Next Sail: 03 Mar Port Stephens to New Plymouth NZ

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Next Race:
2018 Solo Tasman Challenge 01 Apr 2018
Start: 1300h Port Taranaki New Plymouth NZ
Finish: circa 11 April 2018 - Mooloolaba QLD

Friday, June 29, 2012

Sternchaser Race 2

Twelve yachts started Race #2 of the Winter Sternchaser series last Saturday. Despite the cold and windy morning, Rogue Wave and her crew had a great day on the water. RW had a start time of 1322 h. The first yacht would start at 1230 h whilst the go fast trimaran Kiska started around 1348 h. We approached the line about 20 secs early so we unfortunately had to run down the line  to avoid crossing early, losing valuable ground to windward. Fortunately the breeze suited RW and under full main and #2 genoa we were pointing high making up to 5.8 SOG against an ebb tide in a stiff 15-20 knot westerly. By the time we were half way to the first mark we had passed over 2/3 of the fleet ahead!

All our previous races there have been a few yachts in front of us so we  don’t need to pay to much attention to mark roundings other than glance at the course. We were now leading the fleet before the first mark....better check that course again! With the forecast strong winds I was initially going to pole the headsail for simplicity but as we approached the mark the breeze was dropping to around 15 knots so up went the Assy from the bow. We jogged along pointing at 6.7 knots goosewinging the Assy on the run down to Middle Island. This is where the full spinnaker equipped yachts of Thief of Time (S80), Nelson J (J24) and Nervous (Elliot 7) made a lot of ground on us....... but we still managed to hold on and round the island in first place. I was confident as we came back onto the breeze we could build on the gap once again.
We hardened up and took off. Daz and Dani doing some great deck work and getting the spinnaker repacked ready for the next run. We tacked SW using the lee of The Narrows reef to reduce the foul tide that was running at 2.5 knots. We again laid the top mark in a couple of tacks and rounded the mark still in first place.......who would have thought this 29 year old yacht had this much grunt! The Assy was up again and we maintained our lead in what was now a dying breeze. It was a great sight looking back at the colourful spinnakers instead of following them! Then the breeze began to drop….a lot. We were quickly running out of options running about 120 deg apparent and were about to goosewing when the hooter sounded a shortened course. We nervously watched (excuse the pun!) as Nervous the go fast Elliott 7 sportsboat sailed straight downwind to clinch a win by about 10secs!
Great race and great company made for an enjoyable day. The sun came out and the sail back to the mooring was exceptional with celebratory beer in hand. I look forward to the arrival of our downwind weaponary!
1st Nervous
2nd Rogue Wave
3rd Thief of Time

1 comment:

daz said...

Well I head off to sunny Hawaii on Thursday, should be back in time for Rnd 3 of the Winter Offshore. I will be a leaner & fitter decky when i get back, and with the new kites the rest of the fleet better watch out :P More wine on the way!!