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

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Offshore Race cancelled

Disappointed....the first Offshore Race for Spring was cancelled. Not clear as to why, however I suspect there may been a shortage of keen starters or maybe a bit of apprehension about the weather forecast. Anyway, Ruth and Kev still headed offshore!
We dropped the Salamander Bay mooring and had a nice broad reach of up to 8.4 knots on the ebb tide as we headed for Shoal Bay. For a bit of practice, we rounded the Shoal Bay mark that will be used for next weeks Jack Hollman Memorial Race. The water was crystal clear and the colour a mix of emeralds, sapphires and white sand....what a glorious day. We then set course 6M east of the heads on a tight reach. The breeze had backed to the south and was sitting around 15 knots outside the heads. I love heading offshore as you can crack the sheets and let the boat follow her own course through the waves. The swell was 1-2m with a sea of 1-1.5m and only a few whitecaps.  At this time of year the mother whales with calves are the slowly making their way south and pass close to Port Stephens. Unfortunately no whales were spotted this trip.
The skies darkened and the breeze increased to a max of 22 knots, and the whitehorses appeared. We turned back toward the Bay on a beam reach hitting 9.4 knots surfing the now flood tide (hence why we sailed out 6M on the last of the ebb)....thankfully the rain held off . Entering the heads the skipper declared the 'bar' was open and a very tasty drop of Stone and Wood Pacific Ale by the Byron Bay Brewing Company was cracked.

We sailed past Salamander and made for Soldiers Point as we could see the gaggle of PSYC yachts milling around for the start of the inshore Sternchaser. Thoughts were we would circle the fleet, take some pics and then tack onto the back markers for a bit of a chase! The breeze had dropped so we shook out the reef and clipped along at a nice pace. The offshore breeze finally made its way inshore and strengthened. Really the reef should have gone back in, however since we were not racing, the lazy man approach got the nod and we just feathered the main to keep her on her feet.
Snapped off a few pics as yachts sailed past and then headed for home back with on the swing mooring by 1530h.  Distance logged 32 very enjoyable nautical miles.
Sunday was spent doing some minor repairs, lengthening the webbing on the sail slug I replaced so the luff doesn't pull at that one slug. Also replaced the two upper full length battens that fractured during the wild gybe the other week. I mated the new Allyacht Spars spinnaker pole with the Forespar bayonet mast fitting, and not only does it look indestructable, but it moves very smoothly unlike the old system. I particularly like the Forespar Ultra outboard trigger jaw that can be cocked open by pulling either the internally led inboard or outboard trip line or manually at the end fitting. The jaw closes automatically when the guy drops onto the trigger plate that fires the pin......very slick! Just have the guy blocks and tweakers to install and then she will be ready for launch of the Symmetrical.

Todays craft beer was a Stone and Wood Pacific Ale which ranked  8/10.

Next weeks race is the Jack Hollman Memorial Race from Soldiers Point to Shoal Bay (his favourite pub) and return. Should be fun.

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