EBYMBC Interclub Race – 2 Mar 2019

Crew: Geoff, Graham, Bruce, Paul, Deneen, Jeremy
Marine Forecast: Variable 5 knots. Southerly 15 knots developing this morning easing to 10 knots this evening. Sea slight, Mainly fine.
This combined inter-club race is a staggered harbour pursuit race with boats starting form between 12:00 and 13:45. Halo’s start time was set at 12:25.
We set off from Chaffers Marina at 1018 hrs with Geoff, Graham, Bruce and Jeremy and rigged up the No.1 Genoa and Main to sail round to Evans Bay, tying up at the wharf at 1116 hrs. Met up with additional crew Deneen and Paul and obtained course instructions of “S – 11s – 10p – 5p – F” for the Spinnaker Division boats.
We then cast off and did a few practise tacks around the harbour. The wind was already about 18 knots, a bit stronger that the forecast, but still within the capacity for the No. 1 Genoa. The plan to rig up the Spinnaker was thwarted on the realisation that it hadn’t been repacked after the last race. We decided to just run with the No. 1 Genoa poled out ‘goose-winged’ for the downwind stages. Positions were: Bruce on helm, Graham on mainsheet, Geoff and Paul on trimmers, Deneen on keys and Jeremy on bow.
We started well at 1225 hrs and hoisted the pole and with Genoa in place we made good pace north at 6 to 7 knots to where we calculated the first mark, #11 Korokoro Buoy, would be. We eventually realised that most of the other boats were heading further NE to our estimate but we continued the same course to maximise the angle our poled-out Genoa.
We rounded the mark at 1310 hrs and started to tack close-hauled south towards the Falcon Shoal Buoy. By this time the southerly had built up to over 20 kts and we were struggling to keep Halo sailing efficiently with the gusts causing us to heel over considerably at times. Our speed was down to about 4 to 6 knots. We considered doing a Genoa change but decided against it, guided somewhat by all the other boats around us all sailing with full mains and genoas plus the difficulty of changing headsail mid-race. We were still expecting the wind to die down as forecasted. In retrospect this proved to be the wrong decision. We did put in one reef in the main and then a second which helped.
We passed the Falcon Shoal Buoy at 1423 hrs. By this time many of the boats that had started after us had now passed Halo. We enjoyed a nice down-wind run to the Somes Island Buoy ‘goose winged’ at 6-7 knots once again passing the mark at 1450 hrs.
We then tacked our way back to Evans Bay passing the finish line at 1548 hrs. The southerly was still strong at around 25 kts gusting over 30 at times.
After docking Halo back at Chaffers we returned to the Evans Bay clubhouse. It was good to compare notes with the other skippers and hear that others too had suffered with being over-powered for the winds. It was a shame Halo ended up competing in the Spinnaker Division as most of the other EMYMBC boats were in the Non-Spinnaker Division.
Not a great result for Halo but it was still a wonderful day sailing out on the harbour with a great crew!

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