Length: 12m / Sailing Displ: 4.1T (8 crew) / Empty Displ 3.6T / Draft: 3m / Keel Cant Angle: 50° / RM (max): 7,687 kg/m / Mast: 19.8m
Sail Number: 110011 / VHF Call Sign: ZMU2211
1st on elapsed time, Round North Island 2-handed 2014 (Rob Shaw and TW) and 2017 (VW and TW)
Season Champions RPNYC 2015-2016 PHRF and Line
Race record Cook Strait Classic 2015
Race record 2016 Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc Yacht Race
First on Line:
Island Bay race Nov 2013*, Brothers Race Nov 2013*, Cook Strait Classic Dec 2013* (*beating Elliot 50 canter Ran Tan in all 3 of these races), Brothers Race 2014, Kapiti-Chetwodes 2015, Port Nich Regatta 2015 overall line honours, Alan Martin Series 2015, Cook Strait Classic 2015, Nelson Race 2016, RPNYC 2016 Season Div 1, Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc Yacht Race 2016, Mana-Ship Cove 2016, Brothers Islands Race 2016, Round North Island 2-handed 2014 and 2017, Brothers Islands Race 2017, Catherine Cove Race 2018, Wellington-Lyttleton 2018
8 April 2018
6 February 2018
4 December 2017
After months of work and preparation including 1800+ lines of spreadsheet items to tick off, using most of our spare time for the last couple of months, the bit that got us stuck was the clause of:
- an ORCi stability index of 115 for the configuration in which the boat proposes to race; orWe knew we could have got the ISO certificate at the boat launch in 2013 but didn't think we'd need it and thought we could get it later.
- International Standard ISO12217-2 Design Category A except that the STIX Number shall be increased to a minimum of 35.
We had a STIX Number of 36.697 so we thought: no problem. We didn't know about the ORCi side, but wanted to get an ORCi rating as another handicap to compete on. So we got the boat measured, and the ORCi stability index came out too low for the S2H, at just under 110.
No problem, we thought, we just need to get the ISO12217 and we have the STIX (Stability Index) well in excess of the requirement.
But, then we heard from CYCA who said that even with the ISO certificate and the STIX in excess of the requirements, they would not accept our entry. We thought of arguing this lack of understanding of what "or" means, but we figured we'd do that after getting the ISO...
We sent off two emails: one to get the ISO done formally, and another to ask the ORC people what we had to do to get a better number. Neither replied immediately ...
So we thought ... how do we get up to a better ORCi number...? Add weight to the keel. So on the day we were supposed to leave for Sydney we found out from Rob that the boat was engineered for a keel that was 60kg heavier, so we could do that minimal adverse effects on performance, except for VMG running and light air performance. Nobody could tell us at that time whether that would be OK, so we lifted the boat, stripped the keel to bare lead, and set about adding 60kg.
At about that point we heard from the ORCi guru we'd asked for help ... he said we would need to add __300kg__ to the keel, to nearly get to 115... ! Yikes, no way that can, or should, happen. Not only would the rig, keel structures, etc etc, pretty much the whole boat need to be re-engineered, it would no longer be a fast boat.
Then the really bad news. The ISO certificate criteria had changed, it now ignores the buoyancy of the cabin top and other structures above the deck. Now we fell just short of getting that too. He estimated that the 60 *might* have done it, but wasn't sure.
That, the very limited time available, plus the CYCA saying that even if we did get the ISO that they would decline our entry (arguable, sure, but sailing 1200nm to Sydney to then argue and possibly lose that argument doesn't sound like a good bet). We heard that Groupama the Volvo 70 won the Volvo Ocean Race, but the same boat wasn't able to race in S2H without adding weight to the keel. We suspect that the ORCi SI rule set by CYCA could do with some modernisation, like their insistence on SSBs.
Just for added interest, we heard via another participant in the S2H that, with a few weeks to go that NZ Safety at Sea certs would no longer be acceptable. With no option to do a course in Australia in time, and a requirement that half of the crew had a valid certificate. That's a little, er, underarm too.
25 November 2017
We are grateful to Kim McMorran of McMorran's Boat Building who not only taught Tony and Vesna how to sail across the Cook in 2008 but is always interested in Blink's progress and who did Blink's Cat 1 safety check a couple of weeks ago. He also kindly lent us Young Nichs SSB being a S2H requirement and provided many of the charts required to be carried. Martin Hammond (aka Irish) carried out Blink's ORC and inclination test also a couple of weeks ago - that was a huge job but Irish made it easy. Rob Shaw, designer of Blink, for helping with all the numbers Irish needed.
Shaw (Shore) Crew are Janet Gibb (regularly sails on Blink) and Carol Rothschild. Janet and Carol will be driving from Sydney to Hobart in a van with all of Blink's non racing and delivery gear.
Janet Gibb is in our team photo here (centre). Carol is also a Wellingtonian but is now based in Melbourne, Australia.
[Thanks to Chris Coad of Chris Coad Photography chriscoad.co.nz for taking the team's pic before departure].
5 April 2017
30 March 2017
29 March 2017
We needed to make a call of whether to go inside or outside the Hen and Chicks (outside, good) and Cavallis (outside, bad, allowed Miss Scarlet to catch us by going inside). After that we didn’t have quite enough breeze (TWS 12 kts) to plane deep and hold Miss Scarlett, so we ended up with a respectable third across the line, punctuated with a finish-line broach, the line felt a little tight for the last gybe-drop in 20 kts before the solid bits of the harbour met us.
We were fortunate to be able to know the area around Terawhiti well with most of our offshore races being in this area and our timing was spot on for the tide change having pushed the boat as much as we could in the fickle winds. At 1.30pm we’d arrived in the right spot and the right time… the tide was at its peak in the right direction and we managed to hook into 6 knots of tide with 4 knots of our own boat speed = 10 knots over ground!. We could see both Ran Tan and Miss Scarlett only a couple of miles away and became rather enthusiastic to try and catch them, actually overtaking Miss Scarlett at one point near Karori light.
As we got to Sinclair Head, we were really close to the lead. Ran Tan and Miss Scarlett were heading southeast to stay in the light breeze, and just ahead of us was a new inshore breeze line, if we could get across 30m of (very) light patch we’d be in this with an excellent chance of first into the harbour. Little to lose, the 4th place boat was a long way back, may as well throw the dice…
Starting with an A6 out of the harbour in 25 knots that exceeded 40 for just long enough to mess up the fleet, combined with tying the jib halyard over the lazy sheet, all added up to a couple of very nasty broaches and the A6 fabric melted onto the forestay. At one point the A6 was pumping the rig really hard - so the priority became getting the runner on before the mast fell off, rather than getting the boat upright, resulting in a very slow recovery in the harbour entrance and calls to the coast guard.
Then we started doing better, and caught up, not far northeast of Palliser. By now it was very light wind again, 3 knots or so, and a bit choppy.
Then Ran Tan (50 feet) overtook us on our port side and Celadon (52 feet) on starboard. We looked for weed on rudders/keel, couldn’t see any, and figured they were faster in the choppy water and light air than us since we were lighter and shorter.
Several hours later, at dawn, and with much of the fleet well ahead of us again in still very light wind, we saw the big bit of kelp on the starboard rudder that was the culprit.
It was easy enough to get off, then we just stopped in our own private wind hole, for nearly six hours. It was heartbreaking watching more than half of the fleet, which we should have been near the front of, disappearing over the horizon.
The light air torture wasn’t quite over. The restart was delayed until there was at least some breeze, but it wasn’t exactly solid wind.