RPNYC Rum Race - 20 March 2020

posted 21 Mar 2020, 13:55 by Geoff Head   [ updated 25 Mar 2020, 00:41 ]

Crew: Geoff, Murray, Jason.

Forecast: Southerly 15 kts easing to 10 kts.

Our first Rum Race for Halo. We cast off from the berth at 1728 hrs to allow plenty of time to test the mainsail which we had removed that week for repairs to the sail cover. With wind reading from 16 to 20 knots we rigged up the No. 2 jib with Murray on helm. Course number was displayed on the Port Nick clubhouse as #23, rounding the Shoal Pile in Evans bay and back. Fourteen boats entered.

We were expecting the start sequence to be on the VHF but it was only on flags so we had to keep in close to the shore to be able to see them. As it was we missed the countdown and in the end just followed behind the main pack chasing about 9 boats ahead of us. Rounded Point Jerningham at 1810 hrs and beat our way down Evans Bay reaching the mark at 1838 hrs after six tacks.

On the downwind section we poled out the jib. Apparently the race was ruled as non-spinnaker. We would have done better if we'd poled out the No. 1 with both headsails flying I can hear Ken saying!

Back round Pt. Jerningham at 1854 hrs with wind very changeable and gusty keeping us on our toes, and passed the finish line at 1903 hrs.

Results were announced later that Halo had come in 10th on line ahead of Sea Beagle, Sasquatch, Cantilena and Wailea, and 5th on handicap. A great first Rum Race for us. Look forward to the next one!

RaceQS Action Replay:


24 Hour Endurance Race - 14-15 March 2020

posted 19 Mar 2020, 00:22 by Geoff Head   [ updated 18 Apr 2020, 17:17 ]

Crew: Geoff, Ken, Murray, Lorna, Eduardo, Malcolm.

Wednesday 4 March
Geoff and Ken attended the 24 Hour Race First Skippers’ briefing at 1930 on Wednesday 4 March at LBYC. Race director Theo Muller welcomed us and introduced Race Officer Bob Rowell and Brent Porter who gave us lots of instructions about the course, weather limits, boat and crew safety etc.

Friday, 6 March
All crew joined Halo for a Harbour Night Sail Practice. We started at 8 pm with a Trip Report (TR) call to Wellington Radio on ch. 14. We practised our Man Over Board (MOB) drill by throwing a life ring over the side. Even though it was almost full moon with calm seas with an emergency light fitted to the life ring, it was certainly showed how hard it is to see the buoy once it's a few metres away from the boat. We boiled the kettle for cup of tea using the interim gas cooker (the normal one is being replaced), and checked out our night lights. We also got a feel for how cold it quickly gets out on the water at night. We all agreed it was a great try-out for the race and enjoyed a nice evening out on the harbour.

Friday 13 March
Geoff, Murray and Paul Wavish sailed Halo across the harbour to the Seaview Marina. Beautiful day for the crossing. We went via Rona Wharf at Eastbourne where the race was to start and checked water depth. Also caught up with Doug on Coriander who was just back from the Sounds. After securing Halo to our allocated B34 berth we found that the marina were in the process of upgrading all their power boxes and the new 15 amp round pin power outlets were not wired up. As Geoff was keen to leave the batteries on charge overnight we complained to the marina office and they suggested we move to a berth on E pier. So we moved Halo over there only to find that pier only had the larger 32 amp plugs. So back to B Pier - argh!!. Graciela had turned up by then with the car and we took a drive to the local Placemakers to buy a standard flat 3 pin extension cable. Murray and Paul conveniently were able to get a ride back to Wellington on another yacht while Geoff did final preparations on Halo before driving back to Wellington for the night.

Saturday 14 March
The big day has finally arrived. All the crew met at the Lowry Bay clubhouse for the race briefing. Weather conditions were looking to be perfect:

Saturday - Northerly 10 knots, easing to 5 knots everywhere in the evening. Sea slight. Fine.
Sunday - Northerly 10 knots, rising to 15 knots early evening, fine.

The race was to start off Rona Bay wharf at 11 am. We cast off from the marina at 1006 hrs and sailed with a tail wind down the harbour arriving off Rona Wharf at 1043 hrs. Excitement was mounting as we jostled with all the other boats for a good start position. At 1100 hrs with Ken on helm and the No. 1 Genoa hoisted we were off on a starboard tack heading out towards Somes Island.

