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Round Bowen Island 2019

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gshannon View Drop Down
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    Posted: 12 June 2019 at 20:28
Tangleberry, our 2001 Hanse 371 was entered in the Round Bowen Island race on Saturday June 8.

The forecast was for light winds, so we used the 149% genoa.  With over 130 boats and a single start the starting line can be exciting. We had a crew of 4, only 2 of us experienced racers. I opted to start at the "wrong" end of the line by the committee boat in hopes of getting clear air as most of the boats were crowding the other end of the line. We ran the line on starboard tack and headed up about 30 seconds before the start, We stayed on starboard for about half a mile, then tacked over to port and were able to make it round the south end of the island without tacking, although most of the other boats tacked twice.

We were well up in the pack, a look behind showed a horizon full of sails. There were quite a few in front, maybe 15 or 20.

The wind eased and we hoisted the Asymm spinnaker on its Harken furler. This was only the second race with this new setup using a Selden retractable sprit. This is where things started to go sideways. The sail caught at the bottom and while the top was unfurling the bottom furled up. We had to furl up partway before we got it loose and properly deployed. Shortly after that we had to jibe, and discovered that the lazy sheet was led inside the spinnaker instead of outside. With some fighting Chris managed to get the spinnaker across on the inside. 

By then we had a 15 knot breeze from almost dead astern and had a great sail hitting speeds up to 7.6 knots, dueling with a J/29 and some other hot looking boats. Just as we were really having fun, I looked ahead and saw that boats heading the same direction as us were close hauled. A big wind shift was coming. Just as I was about to call for the spinnaker to be furled, it collapsed back against the mast. I fell far off the wind, sailing in the wrong direction for a while as we furled up the spinnaker, a slow process in the absence of athletic crew! 

Once we had the genoa unfurled we proceeded to beat up the back (Western) side of Bowen Island where the wind was in the opposite direction from the East side. We did OK, but the windows were lighter and the smaller boats were gaining on us. One of the major decisions in this race is whether to go inside or outside Hutt Island. Either is permitted. All the boats ahead of us were going inside, which is quite a bit shorter. As we approached the final decision point, a guts of wind gave us a lift heading up the outside, so that is what we did. Although we came to a complete halt for a brief time north of Hutt, the breeze came back. As we passed the gap behind the island we saw that we had passed at least 20 boats. From there to the finish the breeze increased and we had a solid beat to the finish.



The race is about 18 miles, although we sailed 23 miles by the log. We crossed the line in 3 hours 20 minutes. the second fastest we have ever done, having achieved 3 hours 12 minutes in a very windy race 4 years ago. We finished 6th in our division of 40 boats and 20th overall out of 126 boats. This is our best result ever in this race. We were the fastest boat with hard dodger and solar panelsTongue




Edited by gshannon - 12 June 2019 at 20:39
Grahame

Tangleberry 371-092

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gshannon View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gshannon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 June 2019 at 15:15
Tangleberry is the blue boat on the right. Note dodger and nobody on the rail.
Grahame

Tangleberry 371-092

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gshannon View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gshannon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 June 2019 at 17:33
Here we are sandwiched between an F18 Catamaran and a Melges 24, both of them rated much faster than us.

Grahame

Tangleberry 371-092

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Richard M View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Richard M Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 June 2019 at 19:21
Congratulations Grahame! An impressive performance and an interesting account.

Best wishes

Richard
Richard M

(S/Y BrightStar - H 455 #90; ex S/Y Providence - H 400e #290)
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Johan Hackman View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Johan Hackman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 June 2019 at 08:15
Thanks for sharing, Grahame! Your boat looks fabolous.

What kind of tides did you have?

Johan
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