Three races were sailed over a squally and slightly unpredictable weather weekend.
Saturday – Windward/leeward. There was a massive outgoing tide against the easterly breeze which caused a large sea state. All boats elected to race with #2 rigs. Staying left on the upwinds in the favourable tide and inshore on the downwinds was paramount.
Honda Marine managed to win the pin and take the initial advantage. They were followed closely by C-tech who had superstud Tim Snedden on board increasing the crews weight by 15kg. ASCC were hot on their heels and managed to pick the best lane into the shore and made massive gains coming out only a matter of lengths behind Honda. On the next upwind Honda managed to stretch away. ASCC and C-Tech had an intense battle on the downwind with C-Tech just inching out ASCC. In another battle not too far behind, ASCC 2 and Maersk Line were locked together around the course. These two teams are starting to develop a rivalry which has been great to see.
A large left windshift came through during the start sequence. ASCC took advantage of this and port tacked the fleet. It was an impressive sight on the downwind with all 5 boats not laying the bottom mark coming hot as a large squall hit the fleet. C-Tech recorded 27 knots of boat speed over the ground going against the tide. ASCC left the drop a little late with C-Tech and Honda Marine taking advantage to scrape around in front. ASCC didn’t recover from a large trawling experience and called it a day. Honda Marine came out of a tack and lost a tiller extension forcing a capsize and Maersk Line and ASCC 2 also were blown off the water. C-Tech made it look all to easy and finished the race with a well deserved win. Honda Marine eventually recovered to record a 2nd. Time to go home.
Sunday – Similar conditions apart from the wind was more to the left. This allowed the exciting prospect of rounding rough rock in wind against tide.
Honda Marine again got off to a rapid start with C-Tech practically in their lap, showing great speed. Once around the top mark it was a 50:50 call to put a kite up to get to the wing mark at Bean Rock. Honda Marine elected to go for it with C-Tech holding off for a bit. C-Tech proved to make the right call and Honda Marine later had to drop their kite and re-hoist on the next leg.
On the second upwind the breeze steadily built and it quickly turned into a survival game. Whoever could make it downwind unscathed to the finish would probably win the race. The gybe set was the first move made by the top three boats to avoid the choppy deathzone in the middle of the course. Maersk Line and ASCC 2 both didn’t take that option and ventured out into the extremely messed up sea state and suffered impressive capsizes. C-Tech also went a little too far out into the middle after their second gybe and suffered and capsize. Honda Marine just held it together to take the gun with ASCC also surviving the carnage to come in second. The race was on to know see who could recover the best. C-Tech rounded out the top 3. Maersk Line had a better angle into the finish managing to roll ASCC 2 with out a kit up, at the last second with their kite up to take fourth.
Racing continues this weekend the 1-2 December. The forecast is looking equally painful.