After tacking our way up to Seaview mark, then Petone Wharf mark, Korokoro and then Ngauranga we had a great downwind run to the Front Lead with the Maxi Spinnaker. By this stage the boats were spreading out with Masterpiece, a Beale 45, in the lead, followed by the two Farr 328's Amnesty and Celebrity. A bit behind the leaders, Halo was having a great duel with Kama 2 (a Passage 33) which was to continue much of the race.

We completed our first lap of the harbour rounding the Seaview mark at 1426 hrs. At the completion of each lap we were required to call in to Race Control on the VHF or optionally by cellphone. Ny now we were getting into the swing of things with our 4 on 2 off watch system with rotating crew positions. The northerly breeze continued to be a perfect 10 kts average.

As the sun started to set we heated up the beef curry and rice (pre-prepared by Graciela) and enjoyed a lovely meal with a glass of red wine while enjoying the view of the sun setting behind the western hills of the harbour. From then on it was night sailing!

Most of the time during the night we couldn't see many other boats at all. It felt like we were the only ones in the harbour sometimes, broken only by the occasional call on the radio to race control as the boats announced they had completed another lap. We found it difficult in the night to spot where the markers were, even though they had lights on them, and we were thankful to have the chart plotter and GPS Repeater to help us navigate.  As Ken said, "we welcomed the sight of the two bright eyes of the alien buoy in the middle of the night after the transit from Ngauranga mark towards Ward Island". 

Rather than using the spinnaker during the night on the downwind sections we hoisted the second No. 1 Genoa with the spinnaker halyard and poled it out. Only problem we had was when Kama II radioed to alert us that our starboard green navigation light was not working. We confirmed this was the case and had to attach our emergency battery-powered light to the pulpit.

Sunday 15 March
By day break it was getting very cold and we were happy to start getting warmed up by the sun and a hearty breakfast prepared by Lorna. It was beautiful watching the sun slowly rise behind the Eastbourne hills after a long night sailing. At about 1030 hrs the wind started dying out. We just managed to get around the Seaview mark to complete our 9th lap before the wind stopped altogether and then at 1100 hrs the race was over. Each boat was then called to report its latitude and longitude position recorded at the finish time. We then dropped the sails and motored back to our berth at the marina. Some of the crew had showers and we freshened up and relaxed at the Compass Cafe for coffee and sandwiches.

At 1400 hrs all crews crowded into the Lowry Bay clubhouse for the prize giving. We were excited to hear the announcement that Halo has won Second Place on handicap results. Well done Team Halo! Geoff went up to receive the cup and then we all went outside for the photos we all got sprayed with champagne. Lots of fun!

Later that afternoon Geoff, Malcolm and Sandra sailed Halo back across the harbour to Chaffers Marina before the big storm came and then home to bed!

EBYMBC Commodore Cup Race 2 - 29 Feb 2020 - Win for Halo!

posted 2 Mar 2020, 01:03 by Geoff Head   [ updated 4 Mar 2020, 01:11 ]

Crew: Geoff and Ken.

Forecast: Southerly 20 knots, easing to 10 knots this evening. Moderate sea, easing this evening. Fine.

Interclub Race - 22 Feb 2020

posted 23 Feb 2020, 22:33 by Geoff Head   [ updated 25 Feb 2020, 01:35 ]

Crew: Geoff, Ken, Eduardo.

Metservice Forecast: Northerly easing to 20 knots in the morning. Changing southerly 25 knots gusting 35 knots in the evening. Sea rough at times. Fair visibility in morning rain and poor visibility in evening showers.

Ken, Eduardo and Geoff sailed round to Evans Bay and tied up at the Slipway pole.
White Cavalier tied up behind us. Wind was 20-25 kts NW out in the harbour and showed no signs of slowing down. The course for the Spinnaker Division was announced as #2. Start line at EBYMBC and the finish in Worser Bay. Geoff had the waypoints pre-loaded in the chartplotter. We decided on The No. 2 Jib with one reef in the Mainsail.

Our start time was 1255 hrs and with Ken on helm and Geoff and Eduardo doing mainsheet, bow and trimming we were off.

