Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Sri Rani- a week in the life of..

Sri Rani was never meant to be a racer. This Hunter 26 owned by our good friends Gerhard and Shirlee was meant for family day trips, but….
Get 2 old fart and a very keen newbe and a race at hand, its on for young and old.
To celebrate Malaysia’s independence, Merdeka
The Royal Selangor Yacht Club holds a long weekend race series. First race from Pt Klang, 90Nm up the coast to Pangkor Island. This has a time limit of 30 hours, so must average 3 knots over the ground.
Race starts at 1035 and in the virtually zero winds, the north bound current took us about 15nm in 10 hours. then having to anchor when the tide changed to stop sailing backwards. At this stage some larger yachts pulled out thinking 30 hour is not possible. But Sri Rani, the slowest boat knows that in a handicap race, the longer the “fast “ boats are held up as well, the better for the little guy. Besides there was a series of gates to go through and times taken in case a finish was not possible.
Finally a breeze comes in allowing a very shy spinnaker which carried us through the first gate within a close time to the big guys. Then during the night a very good wind came up for a close reach allowing us to break friction once or twice to over 9 knots. On the tide change, we got the same wind, but on the other tack. Glorious sailing till almost midday the next day. It then went light but later set to a dead spinnaker run 4 hours to the finish. Yes after such a slow start we did finish and not too far behind the big guys. Good enough for a third place.
After a grand meal at the new Marina Island Best Western Hotel, (where our partners partied) the next day was a round islands race, taking in 2 of the Sembilan’s Nine islands.

Got a good start, but very soon crowded out by all the big boats.

We tacked away to the other side from the others, thinking we would be able to make better use of the tide….and it worked. We were not last around Fairway Rock, the windward mark after about 6 Nm and very close to the “big guys”. the next leg 2 sail reaching, even with our new light weight foresail (donated as a present from another great mate John), the longer waterline of the big boats came into play and while we went very well, sort of got left in the spray.
Just missed a submerged rock round the next Island Palau Agas, perfect spinnaker set and a shy run to the finish. …frequently up on a plane and stayed close to the big guys in front and still a couple of big guys behind.  Good enough for a second on handicap and some really happy guys.

Some competition…..

…and trophy’s sort of says it all.

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