Django's ATL B&G Simrad 60 2013 report
16 Jul 2013
A report from Division 1 Longhaul - Django (J/111)
With quite a bit of last minute stuff going on until Friday night (meant we couldn't Rum Race), we thought to get away early on Saturday, to be at the start in plenty of time....the best laid plans.....so got to the line about 10 mins before the start, main up, and decided to start near the pin, looking at the line up near the boat end, we could see a bunch developing. This proved to be a good call, as we unfurled the new Doyle's Stratis Code Zero for the first time 15 seconds before the gun. Hit the line nicely powered up and headed straight down the channel, with both Wired and Venture 2 overtaking us to windward. Then it was Zero down, A1 up, gybing just before Matiatia Bay. Overload and Andar were coming down on us, but as it looked lighter ahead (with Wired standing up straight close in towards Onetangi), we carried on to the North before gybing onto starboard again to lay the end of Waiheke. We managed to cross the boys on Wired (has to be a first for us!) and then promptly sailed into a hole off Ruruwhango Bay. The Overload guys did a nice job on us, sailing inside to pass us rounding the point to head up to Tarahiki. On the wind now, sloppy sea, with Wired, Venture and Overload all ahead of us. Looking back, we could see alot of very calm water on the North side of Waiheke, with a bunch of boats well and truly parked. We rounded Tarahiki about 50 metres behind Overload, with Omega close behind. Popping the big A2, we chose the inside line to Gannet Rock. Time for a cup of coffee, a few gybes (one of which went a bit askew, but luckily got things untangled quick). In about 12-14 kts of breeze, we briefly saw 9.99 (really!) kts of boatspeed on a short wave, which would prove to be the best speed of the day. Still behind Overload at Gannet Rock, we elected to head more North, while they chose a more westerly heading. Although "choice" wasn't really what it was - we just tried to find every little puff available, which saw us slowing to f*** all boatspeed, and heading everywhere but the next mark...by this time, Wired and Venture were way to the North, and we could see Omega coming up quite quickly. Up went the Zero again and we picked up speed in a light SSW. Time to shoot some goPro footage (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UIEizzy_OnQ), and enjoy the ride across to Tiri. Magic stuff, powered up, smooth sea, sun shining, boatspeed better than windspeed, coffee hot (thanks, Atka!!), both of us grinning from ear to ear. With the breeze going increasingly West of S (from about 210 to 240T), we changed down to the No 1, sailing at about 44-48 TWA to the Navy Buoy at Tiri, rounding this at sunset. Zero up again, and in a freshening breeze saw late 8's early 9's on the clock. Given the forecast, we decided to change the headsail for the small No 4 - probably (only a guess, as we are still getting to know the boat) a good rig for upwind shorthanded in 15+ kts. Coming around Haystack onto the wind, we were a bit pissed to sail into less breeze rather than more. So got down to business, working the shifts until we closed to within a couple of hundred metres of Rangi light, crossing tacks with a multihull (think it was Tigre) along the way. Heaps of lights behind, and not many ahead was a good sign, but we could see that one of the bigger monos (turned out to be Omega) was closing. As the TWA widened, we (once again) hoisted the Zero, by now our favourite sail - and rode 5-7 kts of breeze at 70-90 degrees TWA towards the finish. Almost glassy water, good light, smooth sailing - we crossed the line less than 2 minutes ahead of Omega. Time for more than one cold beer - earned it! Big thanks to the Race Committee, this series is a cracker, and our first attempt at this two-handed business - and many thanks to the "above and beyond" Doyle's team - lots of last minute stuff (sails and rigging) which actually got done, on time and almost stress free! Hell of a day, managed to make more good calls than bad, ate well, pretty happy with the handling, great company (AP rocks!), got a couple of lucky breaks - bring on the B&G SIMRAD 100! Cheers to all, see you on the water...