Friday, 27 May 2016

What happened to the Ebb Tide team?

You may wonder what happened to the Ebb Tide team. Our skipper and owner of the yacht had to have a major back operation in December 2015. This meant that the boat was out of commission for at least four months. By the 2nd of April 2016 the skipper felt he could do a race and we competed in the annual Seniors Race. We took it slowly with him not being 100%, but it was good to be on the water again.
More recently we took part in a cruise to Hout Bay. The Hout Bay Raid is an annual cruising event with the idea to sail to Hout Bay Yacht Club, have a braai, sleep over and then "race" back to RCYC. The weather was fantastic but with little wind on the first day and no wind on the second day. However it was a good opportunity for Ebb Tide's crew to get together again. And when people get together, things happen. We got an opportunity to take part in the 2017 Rio Race! Not with Ebb Tide though.

Tuesday, 17 November 2015

Lufthansa Twilight Series 2015 - Race 5

The damaged main sail (damaged in race 4) was not ready and we had to race with our old main. The weather forecast predicted the wind to be around 20 knots. Out on the water we started off with a comfortable 10-15 knots, which picked up to about 18 knots towards the weather mark at Paarden Island.  The spinnaker was hoisted without any mishaps and we had a good run to the Milnerton leeward mark. Here we had to gybe around the mark for our next run to a laid mark futher on. The gybe was a  bit slow but successful. Then we had to beat back to Paarden Island. All and all it was a good race but with the old main we were not able to point as well as the other boats. We kept up with the leaders in our class and at some stage even caught up with them but in the end we ended up in fifth place.

Race Results

Scarlet Sun
Nuthr Witch
Ebb Tide
Hill Billy
Always Well

Heading back to port.

Lufthansa Twilight Series 2015 - Race 4

We had some bad luck before the start of the race. The new main sliders were giving us problems when hoisting and taking down the main sail for the last three races. This time the sliders got stuck and in the process the main was damaged and we were unable to compete.
We were all disappointed and to calm our feelings we decided to motor out to the course and observe the race from a different angle.
The pictures below show us watching Nuthr Witch (winner of race 3) approaching and rounding a mark on the way to the finish line.

Tuesday, 3 November 2015

Lufthansa Twilight Series 2015 - Race 3

The weather forecast predicted a 15 kn SE. On the water the conditions were slightly different and variable. We started off with a nice breeze of about 15 kn to the Paarden Island mark. On this first leg our boat speed was already less than our main competitor, Nuthr Witch, probably because we were on their leeward side and sailing in their “dirty wind”. The rounding and hoisting of the spinnaker at the windward mark went fairly smooth this time but we were already falling behind. We had a good run to the Milnerton leeward mark but here we again lost some time getting the spinnaker down. The reach to the next mark proved to be a bit tricky. As we approached the mark (about 2/3 to the mark) the wind suddenly subsided and became variable in direction, constantly changing from NW to S to NW, etc. Fortunately, all boats were in the same situation and we were able to catch up on some of our competitors. The rounding at the mark was hectic with at least 10 boats trying to get around, all within touching distance apart. Closer to the finish line the wind picked up again and the boats were dispersed over a wider area, making it easy to cross the finish line, except for a few port/starboard tack approaches. Unfortunately we were on a port tack and had to give way for a starboard approaching boat. This maneuver made us lose another six seconds. We finished 3rd place - 1.5 minutes behind the second boat on corrected time.

Division 2 Spinnaker Results

PositionBoatElapsed timeCorrected timeAvg Speed
1Nuthr Witch01:39:231:40:523.82
2Hill Billy01:41:3101:41:313.74
3Ebb Tide01:41:3701:43:083.74
4Scarlet Sun01:38:2801:47:203.86
5Always Well01:44:5601:49:083.62

Lufthansa Twilight Series 2015 - Race 2

This race was blown out! The wind was gusting 40 knots in the yacht basin. Scary!

