Crew: Geoff, Eduardo, Murray, Martin, Roman.
Forecast: Northerly 15 knots but 20 knots about the south coast, rising to 20 knots but 25 knots gusting 35 knots in the south around midday. Sea becoming rough about the south coast around midday. Partly cloudy.
High tide: 1407 hrs
This is the second race in the Interclub Series competing against the fast racers of Port Nick and Lowry Bay. Unfortunately many of the EBYMBC boats didn’t sign up for the race due to boat problems or the blustery conditions. We sailed Halo from Chaffers round to the start line at Evans Bay with the No. 2 Jib and full main which we felt would be not too over-powered in the northerly which was averaging 20 kts gusting 30 kts. Nina had joined Halo at Chaffers but by the time we tied up at the wharf to pick up Roman she decided to jump ship as it was a bit rough for her.
The course was announced as: Start – Mark #6 (Front Lead) – Somes Island – Finish, with warning signal at 1315 hrs. Halo crew positions were allocated: Murray on helm, Martin on mainsheet, Eduardo on bow, Roman and Geoff on sail trim. We had a great start and crossed the line seconds after the gun on a starboard tack just behind the leaders Zimmerframe and Whistler III.
We tacked our way up the bay managing the gusts without incident. We possibly would have been better off with the smaller No. 3 jib but too late to change now.
By the time we rounded Pt Halswell, we noticed Tamerlane, Saucy Sausage and Incantare had already pulled out of the race. We then had an exhilarating sail on a broad reach down to the Front Lead – surfing the waves at over 8 kts at times.
We sailed round the Front Lead for the long beat up to Somes Island. Eduardo rigged up the No. 3 Jib as a precaution but we ended up staying with the No. 2. Our first tack was just off Point Arthur (where the Wahine Memorial is located) in the hope of getting a good lift. Watching the depth sounder as we got close to the shore we then tacked up towards Ward Island.
After six tacks we rounded the top of Somes Island making sure we were clear of the hidden rocks off Mokopuna Island.
The last leg was a long run with the tail wind varying between 15 and 25 kts. We hoisted the medium spinnaker which proved to be fairly challenging. First problem was that the spinnaker sheet had come unthreaded from the tweaker during the hoist. The kite was pretty unstable so the first priority was to rig up an alternative tweaker. While Geoff was leaning over the side struggling to get a tweaker line attached we suddenly rolled into a broach at 1552 hrs and the boat rounded up to windward and heeled over rather dramatically. It only lasted a few seconds with Murray capably handling the helm as we eased the sheet and guy to depower the kite. A minute or so later we went into a second broach. This time we were a bit quicker to recover having had the good practice of the first one!
With the spinnaker sheet now restrained by the jury rigged tweaker line the kite was more stable. We hoisted the jib to ease the pressure off the spinnaker and the rest of the run down to Evans Bay to the finish line went without incident. After the race we dropped off Roman at the Evans Bay wharf and motored back home tying up at Chaffers Marina at 1700 hrs.
The results were later published on the RPNYC web site. Halo came 6th equal on handicap with Gucci. A great achievement and pretty good result in trying conditions.
RaceQs Action Replay: http://raceQs.com/event/1319535
Total sailing 25.6 nautical miles.