Coastal Cup – a drift

June 14, 2008   

After a lot of work to get the Quest 33 ready for Cat 2 racing Wayne the owner of the Quest 33 RYM is looking after lent us the boat for Coastal Cup. With a crew of 4 – Mark English (Moore 24 owner), Richard Leslie (Melges 32 owner), Olivier Lapparra and myself set off hoping all the forecasts were wrong.

You know you are in for a long race when Commanders sends you and email that starts

1) This does not look to be a lot of fun

a) can be a very fast race, but it looks really, really slow this year, especially tonight, Fri morning, and again Fri night

We didn’t have a good start – second row and very slow. There was a large ebb and we were well clear of the line for the start of Class A. So with a no wind and a rolling start sequence it took us 5 minutes to get to the line and I squeezed up between the J109 and the anchor rode of the start boat – they were kind to let us in was cheeky for us to go in there but with both of us moving at 1.5 knots it wasn’t in his interest to punch it up and push us out.

We tacked straight away so as not to sit on their wind and also because although the most ebb was on the city front it looked very slow going that way. We ended up tacking up to the bridge between Angel and Treasure cutting across to the city front around Blackhaller and then heading out very close to the south tower and working middle to left side outside the bridge. There was a very light NW at this point and we started reaching south at about 200 so that we didn’t close on the coast as per Commanders suggestion of keeping offshore.

All the other boats started to hoist their kites but weren’t even making it around Point Montara so we held off. Finally we decided it was time to hoist and just as I got the spinnaker hooked up a wind line moved towards us and everyones spinnakers backwinded. The light southerly has arrive way early it was only around 1pm. As we sat their trying to make 4 knots of boat speed a whale surfaced next to us several times – beautiful.

We beat till 5pm and dialed all the buoys to get real time conditions every one was showing southerlies less than 10 knots of wind. The crew made a decision it was time to go home – there were better things to do than drift offshore for 4 days. We hoisted the kite and to really show us how much it sucked that wouldn’t even set so it was time for the engine. We motored until we had 10 knots of wind and then hoisted the kite and sailed into a fog bank with about 200m visibility. When we sailed under the bridge you could hardly make out the underside of the roadway. We crossed in front of a container ship sailing at 10 knots missing it by about 250 meters and emerged into a beautiful sunset off coastguard point (sausalito). By the time we got back to the dock, cleaned up the boat and ate dinner it was 11pm.

It is 5pm on Saturday 55 hours after the start and two boats have finished and 5 are still racing. The Beneteau 42 is bringing up the back and is only 140 miles down the track with 137 straight line distance left to go…… I went Friday night racing last night instead with the Fennell family on Good and Plenty and had a good time doing foredeck.Back to making some bags.


One Response to “Coastal Cup – a drift”

  1. Good and Plenty always has room for Ashley!