2012 B&G Simrad 50 Hard Labour's race report
15 Jul 2012
What a tough day !
Hard Labour has only just gone back in the water after being repowered and having the mast painted as well as a heap of other jobs. The day didn't start well when the instruments wouldn't fire up and kept erroring ??? So Phil started to open up the server and check the switchboard while I motored the boat out. 10 minutes later we had the instuments working but hadn't really fixed anything ?
We got off the start line in the front row with good speed and started edging forward on the boats to windward. Unfortunately the breeze died half way to Browns Island. When the breeze started to fill back in the boats further to windward snuck past, including another 1020 "Strathsprey" The SR26's under code zero's were rocketships in the light and also zapped past looking fully powered up with the crew hiking on the rail while we had weight to leeward !
The long reach to Passage Rock was painfull for us. A fraction tight for a spinnaker and abit deep and too light for the genoa we just couldn't power the boat up. A couple of Young 88's also slipped past. Next we lost the instruments again...(since worked out the house battery needs replacement). We tried a slightly lower approach into Passage Rock and as breeze lines moved across the fleet we altered from looking good to bad and back again and again.
On the reach back not much changed until getting to Motuihe. Heaven n Hell and Slipstream III did well by holding height so when they hit the tide they were still close to Motuihe Green. Pahi, the Ross 930's and Mercenary all lost alot of their leads. We finally managed to pass Strathsprey and joined a tightly packed group of about 6 boats as we tacked up the side of Motutapu. Mercenary did a great job of acting as out depth sounder and hit a rock so we knew to tack. One bad call put us to the back of our mini fleet then traffic made it hard to get back in phase. The leading 2 Young 88's were in clearer air extending away.
Normally upwind is our strong point, but we just never got in the groove. No numbers (instruments) or recent sailing leading to building self doubt, is the mast tuned correctly ?, did the prop fold properly, helm seems heavy...do we have weed ? In the end we almost felt lucky just to be in touch with Strathsprey!
A quick hoist a Billy Goat Point saw us close in further and by working hard on angles and trim we drew even off Administration Bay. After we got to the front of the 1020 fleet we extended upto the finish. We did feel abit sorry for Strathspey as they had done a pretty good job and led for most of the race, but we happily took the victory.