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

Monday, November 26, 2012

Woodstock sinking

Any day on the water is a great day except when you get T-Boned by another yacht while racing.

That's what happened on the weekend when the wooden classic yacht Woodstock whilst club racing out of NCYC, was holed just after the race start, quickly sinking due east of Newcastle. The club rescue boat pick up the crew who were all unharmed.

Sternchaser offshore yet again

Unfortunately there were only two contenders for the offshore race so we had to cancel and tag along on the Sternchaser. All crew were 'off-watch' so another opportunity to hone the solo skills.

The weather forecast  ENE10-15 building to 20 knots and backing to the NE later in the afternoon....and it was almost spot on. My start time for the 20M course (Start/WC/MI/WC/SAL/WC/Finish) was 1324h and I hit the line at speed with 10 secs up my pretty chuffed. The beat to WC was against a flood tide and with the stiff breeze gave me a great workout.....3 times!

We managed to hold off  Young Pretender and Exalte until leg 3 and Chilli blasted past on a reach during leg 4. We had a tacking duel with Kindred Spirit and managed to sneak ahead on leg 6 and finally we nailed Hanni Bay on the final run to the finish. We kept Nelson J at bay all the way and pulled out some distance in the end. So fourth from the backend markers was ok and a great day sailing.

I think a couple of Hoods took the win and place but they started around 1300h. Chilli had a start time of around 1354h and I think they managed a 3rd. If it wasn't blowing as hard he could have popped the chute and blasted to victory.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Spring Pointscore Races 4 and 5

As posting time draws closer Daz and family are busy preparing for their departure to the Southern colonies. Daz is a great guy and a very high achiever, driven by a desire to do the best he can at whatever he turns his hand to.....and he has a lot of hands! You will be sorely missed onboard Rogue Wave Daz, however I still have plans for you so keep up with the courses, get your bum on a SA boat and a weather eye on the Jetstar website!!

How can such a small package have so much energy.....well Rogue Waves pocket dynamo Ruth just does not stop! What she lacks in experience she certainly makes up in spades with dedication, enthusiasm and reliability. Ruths new posting mid year has certainly presented her with some big career challenges and how she manages to do all she does in 24 hours defies logic. I also commenced my new posting in Aug so I think its fair to say the Rogue Wave crew have been a little  distracted over the past few months and are certainly off the pace. Anyway enough excuses - so how much off the pace you ask...proof is in the pudding!

Race 4
1st - Somerset of Oz
2nd - Chilli
3rd - Tanami
11th - Rogue Wave

Race 5 - Kev solo. Lets just say the mind was still not in sync with the game at hand. Great start and about 10 secs off the gun. Five blew the start and Tanami did a U-Turn in front of me so a quick luff up and RW was off beating her way to Salamander Bay. Had some ordinary tacks and lost ground and then I flew the Assy on the pole for the dead run back around Middle Island. Again had some issues and a 2-3 knot ebb tide made going very slow. I think it was about that time when the first beer was cracked! From then on it was just circulate back to Salamander, across to Wedding Cake and then finish.....all the while enjoying a few beers. Played with the tailenders and still beat Anneliese home! At least our handicap is levelling back to a more realistic figure.

I think I will use the older Assy in the Turtle in future as its much lighter and quicker to launch and douse when racing. I will leave the sock for cruising.
1st - Yulunga
2nd - Nelson J
3rd - Kindred Spirit
16th and 4 beers later - Rogue Wave

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Jack Hollman Memorial Race

The Jack Hollman race is a one-off race that does not impact the Summer Series so it was a good opportunity with the forecast 7-10 knots to try out the symmetrical spinnaker with new pole. I spent Friday rigging up blocks for the correct leads and trimming the guys to reduce the amount of line in the boat all ready for Saturday. Well, once again the forecasters sort of had it right.....except there were no showers and the wind came from the South and it was about 12-15 knots.
Max joined Ruth and Kev to crew again after being absent for the past month training for the Hawkesbury kayaking marathon in which he won his over 50 division....well done Max and great to have you back on board sharing the workload.
Our start was not looking great when we were boxed in and headed for the line with a minute to go on an ebbing tide. Fortunately a gap opened and a quick tack about-turn and reach saw us sailing back into the fleet as they bore down onto Rogue Wave going in the opposite direction! Now this was not a bad thing entirely as we were able to harden up across the stern of the fleet and pop out to windward in clear air...albeit behind by 300m. When heading for Salamander Bay mark on an ebbing tide, the trick is to stay out of the main current or you get dragged out and away from the mark. The other tip is to tack as you get knocked (i.e. windshift causing you to sail away from the direction you want to go).  By the time we made Salamander mark we were ahead of all our normal rivals except Young Pretender. The ebb tide made for some fast beating to Shoal Bay mark.
The new pole was set however the breeze was now about 18 knots and gusty. I chose to pole the headsail rather than fly the chute which cost us a lot of places.......but no beers were spilled in the making of this event!! I messed about on the foredeck with the pole trying different adjustments whilst Ruth helmed and Max trimmed. On the final run for the finish the breeze had again shifted more to the south so my planned Assy run to the line turned in a couple of gybes before we crossed under spinnaker. It was nice to see Goodlife 2 have a good race and cross ahead of Rogue Wave. We would have finished well down the batting order however it was a great day sailing in good company with cold beers! 

Todays craft beer was a My Wifes Bitter which ranked 10/10.

Next week is race 4 of 8 in the Spring Series. We need to put in some solid performances to keep our club championship hopes alive.