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Lewmar Twilight Race No.4

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Race in a nutshell: 10th November, 2010

Position PHRF Class 1: 6th from 11 entries
Position IRC Class 1: 7th from 9 entries
Total entries all classes: 59
Distance: 6.0 nm.
Max Speed: 14.0 knots
Ave speed: 6.7 knots
Time: 0 hr 50 mins 44secs
Weather Forecast: Clear. Wind SE 10 knots Temp 24C
Weather Actual: Accurate.
Course: 10 (P) – Paarden Isl (P) - Milnerton (S) - Paarden Isl (S) - #10 (S)
Seas: Flat
Sails: Full Main (Quantum), No. 1 Genoa (Quantum), R1 Asymmetric Spinnaker. (Quantum)
Crew: Trygve Roberts (Helm), Phillip Rentschler ( Main ), Charles Crosby (Genoa/Spinnaker), Simon Penso (Pit), Connor Leech (Mast), Erhardt Joubert (Bow) : Total: 503 kg

Old King Neptune has a great way of levelling things out. Two skippers who were totally unreasonable last week, were both brought to book by the old king of the sea and suitably humbled. I really derived a lot of satisfaction from that lot. Let's leave it there and remember..... he's watching you!

Wednesdays twilight race produced lovely benign weather in the middle of some unseasonal rainy days, with a light south easterly and flat seas - just what we enjoy on the Pacer 27. With a new format of three starts instead of two, there was a lot more space on the start line and consequently much easier finding a good spot with clear air. We had a lovely start and managed to find good clean breeze with only the Beneteau 7.5 'Always Well' to weather of us. They would go on to win the Spinnaker Class 1 race and all due cudos to them - they sailed a blinder and try as we may, we just could not shake them off, which we normally do quite easily. They chose their channels well and made no mistakes. They also very nearly beat us boat for boat. We only cleared the line 6 seconds ahead of them.

Halfway up the beat the Fast 42 'Tenacity' was coming over on port and again it was nice to see them bearing away for us in the smaller boat, to clear behind us. That is more of the stuff we need to see at RCYC. I gave their skipper a wave of acknowledgement. A few minutes later they rolled us, which slowed us down a bit, but we we were looking good at Paarden Island mark, as we got the R1 asso up smartly and quickly sailed through to windward of about 20 boats on the downwind leg to Milnerton, doing a steady 10 to 11 knots. At the mark we found a nice clean patch of water for our strike and rounded close behind two 40 footers. Everyone was tacking early onto port, but we elected to go out towards the beach on the obviously headered starboard tack. Once we tacked over on to port, we had a good clear lane through to Paarden Island mark. 3/4 way up that leg we had about 200 meters windward separation from 'Always Well' so we wrote them off as being a 'sports boat that cant point' but much to our chagrin, they nailed the mark without having to tack. Good stuff Lance!

At Paarden Island mark (if you can believe this) our spinnaker snap shackle on the halyard came undone (again!) during the hoist, so we wasted almost a minute trying to retrieve it and then tie a bowline, which in our haste was fed the wrong way round the lifeline. More agonising seconds passed as the knot had to be untied, re-reeved, and retied again. The bow guys looked quite embarrassed as I had asked them to get rid of the snap shackle two weeks ago and only use bowlines for the spinnaker halyards in future. At last we got the R1 up and we got the boat planing and started overtaking boats again. Just before the finish line, we sailed nicely into a hole and wasted a few more seconds gybing and gybing again to clear the finish line.

Looking at the results we were only 28 seconds away from 2nd place. The 6th place we actually achieved is an indicator of just how close the racing actually was. So, as always, it is the boat that makes the least mistakes, that comes out on top.

1st Always Well - Beneteau 7.5 - 1.020 - Lance Burger - 0hr 51m 51s
2nd Necessity - Beneteau 34.7 - 1.050 - David Booth - 0hr 54m 20s
3rd Southern Storm - Pacer 376 - 1.175 - Harry Brehm - 0hr 54m 28s
4th Naledi - J120 - 1.145 - Felix Scheider-Bieschin 0hr 54m 38s
5th Puma Unleashed - Pacer 42 - 1.250 - Hylton hale - 0hr 54m 43s
6th Regent Express - Pacer 27 Sport - 1.080 - Trygve Roberts - 0hr 54m 48s
7th Windpower - Landmark 43 - 1.250 - Rick Nankin - 0hr 55m 14s
8th Gumption - ILC40 - 1.270 - Nick Mace - 0hr 55m 16s
9th Me2Me - Farr 38 - 1.070 - 0hr 55m 33s
10th Tenacity - 1.170 - Errol Stern - 0hr 57m 16s
11th Docksafe - A35 - 1.105 - Alexandre Monet - 0hr 57m 29s