We raced out out into the harbour arriving at the Ngauranga Mark in four tacks. The boat and crew were performing well. We then shook out the reef and sailed across the harbour on a broad reach at 6.5 to 7.5 kts to round the Ward Island mark and then with the reef back in beat our way up to the Seaview mark.

At this stage most of the Port Nick and Lowry Bay yachts were still behind us. With the wind still over 20 kts we were a bit hesitant about flying the kite for the downwind stretch but decided we'd go for it and hoisted the medium spinnaker and had a great run down to the Front Lead getting up to 8 kts at times and keeping many of the fast boats at bay. After we rounded the Front Lead we were then progressively overtaken by most of the fleet as we beat up the the Falcon Shoals and then down to the Worser Bay finish line.

We dropped the anchor in the bay and were ferried in to attend the inauguration of the new Worser Bay Yacht Club rooms and later motored back to Chaffers Marina.

On Sunday the results with corrected times were published on the RPNYC website. Halo came 14th out of 19 boats. We felt we'd done pretty well but interesting only two Evans Bay boats were entered in the spinnaker division. A great day's sailing though!

The Sony ActionCam was inadvertently set to movie mode instead of photos so we got a bit of nice action video of us being attacked by the birds but no photos. Thanks to Ken for the phone shots and to Malcolm for a getting a nice photo of Halo coming into the finish line with Steeple Rock in the background.


EBYMBC Ibbotson Tray Race - 15 Feb 2020 - Win for Halo!

posted 15 Feb 2020, 14:55 by Geoff Head   [ updated 15 Feb 2020, 16:16 ]

Grew: Geoff, Malcolm, Ken, Murray.

Variable 5 knots, becoming southerly 10 knots late morning, turning northerly 10 knots late afternoon or early evening. Sea slight.Increasing high cloud.

Geoff and Malcolm departed Chaffers Marina at 1045 hrs. Wind was very light 5 kts southerly and we motor-sailed round to Evans Bay with just the mainsail up. The breeze picked up slightly to 12 kts at times. Docked at the wharf at 1145 hrs. Checked out the course which, due to the light variable winds, was set within Evans Bay as: "Start - Halswell Mark - Shoal Pile - Halswell Mark - Shoal Pile - Finish". Start/finish being from Pania". We cast off at 1228 hrs with Murray on helm, Malcolm on mainsheet, Geoff and ken on bow and trimming. We hoisted the No. 1 LT Genoa and rigged the Maxi Spinnaker and cruised around trying to figure out where the Start line was. No sign of Pania. Mmm...

Eventually we heard on Ch. 77 that Pania was anchored off Shelly Bay so we quickly motored up the bay to get into position just in time for the start at 1300 hrs. Halo was first over the line. Perfect!

We hoisted the kite for the short run to Halswell mark. Usurper passed on the inside of Halo just as we rounded the mark. We then sailed close-hauled into the breeze and rounded Shoal Pile after just 3 tacks. Hoisted the kite again for the longer run back to Halswell making good speed in the light airs and then rounded the mark and beat back down the bay. As we approached Shoal Pile the second time the southerly breeze started dropping and we noticed Usurper almost stopped on the west side of the bay so we kept to the east. As we rounded the mark Usurper was only just ahead of us and we hoisted the kite for the last run. However by then the wind had practically died out as it started turning to round the north. We drifted along at less than one knot for a while, momentarily helped at one stage by the jet stream of a plane overhead, and eventually dowsed the spinnaker and hoisted the Genoa for another beat back to finish line in about 12 kts of northerly. We finished second on line after Usurper - two minutes ahead of Temptation.

We were pretty pleased with Halo's performance and excited to discover later at the club house that Halo had won the race on corrected time!

EBYMBC Bucholz Cup - Saturday 8 Feb 2020 - Cancelled

posted 11 Feb 2020, 22:10 by Geoff Head   [ updated 12 Feb 2020, 20:29 ]

Crew: Geoff, Ken, Malcolm, James, Emily and Jackie.

Forecast: Northerly 15 knots rising to 20 knots but 25 knots gusting 35 knots about the south coast early morning. Changing southerly 15 knots around midday, rising to 25 knots gusting 35 knots for a time in the afternoon. Sea becoming rough at times. Fine at first, then fair visibility in rain afternoon and evening.

