Crew: Geoff, Grant, Murray, Peter, Albrecht, Eduardo.
Forecast: Northerly 10 knots rising to northwest 15 knots in the afternoon and to 20 knots gusting 30 knots in the evening. Sea becoming moderate in the evening. Fine.
Another glorious day for sailing in the Barton Marine Winter Series! It was an early start due to the race being held on the reserve day on Sunday so we departed Chaffers at 0830 hrs and motor sailed round to Evans Bay to collect Murray on the wharf at 0915. The course was set as: Start – Somes – Front Lead – Finish, with 5 min countdown starting at 0940 hrs. The northerly breeze was pretty light at about 10 knots so we hoisted the No. 1 Genoa Light and did some practice tacks around the start area with Grant on helm, Murray on mainsheet, Peter and Eduardo on sail trim, Albrecht on bow and Geoff on tactics.
We had a good start (our best of the season) on a port tack across the bay ahead of the pack. We then did one tack to clear Evans Bay and got good lift up towards Ngauranga. We started getting knocked as we neared the coast and then did five tacks to round the top of Somes at 1110 hrs.
We had to decide which spinnaker to fly on the downwind run and decided to be cautious considering the forecast for rising winds so we hoisted the medium kite. Of course as soon as we cleared Somes the wind dropped to well under 10 kts and we regretted not flying the big one! Decided not to change kites but we hoisted the No. 1 Genoa together with the spinnaker which gave us a bit more wind power and we managed to keep ahead of the boats behind us.
By the time we reached the Front Lead at 1200 hrs the wind had increased to over 15 kts as we tacked up to Pt Halswell. Geoff relieved Grant on helm. We were by now over-powered with the big Genoa but continued at good speed neck-and-neck with Grenadier. As we passed Pt Halswell we cut in as close as possible and managed to get ahead of Grenadier and we maintained a small lead over them as we hoisted the kite again. With the wind gusting up to 20 kts we had to be careful to keep the the kite under control. Both tweaker lines burst out of their plastic blocks which didn’t help. (Need to replace with stainless steel blocks before the next race).
We crossed the finish line at 1255 hrs and then doused the spinnaker using the “Stretch and Drop” technique which was a great success!
At the prize giving it was announced that we had made 6th place on handicap. An excellent effort by Team Halo!
RaceQs Action Replay: http://raceQs.com/event/1288434
Total trip 25 nautical miles.
Thanks to Eduardo for the great photos.