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Audi Twilight Series Race 1.

Last updated on 16 January 2010

The Quantum R1 Assymetric giving lots of down-wind horse power.

Race 1 in a nutshell:

Position IRC: 11th from 15 
Total Entries: 64 
Distance: 11.4nm. 
Max Speed: 11.1 knots 
Ave speed: 5.9 knots 
Weather Forecast: Clear. Wind South West 8 knots. Temp 36C 
Weather Actual: Accurate 
Course: 10 (S) – 4 (S) - Gybe mark (S) - Paarden island (S) - 4 (S) - Gybe Mark (S) - Paarden Island (S) - Bridge Hut and laid mark (S) 
Seas: Flat with long period swell of 0.8m 
Sails: Full (North), No. 1 Genoa (Quantum), R1 Asymmetric Spinnaker. (Quantum) 
Crew: Trygve Roberts (Helm), Charles Crosby (Main), Greg Harrowsmith (Genoa), Phillip Rentschler (Pit), Daniel Spratley (Mast) Simon Penso (Bow), Total: 505 kg

With the Western Cape enduring blistering heat, rigging the boat had the sweat dripping off our faces. We all agreed that the weather was most 'un-Cape'. Wherever does one see temperatures in the mid 30's with a south westerley wind blowing in from the Atlantic? Add a bank of cumulo-nimbus clouds all along the mountains in the east and it was nothng short of very unusual. I waived the life jacket rule (except for young Daniel) due to the intense heat as we headed out to the start area. The course was one we had a few weeks back and it did sort of favour the sports boats with a vague triangular format, so we carefully discussed a starting strategy. We had the usual batch of 40+ footers to compete against, so we decided on a risky port tack start about halfway down the line as there was a fair bit of starboard bias on the line. To be fair, we haven't had an OCS call for at least two years and the natural defence for getting one is "If you are not getting the odd OCS call, you're not trying hard enough" 

So there we were in a light breeze, reaching down the start line on port with the entire fleet coming up slowly on the headed starboard tack - except for the Landmark 43 'Windpower' who were comin up under us - also on port. That meant we had absolutely no rights and nowhere to go, except keep clear. I used them as a timing guage and with the Pacer being roughly half their length, I luffed up hard with five seconds to go. Windpower had at least three meters of bow ahead of us, so I figured we could get away with being marginally over the line, as all bridge crew eyes would be on the bigger boat. I was wrong. They picked both boats out and we got the call about 20 seconds later, requiring the 'duck and weave through the fleet with no rights' technique to get back to the line and restart. It cost us about a minute and a half, which put us third last with Windpower and our sister ship, Pacer 3, behind us. Windpower quickly powered over us. Not a good start at all! 

We rounded the top mark just behind the L34 'Lapwing' and got our kite up and heated up for speed. We did three gybes getting down to the gybe mark, after which the course produced a beam reach to Paarden island. We had an awful lot of catching up to do. The J27 and two L26's were still ahead of us as well as the Mount Gay 30, but we managed to squeeze ahead of the lot by the time we got to Paarden island. 

The first beat back to No.4 produced little opportunity for overtaking. We sailed well but averaged only 5.4 knots upwind. The J27 was holding us on boat speed, but we had a little more height than them. They were sporting a brand new mainsail from North. 

Once we rounded the weather mark, we drew rapidly ahead of the smaller boats. Pacer 3 was really struggling in the light conditions and not finding the right gears. We were already at the gybe mark before they got to the weather mark. We managed to get ahead of the Beneteau 7.5 sports boat on the upwind leg and sustained that gap downwind, drawing gradually ahead. 

By the time we got to Paarden Island for the final beat back to the finish, we were well and truly mixing it with the cruising class 1 boats and ended up having a nice dice with 50 footer, which we managed to pip over the line. We gained a lot on each tack and they would gradually reel us in with better hull speed, but in the end our tactics were better. 

It was probably the coolest place to be in Cape Town - on Table Bay. And whilst we knew we had not done well due to our recall, it was fabulous just being out there sailing.


1st 8 Seconds Harry Brehm Leisure 42 
2nd Windpower Nankin Landmark 43 
3rd New Balance Gumption Nicholas Mace Fast 40 
4th Bally Hoo Too Iain Park-Ross Mumm 36 (mod) 
5th Addis in Cape Restaurant Alexandre Monat Archambault 35 
6th Lobelia Gordon Kling IMX 40 
7th Hors D'Oeuvre Peter Bam L26 
8th Warlock Ian Slatem L26 
9th Naledi Felix Scheder-Bischen J 120 
10th Lapwing Burger/Keen L 34 
11th Regent Express Trygve Roberts Pacer 27s 
12th Tenacity Errol Stern Fast 42 
13th Hill Billy Peter Hill J27 
14th Always Well Ralph Thomas First 7.5 
15th Pacer 3 James Harvey Pacer 27s