Crew: Geoff, Peter, Grant, Murray, Anastasia.
Forecast: Southerly 20 knots easing to 15 knots late morning, to 10 knots early afternoon, and to variable 5 knots early evening.
This was Halo‘s first race for a while as Geoff and Graciela had been away on holiday in Mexico and Chile for the last six weeks.
The day started with very light southerly breezes and we cast off from Chaffers at 1130 hrs and hoisted the main and No.1 LT Genoa and sailed round to the Evans Bay wharf to collect Murray. We signed on for the race and the course was announced as Start (Pania) – Mark 1 – Falcon Shoals – Ward Island – Mark 1 – Finish (Pania) with race start 1300 hrs. Positions were allocated as Grant on helm, Murray on mainsheet, Peter and Anastasia on sail trim and Geoff on bow.
With ten boats in the race and a fairly short start line we decided to play it safe and start on a starboard tack to give us right of way over any boats on a port tack. We did miscalculate our timing a bit and crossed the start line about a minute late towards the back of the bunch as we headed upwind to the first mark.
Around the mark then we hoisted the maxi spinnaker in around 8 kts of wind dying out to 5 kts as we neared Pt. Halswell. We managed to pass Wakarere who also had their red and white kite flying.
After rounding Pt Halswell and drifting through the wind shadow of Kau Bay we picked up a bit more breeze and sailed on one tack towards Falcon Shoal light.
Peter noticed the Bluebridge ferry coming up behind us. We were unsure whether they would go around the outside of the light (the correct passage according to our chart) or cut inside the light. Unfortunately they went around the outside which meant we would be right in their path after we rounded the mark. We sailed as close to the mark as possible and then had to tack away and do a 360 degree turn as the ferry passed in front of us.
Once we rounded Falcon Shaol we hoisted the spinnaker again for a broad reach towards Ward Island.
As we cleared Ward Island we sailed on a beam reach back towards Pt Halswell. When we reached the entrance to Evans Bay we noticed the wind seemed to be very light on the east side of the bay so took the decision, for better or worse, to sail across to the west side before tacking our way up the bay. We observed Tamerlane struggling in the wind shadow on the east side as we extended our lead over them.
Once we rounded the top mark it was up with the spinnaker for the third time (getting lots of good practice) for the run back to cross the finish line at 1547 hrs, almost 10 minutes ahead of Tamerlane.
A great day’s sailing!
At the club house after the race the provisional results were announced. Halo came 6th on handicap which meant we retained our 3rd place overall for the 2021-22 Season Championship. Well done team Halo!
RaceQs Action Replay: http://raceQs.com/event/1384941