Sundreamer's B&G Simrad 50 Race Report
08 Jul 2007
We were a bit slow moving in the morning. Too many late nights watching the Americas Cup maybe. All the sails had been away for servicing and we had only got them all on the boat Thursday night following our day from hell a fortnight previous. Running late to the start as usual we hauled the main (twice as the first time the halyard was outside the lazyjacks). That's when we discovered instead of threading the #1 and #2 reefs we had threaded the #2 and #3. Consequently the reeflines pulled right through the boom and ended up trailing out the back meaning no reefing today. Already late to the start and in a panic we copped a safety inspection but they just wanted to see our grabbag. Probably the only thing we actually were prepared for.
Started amongst the following division and drifted across the line making a nuisance of ourselves with the screecher up, everyone else taking off with gennakers. Damn, wrong sail. Where's the gennaker? Up it goes eventually, the repaired sock is all twisted, still no bloody wind, hardly making progress. Finally it comes and we are off faster and faster up to 20 knots, a few leaners wiping out around us. We did a bareheaded takedown at Rangi light as I wasn't confident the sock would come down. It did, easily, finally something going right. Jib up and off we go by this stage a long way back from the leaders.
We tacked right at Rakino, the wind swung left, more ground lost. We tacked again and went out to sea hoping the wind would continue to veer left. We were plunging into and out of waves at about 12 knots, the boat rearing and lurching, crashing and banging, hardly able to hang on to the tiller and everything being thrown about down below. Huge amounts of water were being thrown around and sweeping the decks. We were making gains even though the wind was slowly swinging right again. Nowcasting was giving 50 knots at Channel but only 20 at Passage. Just as well as we couldn't reef. The leaders had tacked inshore out of the waves presumably but we stuck it out in the open finally tacking on what we hoped was the layline to Kauri Point. The dolphins gave us a thumbs-up
X-factor, Wired and McMoggy crossed in front of us but not by much, we were back in it. About then X-Factor's main exploded in half and we decided to do a short tack to clear Kauri Point rather than risk getting too close to a nasty lee shore. We were a couple of hundred metres behind McMoggy with another few hundred metres to Wired. Two sail reaching at pace we quickly ran both down and at the halfway mark hit the lead. In Waiheke Channel we hauled the screecher again but it was a waste of time as we soon realised it was going to be gennaker to the finish. Up it went again in welcome moderate airs but soon started to build again as we ran across past Maraetai. We had an awesome ride to the finish as the breeze freshened, pulling away all the time through half a dozen gybes.
Lots of smiles as we took the gun but we were both absolutely stuffed. My son Matty was awesome, once we got our shit sorted after the start we did everything perfectly. No damage to the boat, not much blood on the deck. Many thanks to SSANZ and a great way to start the series.