Crew: Geoff, Eduardo, Lorna, Emer, Paul and Ken
Metservice Forecast: Southerly 25 knots gusting 35 knots easing to 15 knots this morning, and to 10 knots this afternoon. Northerly 10 knots developing this evening.Rough sea easing this morning. Fair visibility in morning showers then fine.
Geoff, Eduardo, Lorna cast off from Chaffers at 1015 hrs and motor-sailed with the mainsail round to Evans Bay. The southerly was still pretty strong around 25 kts. We tied up at the wharf rafted up with Rogue and later Temptation joined us.
Got the course. A short course to keep us busy around the Point Jerningham (PJ) and Greta Point (GP) buoys: Start (Start Box) – PJ – GP – PJ – GP – PJ – 1 – Finish (Pania).
After a quick lunch and a cuppa we signed on for the race and cast off at about 1215 hrs. Positions were allocated as: Ken on helm, Geoff on mainsheet, Emer and Paul on trimmers, Lorna on keys and Eduardo on bow. The southerly had now dropped to around 16 kts and we rigged the No. 2 Jib with the medium spinnaker.
Halo had a great start thanks to Ken’s excellent helming. With only Rogue and Usurper ahead of us, we powered up the bay edging past Rogue before rounding the PJ mark. We then lost quite a bit of ground in our process of dropping the spinnaker and hoisting the Jib. Eventually got sails trimmed and we tacked our way back down the bay to Greta Point. After the two more roundings of PJ buoy followed by the No. 1 mark we then finished the race with most of the fleet having slipped passed us as we were struggling with our turns.
Lessons learned: We need more practise with spinnaker hoisting and dropping. One suggestion is to take the pole down first, before dousing the spinnaker. As long as the tweakers are pulled in we can fly the spinnaker without the pole for the last few minutes making it much easier to then hoist the Jib and quickly drop the spinnaker before the turn.
Also worth trying is to drop the spinnaker into the hatch with the sheets and halyard attached. We can then later hoist the spinnaker directly from the hatch to save having to repack into the bag. Geoff will get a new longer spinnaker halyard installed to make this workable.
It will be good to do some spinnaker practice in a non-race situation to test these techniques.
At the prize giving that night we learned that Halo had come 4th overall for the Winter Series with ‘Smokie’ taking first place. (Halo had the same score as 3rd place ‘After Midnight’). We also won a great spot prize of a pair of marine binoculars thanks to Barton Marine.
(Due to ‘finger problems’ I didn’t get the course recorded on the chartplotter this time so unable to do a precise action replay of the race).