Lufthansa Twilight Series 2015 - Race 1

Do you wonder what happened to us? Well!, we were in our Winter recess with little or almost no sailing at all. Our Skipper/Owner made use of this time to upgrade Ebb Tide in a number of ways to make us more competitive for the coming Summer racing. The rudder was removed and faired to obtain an absolute symmetry on both port and starboard sides. The keel was also faired in the same way. Furthermore, the main sail and the number 3 Jenny were replaced with brand new sails. The only problem now is the crew. We haven't had any sailing for a number of months and are surely a bit rusted.
The Lufthansa Twilight Series officially started on the 14th of October. Our first race was almost cancelled with a SE blowing 25 knots (races are cancelled at 30 knots). In port the wind gusted 25+ knots but as the start time approached, the wind settled at a more comfortable 20 knots. There was a huge fleet of 54 boats on the water. Our class ( Division 2 Spinnaker) however had only 7 boats on the water. A relatively short course of 5.4 knots was layed out and the wind averaged 18 knots on the course. As was expected the crew struggled to get into tune with each other and the boat. Tacking was slow and we lost some time when the spinnaker halyard got caught in the spreaders and we were unable to hoist the spinnaker. We ended up in fourth position.

Division 2 Spinnaker Results 

Position Boat Elapsed time Corrected time Avg Speed
1 Regardless41:46 45:45 7.75
2 Nuthr Witch 45:50 46:31 7.07
3 Scarlet Sun 43:28 47:23 7.45
4 Ebb Tide 47:43 48:26 6.79
5 Hill Billy 49:36 49:36 6.53
6 Triton 53:00 53:32 6.11
7 Always Well 54:59 57:11 5.89

New main

Tuesday, 7 April 2015

Seniors Race - 28th March

The annual Seniors Race of the Royal Cape Yacht Club (RCYC) took place on Saturday 28th March. It was a wonderful afternoon on the water and “the bay was filled with sunshine, dolphins, seals, penguins and even a couple of whales” (quote RCYC newsletter). This event is a pursuit race and is divided into different age categories. All skippers must be 60 years of age and over. The categories are 60-70, 70-80, 80-90, 90-100 and over 100. Yes! You won’t believe it, but there was a skipper aged 103 by the name of Hein Schipper that took part.
The fleet consisted of 56 boats entered, 52 boats on the start line and 36 boats finished. Many boats had to retire due to lack of wind. The race started of with a nice Westerly breeze of about 10 knots. Unfortunately the wind change to South East and the race course was becalmed as a result of the Table Mountain wind shadow. A few boats were lucky by catching wind puffs, leaving the rest of the fleet behind.
On Ebb Tide we managed a 12th position overall. As Hein Schipper said at a prize giving after he did his first over 100 category race “You all still have a long way to go!”. We certainly still have a long way to go!
See Race Results - Senior Race 28th March 2015

Dolphins entertaining the fleet.

Friday, 13 March 2015

Flag Officers Team Race - Wed 11th March

The Flag Officer's Twilight Race was the final twilight race of this season and was immediately followed by the Lufthansa Twilight Prize Giving.
As usual during this series, the wind was out of the ordinary. A 10 knot South Westerly was predicted. This was probably correct but because of the wind shadow of Table Mountain there was no wind at the start line. A few boats got under way and went to look for wind deeper into the bay, not with much success. The others struggled straight down to the Paarden Island mark. From Paarden Island all the way to the Wood Bridge mark there was a nice breeze of about 10 knots. All the boats made good use of this, however back at the Paarden Island mark the wind dropped again. On the final leg to the finish the conditions were exactly as with the start, no wind. We managed to get half way to the finish line, but by this time, it was already dark with no hope of managing any position in the fleet. So we decided to retire. Back at the yacht club we found free hamburgers and beer.
The prize giving did not mean much to us. We sailed only one race in the whole 2015 Twilight Series.

Race Results (we competed in division 2 spinnaker) of the Lufthansa Twilight Series 2015.

No wind!

Wednesday, 11 March 2015

2015 Lufthansa Twilight Series - Race 8

Race 8 was the final race of the 2015 Lufthansa series. It was a beautiful evening on the water with a light 5-8 knots NW blowing. The race course was set from the Bridge Hut to a laid marker boy at Camps Bay, a downwind run from there around boy no 2  and back to the Bridge Hut. We had a good start and were actually doing well in the first part of the race. However, as a result of a wind shift, we lost some time and fell behind. Once we rounded the windward mark we caught up again by flying our spinnaker and choosing the more favorable course. Again, the odds were against us. The wind dropped to zero and the race was abandoned. What a disappointment!

Tuesday, 3 March 2015

2015 Lufthansa Twilight Series - Race 7

Race 7 of the Lufthansa series was again blown out. Wind gusting 30+ knots. There is only one race in the series left and we stand at 10th position as result of the three races we could not compete.