Race 3 - 1st Place is for Winners
05/13/2012, Sydney Harbour
Race no. 3 had another solid attendance of eager and willing sailors.
The wind was a repeat of two week's back and gusting up to 30 knots.
There was no becalming to have us aimless bored for hours upon end.....after Kirsty warnings of "keeping on till the bitter end". Phew!
Mental note: need to over stock the boat with food and drink for calm weather forecasts. Aga you can be in charge.
The weather demanded the No 3 Jib as the best defence for the gusty conditions. Battens were place (unlike last time), and gave the sail support that it was missing.
The Sydney 38s started at their usual early call time, and the CYC committee boat was ranting on the VHF that all other boats should keep well away from the start line or else. Noted.
So we did the big leg out towards the ferry channel to avoid traffic and around the backside of Shark Island for out late start of 34 min after the General division gun.
Pre-race, the gusts had Nemesis on its side and a prudent 1st reef put into the main sail. This was a good call as we maintained control of the boat for most of the day on the water.....no latina's dragging bottom side in the harbour.
We had a reproduction of the Guille winch wrap (not Guile this time).
I might guess that Shano is not used to manual winches!? (His boat has push-button hydraulic winches - it must be nice!) He did a good job both tailing and winching relentlessly. Where was the Grinder??
The ugly wrap on the winch required another knife slashathon.
Jeff had wondered why we cut the rope in squarely in half last time rather than at the clew end (corner of the sail). He was instantaneously on the foredeck knife in hand to ensure only a foot was cut off the Jib sheet.
The upwind leg(s) of the race required additional attention to the Main sail to keep the boat stable. Both Guille and Chris were doing a double-act on the sheet and traveller. Good effort guys.
Nemesis got the hooter for the line honours for the division, and first place on handicap. Well done team!!!
Quick Note on the competition or lack thereof:
· Mothers day may have been a reason the lack of boats on the field, and I would prefer to think it was the strong wind and stiff competition that kept them away.
· S/V Star Ferry starts closest to our time and is the dark-horse than we should keep an eye on. Why we still have the worst handicap in the division I do not know. Star Ferry came in a close second 2min 57sec on adjusted course time behind us. Watch out.
· S/V Circe - No show. All recommendations from visiting boats will be ignored and considered clueless.
· S/V Anna - has the most favourable handicap and a 0 min offset time should have done well but had a DNF.
Special efforts noted:
Kirsty - keeping her cool with all of Jeff's yelling, and drinking salt water on the bow.
James - getting involved - long time no see.
Hai-yen - Running backstays were floorless
Dan - keep watch for collisions and relaying warnings.
Doug - making lunch wraps to 1 am but forgetting to get them on deck until the boat was dockside.
Race 2 - Floatilla or Race?
05/06/2012, Sydney Harbour
10 of 11 the confirmed attended for a light day in the Sun.
Pre-Race: Saturday Captain John Smith (his mother really wasn't creative with picking names) of Sailing Vessel "Circe" decided to come by at the dock and have words about us rounding the wrong marker the previous week. He was convinced that he was robbed of his fair placing in Race 1....3rd to Nemesis by 10 min.
Guillermo studied the Race Course A for Division K (same course this week) and there is no way we went around the wrong buoy. Either way the LC and LC2 marker could not be greater than 2 min apart. So we might need to set him (and his wife?) straight.
The attendance was duly noted and positions set with the all-star line up of:
Aga - Cyc rep
Bruce - Special appearance
Chris - keeping the streets safe (DPP)
Dan - fashioning a new pair of sunglasses and a Cyc race bag
Guille - Keeping the dream alive for Lance Armstrong having completed a 10km cycle to get to the yacht club
Hai-Yen - The bruises on the legs are not domestic violence Chris. I promise.
Luke - supplying the best deals on Diesel jeans this week
Ollie - MROCP training required
Tris - Putting up with a sail change for a race that we didn't even finish
The weather was according to Luke "Ace" Watson, blowing white caps in the morning in Rose Bay. He came over prepared with jacket and fleece for a re-make of last week's challenges. King Neptune decided to change the wind from South to Westerly before the race start. The blow gradually dropped and became a little warmer than cool and not stronger than a puff.
The number 2 head-sail (jib) was hoisted and it became very obvious that it needed to be replaced by the number 1 (big berther). Thanks Tris.
Once everything was set, all positions were assumed and crew cohesion was at a high. The race was another time staggered start and we got our timing perfect. The committee boat end of the line was the favoured side and we got close and crossed within seconds. We picked the right side of Clark Island as the wind started to peeter out. Guillermo got caught on an override again but has promised to have the 2 wraps sorted and rope knife now stowed below deck.
The Clarke Island buoy became elusive as the wind direction began to swing 40-50 degrees, altering the lay-line on every tack. The down-wind leg was looking extremely slow and all surrounding boats (not under motor) were nearly motionless. Aga jumped at the suggestion by stand-in Cap that maybe we should crack out the drinks. Wine and beer hit the deck in record time.
After a review of the course, the 1 knot boat speed and the lack of any wind we decided to pull the pin. Motoring back to the Cyca we passed the far trailing S/V Circe, Mr Smith appeared to be happy to see our withdrawal and was determined to finish today race to ensure his victory over Nemesis.
They clocked out a record time of 03 hours 27min, finishing at 3pm (last in the fleet). It must have been tough on his crew for the gruelling hours of wondering if the Committee boat might still be waiting for their finish on the shortened course.
Thought of the week: Work Less, Sail More
Race 1 - A little bit blowy
04/29/2012, Sydney Harbour
First of all, thanks for all those who came to Sunday's race. Everyone's contribution big and small helped us pull together an action filled water drenching (rail riders), that had ropes slashed & head bashed.
