Saturday’s forecast was for a 6 to 12 knot easterly, perhaps going south-east and lightening. Add overcast and a 90% chance of rain.
As it happened, the 1000 hours start at Barrenjoey saw a cloud bring rain and 18 knots of east-south-east breeze and rain as we set the J 2 jib. Quantock started at the pin 2 seconds after the gun and led the nine yachts off the line. The seas were slight with a cross swell from ESE.
After heading east for 10 minutes, we tacked south for the first headland at Bangalley. Old School tacked above us and slowly squeezed ahead as we layed the headland and fleet sailed South to the harbour. The breeze fluctuated from 8 to 15 knots and changed in direction from 100 to 130 degrees meaning a tight lay past Long Reef and then sprung sheets onto North Head.
Insomnia caught us by the harbour as we set the A2 spinnaker and ran deep to the Grotto mark inside the harbour. We made a neat drop and gybe around the mark and tacked out through the heads, keeping to the north and out of the incoming tide. We passed Insomnia during this phase of the race.
The breeze had swung more to the South as we bore away and headed north, setting the big A2 spinnaker again. Slowly the breeze went more east and strengthened to 18 knots, so we changed to the Jib Top, meaning we could lay long reef with speeds of 8 to 10 knots.
We were catching Old School on this leg, and as we neared Bangalley, we could see Old School headed and drop her spinnaker. We managed to keep the Jib Top past Bangalley, and then as the course and wind allowed, we set the Code 0.
We carried this rig to finish second over the line at Barrenjoey to Old School in 4 hours, 41 minutes, and 42 seconds. A quick trip to the harbour and back and a great sail.
View the race & series results HERE.
By Rob McClelland
Report from onboard Quantock.