Sunday, December 05, 2010
Great start apparently, tack, quick tack, ready to duck, more halyard tension... back on the rail, where the hell are we? anyone know?... are we in first / fourth/ tenth place??! Was that a call from the back of the boat or just a general comment / expletive...? Tack, tack.. ouch there’s that thing I keep hitting my knee on again - bloody knee pads don't work, tack, tack, bearing away – god the pole isn’t even half way up yet - and HOIST......... FLAKE the halyard and watch it like a hawk on the downwind leg as rest of crew throw jackets and hats down below on top of your neat handiwork...and trip...outboard pole end needs to go up, now down...pole forward...then quick couple of gybes... just before the drop someone pops down below as sewer rat and walks through the neat coils... panic... re-flake finishing just on the call of Drrrrop... quick prayer there will be no tangles or 5 minutes of stress with the entire crew watching you trying to undo an ever tightening knot stuck in the jammer with the kite flapping around half dropped and skipper swearing ensues... phew, no tangles... hike (ow that hiking bruise hurts), tack, tack, how many more legs? where is the mark, anyone know?... REPEAT ABOVE AT LEAST TWICE then beat for the finish...oh is that the finish line? – hike for the line! ... it's over...where the hell did we come..?!
Answer: Visit Malta Puma came first and Jaguar Logic came second, a superb end to the series!
Friday, December 03, 2010
The penultimate race of the Garmin Hamble Winter Series provided one last show down between the well-sailed X35 Vortex and our gallant team aboard Visit Malta Puma. Going into the race only Puma or Vortex could win the series. All that Vortex needed was a first or second place to clinch the series, Puma needed to win and hope Vortex came third!
It was going to be tough and everyone knew that Vortex would be difficult to beat! The forecast looked promising with over fourteen knots expected, this would certainly favour the Reflex 38!
Pre start lighthearted comments were exchanged between the two boats, but by the five-minute gun it was down to business, with concentration levels at an all time high.
With only seven knots of wind blowing the weather advantage had swung significantly to the opposition who are an absolute rocket ship in the light winds. Visit Malta Puma had a blinder of a start and had her nose in front of the fleet in a good position.
On the fist beat, the wind never built above eight knots and slowly but surely Vortex clawed into the lead and had a five-boat length advantage at the windward mark! The team aboard Visit Malta Puma fought hard and whenever Vortex pulled ahead a display of seamless teamwork, great tactics and pure hard work closed the gap to bring them back to within striking distance.
Executing a perfect gybe-set on the final hoist enabled Visit Malta Puma to close to with boats lengths of Vortex for the final beat to the finish. In ideal X35 conditions Vortex sailed superbly well to hold off a final attack from Visit Malta Puma. So it was first for Vortex and second for Puma!
Sadly Vortex takes the series after sailing a superb regatta where they clearly had a performance advantage over their competitors. It is a well-deserved victory for an excellent team. Our team aboard Puma take pride in the fact that they were the only boat in the series to prevent Vortex from winning races; Puma won four of the eleven.
There is just one weekend left in the series and whilst first and second has been decided there is a tough battle going on for the next five places with Jaguar Logic fighting hard with London Corinthians teams and the 40.7, Interceptor. We think it will be a cold one too!
Next all our attentions will be focused on the New Year for the Warsash Spring Series and some hot Caribbean racing.