The coastal classic is held this weekend of every year . It’s a long weekend anyway plus an extra day added to really make it something. This year, Tony had the desire to take his 1975 glass 32 footer on the race and so it was. To recap. As a crew , we race a 30 foot cruiser in the winter series, Waione in the classics, and the others are racing a 32 ft Townson in the Wed night racing. So dragging J’Taime out for the coastal was inspired. No one can accuse us of not using our boats.
The race is 120nm from Auckland to Russell in the Bay of Islands and our start was at 12.20pm.
The NZ coastline is basically orientated north /south so the gale force northerlies which had held up the AM cup racing meant a long bash was in front of us. Fortunately, a westerly change which was forecast ,arrived at about 11.00 so we had eased sheets for most of the way. 100 miles on port tack., and the last 20 approx with just a couple of tacks to finish.
The northerlies had set up a sea and the new westerly chopped it up for the first 50 miles or so. We were fine, no real drinks though( well, perhaps just one),... no greasy food, just some dry tucker lest we might not hang onto it. There were three wooden classics in the race. People I usually race against in Waione and they had a pretty miserable time of it. Two in particular ended up drastically short handed because of sea sickness. In one of those never to be forgotten moments, the skipper of one of them related to me how he got tossed out of his bunk and ended up with his head in a bucket which had recently been “ used”. When I got back off the floor, clutching my stomach from laughing, both people concerned had new nicknames and they ain’t nice.
The entire crew of the other classic had yoghurt at some stage. This little treat immediately preceded them all being rather dramatically sick. Yoghurt! On a yacht race. I don’t know .... seems rather odd to me. Anyway, seeing as this particular boat was always regarded as a “ rich “one and is restored beautifully,... naturally I couldn't refrain from commenting on the cultured appearance she has. Very cultured in fact ,all over the inside of her. Yoghurt.... really.( shakes head,LOL )
Our crew know each other really well , and our newest addition , Suzy, has her own boat and is dead keen on sailing. No formal watches were necessary, it was lumpy, the wind breezed up for the first 50 and dropped away for the second. A couple of sail changes were necessary and we ran a compulsory harness at night policy . we reefed several times and shook them out as needed, but generally it was a nice laid back sail and 21 hours later we were in.( 9.26 am Saturday morning)
A rainbow at half way.
Piercy island at sunrise.( the first turn in the race)
Prizegiving and party ashore was next for Saturday night and we left 3 handed for Auckland on Sun morning about 8.00am. What a gorgeous sail back. Popped the kite at Piercy Island and carried ¾ of the way back to Kawau Island approx 100 miles. Nice little rides on the northerly swells that were still there. I hit 12.28 down one of them but Bill got 14.46 on another.This is in a fat old 1975 heavy displacement boat mind. Good going for her for sure. Small problem with the kite when we tore the foot on a new light fitting on the pulpit but we carried it all day anyway. We carried that kite as the wind went around and until we did three broaches and decided the change was permanent. A shame , but it had to come down.
With nighfall came the rain and we were treated to an amazing display of dolphins in phosphoresence. It was pitch black. Imagine a dolphin image in phosphor with contrails off it’s wing tips and a kind of blurred , more rounded shape. The dolphin itself wasn’t there, it’s image was. Incredible. I watched them thinking “ this is a dream in hydro dynamics” You could see all the eddies and water flow. Like a wind tunnel test of a car.
Anyway, we got in about 10 in the black. Followed the lights because visibility was poor to say the least. Great fun.
The next day was the last 20 miles back to Auckland and it blew about 25 or 30 knots most of the way.
We turned into Auckland harbour for the last couple of miles and it threw 40 knots at us right on the nose. Pasted we were, but what a great ride again.What was the only other boat out with jib and mains'l?. An old AM cup boat refurbished for charter daysails.! They could do it!
What Auckland Harbour had in store for us.
Fantastic weekend. Terrific.
[ 10-29-2002, 12:03 AM: Message edited by: John B ]