Again no wind…

We got in 3 races yesterday in a fairly stable breeze of ~ 6 to 9 knots. Little guys pretty quick in that stuff. Results all over the place for most of the kiwis, biggest factor seemed to be whether you escaped the startline cluster with a lane or not.

It’s now 5.20pm on day 4 and we’ve been waiting ashore all day for wind, still under postponement flag and they seem reluctant to abandon the day.

Need 1 more race for a series and 2 to get a drop. Word is that the medal race will be canned in favour of 2 fleet races tomorrow, when there is expected to be very good breeze, possibly above the wind limit….that is assuming we don’t race by torchlight this evening.

Roll on tomorrow, we may yet have one day of decent breeze!

Could This Be the Highlight

With no wind for a second day the Finn World Masters organised beach racing. Our very own Mark Perrow won his classification.

Could this be the highlight of the week?.

Still no wind…

Spent 4 hours afloat yesterday which was the first scheduled race day. Breeze would fill in at 5 or so knots but never lasted more than 10 minutes, the committee never got as far as laying a race course. Highlight of the day was the beer party and Hans from the Netherlands tripping over in front of a crowd of 300 whilst running up to the stage with Merran on his shoulders. He told her to come back next year 10kgs lighter.

Just had the weather briefing for day 2 (today). Some chance of 5 to 8 knots between 1pm and 4pm but still quite a bit of uncertainty.

Now tomorrow looks like reasonable breeze (why is it always “tomorrow”??!). However the Finn class agm is scheduled then so there is only meant to be one race. Rc have amended the SI’s to allow for 2 races tomorrow given that we’re behind, but as yet won’t allow 3 races tomorrow. If today doesn’t work out expect they’ll come under pressure on that one.

Most frustrating thing is that models are now consistently showing 15 to 20 knots for saturday, the day after the contest ends…

Practice race today…

Yesterday was an action replay of the previous day, no wind whatsoever in the morning, then just enough wind early afternoon to coax us out of the marina for some “training”, only for it to crap out to nothing as soon as we got out there. The Kiwi team dinner last night was the highlight of the day, a very authentic Spanish restaurant and quite a late night.

Today we had the briefing and practice race. After two hours drifting around in circles a nice breeze of 8 to 10 knots filled in for just enough time to enable the race committee to set a course. They got into a start sequence then with circa one minute to go it shifted 50 odd degrees and died to more or less nothing. Practice race abandoned and that was it. We had the welcoming ceremony thing this evening then went for dinner with Ben and nick winters and family, another good night out.

Tomorrow looks fairly hopeless with little prospect of wind. However the local meteorological guy reckons Tuesday is a 15 knot system breeze i.e. not relying on the local effects that have so far failed to deliver. I will believe it when I see It…

Hoping the rc are not tempted to run a crapshoot tomorrow and we get a decent workout and 3 races tuesday, I wouldn’t bet on it at this stage though!!

Nice place for waterskiing….

….or maybe for fishing…..but as yet not for sailing. I knew from the outset this was likely to be a light weather contest, and if we get a contest at all that’s certainly what it will be!

Merran and I arrived in El Balis early yesterday after a night in Barcelona doing the tourist thing. Balis is a nice part of Spain, lovely beaches, good food, cheap beer and wine, just no bloody wind.

My Charter boat arrived just after we did and seems fine I think, a 2013 classic with all the bells and whistles. Spent yesterday afternoon sorting out the boat as there was zero wind, then had dinner with one of the Aussie guys and his family which was nice.

Today bugger all wind again, it peaked late morning at maybe 6 or 7 knots and just softened from that point onwards. Registration and measurement kicked off today, which for most of the fleet meant getting sails measured and nothing more. However I was one of the “random” 10 boats selected out of 350 for full measurement which I wasn’t thrilled about. It turned out to be a blessing in disguise though as it only took 30 minutes and it meant that I went straight to the front of the 3 hour queue for sail measurement.

Then I got out for my first sail late this afternoon, it really was average sailing sitting on the traveller the whole time never even close to making the side deck and the breeze varying between 0 and 5 knots with 90 degree shifts.

Tomorrow is another training day in theory, then the practice race is Sunday and the regatta kicks off Monday. Weather models for the week are not too encouraging at this point, There are a couple of days with perhaps some wind but most of the week looks like a drifter, the photo below from my hotel window says it all. Have lost all faith in PredictWind for this venue, at various time all of their models have shown decent breeze here and it has never materialised, back to looking at wind guru now. Think the problem is we’re just not getting the anticipated heat in the daytime.


