Next Sail: 03 Mar Port Stephens to New Plymouth NZ
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Monday, September 17, 2012
Sternchaser Race 4
Kev, Daz and Danni crewed Rogue Wave in what was to be a 10-15 knot SW breeze backing to the SE and becoming variable to 10 knots late in the arvo. Fortunately we had breeze all day which made for some great sailing.
With a handicap that seems to only go in one direction (down) we had a start time of 1326 h with the only boats starting behind us were the Melges 24 planning sportsboat and Kiska (Tri). We also had a new 30 footer join the fleet called Young Pretender (1983 Young 88) formerly from Lake Macquarie. A quick google search showed she definitely has form....3rd in the Young 88 Regatta in 2010, kitted out with race sails and a massive displacement of 2650kg.....Rogue Wave is 6250kg empty and we had to give him 12 min head start........I think the handicapper will need to do a quick rework!
Once again I missed the start. Spoke with Heather (Race Starter) after the race and found we were 90 secs behind the start. In future I will set the watch and count down from the 15min horn. So the chase was on.....see how many legs it would take to peg the leaders back. Its a bit daunting when you look up and see almost the entire fleet in front......bit like the Forgacs Regatta races but this time we knew we could catch the fleet!
The course took in two laps of Salamander/Wedding Cake/Middle Island and then finish. By the first leg we had pinned Goodlife2 and were all over Anneleise like a rash. Rounding Salamander Daz and Dani deployed the Assy that was pre-rigged and we pulled away and hunting down boats as we powered along. Nearing Wedding Cake we dropped the Assy a tad early so lost speed and ground, but once back on the breeze we powered up and headed for Middle Island...as wide as we could to avoid the wind shadow. We made huge gains and after rounding Middle Island we passed Distant Drums (Pacific 39) and Remis (Hood) and were neck and neck with Nelson J (J24) at Salamander mark. Once again the crew launched the Assy and we powered past Somerset of Oz (Hanse 34) and held onto the back of Nelson J until the breeze faded. They doused their spinnaker at Wedding Cake and under whites reached for home.
We on the other hand needed to make up some ground so we gybed the Assy around Wedding Cake and tight reached home hitting 8 knots at times. We passed Nelson J and watched the Megles 24 making a fast approach but still several hundred yards back. Now the Assy can still hold good power at 50 deg but you guessed it.....the breeze was bending around the point and we could not make it to the finish under Assy without going through Middle Island! Despite a lightning fast douse and genoa back we failed to keep our 2nd position and we tucked onto the transom of the Megles 24 to cross the line in 4th. So, old skip didn't have a good start or finish...sorry guys! But the good news is I think we pulled off the series win by one point over Nelson J.....so well done to my dedicated deckies!