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

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Improvements on their way

The saga of my Force 10 cooker took a dive to the point where I cancelled my order. I originally ordered the Sub-Compact model in Jun and as of last week I was told further shipping delays from Canada of between 6-16 weeks may be possible......they were not sure!!
So back to Whitworths to buy a SMEV 7000 3 burner hob, grill, and oven with rotisserie! Problem is I need to butcher the galley to make her fit. So this just brings forward the galley top makeover. Maybe I will wait until Stephanie, my own little wood butcher...comes home on Uni break from her Furniture Design course! The cooker has flame failure devices to all burners so once I install to AS/NZS 5601.2:2010 I will be comfortable the gas system will be safe.......unlike the current 30 year old installation.
The Genoa cars are shot. The original sheaves I repaired using Plasticine moulds and West System Epoxy. Worked a treat however I had scheduled to replace them at some stage. As we race I also needed a way to adjust the cars remotely to change sail shape with the sheet loaded. After many hours contemplating all the systems available, readers feedback and of course price vs quality, I decided on the oversized and bullet proof Garhauer EZ-G3 Easy Glide Adjustable Genoa Car System. They are beautifully crafted and very strong.  Garhauer are the only ones to manufacture a T-Track Genoa Car and heavy duty sheave that runs on ball bearings; the competition use plastic slides. These bearings make car adjustment under load possible in up to 25 knots. They are adjusted simply by pulling or releasing the spectra line from the trimmers position using a cam cleat.
Spinnaker tweakers are also ready to be installed. These haul down the spinnaker sheet amidships as the wind increases, helping to stabilise the sail thereby assisting the helm to sail the boat 'under the mast'. The final things to be done before the NCYC Forgacs Regatta is winch servicings, hull scrub and weight reduction....again!

Winter Pointscore Race 11

The forecast stated 20 knots....yeah right! We were greeted by a gusty 25-28 knot westerly and the wind on tide popped a few waves over the well as afew dolphins! It was strangely quiet on the water and it looked as if it would be a three horse race at one point. Finally Goodlife2, Annelise and Distant Drums (Pacific 39) made their way to the start with reefed mains. Rogue Wave carried the first reef and a #3 furled genoa and we were making good speed. With only 10 mins to go several other yachts joined the fleet.......maybe they stayed at the club too long on Friday night!!
We setup for the start and jockeyed for a windward position on the flood tide. All was looking good until I made my run at the line a tad early and the tide swept us over the line 10 secs before the gun. Nothing like hearing the recall sound and knowing it was you. Luckily there were only a handful of yachts racing which made it very easy to quickly tack back to the start line. Won't be so fortunate in the NCYC Regatta if I blow the start! We were soon back hard on the wind and in about 4th position, but still to windward of the majority of the fleet.
On the beat to Garden Is mark we hunted down Goodlife2 and passed Anneliese to be second to the position where the mark should have been. With all the recent wild weather it was gone. Goodlife2 headed for another Special Mark (Sanctuary Zone) closeer inshore near the rocks and oyster racks. I wasn't too keen on conducting 4wd activities so we tacked Rogue Wave off into deeper water until Goodlife2 slowly crept around the shallow sanctuary marker. Anneliese quickly dropped in to follow her around and she was back to second. With Ross calling a metre under his keel we tacked back to round the mark and then tight reached averaging 7.2-7.6 knots across to the Mallabulla mark. Here is a nice pic as we passed Anneliese again before the gybe mark, only to be overtaken on the run downwind as their spinnaker out canvassed our poled out headsail. That third decky makes all the difference.
Meanwhile Goodlife2 sailed away for a comfortable win with Anneliese second. Once again I opted only to pole the headsail in the gusty conditions, but of course the wind dropped, reefs were shaken out and I should have set the spinnaker. Next race the spinnaker will be setup ready for any change in conditions. The rest of the fleet were left in our wake, so on handicap it could have been either of the first two boats that won.
The missing mark caused the Race Starter to follow protocols and shorten the race. By this time the breeze had faded away and it was only 1430h so we sailed off down the bay with a beer in hand. By 1700 h Ruth had us safely back on the mooring and packed ready for next week. Will have to wait until Sat to find out the official results.

Results for Race 11 were:
1st: Goodlife2 (Beneteau 39)
2nd: Anneleise (Northshore 33)
3rd: Rogue Wave (Sigma 36)

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Sternchaser cancelled

More wild weather and yet another cancelled weekend of sailing. The weather wall at Soldiers Point marina showed the average wind speed of 35 knots most of the day and 44 knots highest gust. Maybe this weekend we can fly some sails.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Wild weather cancels racing

The Gale Warning knocked racing on the head this weekend. I checked the seas out at Fishermans Bay yesterday arvo and sitting in the carpark it looked like it was snowing.....sea foam was being whipped up and blown inshore down the street! Looking forward to summer....

