Motorboat's ATL B&G Simrad 50 2013 report
12 Sep 2013
Motorboat race report simrad 50
After the usual cider/beer for hewy on the way out to the start line, we set about preparing ourselves for a disappointing day. Being 1 point behind Pepe for the series our only chance of winning was going to be in a complete drift off, needless to say the prefect sailing conditions that greeted us on Saturday morning we great for everyone except us.
That aside we went about preparing for the race, we got an awesome start, right on the pin in clear air and at full pace (as caught on camera) with the entire fleet to leeward. A good start to the day, now to try and keep it that way. We had the code 0 set up but there was too much wind so we just 2 sailed to rangi light. We rounded rangi light in 4th spot behind prawn broker, shreks house and the pepe, all who had stretched out their legs on the 2 sail. We hoisted the big chute (kindly donated by Josh off the Pepe who we were trying to beat for the series) right on rangi light and went into boost mode. For some reason a lot of boats didn?t hoist straight away which we couldn't understand, the gains were obvious and can be clearly seen on the predict wind tracker. As we made our way to the noises the breeze clocked aft and there wasn't quite enough to really get a boogy on in the waves, the breeze was coming down in vains which made for interesting back and forth movements compared to everyone else around us. Towards the noises we (I) decided we should get the number 2 on deck and ready for after the Aha rocks as we don't need a lot of sail area upwind with no rail weight. After a couple of quick gybes just before the noises to keep our air clear and keep the inside track (which paid nicely) we were aiming towards the Aha rocks and the breeze was dying, epic fail on the headsail, change back to number 1 headsail, we had a great drop by the aha's and hardened up onto the wind in 5th Place. The No Worries had a fantastic run from rangi light and had sailed around the outside of half the fleet. It was just cracked sheets to the top of waiheke, as the breeze increased it became obvious that we were on the wrong headsail, should have stayed with the number 2, hmm bugger. Rather than make the change we decided to slug it out as we weren't truly on the wind. One of the bigger changes I have made to the boat was to remove the genoa tracks, instead we run a in-hauler and down-hauler system so we have more control over the head sail trim, as it turns out, this really helps when you are way over powered on the number 1 headsail as we can effectively dropped the jib car back to the primary winch. So, really over powered and the headsail more open than you've ever seen in your life we slugged it over to the waiheke shore while still in shorts and t-shirt (this is a winter series right???).We could see the breeze clocking forward and decided to stay high, usually you would crack and go as fast as possible towards the knock but that isn't an option for us when really overpowered as we just fall over. We missed laying by about 100m, we hugged the shore as much as possible (otherwise known as rock hopping) and just slipped around the top of waiheke, again we made some really good gains on the boats around us who all seemed to sail between 100-200m further west than needed to clear waiheke, there are no rocks, what you see is what you get . While it had felt less than flash on the way over it turned out that we had quite a good leg and were still holding 5th but unfortunately the front 4 boats were a long way ahead. Across the top of waiheke we got the chart plotter out and figured it would definitely be a gennaker down to rocky bay, but which one masthead or fractional? A lesson I learnt on the Young 88 Sonic with Mike Grant a number of years ago in a ssanz race was "if in doubt put the big one up" so with that in mind we got the masthead gennaker ready to go. As we neared the point we started seeing the boats ahead, from the quick glimpse we got it looked like gennakers were just laying and spinnakers definitely weren't. Given our zero stability issue, the gennaker was definitely the right call, as soon as we boar away up it went and we were off, best ride of the series, epic! Giddy drove while I went forward and changed the headsail to the number 2, great! the best ride of the series and im getting soaked on the bow while giddy gets to have all the fun, another epic fail by me! The ride down to rocky bay was great, we sat between 10-12 knots for the whole leg and only underlaid by 50m, after a clean drop we hardened up around rocky bay mark and tacked over, the breeze dropped considerably and within 10mins we had gone from 25 to 10 knots with a sloppy sea with the number 2 on, wrong headsail again, and we were going slow but we could see more breeze coming down to us. We were about 15 degrees below lay to the southern end of motuihe, and with the breeze predicted to swing right to the NW during the day we were more than happy to go towards waiheke. Over the following 30mins the breeze slowly clocked right and we took the knock all the way into waiheke and folded over in huruhi bay. The no worries and a S34 had gone a long way left and when they came back we crossed them by 100m, which was proabably around a 10min gain to us. We had a good little tussle with both boats around the southern end of motuihe and settled into the 2 sail to motuihe green just behind the S34 and with the no worries about 50m behind. For the final beat home we decided again to play the right hand side of the course, we had an awesome battle with no worries all the way to the finish, we were near on identical speeds, but in the end Laurie got us by 15 seconds. The Pepe and Prawn Broker were 18mins ahead, not close enough for us to beat them on handicap unfortunately but still a great day on the water, which handed the series win to Pepe, well sailed guys ! awesome effort!
Overall it has been an epic series, the first full series I have done in the motorboat, a huge thanks to giddy for sailing with me, he did a legendary job.
A huge thanks to the SSANZ and Race committee, you guys do an awesome job and make this series a highlight of the yachting calander.
That is all the racing for the motorboat now until the Auckland regatta next year, time to put her in cruise mode and enjoy the summer, see you on the gulf!