Sunday, 31 March 2013

Around the Island

Easter weekend sees the round island race, head out of North Sound and turn right, keep going to East End then turn right again then go straight past South Sound to the finish line along 7 Mile Beach. Simple. Well, not quite. What an exciting couple of days out on the water. Blue Runner is a J37, the swells were 2.5-3 metres and the wind 24 gusting 26. Add a spinnaker. It was exciting.

Blue Runner in the fore ground and Java Knight
The photo was taken from East End in the place where two currents meet and chop and cross waves are fierce. The waves are breaking on the reef, that's quite a way off shore so the photographer, from Harbour House Marina, must have had an excellent zoom. Actually the photo really doesn't do the conditions justice.

We had a few issues in the tough conditions and came close to broaching a few times under spinnaker. Seven hours of being battered, wet and cold we arrived at the finish of the first day. Day two was only around four hours. Lots of lessons learnt, the main one for me not sit down wind of someone who gets seasick. Actually, even people who don't usually get sick did on this trip.

My poor rail mate was looking green so I suggested he retire to the back for a bit, I offered him my emergency zip lock bag. Then I felt a warmer wave, yes poor man had chucked all over me and the next person down the rail. We had to stay put as we needed the weight. He retired, I turned off my smell senses and waited for the next wave, grateful for the cold wash down. My cast iron belly held up, eating chips on the rail with fellow kiwi Aaron, waves washing over and making them a little soggy and adding salt.

It was funny, I had actually taken part in this race during my first weekend here. I got to race the second day, I was blissfully ignorant of the fact we were racing. The conditions on that day were very calm, thankfully. So still in one piece, body a little sore from the pounding and grinding, and nicely warmed up, I'm at home enjoying an evening chatting to the kids and friends. I love the Internet, how did we ever cope without it? 

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