The weather was forecast to set some pressure on the new season of debutants and old salts. 18-20 knots of breeze and blowing from the South prompted last minute preparation of reef lines on the main sail (never used) and the number 3 jib on deck in a bag. Who would of thought of checking the number 3 for battens?
Luckily Nemesis had a full crew of 10 p.o.b. as gusts reached 30 knots according to the trusty instruments, (woops, did someone press a button - speed over the ground, but no wind or depth).
Guillermo (aka Guille) was able to place an extra 3 Spainards on the wet foredeck for ballast. One of them was very green on boats (in both senses). Sea sickness pills were not going to save this latina from her white knuckled deck scramble on each tack, and lower-side water plunges (just managing to stay aboard). Nada Mas.
Misinformation was ripe from our friends (?) from S/V Grasshoper during sunset drinks on the eve of the race, about the type of start line we would be running. Alex and Andrew of Grasshopper argued and then agreed that it was an usual line start. The notice of race didn't provide any clues of the staggered time start as it said: Sydney 38's at 11.20am, and Rest of the fleet at 11.30am. I guess none of us saw the title of the race.
Our stand-in Navigator (Tristan - brought out of retirement from S/V Sarabande) had the timer working off the start boat hooter. An obvious post-ponement occured, and in our confusion we decided to rely on another division K boat for our start line crossing (10min ahead of our true staggered start time). New crew member Ollie Comedy Brown (still looking for a new gig - anyone employing?) was down below to catch the VHF recall for our early start.
The first lap went without much complication, until we navigated in inner part of Watsons Bay for a marker that rested mid-harbour. The windward leg back up the harbour, Guille wrapped a jib line good and proper in a knot on the winch. The rope had little hope so we cut them into dog leads for Jeff and Kirsty.
Crew came together well for the rest of the race, while boats around us were wiping out. Broken masts, popped spinnakers, bent spinnaker poles, and rounding up boats gave us piece of mind that we weren't the only ones being put to the test.
The race finished with no clear indication of our placing but happiness to survived without any injuries....until. The sail drop in the shadow of Darling Point was super busy - we had enough room to drop the jib, then a quick jibe and re-set to drop the main. Dan received the boom mid back of the head despite the boom being in tight midships, the swing was enough cause vision blur and a trip to St Vincents Hospital for thorough check up.
The final result has us place 2nd, and Dan received the memorabilia/Prize bag as a token for putting his body on the line and losing his sunnies. Big thanks to Chris for his good work on the Main and Hai-yen (also newbie) on the runners.
Thought of the day: Keep your head low
KB, Pefect Sailing Day
04/22/2012, Sydney Harbour
It's the first race of the Audi Winter Series for 2012... definitely my favourite racing on Sydney Harbour. We are a little disappointed that our great rival from last year MRX is a different division - but I'm sure we will find someone else to have a great tussle with during the series.
A small incident with leaving Jeff in charge of getting paperwork to the sailing office on time means that we are not officially entered into race, but it doesn't matter since this is a non point score race and we are all keen to get back onto the water after a month or so without racing.
The first and last races of the series are Ladies Day - which means I'm helming.. not something I do a lot of in harbour races, so its a different view of the world for me today. Its a cracking day for it - beautiful and sunny with enough wind to keep us moving but not too much to stress us out, which is great since there are only 4 of us today - Jeff, Doug, Luke and myself.
It's a single lap around the course - shorter than normal and everything is going great - I'm getting some good coaching from Jeff and Doug and feeling pretty comfortable on the helm. As we approach the final rounding mark before the last leg home we are in close with a couple of other boats, all is going well until Jeff calls out to take a look over my shoulder... what looks like every boat on the harbour is bearing down on the final mark just a few boat lengths behind us - I guess the handicapper had a good day out. Aaaggghh - now I'm really focused on getting around the mark, and we go around nice and smooth and as we head for the finish line all I can hear is "you have no rights" being called out behind me - glad to be away from that mess.
A quick run home on the breeze and we are done for the day - looking forward to the rest of the season!
Red Sky in the morning...
jT, cool with 50% cloud cover, red morning sky
01/03/2012, Denison Canal pier
Red sky in the morning, sailors take warning! That is the old sailing adage and was the case at 5:30am this morning as I brewed my coffee. With the Rolex Sydney Hobart yacht race behind us, I'm sitting in the cockpit and trying to pull together my thoughts to blog and chronicle the race and after race festivities. Over the next week, I'll be posting blogs BACK in time, so make sure you refresh your browser and go find the older posts in chronological order.
I am delivering the boat back to Sydney with our friend and normal race navigator, Del Elson. As I will catch you up over the next week, suffice to say that we are shorter handed delivering Nemesis back to Sydney with only two up.
Based on conversations with other friends and yachties, I wanted to take the short-cut home via a narrow and shallow canal just below Hobart. From the famous "Iron Pot" lighthouse, we turned left and in about two hours pulled up to tie up alongside some friends, Maluka of Kermandie and Menace. We sit here in the morning waiting for the bridge operator to start at 9am. Once the bridge is hoisted we'll travel the ~12nm to the sea, cutting off over 50nm if we had to return via Tasman Island (as in the race).
Gale force South to South-Westerlies are predicted up and down the East coast of Tassie today, so the red sky in the morning was a pretty key indicator! We'll see how is goes as we move up the coast in the shadow and lee of Tasmania.
Glad to be back blogging and look forward to sharing the rest of the Nemesis story with you... "The Long Road to Hobart" is finally concluded!
We Made It!
12/31/2011, Constitution Dock, Hobart
The start of some serious NYE celebrations, the after shot soon after our arrival into Hobart just before 5pm on NYE.