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Quick update

You may have noticed the PSYC website has not updated theWinter Pointscore race results since 23rd June, so I did a quick count back and the points after Race 10 yesterday should be:
51 Exalte
52 Rogue Wave
61 Goodlife2

Rogue Wave is now an official paid up race entrant in the NCYC FORGACS DEFENCE Regatta 08-09 Sep all we need is my gun crew and work not to cause me any grief! Looks like between 17-20 boats racing in two divisions. Slower boats like us do a shorter course so we are all back in the bar around the same Australian!

Winter Pointscore Race 10

What a beautiful day on the water. With 10-20 knots WSW breeze and a warm 19 degrees forecast it doesn't get much better for winter. Approximately 12 boats straddled the start line, all trying to huddle at the windward end on port tack for the best beat to the first mark. They were also trying to stay close to the line so as to not get pushed back by the strong ebb tide. RW stayed out of the mele' and chose a mid line start on starboard tack. Exalte were to windward, whilst Goodlife2 and Nelson J were further to leeward. Once again Anneliese were a bit eager over the line and returned for an individual recall - with the closeness of the handicaps their race was done at that point.

RW crossed the line about 30 secs behind the gun and we quickly sailed over the top of the smaller boats and Nelson J  to be in 2nd. Ruth received plenty of encouragement as they watched her muscle on the part furled headsail in a building breeze!! On our beat to the first mark we kept RW on the boil and rounded in 2nd place a minute behind Exalte. With the sheets cracked off, we close reached to the second mark opening the gap to Goodlife2 whilst closing on Exalte. With the breeze gusting up to 20 knots and with only two on board, I opted to pole the headsail. We scooted along at 6+ knots whilst Exalte with 5 on board pumped out their spinnaker as did Goodlife2.

Much to Ruth's delight, the resident Mallabulla dolphin family joined us for some wave surfing at the second mark. By now the breeze was dropping and Goodlife2 was quickly running us down and Exalte sailing at the gybe mark, were pulling clear, so a change in strategy was needed. Kicking myself I didn't launch the Assy at the top mark, we hoisted it at the gybe mark and managed to regain some ground on the broad reach to Middle Island.

With RW taking a track a tad close to Middle Island......I think a wattle branch may have brushed against the side of the boat........the Assy was dropped down the hatch and we were back on the breeze......the Sigma's favourite point of sail. Some days tacking goes like a well oiled machine....well not today. We had several tacking issues with hung sheets causing loss of ground on each tack. By this time Exalte had blasted well into the lead, so our aim was to build the gap on Goodlife2 as we knew he was looking good on handicap. RW finished the race second over the line, but unfortunately after rounding the final mark, Goodlife2 regained enough ground on the run to the finish to clinch 1st on handicap by a mere 5 seconds over Exalte ,with RW in 3rd. 

We don't usually drink during a race (unless becalmed!), but as soon as we cross the line the beers form part of the race 'de-brief' theory being the crew will want to finish the race quicker!! The post race Beer of the Day was a Leffe'; a kick-in-the-pants Belgium beer.....very nice drop. We happily jogged along under spinnaker with beers in hand all the way back to the mooring. Another great days sailing and I look forward to a few more bods joining us on board for next weeks offshore race.

Results for Race 10 were:
1st: Goodlife2 (Beneteau 39)
2nd: Exalte (X-332)
3rd: Rogue Wave (Sigma 36)

Friday, August 3, 2012

Strong wind sailing

Here is a short clip of an inshore PSYC race in a blustery  34 knots Souwester, followed by a clip of a quick trip (double reefed main) from Newcastle back to Port Stephens in a 40-45 knots westerly. Hardest part of that voyage was the 'short' tacking up the narrow channel after we rounded the heads into the teeth of the wind. The engine did not provide any real assistance against the short, large standup wind waves rolling east caused by the incoming tide going west, so tacking was the order of the day.  

It took nearly as long to sail west from the heads to Nelson Bay as it did to sail from Newcastle. We gave up trying to make headway so with 2m seas running down the breakwall at Nelson Bay....yep inside the bay...we stayed there overnight until the breeze eased. Manouvering into a vacant berth in the windswept marina between million dolar plastic game boats was another challange!! .........Hopefully we will never seen conditions like that in the bay again!!