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Cutty Sark Winter Series Race 1- 30th June, 2012

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GPS Track of Regent Express shows a very steady breeze, with a gradual backing for the triangle and a severe switch up the last beat. The wobbly bit on the leg from No.2 to Milnerton, shows we were unable to hold the masthead kite on the tight reach and switched down to a fractional one.

Course: Start #10 (S) – Dyang Family (S) – Paarden island (S) - No.10 - No.2 - Milnerton (S) - Paarden island (S) - No.1 0(S)/Finish
Wind & Seas: Mod NW (10 knots). Temp: 16C. Seas lumpy. Swells 3,5m with a 14 second interval. Kelp.
Sails: Full Main (Quantum); No.1 Genoa (Quantum); A-2 Spinnaker (North); A1 Spinnaker (Quantum; A3 Spinnaker (North)
Crew: Daniel Spratley, Allesandro Napoli, Craig Preston, Charles Crosby, Phillip Rentschler, Trygve Roberts. Total Mass: (490 kg)
Max Speed: 14.9 knots
Distance: 18.0 nm
Position : 5th
Fleet size: 6

The duel of the titans (Wind & Fire)
After a week of dismal winter weather, it was not too surprising to see a below average tally of boats on the start line. The organizers have deemed it fit to split the fleet into three divisions based on their ratings. It's a sound concept, until weather, fleet size and other variables get pitched into the equation.
Because of our rating, we are grouped into Div.1 with the forty footers. Our group was only six boats strong and included Windpower (Landmark 43), Vulcan (GP42), Majimoto (Farr 40), Viking (Farr 38), Rocket Signs (A35) and Regent Express (Pacer 27). In short we were destined to have a very long, lonely race all by ourselves as tail end Charlies for the entire race.

Conditions were both post and pre frontal with uncomfortable seas, big swells, chop, kelp, and moderate breeze coupled with icy temperatures. It was a multi class start and ours was excellent – probably the best in the fleet, which gave us a nice head start and it showed when the GP42 crossed tacks in close proximity to us after five minutes of racing. The course was unusually long – apparently some of the top skippers had decided that the sparseness of races needed to be countered by increasing the duration. And increase it, they did! We had an 18 nautical mile course to deal with, which consisted of a windward/leeward followed by a triangle.

We sailed very well considering the conditions, but it soon became apparent that we were no match for any of the 40 footers upwind. It took us one hour and seven minutes to get to the weather mark (Dyang Family). The course was not particularly tactical with the breeze being steady in strength and direction. We then had a five nautical mile dead run down to Paarden Island.

Triangles
The second section of the course was shorter, but at least it had two beam reaches in it, which give us some opportunity to play catch up. We rounded the second weather mark (No.2) still firmly in last place and that status quo remained right till the end of the race, although we did make up some ground on the A35 on the second reach, mainly due to the fact that they only decided to fly a spinnaker when they were more than halfway down the leg to Paarden island, but it was still insufficient for us to get closer than 50 boat lengths.

Synopsis
Windpower only just beat Vulcan on corrected time, but it was good to see the GP42 taking their first line honours win and giving the Landmark 43 a good run for its money. They apparently had the designer (Sean Carkeek) on board. The rest of the results in Div.1 followed the actual finishing order.

Results:
Rank Boat Class SailNo Skipper TCF Start Finish Elapsed Corrected BCE BCR Ave speed Points
1 Windpower Landmark 43 SA 3737 Rick Nankin 1.25 140000 163319 02:33:19 03:11:39 00:00:00 1.25 7.005 kn 1
2 Vulcan GP 42 ESP 8900 Hylton Hale 1.335 140000 162428 02:24:28 03:12:52 00:00:55 1.327 7.434 kn 2
3 Rocket Signs Arch35 FRA Alex Monat 1.1 140000 170447 03:04:47 03:23:16 00:10:34 1.037 5.812 kn 3
4 Majimoto II Farr 40 SA 765 Paul Mare 1.14 140000 170004 03:00:04 03:25:17 00:11:57 1.064 5.964 kn 4
5 Regent Express P27 17 Trygve Roberts 1.09 140000 170918 03:09:18 03:26:20 00:13:29 1.012 5.674 kn 5