AP over A flags were flown form the start box to signal race was cancelled due to high winds so we went for a sail round the harbour with No. 3 Jib ans 2 reefs in the Mainsail to return Halo to Chaffers Marina.

Thanks to James for his photos I copied off his Facebook page (!) and Malcolm for the great surfing video clip!

EBYMBC Charlotte Challenge - 25 Jan 2020

posted 26 Jan 2020, 23:37 by Geoff Head   [ updated 28 Jan 2020, 00:22 ]

Crew: Geoff, Peter, Ken, Thomas.

Forecast: Northerly 20 knots but 25 knots gusting 35 knots about the south coast, easing to 20 knots everywhere in the afternoon. Rough sea about the south coast, easing afternoon. Fine, apart from morning and evening cloud.

Geoff and Peter joined Halo at Chaffers and we cast off at 1035 hrs to sail round to Evans Bay. The northerly was around 20 kts with one gust we noticed up to 30 kts.

Arrived at Evans Bay and tied up at the Quickslip post. Signed on for the race and got the course; Start - Somes Island - Finish. Pretty simple but with the added twist that each skipper could choose which way round Somes to go. Thomas and Ken joined us and we cast off with the No. 3 Jib and 1 reef in the Mainsail. We also rigged up in preparation for the Spinnaker. Positions were: Ken on helm, Peter on Mainsheet, Geoff and Thomas on Trimming and Bow.

The start box lights worked well for the 5 minute countdown and we had a good start beating our way up the bay. After 4 tacks we reached Pt. Halswell. Bay this time Grenadier, Tamerlane and Temptation were now ahead of us. We decided to round Somes Is anti-clockwise which was a gamble as the other boats all went clockwise. We had a good long tack up the harbour averaging 6 kts dropping to around 5.5 kts on the east of Somes.

Once we rounded Somes with 20 kts wind behind us we decided against the spinnaker and poled out the jib and hoisted the No. 1 HW on the port side. We sailed downwind at around 6.5 kts, gaining some ground on the leaders. We crossed the finish line 53 secs behind Tamerlane. On the corrected results Halo came in at second place which we were pretty happy with.

RaceQS Action Replay:

EBYMBC Pet Cup - Monday 20 Jan

posted 21 Jan 2020, 16:20 by Geoff Head   [ updated 24 Jan 2020, 23:39 ]

Crew: Geoff, Allison, Albrecht, Ken and Seamus.

Forecast: Southerly 15 knots, easing to variable 5 knots this evening. Sea slight. Cloudy periods this morning with possible fog, mainly about the south coast, otherwise fine.

Geoff and Albrecht sailed Halo round to Evans Bay departing Chaffers Marina at 1040 hrs. Wind was around 15 kts and with Albrecht on helm we sailed nicely with Main and No. 1 LT Genoa. Tied up at the Evans Bay wharf and signed on for the race. Course was confirmed as No. 3: Ward Island, Leading Light and back starting at 1300 hrs.

Ken, Allison and Seamus joined us and we cast off with the Maxi Spinnaker rigged up for a downwind start. Positions were Geoff on helm, Ken on bow, Seamus and Allison on trimming and Albrecht on mainsheet. The race start was delayed by 5 minutes and we hoisted the spinnaker soon after crossing the line however Temptation and Rogue were already ahead of us. We caught up with Temptation (who was only flying their genoa) but as we rounded Pt Halswell they soon took off ahead of us on the beam reach across to Ward Island.

We then beat our way upwind close-hauled towards the Front Lead. Unfortunately we found ourselves in a wind hole and lost some ground as we had to do 3 tacks before rounding the mark at 1416 hrs. The wind had increased to around 20 kts south west and so we hoisted the medium spinnaker for the broad reach back to Pt Halswell which we rounded at 1443 hrs. 

In retrospect we should have changed headsail down to the No. 2 at this time in preparation for the 20-25 kts beat into Evans bay. We did put a reef in the main as we entered Evans bay but we were over powered with the big No. 1 Genoa. It took us 4 tacks before crossing the finish line at 1520 hrs behind Temptation, Rogue and Grenadier.

After sailing back to Chaffers and packing away the boat we returned to the club house for the results:  Temptation got a well deserved first place on line and corrected time. Halo came in 5th place.

