SSANZ Evolution Sails 100 Race report from Wild!‏

With a a drifter forecasted the grocery bill went up. 22 sandwiches, 2 dozen beers, 2 packs of Coke,  6 bags of chips…  this will be a long race…. 2 bottles of rum…. musli bars and some apples. I think that we have food and drinks covered… 

Couple of things I have learned during last years SSANZ triple series, you can never be over-prepared, and most importantly, the sail that you leave at home will be the one you need… To Aidan’s displeasure I have even brought our solar panel with us. Better safe than sorry.
We have installed a new hatch couple of days earlier and were meant to fix the intermittent connection on VHF cable but my co-skipper thought that yielding a knife while going through the waves on the way to the start line was better way of doing it, so he sent me below to sort out this fairly important task as he was motoring… Bossy bastard….
Every two cuts of the cable followed a cut of the hand and in a very short 13.76 minutes I came away victorious, and bleeding like a stuck pig. Sea water will fix this and disinfect it too I thought… No biggie. She’ll be alright. At least we can call for help should the hand turn septic while we are drifting around trying to get around Waiheke…
After setting a #1 and realizing that the breeze is calling for a big #1, 10 minutes to start and we are on our first sail change of the day. Pick a nice spot half way down the start line and watch a clusterf@k develop closer to the committee boat. Best start yet, about 20 seconds late to the line but with a nice pace. Yotasorus is behind us… That’s a first for me… Wild is normally chasing the fleet… Time for a beer i think, better make that two since Aidan is not drinking. After two tacks we crack the sheets and are out of the Motuihie Channel, time for a gentle spinnaker run down to the Navy Buoy. Chilly bin in the cockpit, rum and a few beers later we watch a big line of breeze moving in… Time for a #2 to be set. We have been followed by a pod of dolphins on the run to Navy and spirits were high as we were glad that the drifter was building to a blower… Game plan was set, blast to Tiri, lay Waiheke, go in shore but only as far as we have to… And most importantly have a few beers!!! Until a wind shift… Fleet was split in half at this point and looking at the tracker, boats on the outside were making big gains… Coming around the Gannet Rock it was hard on the breeze, tuck a reef in, strap in for a hard ride and have a few beers… Wind against tide and a reasonable swell… Few tacks and we are approaching Tarakihi Island… By this stage its dark and we are opting to follow someone else around rather than trying to work it out ourself… The other boat makes what seems like emergency tack, we follow but loose track of him in amongst the few lights of Waiheke and decde that we are in the clear for sure, have a beer… With cracked sheets we start flying until I realize that we need to take Pakatoa to port… Big ease, keep as much speed as we can… Is that rocks up ahead? That seems like rocks up ahead… THOSE ARE ROCKS UP AHEAD!!! Short dead down wind run and we come around the Pakatoa rocks…. That was a close one… Time for a beer I think
The wind is coming around again and we start making a plan for Tamaki Straight… Gennaker seems like a good fit for now but…. Hope we get a good genny run, feels like we have been beating for a while now…
Come around Passage rock, set genny and start humming again. Seeing solid sixes on a speedo, going well!!! …Until another wind shift as the wind comes forward… AGAIN!… and than dies off rendering headsail useless ….
Get the Zero up… Wind speed 6kts, boat speed 5.7, Aidan likes it!!! Took a while to impress Aidan today, I was thinking to myself…
Get around Browns, nearly get mowed by an inconsiderate grater who took all out wing as he skimmed past…. Breeze shifting more on the nose, we hoist jib and put zero away. Breeze is filling in and we are still doing high 5’s. Quick check in with the committee boat who kindly flashed a big bright light (so we don’t run in to them I’m sure) and across the finish line. 17 sandwiches box of beer and a box of Coke lighter
Ending the series on a high, Wild! finishing second on handicap and I am well pleased with it. Couple of small changes still to be made to the boat and a whole lot of sailing to get my skills up… Huge thanks to Aidan who helped in setting the boat up and did most of the sail changes! Big thank you to SSANZ for organizing yet another great series, Wild! will be back next year for sure.
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