China Doll's B&G Simrad 100 2012 report
24 Sep 2012
Having transplanted the rhodoendrums, agapanthus and nasturtiums back to the rocky shore, we squeezed out of the berth and headed for the start area by Northern Leading.
"Coffee Allan? Hang on, phones ringing, it is Andrea, "Your thermos of coffee is here on the bench!!" Sorry Allan, coffee is off." A good start!
Forecast is for NW going N and heaps of wind.
No 3 it is so we are lining up for the start, a bit late but right by the committee boat.
During the beat to NavyBouy Tiri,we changed to Allan's new favorite sail, the new no 4. A flat little number good for quite a decent breeze, and we were expecting it to come on more.
There was no sustained increase in strength and we were under powered at times. In hindsight we should have gone for a reef.
But we made it to Tiri and set course for Gannet Rock.
The no 4 came down and the bullet proof no 1 spectra went up.
I set up the reaching rig and we took off. The gps registered between 6 and 10 knots on this leg.
What a fantastic ride. A Whiting 26 was close by and could not make any impression on us. By Maria they turned right and went straight home, discouraged, I thought.
A piedy slowly picked us off and eventually passed at Gannet Rock.
This is where things started gotting hot.
We thought we were going fast but it seemed to take forever to put the Gannet Rock behind us. The tide was racing out and we were feeling it's effects.
Every sailor knows about wind against tide. The seas were getting bigger and steeper.
The headsail had to come down and Allan selected his favourite old sail, the "Bouzaid" Storm Jib to replace it.
The no 1 was put down the front hatch and I was trying to throw the sailbag for the storm jib down after it but the up draft kept blowing it back onto the deck.
It finally landed below, I looked up astern in time to see a big wave rear up along side and the top curl over and fall onto Allan.
Water poured over the bridge deck and into the cabin.
The aft hatch had opened like a thirsty beerdrinker's mouth and took a good bunch of water below as well.
I thought, this is not good, three hatches open and we are taking green seas aboard.
"Better come and bail it out Mike. We dont want another on top of that lot."
The cockpit was bailed and drained, and a few moments later another wave crashed aboard.
No need to cross the Tasman, Trish, Just sail around Gannet Rock and we get all we want.
Tarahiki Island was comming up and we decided to put in a granny.. No prize for heroics today.
Round the island and manowar passage was next. A tight lead turned to a short slog as the wind swung to the west and died.
A quiet sail past Pakatoa where we lit the stove to warm up, Allan bailed out the 80 odd litres of water from the bilge, changed clothes, a bite to eat and drink then lets think about this race.
The number 2 cruiser was hanked on and the long slog up Tamaki Strait lay ahead of us.
This was a pleasant sail as we reminisced about past sailing experiences and life in general. Sad because we had no other competitors in sight, ahead or astern.
Some Bourbon was 'discovered' along with some coke and the finish line seemed to appear all too soon.
Another good Simrad race, well organised, our thanks to the sponsers.
It must be tough for the bigger boat crews, we were essentially fully crewed.
This race was certainly on the edge.
If we were sent into the wind then we would have considered it not prudent to race.
When we did the granny a piedy went past with broken gear from completing a jybe. We were comforable with our conservative approach.
Shame we had so few reactors.