Stuart McKinven reports from TeamVodafoneSailing's 2012 Coastal Classic where they set a new personal speed record of over 45kts
Setting up for the start we heard a forecast of 25 gusting 35 a few models were talking 40. So we were well prepared to take it easy at the start.
Two reefs and the Solent (1 genoa) saw us off the line.
A container ship decided it was a good time to enter the port, we talked about an early gybe across the bow of it but decided that getting onto port tack with 150 keel boats to weather was not in our best interest.
We had a slow ride around the back of the ship gybing onto the trinquette ( Stays’l) and heated up to Rangi light. Thought better of going to weather of the couple of 50 footers preparing to gybe, and with good reason soon after the boys got it slightly wrong and tipped it out.
Triple 8 by this time had legged it out the channel and we were just catching up as a 40kt squall folded over north head and flattened the fleet.
With our small rag on and full foil, we just held on and see how it would pan out. End result still on three wheels and a new top speed for us 45.9kts. It was actually pretty stable, bit shaky but not too bad.
As the squall subsided we sent it hard up to Tiri - until getting a little freaked and chuck in the third reef in the Tiri channel.
The breeze moved a bit further south, so we could have probably held the sail and taken a low angle. As it turned out we had to gybe out of Kawau for 15-20min.
Our plan was to hang outside the Hen an Chicks and we stuck to it, getting a good solid 40- 45Kts of breeze on the outside of the Chicks, in this seaway we had 3 reef's and the ORC ( second staysl) At about 120 true doing high 20s early 30s.
We squeaked up just to the west of the Poor Knights and kept going low up till viewing the Brett. As we headed in towards Cape Brett we hedged low to stay out of the dropping breeze .
Smoked in the final miles to the finish doing a nice high 20’s. We shook the reefs leaving one and banged the right with one reef and the trinquette upwind. Tacked in on a nice righty near the Nine Pin and layed near Red Head, another flop into Black Rocks just sneaking above them to just lay Tapeka. So close to not laying that last headland, but just squeaked in there.
We kept it high and rounded to the finish doing 25kts, beating our record from last year by just 2min 47 sec,