Thursday, November 12, 2009

Hamish Willcox (NZL) Checks in from Nice ….

A long day on the water for zero points on the table !

Conditions were typical autumn Nice weather with cold drainage winds off the snow capped Alps for the first few hours then light onshore sea breeze from 1300 untill 15.30. Unfortunately the offshore drainage winds did not last long enough for us, being that we were second race of the day. By the time we got to start the breeze had dipped below 3 knots at the top mark and race officer Peter Reggio hoisted the postponement flag.

We drifted arround for the next 2 hours waiting for the SSW seabreeze to develop. It being remembrance day the FRA public were out in force to watch. Some young kids from the local yacht club came alongside in a RIB and we invited them aboard for a look. This turned into great entertainment for them with many of the crew members putting their "Dad" hats on and showing them a great time.

About 1300 Reggio decided there was enough wind (barely 4 knots!) and we were underway. We wanted tight to leeward and favoured the left side of the course, especially at the top. Unfortunately the Pom's got us hooked in the last minute forcing us onto port tack. Once up to speed we quickly tacked to face them but they crossed comfortably and then picked up a small rightie just to rub salt into our wounds. 1/2 way up they crossed to the left layline and picked up a beauty leftie and rounded well ahead.

The race turned into a frustrating affair as the Origin boys put themselves in phase and on the best pressure leaving us slim picking behind them. All credit to them for sailing a great race!

Tomorrow we sail TNZ at 9 am. This should be good as this has always been the best breeze of the day.