14 September 2012

SSANZ Two handed series 2012

Andar (Longhaul Division) returning home
The SSANZ (Shorthanded Sailing Association of New Zealand) B&G Triple Series just completed with the third race on 8 September (the 100 miler).  The forecast was for very fresh conditions from the nor-west, and for the 'Longhaul' fleet the trip out to Channel Island encountered extreme conditions, forcing the retirement of many of the boats, and all of the multihulls.  Mike Elly, sailing his White 40 Nosaka in the Longhaul 1 Division, described the conditions on their attempted approach to the Channel Island turning point: "Wind was mid 30's and we were getting laid over but still hanging in there until we got to the mounting sea state. Wave sets were about half the boat length and breaking sets were fully vertical. We were pulling off hard at the tops to soften the blow and landing on our side, full rail and stanchions under. The keel bulb was flexing torsionally so much from the impacts that it sent a second shudder up through the fin and shocked the boat each landing. We then started to encounter more breaking sets. Several of them were so vertical that they knocked us down then the whole wave broke over the whole length of the boat at one time."

Quarter Pint (Farr 727) on the beat from Auckland Harbour to Navy Buoy (Whangaparaoa)

Conditions closer to the land were at the limit but saw a much higher percentage of the Shorthaul and Smallboat fleets crossing the finish line late at night, many with tales of reefs, small headsails, granny gybes and hair-raising gennaker rides. I competed with my brother in the Smallboat division on our Tracker, and had a solid race coming in 4th on PHRF for second overall. 

See results at http://www.ssanz.co.nz/results.html?id=74)
Photos of the Longhaul start at http://www.oceanphotography.co.nz/lightbox/index.php?module=media&pId=100&category=gallery/Ocean-photography/Marine-events/SSANZ1002012.
Wind picking up on the two-sail reach to Gannet Rock

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