Unfortunately RW missed race 1 but returned on song for race 2. Last week I dived on the hull and gave her a good scrub. It was June when I last dived and she has been losing speed each week. Under power, barnacles on the prop and shaft severely impact performance and induce vibration, so its best to keep them as clean as possible as no antifoul is applied to these parts, just a thick layer of Lanolin grease (smell like shearer after applying!). I think a dive every quarter will see the performance maintained.
Max joined me for the two laps of Salamander Bay in a light SW-SE varying breeze of up to 12 knots. We had a good start that saw us quickly accelerate into clean air where we made some good ground over the fleet. It was great to see RW performing so well again.
Max worked hard during numerous tacks as we played the wind shifts. We pre-rigged the spinnaker gear for use with the lighter red/white/blue Assy routing the sheets through the new tweakers I installed. Rounding Salamander to port, Max took the helm and we hoisted the Assy for a total of about 10 mins.....then the breeze backed to the east and we could no longer hold sail. A quick douse and we were off reaching under whites toward Wedding Cake at up to 7.2 knots. We actually pulled ahead at this point as others behind had set full spinnakers and were struggling to douse. A quick spinnaker repack in record time had us ready to reset at the Wedding Cake mark as we headed for Middle Island.
With an ebbing tide, close proximity of the hard stuff to starboard and a breeze up the backside with only the Assy, I had no choice but to set a course away from land and into the tide. We lost ground as the chasers overtook us by Middle Island mark. With the Assy doused, we were back on the beat to Salamander Bay. By the mark we had made back all the lost ground and were neck and neck with Exalte, Young Pretender and Nelson Jay, however Goodlife 2 was on apparently on steroids after her recent slipping and managed to get some great breeze and stretch their lead.
The reach under white sails to Wedding Cake was interesting as Exalte, Young Pretender and Nelson Jay sailed into a wind hole in the middle of the bay! So like all good seamen....we sailed high and over the top of them so we would be first onto the new breeze. Only Young Pretender managed to stay with us and they inched ahead by the next mark. With Max back on the helm we set to work readying for the final hoist and run to the finish.
Once again running and gybing downwind with the breeze at 135 deg, it was inevitable we would lose the ground we had regained during the windward beat. We gybed downwind a few times with minimal drama in th elight air. I am looking forward to the day we can string a race together with the big symmetrical spinnaker and enough crew to sail RW fast! Both Young Pretender (4 mins) and Exalte (75 secs) managed to sneak ahead but we held off Nelson J to finish in spectacular fashion with our goosewinged Assy.
The work rate is quite high when shorthanding during inshore buoy racing with spinnakers and your body certainly knows it the next day! So thanks Max for a great race, sorry if the muscles are a tad sore on Sunday! With the results today, the handicaps leading up to the Summer Series will be fairly even between the bigger boats, so I look forward to some close racing!
Results Race 2 Christmas Series
1st - Goodlife 2 (Beneteau 39)
2nd - Rogue Wave (Sigma 36)
3rd - Rival (Hood)