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IRC Winter Series Race 8 & 9.

Last updated on 25 Sep 2009

Race in a Nutshell:
Winter in South Africa!
Position Race 8: 1st 
Position Race 9: 4th 
Total Entries : 11 
Ave Speed: 5.8 kts (Race 8) 
Ave Speed: 4.7 kts (Race 9) 
Max Speed: 8.9 kts 
Distance: 8.0 nm. 
Weather Forecast: Clear, sunny. Wind NW 10 knots - Temp 17C 
Weather Actual: Accurate - except wind was West 5 to 8 knots 
Baro: 1009 hPa. 
Course: R8: Triangles x 2 with a downwind finish 
R9: Windward/Leeward x 2 with a downwind finish 
Seas: Flat 
Sails: Full Main, No. 1 Genoa (Quantum), A2 Light Assymetric Spinnaker 
Crew: Trygve Roberts (Helm), Charles Crosby (Main), Greg Harrowsmith (Genoa), Phillip Rentschler (Pit), Simon Penso (Bow), Total: 460 kg

After our calamitous Robben Island Race two weeks ago, we cast off at 10h00 onto a dead calm Table Bay for the final two IRC Winter races. All the hard work we had done on Pacer 3 was negated by the fact that the new boat was entered as a new entry, so I had the dubious pleasure of my name appearing twice in the same results sheets on two different boats. 

The new Regent Express branding and sponsors logo had been applied during the week by Sharpline Graphix - and a great job they did too. I can recommend them. 

Lying on the foredeck was our brand new Quantum Genoa. It is really a beautiful sail. By the end of the day, we agreed that it accounted for about 4 minutes in the hour of better boat speed. We also got our first bullet on the new boat after sailing an impeccable race. 

There was a one hour postponement as the bridge boat laid the marks for the day as a gentle 5 knot westerly settled over the bay. We went over to the gybe mark where a number of L26's were practising mark roundings for Lipton Cup. As we sailed past the bouy our keel hooked the ground tackle and we spent the next 15 minutes trying to untangle ourselves. That included Charles being lowered head first over the stern and unshackling the bouy from the anchor rope. Finally we were free, and in the process we probably dragged the mark a little closer to the shore, creating a tight set of reaches. 

Race 8 kicked off after noon. We have learned by now that line position is less important than speed and clear air in these small boats, so we headed down towards the pin with the Pacer 42, PUMA and an L26. We got a very good start going fast and immediately put ourselves into a position where we could tack and clear the whole fleet comfortably. 

We sailed for a few minutes on starboard tack, then went back over to the left of the course. The breeze was lifting persistently on starboard tack. Those on the left of the course scored. 

As usual PUMA was first at the weather mark a few hundred meters ahead of Lobelia and Maestro who also had a good first leg. We rounded 4th right on the transom of Maestro. The reach was tight, but we were able to hold the A2 and keep station with Lobelia and Maestro. Not bad for a 27 foot boat. 

Our gybe was good and we dropped Lobelia whose gybe was not good. We rounded the bottom mark in third place and definitely looked on for a handicap win if we could sustain the upwind speed. 

The new Quantum genoa was setting to perfection and the difference in speed and point was noticeable. The boat was changing gears smoothly and accelleration out of tacks was excellent. The new sail is not a furling sail, so we have to drop it onto the foredeck. The hanks were a little tight on the forestay which made things a little awkward and the lazy guy of the kite always hooked on the hanks when rehoisting, so we have asked the loft to put velcro tabs on instead of hanks - they work really well on the #1. 

Our second beat was solid and we lost just one place - to Addis (Archembault 35), but rounded on their stern. We were again able to hold the forty footers on the reaching legs and passed Lobelia on the final reach to the finish. Addis gives us 18 seconds per hour, so all we had to do was sit on their transom (which they didn't like very much) till the finish line to win from Addis by 7 seconds. 

Pacer 3 sailed by James Harvie and a pick up crew had less good fortune, finishing last and not having a happy time flying the smaller A4 kite. 

1st Regent Express [Pacer 27 Sport] 00.55.52 
2nd Addis in Cape [A35] 00.55.59 
3rd Warlock [L26] 00.57.14 
4th Hors d-Ouvers [L26] 00.58.05 
5th Lobelia [IMX40] 00.58.18 
6th PUMA [Pacer 42] 00.58.21 
7th Alladin [Farr 40] 01.00.17 
8th Sensation [L34] 01.02.34 
9th 8 Seconds [L42] 01.04.51 
10th Maestro [Fast42] 01.06.15 
11th Pacer 3 [Pacer 27S] 01.09.16 

Race 9 followed quickly with the breeze slightly fresher, but not more than 10 knots. We again opted for a pin end start and managed a reasonably clean getaway but not quite as slick as the first race. 

This race was a windward/leeward and those DDW legs nearly always cause our undoing on the sports boat. We have this never ending debate about whether we should soak low and deep and stay with the fleet or sail hotter and faster, but travel greater distance. Our experience has shown that we nearly always lose out when we sail hotter angles in light breeze. 

Despite a good beat, we lost distance on the leaders on the downwind leg. We had a couple of very interesting mark roundings at the leeward mark, but managed to get out of the melee unscathed. The second beat had us sailing at a steady 6.1 knots in 10 knots of breeze with the new genoa providing good accelleratrion out of the tacks and generally giving the boat a lively feel. Well done Quantum - we think your headsail is a winner! 

This race was won by Addis but we were seperated from 2nd place by only 10 seconds and had to be content with a 4th. The IRC fleet is very competitive as can be evidenced by the compact finishing times. 

1st Addis [A35] 00.45.41 
2nd Lobelia [IMX40] 00.47.26 
3rd Hord d Ouvers [L26] 00.47.28 
4th Regent Express [Pacer 27] 00.47.36 
5th Warlock [L26] 00.48.31 
6th PUMA [Pacer 42] 00.48.32 
7th Alladin [Farr 40] 00.49.27 
8th Maestro [Fast 42] 00.50.09 
9th Sensation [L34] 00.51.07 
10th 8 Seconds [L42] 00.51.16 
11th Pacer 3 [Pacer 27 S] 00.59.40