Grew: Geoff, Malcolm, Ken, Murray.
Forecast: Variable 5 knots, becoming southerly 10 knots late morning, turning northerly 10 knots late afternoon or early evening. Sea slight.Increasing high cloud.
Geoff and Malcolm departed Chaffers Marina at 1045 hrs. Wind was very light 5 kts southerly and we motor-sailed round to Evans Bay with just the mainsail up. The breeze picked up slightly to 12 kts at times. Docked at the wharf at 1145 hrs. Checked out the course which, due to the light variable winds, was set within Evans Bay as: “Start – Halswell Mark – Shoal Pile – Halswell Mark – Shoal Pile – Finish”. Start/finish being from Pania”. We cast off at 1228 hrs with Murray on helm, Malcolm on mainsheet, Geoff and ken on bow and trimming. We hoisted the No. 1 LT Genoa and rigged the Maxi Spinnaker and cruised around trying to figure out where the Start line was. No sign of Pania. Mmm…
Eventually we heard on Ch. 77 that Pania was anchored off Shelly Bay so we quickly motored up the bay to get into position just in time for the start at 1300 hrs. Halo was first over the line. Perfect!
We hoisted the kite for the short run to Halswell mark. Usurper passed on the inside of Halo just as we rounded the mark. We then sailed close-hauled into the breeze and rounded Shoal Pile after just 3 tacks. Hoisted the kite again for the longer run back to Halswell making good speed in the light airs and then rounded the mark and beat back down the bay.
As we approached Shoal Pile the second time the southerly breeze started dropping and we noticed Usurper almost stopped on the west side of the bay so we kept to the east. As we rounded the mark Usurper was only just ahead of us and we hoisted the kite for the last run. However by then the wind had practically died out as it started turning to round the north. We drifted along at less than one knot for a while, momentarily helped at one stage by the jet stream of a plane overhead, and eventually dowsed the spinnaker and hoisted the Genoa for another beat back to finish line in about 12 kts of northerly. We finished second on line after Usurper – two minutes ahead of Temptation.
We were pretty pleased with Halo’s performance and excited to discover later at the club house that Halo had won the race on corrected time!
Race Replay: http://raceQs.com/event/1030925