Crew: Geoff, Tunch, Jim.
This was a Rum Race warm-up before the start of the Nelson Regatta and as Jim agreed to join us we decided it would be a good experience. We attended the race briefing at 1630 hrs and were given race instructions which to us out-of-towners were a bit confusing. Especially when the coordinates for the Top Mark the Race Officer gave us were totally out. Oh well, we’ll just go out and follow everyone else! Start time was set for 1800 hrs.
We rigged up the No. 1 Genoa and Mainsail and cast off from our marina berth at 1710 hrs and motor sailed out through The Cut in light northerly winds to where we assumed the Start Line was. We then realised our mistake. With the help of local knowledge from Jim we eventually worked out that the start was in the inner harbour in front of the Nelson Yacht Club building. Also, unusually for us, the start would be downwind.
After the usually jostling around during the 5 minute countdown, the race started and we were in the middle of the bunch all converging towards the narrow gap of The Cut. A rather nerve-racking experience as we sailed out with boats just feet away on either side of us. The boats spread out once we got out of the harbour and tacked our way north towards the top mark.
On the way back we hoisted the spinnaker and had a nice run back in light winds to pass the finish mark, which was a transit line from the Cardinal Light outside the harbour, at 1906 hrs.
A lovely evening out on the water and good to have Jim join us. A nice taste (so we thought) for the Regatta on Sunday with the added bonus that Halo came 6th on handicap!