Over labour day weekend, Dad and I competed in the PIC Coastal Classic for 2018. The 120 nautical mile race felt a lot longer than last year due to the conditions. With the majority race being on the wind or tight reaching it was less than ideal for the small boat shines off the breeze. Nevertheless, the team put in a solid effort regardless of what was thrown at us and sailed to what we could delivering a pleasing result.
After a rough start getting rolled by bigger boats on the approach to the start put us on the back foot. However, the boys helped me find lanes and sailed some excellent numbers considering the lousy air of larger boats ahead of us in the light conditions. After leaving the main harbour, the entrance to the harbour under Rangitoto was shifty and puffy which made finding a mode hard. Once out past the Rangitoto lighthouse the breeze built and in the steepening waves we got inside a slowly shifting breeze to the east, which was favourable as we were inside the other boats we had our sights set on.
The Tiri channel was a nightmare, which continued to Cape Rodney, which was the light breeze and short steep chop. It was apparent that the teams moral had dropped so after making it out of there but on the way up to the hen and chicks we choose to go through the middle, which was a great choice. That’s when the mood changed, the breeze was stable at 9-11 knots, and the music was turned on, and the food was going around. Within minutes the team’s spirit was back, and it was all on for the night.
Just before dark, I took a half an hour nap so that I could stay awake during the night and that was a great call by Dad as compared to last year in the day I was far more concentrated. After carrying the fro-sail from the hen and chicks to the Cape Brett, it was now time to shoot the gap. Thankfully, we got the gap comfortably after being marooned for about 20 seconds, popped an A1.5 spinnaker, and we were off.
My second coastal even though it was longer was a lot of fun and the extra time put a whole different perspective on sailing coastal and what it would be like offshore maybe. When we started to relax back at the motel after the race, it was clear that we had become one with ocean movements. It felt like the whole room was moving around me even the people but was pleased not to feel weathered by the conditions but just tired from only having 30 mins sleep in 24 hours. Big thanks to all the team for putting the work in on the boat especially Andrew Clarke and Luke Heslewood for the extra time they put in and Dad for supporting the team and I providing a platform for us to do the race.