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Auckland Tauranga Centennial race 2021

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Nothing like a nice 140 miler with a 40 mile breezy beat to kick things off.

A typically mixed New Zealand fleet. A Rapido 60 tri (Romanza), a V65, a canting keel modified Gen 1 TP52(V5), a gaggle of smaller 28 - 40 racer cruisers - Ross's, Elliotts etc inc smaller multis, and a range of cruiser racers. About 40 entries which is good these days. Plus the Queen of NZ sailing - Ranger, which dominated keelboat raceing for decades - 1930-60s

A few didn't like the forecast which Predictwind said would be gusts of 30+. In the end it never really got over 25, and it was a soft breeze at that. We hung onto full main for the whole race which was a surprise. I went on No Worries, a Ross 930 which recently had the cockpitcsut out and modified to no coamimings and a shallow floor.

We sailed our own beat tacking on a few oscillations and chasing smoother water on the Coromandel side. Breeze ranged 15-25kn which sounds ok but is tough on a light weight 30 footer sailing 5 up. Gave a little back at the end as there were a lot of boats out the left and we wanted to keep in touch. It meant another couple of lightweigts that pushed the right hand corner gained a bit of time on us right at  the island. Given one was a 40 and the other 35 we weren't overly stressed. Then a displacement 2 sail for 20 miles which gave us a chance to eat and rest on the rail for the next corner. Then a 50 mile broad reach down to Tga. We set the A3 and were 10-15kn all the way down. Plenty of puffs and changes of direction so instuments were our friend. Had to hold our line to get around Slipper Island 1/2 way down so couldn't fully send it but still fun but hard work. The last 10 miles the breeze softened and went aft 10 degrees. This was predicted but we'd chosen to come up to the fleet a bit by then so didn't chase the nth degree out of the forecast. Well done to Truxton that gambled hard and hung onto the low road all the way. We sailed our angles well and trimmed through all the way to get under Speedwell the Elliott, and over Urban Cowboy, the legendary Ross 40 right at the end to finish around 4am

So a great line result. Won our Division and 2nd overall on PHRF to the V65. Beat V5 by 10 minutes which was a peasant surprise. Not bad for a 40 year old 30 footer!

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