Crew: Geoff, Eduardo, Grant, Murray, and Anastasia.
Forecast: Northerly 5 knots, changing westerly then southerly late afternoon.
Eduardo, Grant and Anastasia joined Geoff on Halo and we departed Chaffers at 1000 hrs. The northerly wind was averaging around 5 kts in the marina and up to 12 kts in the harbour. We hoisted the No. 1 Genoa LT and full Mainsail and with Anastasia on helm we did a practice run down Evans Bay with the Genoa poled out ‘goose-winged’. On arrival at Evans Bay we sailed along the Shoal Pile start line checking out the transits and then tied up at the wharf at 1100 hrs next to Coriander.
The course was announced as #2; Start – 10p Falcon Shoals – Finish, with the start and finish from Pania. Murray joined us and after an EB pie and a chat with the Coriander guys we cast off at 1143 hrs and sailed up towards Shark Bay where Pania was anchored. Positions were Eduardo on bow, Murray on mainsheet, Grant and Anastasia on sail trim and Geoff on helm.
The start line was shorter than we are used to and was pretty crowded as 12 keelboats jostled for position. At the gun we were close to the line but behind Coriander, Saucy Sausage and Grenadier. Very quickly the big boats flew past us, Zimmerframe and Jesse-James. We were getting lots of dirty air so at the first opportunity we tacked away together with Grenadier towards the headland below Shelly Bay. Here’s a stop-motion video of the start:
Sailing close hauled towards Pt Halswell we had to quickly tack to give way to Slingshot who were heading towards us on starboard tack. Back on port tack we thought we were on the layline for Pt Halswell but we started to get knocked so had to do a another tack to get around the point. Arg!
We then hoisted the Maxi Spinnaker and sailed on a broad reach towards Falcon Shoals. We left the Genoa up against the kite as it seemed to be helping.
Before rounding Falcon Shoals we noticed most of the boats ahead of us were doing a 180 degree turn back towards Pt Gordon but Sea Beagle stayed on a port tack up the harbour which seemed like a good idea to get some height so we followed them. It worked well. We made good gains passing Coriander and Sea Beagle (who seemed to be having rigging issues) and almost catching Grenadier.
Back in Evans Bay we hoisted the kite once more for the run down to the finish. Coriander were getting a bit more speed than us and came up very close behind us. Their kite brushed against our spreader at one stage as they edged past us.
We crossed the finish line at 1330 hrs and motor sailed back to Chaffers. A fun race with the closely matched boats having a great tousle. A great start to the Barton Marine Winter Series!
Phil later told us that Grenadier had sailed on the wrong side of the pin at the finish so they had to turn back to cross the line again, meaning we effectively beat them on line – so the results below apparently need to be updated which would put Halo in 7th place.
Here’s the RaceQs replay: http://raceQs.com/event/1412792