Freedom Coastal Classic
165 Boats entered the annual 120 mile dash from Auckland to Russell in the bay of islands. 3 days before the start it was looking light, slow and upwind. Then easterlys were forecast at around 10 knots and we all started getting keen.
On the day it was 15 knots north easterly so tight upwind to Tiri channel (10 miles north of Auckland) and then a lay / tight reach to Cape Brett. As far as an upwind coastal went it wasn’t bad.
We got a crap start after a discussion about start times on the boat. Then just ducked Pulse in time to see the whites of Tim C’s eyes ( sorry tim). We elected to short tack up the north shore and then around Whangapoaroa in flat water and had used up our coastal quota of tacks ( 5 tacks allowed for coastal) by Tiri. There was a discussion that Bon accord harbour at Kawau island was looking pretty good if we weren’t laying Kawau!!
We were going pretty nicely at 10’s – 12’s flying a hull working through the leaners. Just one hitch that we lost the masthead halyard out the back of the boat, oh well, we’ll grab it later in a tack. Wups forgot to grab it, Wups forgot to grab it again.
It then became a lay to Flat rock, which turned into a lay to Cape Rodney and it was all pretty pleasant with the water flattening out and solid 8 / 10 knots of boat speed. We were right next to Exodus at Cape Rodney with Tigre not far ahead when the breeze lifted and they both horizon’ed us as they cracked off. We peeled to the fro which felt pretty good and lifted to Whangarei heads.
Somewhere in here the tail of the masthead halyard fell in the piss and pulled the halyard to the top of the mast, F$%K !!
Around Cape Rodney the wind lightened and we decided we needed that masthead halyard. So Liz ( all 67kg of her) volunteered to go up on the fro halyard with a boathook and have a crack at retrieving it, in around a 1 metre sea, Kudos!!. This was unsuccessful as every time she hooked it the boa thook got shaken off and the bloody thing dropped back into the mast from the weight of the rope.
After 15 minutes of this poor Liz was pretty battered at the top of the rig and we gave up. Hmm ok plan b what do we do now ?? So we headed high behind the Hen island to some flatter water and lighter breeze, dropped the main, headed down wind and get her up on the main halyard. This worked really well except poor Liz was getting really battered on a swinging rotating rig.
We were back sailing again within 5 minutes and had the masthead zero up 10 minutes later. She’s a top foredeck that Liz ( but not bright no way you’d catch me up there J). More Kudos !!
After the hen n chicks the breeze progressively got lighter as the rich got richer and the poor buggers at the back got knocked in a dropping breeze. Cape Brett at midnight was a sight for sore eyes, followed by a light kite run into the bay where the large leaners caught us.
The race had a final kicker right at the finish when the wind went right forward. For us it wasn’t too bad as we just pulled the kite right in and went low. I heard it screwed up a few people though. Then a few rums and a feed with the multi raft up and gosh what’s that light stuff in the sky? Why are the tui’s all waking up?
Oh its dawn, ok bedtime.
6th multi overall
2nd 8.5 multi
3rd multi under 10 metres
Not bad for a 40 year old girl. – Anarchist Phil.
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Freedom Coastal Classic