The RPNYC Island Bay Race was held on Saturday, 2nd November being an 18 or so miler. This was Blink's first opportunity to turn right out of the harbour and have a little sniff of Cook Strait following her sea trials and early races in the confines of Welly Harbour. We had gone out early with Booboo (Josh Tucker) from North Sails who had come down especially to sail with us and check our sail configuration, furlers, etc.
The start was a Mark Foy and Blink scored a fairly late start of 12.55pm with only Ran Tan and the Tri following us 5 minutes later.
The first leg was uphill to Korokoro giving us an opportunity to see what she could do in a fairly moderate breeze. She trucked her way up wind, slightly cracked off, averaging 9kts over ground
The breeze built as we rounded the Korokoro mark and a woop woop down leg followed. Initially wind was mid teens, but then started blowing about 18 to mid-20s, we hoisted the A2 and Blink took off. When you are pushing it in a gusty Wellington northerly with an A2 (200m2 of kite), you are bound to have a couple of lie downs (which we did) but she got up pretty quickly. Most interesting one was near Barrett's reef, perhaps not the best place to have a nana nap.
With boat speed in the early 20s (we did 22 knots speed over ground a few times, with 2 knots of tide against us), we were sailing faster than the Bluebridge Ferry on the downhill. There were many grins all round. As we got to the Barrett's reef buoy, we had a bit of trouble getting the A2 furled up and were at danger of making fast passage to Antarctica. We eventually dropped the kite conventionally and headed to the Island Bay marks.
The rest of the race was a reaching course around the mark, back to Barrett's Reef buoy and trucking it up wind for a final reach home finishing at the club house. We passed enough boats and started to hunt a little pesky Shaw 650 (Magic Trick) who started earlier but just managed to beat us on line having had a glamour run, perfect conditions for them.
Blink was the fastest around the course beating Wedgetail (Welbourne 42), Ran Tan (50 footer canter), and the trimaran. Magic Trick scored first and Blink second on general club and PHRF making it Shaw sweep.
It was a fabulous insight to what Blink is capable of and she absolutely loved both the uphill and down hill runs. She is perfectly well balanced, easy to handle and makes her crew extremely happy.
It was awesome having Booboo on board and even more so given it was his birthday. A few birthday beers flowed after the race to celebrate, and a clubroom full of RPNYC folks sang him a big happy birthday.
Next up: Brothers Race, first Cook Strait crossing, next Saturday. Mr Shaw will be joining us for that one.