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Twilight Series Race 2

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Race in a nutshell: 20th October, 2010
Position PHRF Class 1: 9th from 27 entries
Position IRC Class 1: 9th from 14 entries
Total Entries: 60
Distance: 9.1nm.
Max Speed: 15.2 knots
Ave speed: 6.7 knots
Time: 1 hrs 22 mins (approx.)
Weather Forecast: Cloudy with 30% rain. Wind SW 25 knots becoming West. Temp 18C
Weather Actual: Wind WNW 15 to 18 knots. partly cloudy. No rain.
Course: 10 (S) – 2 (S)- Paarden Isl (P) - 2 (P) - #10 (P)
Seas: Lumpy - Swell 2.5m
Sails: Full Main (Quantum), No. 2 Genoa (Quantum), R1 Asymmetric Spinnaker. (Quantum)
Crew: Trygve Roberts (Helm), Oliver Hobson (Genoa/Spinnaker), Phillip Rentschler (Main), Simon Penso (Pit), Connor Leech (Mast) Joshua Banks (Bow), Total: 470 kg

Moral of the story is never trust the weather forecast! The predicted storm never arrived and neither did the rain. In fact, other than a lumpy sea, conditions were very good for a yacht race.

The combined fleet numbered around 60 boats which is a very good turnout considering how dismal the forecast was, but there was a chill in the air - enough to don a warm jacket and a beanie. We left the outboard down below and sailed off the pontoon sparing us all the hassle of motor on/motor off/stow - and besides, there is a certain satisfaction doing the mooring trick "unplugged, so to speak.

Our kite trimmer Charles, was away on business and we were fortunate to get hold of Oliver Hobson to stand in. The start line indicated plenty of starboard bias, so we knew all the heavy-weights would be at the pin and rolling the little boats as they wished. We started as close to leeward of the big boats as we dared and pulled off a neat start just under Hifidelity. We were getting boxed in from below by a Farr 40 and due to the lumpy sea state we had to foot off a bit to be able to punch through the waves. We took our gaps when we found them, arriving at the top mark about mid fleet, which is not bad considering the conditions. It was nice seeing the 25ft Beneteau sports boat back on the water and something for us to reasonably measure ourselves against.

We did a standard bearaway hoist quickly accellerating up to 11 knots and soon started passing bigger boats. The course was somewhat port skewed so things worked in our favour as we made good speed downwind at a favourable angle to the leeward mark. We overtook at least 12 boats on that single leg, but we had to do a gybe to get onto the correct line for the mark rounding, so we came across on the starboard gybe managing to clear all the port tackers without any problems. We did a Mexican drop once past Benba but that meant we were in the outside position at the leeward mark. That caused us to sail in dirties for a few minutes as we had the 52ft Thunderchild right on our stern and Benba directly ahead and climbing on us. We sweated it out and tacked almost on the layline, giving us a very long port tack. Boat speed was good and we were holding the A35's tacking angle upwind - thanks to our new No2 Jib from Quantum - a great headsail!

The final leg would be a dead run down to the finish line after a port rounding of the weather mark. We were just behind the Farr 38 'A-L' and hoped to be able to finish ahead of them - something we are rarely able to do on conventional courses. As we hoisted the R1, the halyard snap shackle came undone and went flying up to tangle around the spreaders. Oops! GAME OVER!!!!! That is the second time in as many races that we have had a snap shackle come loose on a halyard, so from here on we are going back to good ol' fashioned bowlines. We quickly debated whether we should try to send someone up the mast or switch to a fractional spinnaker, but the leg was too short for either plan, so we did the cruising boat thing and goose-winged the headsail and went Dead Down Wind. Surprisingly we were able to sustain between 8 and 9 knots boat speed, but downwind is the one leg that sports boats must seek an advantage and without a spinnaker it is a lost cause.

We ended 9th overall, which is not too bad considering the loss of the halyard. Sailing seems to be in a healthy state at RCYC with a great vibe on and off the water.

RESULTS PHRF Class 1 (Spinnaker)

1st Windpower - Landmark 43 - Rick Nankin
2nd Southern Storm - Pacer 376 - Harry Brehm
3rd Corum - Briand 43 - Jannie Reuvers
4th Puma Unleashed - Pacer 42 - Hylton Hale
5th Docksafe - A35 - Alexander Monet
6th Hifidelity - Welbourne 46 - Mark Sadler
7th Naledi - J120 - Felix Scheider-Bieschin
8th A-L - Farr 38 - Robbie van Rooyen
9th Regent Express - Pacer 27 Sport - Trygve Roberts
10th Benba - Leisure 42 - Dale Kushner
11th Always Well - Beneteau 7.5 - Ralph Thomas
12th Necessity - Beneteau 34.7 - Carol Booth
13th Flyer - Beneteau FC10 - Johan vd Westhuizen
14th Tenacity - Fast 42 - Errol Stern
15th Me2me - Farr 38 - Derek Shuttleworth
16th Majimoto - Farr 40 - Paul Mare
17th Zebra - X332 - Connie Papageorge
18th Freedom - Farr 38 - Carel vd Merwe
19th Periwinkle - Farr 38 - Brian Gardener
20th Aurora - Atlantic 49 - Mel Hawtrey
21st Celine lV - Comfortina 39 - Volker Vierhaus
22nd Maestro - Fast 42 - Ankie Roux
23rd Thunderchild - L52 - Rhett Goldswain
24th Sheshisa - Bavaria 38 - Lood Rabie
25th Gumption - ILC40 - Nic Mace (DNC)
26th Touch n Go - Lightwave 395 - Dave Smith (RTD)
27th Cape Storm - Pacer 376 - Sean Cummings (DNC)