2012 B&G Simrad 60 Romany II's race report
13 Aug 2012
Romany II 2012 Simrad 60.
At the start we were a bit late ? maybe 30m back from the line though we were in the place we wanted to be at the Starboard end of the line in clean air. We had thought that the wind would be moving right if anywhere through the race, but we also had to think about tide. The first part of the beat was busy with boats crossing tacks all the time, so sometimes our tacks were motivated more by traffic avoidance issues rather than tactical concerns, though on the whole it seemed OK. We were slower than we wished for, but not too bad at this stage. As the beat wore on it was noticeable that we were not going as well as many of the better boats in our division. In part this could be down to being in the wrong place on the water, but I think it was simply that we were too slow through the water.
As it was, we spent most of the beat sailing on our own for a while, then when we tacked and went back towards the middle of course, we would find ourselves crossing tacks with the guys on the Spencer 32 "John Barleycorn?"and our old mates on Communique. This was not by design, but we think that Fendall and Stu on Communique must have felt we were persecuting them. Really we weren't, we were trying to get closer to Farr 9.2 Hot Gossip up ahead, but we always ended up where Communique were, even after separating by big distances.
We did not seem to be going very well, and most of the other yachts in our division were moving away from us, notably Hot Gossip who we would normally expect to hold on to. Andy Kemp and crew had that boat going fast and in the right directions, and they were far away from us and going further away all the time. It seemed that Andy kept out to sea well to the North of our area of operation, and this seemed to pay big-time. We were sailing along mostly quite close to the Waiheke shore, and by Gannet Rock, Hot Gossip was probably already 20-30 minutes ahead of us.
Also well and truly gone were the Lotus 10.6 Rewi and the Farr 1104 Revolution, both of whom were revelling in the breezy conditions and using their waterline length well, MUCH better than we were at any rate. The two Townson 32 yachts were also gone from our view. By the time we had passed the Western end of Waiheke we could not see any of these yachts at all, they were so far ahead.
Towards the end of the beat, we ran into some bumpy water just as we once again came upon Communique. On this occasion, Communique sailed slowly away from us, and eventually left us behind at Gannet Rock, rounding at least 80m ahead of us.
Gannet Rock to Tiri should have been a manageable spinnaker reach for us, but we hesitated and wondered how quickly the wind would rise and what directions it might move to. We only have our huge and rather full spinnaker, and we were worried it might be too much if the conditions built at all. We held a slightly higher line for a while reaching with 2 sails, and eventually decided we would put the kite up even though we could see that Communique was not holding the rhumb line to leeward and ahead of us. The kite reach was OK for about half of the distance across, but eventually the wind strength got the better of us, and with mainsail and vang fully released, we were still broaching from time to time in the stronger puffs and bigger waves. As the wind increased, we started having to sail way too low, so we pulled it down and went back to 2 sail reaching. Other yachts seemed to be doing a lot better with their kites than we were, and Communique was going well with theirs, carrying it almost to the mark, and they rounded about 5 minutes ahead of us.
By now there were not that many yachts behind us, we really just seemed to be slow. The 2-sail reach from Tiri to the finish should have been good for us, but instead the pattern continued. We were going along OK, but we were losing ground on the yachts ahead of us, and even though we thought our boat was going along OK, it clearly wasn't very fast at all, because at the finish we had lost a significant amount more time to all the other boats.
It was sad to see a little trimaran fail to finish just ahead of us. We watched in disbelief as they approached the finish, then at the last minute they went past the wrong side of the committee boat. Such a pity after a long race to throw the result away, unless perhaps they were just out there sailing for fun and had not entered in the series.
It was a great day to be out on the water, plenty of breeze without being too cold, and not enough to make the boat hard to handle. We only got a little rain on us throughout the race, so that was a bonus as we had expected to be thoroughly soaked by the finish.
The course was just right for the breeze, and rewarded good sailing and good choices, so well done to all those who took best advantage of it. Revolution crossed the line first in our division, with Rewi the Lotus 10.6 having a blinder to finish only just behind Revolution and take 3rd on handicap ! well done to those guys. Andy Kemp and crew on Hot Gossip were rewarded with second on handicap after having an excellent race. The Townson 32 Wandering Star obviously had a great race to win on handicap after finishing 4th across the line, just behind the Young 88 Tickled Pink. Nice work. Results are now a bit mixed in our division after 2 races, but at this stage the 2 Townson 32 yachts are showing very well, so it will be interesting to see what happens in the Simrad 100.
It was hard for us to watch the other boats travelling so much better than us, and we did not figure out a way to change it during the race, though we did try a number of things. Obviously we still have to learn something about sailing our boat better, but that will have to wait till the next race. We look forward to Simrad 100. Thanks to SSANZ for the usual professional job with the race and the results.