Let’s do the Math

One thing I’ve learned doing Full time MBA is logistics and yield ratio.

So just because I’m sitting in Zagreb by myself drinking $5 Heineken I thought I would run some numbers .

Sailing – did the 9 race Masters regatta on the 2-4 March Auckland , did the South Islands in Chch 12/13 March for 6 races , Nationals 15-17 chch for 9 races , ( 5 days of training in Palma 26-30 March) , Troefeo Princess Sofia regatta 2-6 April for 10 races .

So let’s summarise

36 days
18 days of sailing
6 days of travelling
17980 km of travel
34 races
1 Paella
2 trips to the dentist
3 massages
60 Voltaren
More $ than I care to admit to

Ahhh I love it

Spoken enough of the sailing on this trip … let’s finish with the Best of …

best days sailing- day 3 at Palma . Big wind and waves

Best hotel – hotel best price Diagonal – Barcelona. Bed was amazing , staff too

Friendliest hotel staff – as above

Best meal – last night in Tel Aviv – where the locals eat

Best flight – none they are all shithouse in some way .. can’t wait for air nz Singapore- Auckland with my sky couch

Hotest hotel receptionist ( female for clarity ) – Sheraton Zagreb

Restaurant for service – Q Lounge in Palma

Best beer – Panonska APA I. Zagreb

Best coffee – flat white at Ataturk airport

Now the fun part … the worst of

Hotel – Crowne Plaza Tel Aviv – looked like Beirut . Staff were shit and a million dollars for a beer ( even thou I wasn’t paying )

Attitude of a sailor – Jake Lilley Australia. Rafa was about to buy him some tampons he was acting like such a girl with PMS.. Heiner was a close 2nd

Country – Israel … it’s just shit and costs a fortune for anything it just needs to be nuked

Runner up – turkey

Worst airline – Ryan or Turkish .. take your pick

Beer – some crap I drank in Palma ( st Miguel I think )

Coffee – Arnel Yacht club

Restaurant service – as above

Sailing teams attitude – NZL ( as a whole ) / GBR ( just c&@ts ) but the Aussies except Jake were bloody good as were the locals .

Spanish service shops ( bike rentals etc ) there to rape you .

People – Israelites… sorry 😐 but they ain’t great for many reasons… mainly arrogance and self righteousness

Well that’s it – I’m 3 beers in now so will sign off before I really start winding up !

See you back in NZ


Mermaids and Kebabs

The last day of the regatta turned into a on shore ( over the land wind ) so after sailing 3 miles downwind to the course … the wind disappeared.. floated about for an hour .. a abandoned start or 2 .. breeze came in at 10 knots and we were away .. finally got a decent start at the pin .. worked the left and approaching the top mark would have been in the top 20… got my lane into the top mark all wrong and had to gybe around … say goodbye to 20 places . Got whacked by a mermaid ( sailing term for being on the wrong side of a 30. Deg windshift ) … sigh

Race 2 – again good start at the pin – rolled over to come back centre left with the leaders …. boom mermaid again ( I came half way around the world to sail in Waiuku conditions) and we were taking the great circle route to the top mark while the fleet on our left lifts to the top mark … oh well pumping flag is up so I take a weeks frustration out on the boat ….. another average result .
So Brendan and I then start the 75 minute beat back to shore in a freezing wind with no sun.. as we watched the coach boats wiz by towing the posers back to shore … haven’t been that cold in years …. sub optimal is how Brendan and i Described the lack of love shown. I preferred to code it as

A few beers and some nuclear waste that Micheal the Slovakian called wine that his dad makes , later I was appropriately warm and had the compulsory kebab on the way home to the digs .

Tip to finnsailors – if you feeling suddenly slow and losing height then look under your boat and check your keel strip hasn’t come off during launching …. Jesus I said today as I noticed . Learnings include confirming the boat you going to get before you pay the money … assumptions are the mother of all fk ups.

So off to Barcelona and the work part of the trip starts , off to Tel Avi and then Zagreb . Looking forward to interesting stuff on this leg.

Had some great chats with some of the masters here including Marc from France and the Finnish guys , all keen to host a kiwi team prior to the World Masters in Denmark in May 2018 … planning to do boys .

The Gold Cup is likely in Palma in 2020 … the big winds and waves we saw on Weds is the norm later in the season. Won’t be for me as the Melbourne Gold Cup in dec 2019 easier . However Palma is a great place to sail especially in a sea breeze , it’s cheap once you are here . If you can get your head around the gypses and Sudanese trying to steal, beg or rig you off and the fact that the average Spaniard is out to take you for a ride … then it’s good lol

Looking forward to getting home