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2018 Solo Tasman Challenge 01 Apr 2018
Start: 1300h Port Taranaki New Plymouth NZ
Finish: circa 11 April 2018 - Mooloolaba QLD

Monday, December 3, 2012

Spring Pointscore Race 6

The forecast strong afternoon NE breeze failed to show its true form and barely made 15 knots at best, but sufficient to keep the heat down to a comfortable level.

I think next week its time for a dive and a scrub as Rogue Wave is starting to feel sluggish under sail and engine power, which generally means she has a coating of the brown slime with weed starting to attach. The folding prop does not have antifoul applied so when the growth gets noticeble the prop does not open fully and boat speed drops by up to a knot. Its been 11 months since the last antifoul and six months since her last last dive scrub, so she is certainly due.
The Rogue Wave crew of Daz and Ruth welcomed aboard a seasoned offshore sailor by the name of Saxon, for his first outing on RW. It was great to have a an experienced decky on board to run the foredeck and trim the boat. You could see my crew were suitably impressed as they listened intently to his calm voice and coordinated approach, sponging up all the good information......most likely an information overload, but none the less all good stuff to build their experience and confidence. Saxon, you are welcome back anytime.
The start was nearly a blinder.....I say nearly as the ebb tide got me in the last 20m as we broke the start by mere seconds. By the time I picked a gap, returned over the start against a strong tide and tacked off on port, the fleet had bolted and it was going to be very tough to catch them. The course was START, WC, SAL, MI, WC, SAL FINISH with beats, beam and broad reaches. The first mark we set the older lighter Williams Sails Assy from the bag in lieu of the 1.5oz Doyles Assy in the sock. Not a powerful sail but we still hummed along at around 7.2 knots.
Having Saxon on board streamlined the hoist during the bear-away-set and the sail was quickly set  allowing me to concentrate on helming. Ruth's spinnaker trimming is progressing nicely with each launch and Daz as usual filled every other role that was needed to hoist, trim, tail, grind, furl,douse and pack the sails. Saxon and I discussed options for the next leg, opting to trip the assy and hoist the new Doyles Symmetrical Spinnaker that has never seen the light of day and also a first time for a symmetrical set for my regular crew. The pole was pre-set, the turtle clipped on and the tack pre-pulled ready for the launch. The assy was tripped and quickly stowed through the companionway by some great teamwork.
The big 76sqm black and blue spinnaker was launched from its turtle and set quickly. The cut of the sail is for a deep running spinnaker as this is where the boat needs a helping hand given her design. It is a tad too deep for a reaching sail, however it would hold set up to around 80 degrees if pushed and 90 deg comfortably.   A blast reaching spinnaker would be great addition....maybe for the Solo Trans Tasman.
So now we are humming along toward the second mark and readying for the crews second first of the day....a Dip-Pole-Gybe. Saxon led the guys through the process and with flurry of sheets, guys, topper and kicker the sail was gybed and trimmed. Nearing Middle Island the genoa was unfurled and the kite tripped and stowed quickly...great work by the crew.
We circulated the course making up some ground but not enough to pull back any chance of a place. By race end we did manage to reign in four boats and score 11th on handicap. After taking the gun we kept sailing NW and ran through a few more gybes to build the crew confidence in the manoeuvre's. Finally the sail was quickly doused and we prepped RW for home.
Overall a great training day so a big thanks to Saxon for his contribution and to Daz and Ruth for working hard to keep up with the taskings. Yachty talk, its a whole different language! Hopefully the spinnaker will see some more use with a few more regular hands on board. Oh...I promise I won't blow any more me!
1st - Watch Me
2nd - Anneliese
3rd - Kindred Spirit
11th - Rogue Wave (more realistic 888 handicap next week so we are back in the game)

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