Rental's B&G Simrad 50 2011 report
21 Jul 2011
Rental Simrad 50
Well our start didn?t go according to plan, the kite halyard got caught at the hounds between the rotating mast and the stays so while Ant was trying to free it the sail slipped into the water. With cam conveniently placed right there with his camera waiting in the hope that someone would give him a photo opportunity, he managed to get some less than flattering shots of us? which seem to have gone global as my inbox this week has been full of emails taking the piss!
Lucky for us the rest of the multi fleet had stayed high and were in quite light air by browns island. We decided to gybe and stay in the pressure which worked well as we cleared browns island in touch with the leaders in our fleet again.
As the breeze died we peeled to the zero and tried out hardest to get the most out of it but it was one of those times where it was hardly worth trying as the whole fleet was just coming down in a big line. Borderline and Voom held very high, they always got the breeze first but then it would die for them and fill down the channel for us so ended up even, finally when the breeze really filled in they were off and jumped out to a hefty lead. We could see it was much lighter inshore to the south so stayed very deep, initial looses but big gains as we came into passage rock in the pressure along the waiheke shore. The bottom end was very interesting sailing for the multis, big puffs then nothing and every boat had its turn at shooting off with big gains only to park again and watch someone else take off. We managed to do quite well thru the passage but the Akarana Express showed good pace and tactics to be the first 8.5 aroudn the bottom on waiheke, closely followed by attitude then us. at this stage most of the boats were still pretty close, with this way up and exodus also pretty close to us. as we cleared the last point it was quite choppy and gusting to 20kts, full main and #2 jib was plenty and we were charging. Attitude pulled away but we closed in on akarana quite quickly and passed them, Voom was staying just a touch higher than us and maybe ever so slightly quicker. Borderline had been messing around with jib changes for a while and dropped back but once sorted they were flying along, higher and faster. Luckily the breeze lifted and we just managed to clear Rakino in one board, this made us round Rakino in 2nd place out of the 8.5s but with borderline and voom right on our transom. Voom managed to sneak past thru the passage and the 3 of us went out into the new breezefor the beat to rangi light within 100m of each other. We could see the black rain cloud coming from the south so knew there was going to be a massive left hand breeze coming and were the first boat to tack into the rangi shore, as predicted we knocked hard and tacked over to be laying rangi light. Voom did a tight lee bow tack and we both made the most of the left hander while borderline stayed further out in the westerly. They didn?t have the option to come back at us without taking a decent loss with the shift so carried on to the north shore bays while voom and us who were locked into e great match race worked the rangi shore. We tacked as soon as we could clear rangi and voom carried on a bit to the mid channel, there was nothing in it as we both pushed hard. Borderline use there speed edge to their advantage and went past us both along the bays but at that stage our goal had become to beat Voom (im sure his goal was the very similar!!) we both carried on until we could clear north head and tacked, again nothing between the boats. I was trying to come down on him to close the gap so he couldn?t tack and we could take him right to the layline but he just managed to fit a tack in so we ducked and carried on as we thought he would be shy on the finish line lay, sure enough after we tacked and really pressed on it he was sailing tight to make the line, we came into the finish boat semi out of control and almost flew the hull over their transom, and with a big luff on the line beat voom by 6 seconds. What an EPIC race. We just had so much fun and enjoyed the close racing within the 8.5s. Our end result was 4th multihull overall.
That was my longest race in a multihull and to put time on the 50ft canting keel monohulls upwind was awesome, we went around the track 30min quicker in a 30year old 28ft cat! Estimated upwind speeds based on what Voom was doing were 10-12kts.