RPNYC Commodore’s and Ambassadors Race 30th April 2022

Crew: Geoff, Peter, Eduardo, Martin and Mariela.

Forecast: Northeast 10 knots, turning northerly 10 knots late morning, rising to 15 knots early afternoon. Sea slight. Fine.

We entered Halo in the Royal Port Nicholson Yacht Club Commodore’s and Ambassadors invitation Race. It was to be a big fleet with 24 keel-boats participating. Each boat would have a member of the diplomatic community as guest on board.

Geoff went over to the clubhouse before the race and met Mariela, the wife of the Argentinian ambassador, who would be sailing on board Halo.

Peter, Eduardo and Martin then joined us at Chaffers Marina and we cast off at 1207 hrs. Positions were allocated: Eduardo on bow, Peter and Martin on sail trim and mainsheet, Geoff on helm. We signed on for the race on VHF Ch. 62 and the course was advised as: Start – Mark 11 Korokoro – Mark 10 Falcon Shoal – Finish.

We hoisted the No. 1 Genoa HW and full main. We had plenty of time before the start so we did some practice sailing to make sure sails were trimmed and crew prepared. There was a bit a confusion initially as we (and a number of other boats) thought the 5 minute countdown was to be 1255 hrs. Anyway we eventually got off to a pretty good start in the middle of the fleet and headed north up to Korokoro.

The wind was around 10 kts but gusting 15 kts and we had to work hard on the tiller and sail trim to keep Halo on course and in the groove. We did a short correcting tack half way up to avoid the massive bulk carrier anchored in the harbour.

As we neared the mark we prepared the spinnaker for the hoist. With the wind sometimes gusting up to 20 kts we cautiously decided against the maxi and went for the medium kite.

While Eduardo was in the pulpit setting up the spinnaker, Mel from Latitude 41 South Photography was on the support boat getting some great action shots:

The spinnaker hoist went well and with Peter doing a great job on helm we sailed down the harbour on a run towards Falcon Shaol.

Great excitement. We were visited by a large pod of dolphins! Eduardo got some great photos.

As we approached the Falcon Shaol mark we hoisted the Genoa, dropped the spinnaker and did a sharp turn to sail close hauled back towards Pt Halswell.

We couldn’t quite get enough lift to get around Kau Point so had to do a short tack before tacking back on course.

Once we rounded Pt Halswell we sailed on a nice beam reach doing up to 7 kts to cross the finish line at 1458 hrs.

After the race we went back to the Port Nick clubhouse. Sandra and Graciela joined the crew for drinks and complimentary bar food. The results were eventually announced. Halo came third on club handicap. Well done team Halo!

Total distance sailed 16 nautical miles.

Many thanks to Eduardo and Mel for contributing the great photos.

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