Archive for April 2014

drying_spinnakerI took the opportunity of the sunny weather and light winds to take the cruising frames off Passion and spread out the sails to dry. The spinnaker was a bit too wet to leave on board so here it is in the drying room.


Passion’s big spinnaker laid out to dry

asymmetric@SPSLooking through the results for the different divisions it seems that the gun boats of our size were Toy Story, Kerinda, Amante and L’Altra Donna (The Other Woman).
Toy Story is a Farr 36 OD of which only about 10 were ever built. From comments on Sailing Anarchy it seems this was once owned by the Oatleys. It is a light weight stripped out flush deck racer and was faster than everything except USB.
Kerinda is a Lidgarde 10.6 from 1998 which is still owned by the original owner who has fitted a full carbon rig, a fat head mainsail and stripped out all the cruising gear to make it a flat out racer. It has a lovely colour scheme on the hull and some very attractive spinnakers. It generally beat the Sydney 36 CR Amante. Amante weighs a tonne less than Passion and is narrower with a similar size rig. She has 27% more righting moment than Passion and so has more power for less weight in all conditions.
PassionSPSL’Altra Donna is the Summit 35 that raced in the performance racing section. She is currently on the market priced at $219,000 – details here. L’Altra Donna is 250 kg lighter than Amante, has more sail area and a similar beam. Kerinda, Amante and L’Altra Donna can all cruise but without the same level of comfort as Passion but the stand out is Kerinda in looks and performance.Passion looks good in the photos. The main and genoa and asymmetric looks a good size for the boat in the photo from Saltwater ImagesI could not find any close up shots of the big spinnaker on the media site but there were many fine shots of Kerinda with a huge runner which looked 10% bigger on a lighter yacht. The final photo of the crew enjoying the event just about sums up the regatta.
Sail Port Stephens day 5

Passion’s crew enjoying the regatta despite the wet weather (Copyright Saltwater Images)



This heading for this blog is the dry comment from Geoff that just about sums up the week at Port Stephens. Apart from the first day when we did the three island course in fickle conditions the balance of the week was wet to different degrees. Normally Passion is very dry below because we do a lot of no extras sailing but for the Port Stephens Regatta we were dropping wet kites into the forepeak. After a few days of this we discovered the best idea was to stash the wet sails and sail bags into jumbo garbage bags so we soon had the interior back in order.

At the end of the regatta as a precaution we have stripped as much clothing and sailing gear as we can from Passion for a good wash and dry. Some wet carpet has been taken off for a wash and dry and the sails have been spread out in the warm cabin to air. With all these precautions she should be in good shape for the Winter Wednesdays starting in May.

Some of the damp gear from Passion ready for a wash and dry

In a few days the wet weather will be forgotten and all that will remain is the pleasure of sailing to the best of our ability against fellow sailors of similar disposition. In the Port Stephens Cup we finished in sixth place but only two point separated first and sixth with placings decided on count backs. For the Commodores Cup we finished fifth in a fleet of nineteen so we were consistent finishers.

Elaine and I enjoyed the trip up and back. Good Friday on the water from Newcastle to Sydney was ten hours of delightful weather suited to sunbathing, relaxing and tidying up the damp sails. With the sun shining through the windows warming up the cabin I spread the genoas out in the cabin to dry while Elaine kept watch. Wet gear spread out under the spray dodger was dry long before the sun set.

The final part of the sail home was to come through the heads at sunset and motor up the harbour in the time between sunset and full moon. Our journey to the mooring was interrupted be the Rhapsody of the Sea which was leaving the passenger terminal and blocking the way but we were on the mooring shortly after 1900 hours and ready for dinner and a good night sleep.

Easter Saturday was the best day for cleaning up. From dawn to 0900 hours there was no breeze and very little ferry traffic to interrupt our very thorough clean up on Passion so while the weather had been difficult early in the regatta it more than made up for it on the trip home.

April 2nd, 2014

The last race of the Autumn series was a short but slow event out around Goat Island and return. We started up the line on port tack and made a good start with speed and no one in front but in a few moments Agrovation was ahead of the fleet and leading into Humbug followed closely by French Connection. Michael Groves on Agrovation tells me that he now knows how to feather the prop and if this has been the cause of his up and down performance we might be in for a shock next season.

In Humbug the fleet kept reaching up to us and blanketing us from the puffs so we made poor progress. Izzi seemed to want to take the fleet up into the wind shadow of Greenwich Point but we managed to get clear ahead so we could hold our own line. Approaching Long Nose point we had Gwhizz above and pointing lower and Worlds Apart in front and holding a similar line until we eased the main halyard too much. Immediately we dropped below their line and had to retension the main halyard to get the leech to stand up. That took us into Long Nose from which we had to tack away. For a while the tack away seemed to work as Worlds Apart was pinching and slowing along the shore but the further into Snails Bay we went the further ahead she went. In light airs and with an incoming tide we made slow progress to Goat with Izzi and Rex sneaking past on a favourable lift. We did manage to pin Izzi onto starboard until we tacked to round Goat Island and that got us one back. Around Goat Island we hand held the genoa our to windward until it was time to round up for the tight reach back to Humbug.
The tight reach back was a tricky one with a large fleet of Blue yachts catching every time the wind picked up.

Blue and black fleet yachts reaching down on top of Passion in the last race of the 1013 2014 season

Eventually Gael Force reached past us despite Kevin’s best endeavours to take them back to the Harbour Bridge but as we hardened up for the beat up Humbug the breeze freshened and Passion took off pointing higher and going faster. In two tacks it was all over. We had passed Geal Force and Rex by a long margin and after we had finished they were left to struggle home in dying breeze.

We did manage a fifth fastest some seven minutes behind Agrovation but some four minutes in front of Gael Force.
On handicap the eighth place should become a drop and with 17 races finished three drops should count and we should win the overall handicap by a point. French Connection with a fine second fastest and first on handicap did everything she could to beat us but with our results year to date even a win was not enough.

We also managed equal second place in the Autumn series with Cipriani and three point behind French Connection. I was pretty happy with the Autumn series as it was a light affair and there were few days that really suited Passion.
Again thanks to all the crew for their loyal support through the season and their company on and off the water.