RAYC member Sally Garrett was on board Expedition Coppelia for the forst SSANZ Simrad Race
SSANZ Simrad Race 1, July 13.
The first race of the SSANZ Simrad sponsored series marks for us the start of our campaign for the 2014 Round North Island Race.
The SSANZ (Shorthanded Sailing Association NZ) organize a midwinter 3 race series that attracts on average 160 yachts crewed by only two people. The Races are roughly a month apart and for us will involve races of 60nm, 100nm and 50nm, covering the inner and outer Hauraki Gulf.
Our routine goes something like this:
- Meet at boat 0600 (dark and cold guaranteed, if not also wet, windy and foul )
- Castoff by 0630 for 12nm (allow 2 hours) delivery for start at 0900
- Monitor VHF forecast/nowcast
- Prepare sails for forecast, run sheets, organize below decks.
- Breakfast and coffee, about sunrise, hopefully a break/chat.
- After 0800 download latest weather grib files, situation discussion.
- Check in with race committee
- Hoist sails, pre race tune up
This was the course for Simrad race 1.
The course (black) and actual track sailed (green) with Predictwind high resolution model as at 1500 Saturday
We started in light winds, from SSW, fairly uneventful until that zigzag halfway along Waiheke island where we sailed (almost) into a convergence with a light breeze from the East, with a zone of no wind in the middle. We were expecting some tricky conditions like this so I went up the mast to get a better view, which proved quite fruitful, getting through the calm zone better than others in the area.
Hugging close to the shore, short tacking along the end of Waiheke to get out of the outgoing tidal stream we managed to get into some back-eddies which we could identify clearly by waves standing up against the breeze.
The rest of the race was fairly straightforward, with regular monitoring of the VHF watching for predicted wind increases that didn’t come until the next day.
We finished a bit after 10pm that night, first in our division on line (and we would later find also on handicap).
Obviously we were very happy with this result which vindicates our process goal of maximum situational awareness.
- Have the latest and best digital weather models (we use Predictwind Professional)
- Have large scale Metservice processed charts via either internet or HF fax.
- Monitor and record VHF weather and nowcasting.
- Constant visual assessment, comparison with forecasts(waves, clouds) could include going up mast if appropriate.
- Use Expedition to run optimized courses.
- Each crew to review the above at regular intervals and discuss interpretations.
All logical, but we believe the discipline to sustain the process is critical, particularly the regular reviews of the information, as our weather around the coast changes so quickly.[/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]