RaceQS Action Replay:

EBYMBC America Cup 21 December 2019 - Win for Halo!

posted 24 Dec 2019, 18:32 by Geoff Head   [ updated 8 Jan 2020, 21:23 ]

Crew: Geoff, Murray, Lorna, Colin.

Forecast: Southerly 15 knots, rising to 20 knots for a time this morning, then easing to 10 knots this afternoon and to variable 5 knots this evening. Sea becoming moderate for a time this morning. Morning cloud and isolated showers, then fine.

Geoff and Murray departed from Chaffers at 1030 hrs, hoisted the mainsail and motor-sailed in 16-20 kts of wind round to Evans Bay where we tied up at the wharf. Signed on for the race and got the course which was announced as Course # 8. (Start - No. 10 Falcon Shoal - No. 12 Ward Island Buoy - Finish).

Lorna and Colin joined us on Halo and we rigged up the No. 2 Jib and medium spinnaker and cast off at 1230 hrs. Positions were Murray on helm, Colin on mainsheet, Geoff and Lorna on trimming, keys and bow. During the 5 min countdown we sailed with just the main and hoisted the spinnaker just as we crossed the start line. The run down Evans bay went well for Halo with the spinnaker helping us to pass those who were sailing with headsail only including Temptation, Grenadier and Coriander.

As we passed Pt. Halswell we hoisted the jib and dowsed the spinnaker and sailed close-hauled towards Falcon Shoal with Usurper, Stinger and Frid ahead of us. After tacking around the mark we poled out the jib and sailed downwind past Ward Island and closed in towards Frid. As we gybed round the Ward Island mark we were behind Frid but as Halo was the inside boat they had to give way to us under the "Buoy Room Rule" rule. And thanks to super helmsman Murray we overtook them coming out of the mark!

On the beam reach back to Pt. Halswell Frid slowly over-took us again. As we beat upwind in Evans Bay we were able to reach the finish line in just two tacks, a minute behind Frid and just ahead of Temptation and Coriander on line.

At the prize-giving back at the club the corrected results were announced. Halo wins the America Cup!

Some history: In 1925 the United States Pacific Fleet came to Wellington on a goodwill visit and enjoyed the EBYMBC dances so much they presented an "America Cup" for competition.

ace Action Replay

EBYMBC Mishmosh Poker Race - 14 Dec 2019

posted 14 Dec 2019, 15:57 by Geoff Head   [ updated 14 Dec 2019, 19:35 ]

Crew: Geoff, Ken, Lorna, Juliet.   

Forecast: Northwest 15 knots but 25 knots gusting 35 knots about the south coast. Easing to variable 5 knots in the south late morning, then becoming northwest 20 knots everywhere early afternoon, and rising to 25 knots gusting 35 knots in the south coast late afternoon. Sea rough at times in the south. Morning cloud, then fine.

The 'Mishmosh Poker Race' is described as: 'It's more of a rally really, with participants picking up cards for their "playing hand" from pre-defined locations around Wellington Harbour. The winner is the participant with the best "poker hand" at the end of the event'.

Halo departed from Chaffers at 1130 hrs with Geoff and Ken and we motor sailed with just the mainsail in about 20 kts of gusty northerly round to Evans Bay where we rafted up at the wharf with Coriander and Temptation.  Lorna and Juliet joined us and after getting the course details and pre-race briefing at 1245 hrs we rigged the number 2 jib and cast off ready for a 1330 hrs start.  

The start was confusing (and delayed) as they seemed to be having problems with the lights. The yellow class flag light which normally comes on during the 5 minute start sequence never made an appearance. The blue and white flag light did come on, presumably 4 min before the start and off 1 min before the start time.

Anyway we started somewhat behind the main bunch of boats on the downwind run to the first mark and then upwind through the gate and then tacking our way towards Pt. Halswell. By the time we went round the point we had gained some ground (passing Coriander and others) with only After Midnight and Temptation ahead of us. 

During the fast beam reach across the harbour at 7.5 kts towards Ward Island Brett Linton motored past us in a RIB and took some great photos of Halo with our new Linton sails. 

Back into Evans Bay we poled out the jib and had some fun surfing the big waves at over 8 kts at times. We couldn't catch Temptation though, in spite of them broaching at one stage in the 25-30 kt tail wind and we crossed the finish 3rd on line which we were pleased with. Great race!

RaceQS Action Replay:


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