Crac-A-Jac’s latest Trophy
Edwin Delaat continues to turn heads as he clocks up more coastal winning miles. Below is a glimpst of this sailors achivements and a short story about our Tauranga race. Crac-A-Jac a 30+ year old Bruce Farr designed 1/4 tonner enjoyed the soft conditions all the way to Tauranga finishing the race 1 1/2 hours ahead on corrected time – results here, scroll down to page 5.
Edwin interviews Richard Potter before the Auckland – Musket Cove 2011
Customs check the paperwork
Edwin and Dale prepare Outrageous Fortune
Edwin waves goodbye
The Trip North
RNZYS 2011 Youth Scheme Winners
The latest collection of Youth Scheme Winners seen here with Commodore Ross Masters
The weather man said it would be light winds on Thursday building slowly during the day to a nice easterly and a southerly for the ride home.
A few days from the start I start watching the weather. The shifty light conditions were going to favour the little boats who could wriggle the best, make the most of the shifts and keep the game close.
Start time and the breeze had gone on its Easter break, staying in the strongest out going tide would be key to getting out of the harbour. As kite trimmers tweaked and swore at the lake of breeze to fill code zeros we just worked our jib and stayed with the strong tide to stay with the fleet. as best we could. 1 1/2 hours later we drift past Devonport. slowly a north easterly builds to 3 knots. all around us are drifting in every direction. Open Country, our Tauranga friends are behind us, Hysteria, our BMW regatta friends are also behind us the front runners have drifted past Bean Rock and the fastest yacht in New Zealand, Vodafone is becalmed off Browns Island. You can just imagine the frustration setting in all over the fleet as race records are the furtherest from anybodies thoughts.
Then as if to say don’t butter that toast New Zealand the best is yet to come the 3 knots of breeze turns into nothing and we all sit slip slop slapping.
Crac-A-Jac is still making the best of the situation. Slip slop slap some more sun screen and trim the sails to keep us drifting east. Then wouldn’t you know it the breeze from the east has built from the south and those under Rangi are looking very sick. We weave and twist ourselves though the fishing fleet as a local reels in a good size schapper. Time to tack, yep folks our 3 knots has built to 5, sneaking us past the headlands and channels of the inner gulf islands. Staying in as much tide as we can we wriggle our way East. East towards to forecast new breeze, East along the coast of Waiheke, past Oneroa, Palm Beach and Onetangi.
One by one the fleet tack onto starboard and head towards Maria Island. mmmm the tide has turned and they will be pushing it back towards the start. We are heading for the finish and elect to stay with the tide flow along the Waiheke coast towards Gannet Rock.,Then just as the sun goes down a mighty rightie is bending us south, a couple of quick tacks and we have clocked ourselves right above the fleet, only Escapology has had a better rightie and they are 20 degrees higher than us and we are 20 degrees higher than the fleet. Open Country have also stayed close to the Waiheke shore and are too enjoying a huge gain on the early trackers. One by one a new green light appears under our boom. Little old Cac-A-Jac is having a glamour. Sending it strait past 17 green lights. Keep sailing fast Edwin they will be chewing their arms off when they realise the 3 of us have nailed their asses to the wall. It would take another 6 hours to sail 25 miles to Channel Island where Vodafone had found a big sticky hole. The classic who we had been duelling with from the start would take 6 hours to catch us. By the time we reached the northern end of Coromandel 33 green lights and 4 white lights are all within 5 miles of us. Holy crap that’s the bulk of the fleet, only 41 yachts have entered the race and 14 hours into it, Edwin’s little 727 is still in sight, blood on those decks tonight.
By now the northerly has built to 10 knots and the bigger yachts are finely able to stretch away. 15 knots across the deck is time for the number 2, Edwin is clipping on the new sail as the breeze decides to piss off for a rest. shit now its building from the south east, must be too close to the high hills of Coromandel. Gennie up as we try to keep moving north, here comes the Classic, doing what Classics do best in light winds – keep going. Arrrrr the northerly is back, back to the head sail and make course to Channel Island. We round the island just before midnight, a few miles behind the classic and a few miles ahead of 5 green lights.
Time to tack and the smaller sail is not producing enough grunt to deal with the confused chop, back to number 1, it’s a long port lay to the next corner just off the Mercury Islands through the Hole in the wall about 25 miles south east of Channel Island. The Hole in the wall is a great fishing spot with lots of rocks and a few islands, spectacular cruising grounds and home to some of the prettiest beaches, rockie bays and coves New Zealand has to offer. As the moon rises so do the clouds, our star filled night is being replaced with building rain clouds to the east and the mist is blocking the visiblity. However the wet stuff is bring breeze and we are able to tack and wriggle our way past some tied yachties and by the half way mark we can still see 17 lights the 5 that followed us around Channel are still behind.
We are through the hole, boobing like a cork, slip slop slapping our way south in 5 knots of random breeze. As the mist clears we can see 17 yachts against the coast, we have wriggled our way east and are first to get the new breeze, under number 1 and full main Edwin is able to catch the odd wave past Open Country who are slip slop slapping there way backwards. The breeze has now settled to a nice 10-12 knots from the north east, time for the gennie. Lets see if we can catch some of the bigger waves. One by one the yachts to leeward hoist their spinnakers and slowly pull away once more,
A great sail down the coast to the mount when Edwin spots 2 kites way in the distance behind us, last and second to last are bringing down the last of the northerly breeze as we close on the finish. A call to the race office as we run down the last few miles and 32 hours after starting in Auckland we arrive during sunset on Good Friday at the finish.
Edwin’s sister Kathlyn and dad have made the trip south and are waiting with a hot meal and a beer. All the boats have finished and the boys on Vodafone have been celebrating a long race since 3am some 15 hours ahead of us. The first Monohull, the 50ft Akatea finished about 9 hours ahead yet the bulk of the fleet has finished during the afternoon. We have been able to sail Edwin’s Crac-A-Jac to a win in the 2 handed division. A result worth every inch of the 120 miles. The conditions were kind to us, with a bit more wind the bigger yachts would have had a better race, but a win is a win and we will collect the trophy and enjoy the result. A quick feed and it’s time to head home. Day job is calling and the holding of the trophy will have to wait for another day.
Kathlyn in her pink Crac-A-Jac shirt is our trophy collector. Double Grin.
Special thanks to Mike from Sea Safe who supplied a tracker for our supporters to follow us. When you plan your next adventure into the bush or onto the ocean give Mike a call and for just a few dollars your friends and family can follow you too.
The win in the Auckland – Tauranga Race tops off a great year for us.
BMW Regatta Division 5 PHRF winners
Auckland Anniversary Day 2011 Small Keel Boat Division Line and Handicap Winners
Rocky Bay Regatta Line Honours Winners
SSANZ 2010 Farr 727 PHRF Winners
Now it’s your turn, if you would like to support Edwin in his adventures please contact his manager at edwinsail.com
Auckland Anniversary Day Regatta 2011 Winner small Keeler Division on Crac-A-Jac
Photos by Yachtyakka
2011 Rocky Bay Regatta, Crac-A-Jac Winners
Edwin Delaat – part 1 here