2012 B&G Simrad 50 Romany II's race report
15 Jul 2012
Romany II race - 2012 Simrad 50
It is difficult to know what to say or think about this race, so I'll start writing and see what comes out as I go.
We expected that the conditions would suit our boat and sails quite well, as the race would involve a lot of 2-sail reaching, then a short beat (our worst point of sail), followed by a broad reach and a run to the finish.
We started low in clear air, not very well but OK, and were travelling fine for the first little while before being headed and needing to tack to ensure that we cleared Browns Island.
The long 2-sail reach down to passage rock and back were relatively uneventful, but there were some choices to make and we saw a few boats working OK with spinnakers, but we held on to the 2 sails only. It was surprising how much gain and loss we experienced on these legs, so it seems that we must have some focus issues or sail trim inaccuracy, as at times we were able to keep pace with a yacht, then it would inexplicably move away. I guess we will just have to be MORE focussed, but that is something that we have tried to do this race, and still saw this inconsistency of performance.
The beat from the SW corner of Motuihe was not glorious for us. We do have a bit of a problem with height at times, but normally in those conditions would expect to hang in there with a well-sailed Farr 9.2 like Communique, but not during this race. We certainly did our tacks poorly, and as we were short tacking up the left, there were lots of tacks. Also, because we were feeling a lack of height, I was inclined to pinch a little, and the wind did not justify this, so we lost ground up that beat, and a lot of that is down to simple sailing errors.
When we rounded Motutapu, it was decision time for how to manage the broad reach to the lighthouse, then the run to the finish. We decided to sail the rhumb line, which was a bit too slow. As it happened, the wind moved unfavourably for our plan here, and yachts that had sailed a higher and faster line gained on us when the wind moved slightly right, allowing them to gybe in a more favourable position. Also, we were a little slow to gybe when the wind did go right, and this also cost us slightly. We were not going fast after clearing Rangi light, so we decided to roll the dice and try sailing a couple of gybes covering more ground at higher speed. This we did, but in the end there was probably little difference in our finishing position, and we may have lost 50m or so on the effort, but it was worth a try.
Considering that we felt the conditions were quite favourable for us, we were slightly disappointed with our performance, though we did not do anything terribly wrong apart from sail a somewhat ordinary beat. As we did not do anything terribly wrong, then we must have done enough things that were slightly wrong, and there is not much excuse for that on a day when the sailing really was easy.
It really was a very easy race. There was no rain, it was not cold, there was always enough breeze to be moving, and never too much to be over-powered. Altogether a very pleasant day's sailing. As usual, we had a great time out there and enjoyed competing against the other yachts that were around us through the race.
Whatever happens, we love this 2-handed Simrad series. This is the only real racing I do these days, and both my crew and I look forward to every race with the same eager anticipation. I have no idea why it is so good to do this event, but we come out every time hoping to do just a little better than we did on the last outing, so bring on race 2. Thanks SSANZ, great job with race management and the results as usual.