (as always) and the weather and wind were quite OK. Looking forward to the next one. Thanks SSANZ, another great day of 2-handed racing.