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2014 SSANZ Safety at Sea Triple Series

The Entertainers Baltic 50 report

22 Jul 2014

Shorthaul Sports Race Report - The Entertainer

I must admit that when I woke on Saturday morning I was planning just how little sail I could put up and/or whether I should just chuck the bloody thing in as it was still blowing it's tits off in Browns Bay.

Just as I arrived at Westhaven at 7am I got the FB post RE the postponment which by this time it had notably dropped off. So Colin and I sat and talked boats for the wait in the car and nervously checked the nowcasting oh and enjoyed a bacon and egg sanga - thanks again Col.

The next challenge was to get rigged and moving without getting too damned wet and cold as the rain was still persisting down.

The rain lifted by the time we were in the start sequence so that was good.

Had an ok start, possibly a bit too far to leeward than what I'd wanted but in the front row. Boat didn't feel flash off the line and I quickly realised in a forehead-slapping moment that I hadn't put the motor up! OK, settle back down after a bit of choice cursing and found a lane, if not a bit lower than I'd've liked. A few Code 0's out at this point, so a bit of sail-envy, which I stuffed away by concentrating on my tell tails.

The work from Rangi light was not bad for us our pace seemed OK and we chose a couple of good tacks trying to squeeze the most out of the tide. Crossed tacks with No Worries a few times until they chose the Motutap shore which didn't work out so well. Overstood a bit coming in to The Noiseys and got slowly picked off by Grunt Machine who had good pace in the conditions which were about 10-15 from the North/Eish and a decent 2-3m swell.

Had a bit of a shocker heading out to the Aaha's as the breeze died out and swung more to the east. The rich got really rich at this point. We opted for a change up to the #1 which really should have been our sail of choice out of the start-box. Rounded with a few 88's and settled in to tight two-sail reach across the bay to Matiatia with Cold Pizza and coke...nice. 

Went too high in the waiheke coast and lost all the ground we'd gained on not a bad leg so a few more choice curses were flying out the back and at the sails and the wind gods. We joked that there aren't enough people on board to hand the helm to when you're going badly, too often the conversation went: 
"do you wanna steer for a while??" 
"Yeah nah not really"...takes over. 5 minutes later:
"do you wanna go now?"
"Yeah nah"...

Anyway, a bit overpowered with the #1 coming in to Rocky Bay until it started to die about 5 minutes out. Had seen Motorboat go flying past with the big gear up downwind and then GruntMachine a bit later. Excellent hoist of the big gear.

About 1/2 an hour into the flat-off, with it just keeping on dying, nervous jokes about getting to the finish with the sun coming up which kept getting worse as it died in the arse down by Browns. It took a few desperate gybes to get round the Browns light trying to keep the kite full with the apparent.

Snuck in a little gybe away from Browns and a 1020 (I think. It was dark) that was plaguing us and found a gentle puff which we held onto all the way in past Bean Rock to finish about 7.30pm

Great race, thanks SSANZ! Boat wasn't holding us back. Great company, Colin has more stories than Walt Disney and deals with my outbursts really well.

Looking forward to the next one, hopefully on The Entertainer.

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