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Vooms Baltic 50 race report

22 Jul 2014

Vooms Baltic 50 Race Report


Got up bright and early, made coffee, got the text it was postponed, went back to bed. When I got up again, it was a much more reasonable time, and my lovely wife got up and cooked me a hearty breakfast. I mention this in the race report, as it may have been the highlight of the day. But on to the race. 

By the time the multis got underway at 1130, breeze had dropped out to almost nothing. The breeze dropped in the minutes before the start gun, and due to lucky placement close to the boat, we got a glamour start. 

Took a while to get to rangi light, and by then only freedom was behind us, and even then, only boat lengths back. For the first 3 or so miles we could easily lay Navy buoy, and things were not too bad. Fairly awful seas, but we managed to dodge a heavy shower drenching the boats to the East. Then we got knocked. Then the breeze dropped. Then the breeze dropped more. We were about 1.5 miles from navy buoy, just wallowing in the seas, with no idea of wind direction, if any. Eventually a light southerly filled in, and we hoisted the kite. 2 gybes later we rounded navy buoy, an hardened up under kite to head to Gannet. This was about 3pm and we knew we were in for a looooong day. Then a northerly came in, which made for a few interesting gybes?Tacks? I dunno. Spin around a few times, drop kite and then realise we have an Easterly and were pointing north to the middle of tiri. A slow knock and eventually we tacked over, and could lay gannet. Then we got knocked, couldn?t make the north side of the Ahaas, and headed in toward the bay east of onetangi. Took a long board in to waiheke, and saw Stealth heading out, and Taeping heading home. We tacked on a knocked and realised if the breeze held we may have overlaid, but given the variability in the breeze weren?t too concerned.

Breeze was slowly dropping as we got to gannet, went around just after 6pm, about 10-12 mins behind stealth and the breeze dropped out completely again. Kite was dropped and we wallowed around trying to find a direction that gave us drive. We seemed to have light westerly, and for a while were heading Northish. Saw freedom pull out and start motoring home, presumably as they couldn?t get around gannet? Eventually alight NW came in, and we could had where we wanted to. A couple of hours, and a couple of kite hoists later, we were at Motutapu discussing if that boat not far in front was in fact stealth mission. The tide was running out pretty hard by now, and we had a pretty tough time getting past issy bay, with speed on the GPS down to 0.0 a number of times. As we got off browns, wind was nothing again, and we managed to sneak up beside Stealth. Slight change and they went from kite to screecher, we went from big kite to small kite to jib and tacked away and headed north. Found a few gently puffs, tacked over, hoisted kite and crept to finish 11 hours after we started (10:30pm) and just in front of stealth. 

In the multis, we had 6 starters, 5 finishers. Excess and Charleston blasted around the course in 6 hours something, with Charleston coming in first on line, not far in front of excess. A couple of hours back to Taeping, and then many more hours back to us last 2.

All in all, it was a long, cold, wet, frustrating, nauseating day. Thanks to the SSANZ guys and gals running the show and to Craig (crew)for sticking out a pretty challenging day. Hope the next race has more breeze and less rain, we will definitely have more food and more clothes on board.

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