Sunday, 15 February 2009

There and back

A characteristic Kingston scene - Impulsive anchored just off the beach on Friday night, along with many other boats. The majority of these had sailed down from Queenstown that day, into a stiff southerly.

I got back from the Kingston to Queenstown yacht race late Sunday afternoon. I took Friday off to tow the boat to Frankton and meet my crew, then on to Kingston at the south end of Lake Wakatipu. An 8 hour drive, what fun! We rigged and launched the boat in Kingston and tied it to a tree on the beach. Then we pitched tents on the grass between the beach and the pub/station, drank beer, and went to bed. It dropped to 1deg over night, making my choice of a light dacron sleeping bag rather unwise.

Owen Cambridge in the light breeze soon after the start.

Saturday was calm and blue, but a little breeze got the 55 strong fleet away - then we alternated wind with flat calm all day till 6.30pm, when we gave up, still about 3-4km from the Frankton Arm entrance. Most of the 55 boats did the same; then we found out they hadn't taken the boats' times at Halfway Bay as they'd promised, so they had no results. The timers had seen the boats sailing well in decent wind at that point, and said "She'll be right, no need for us to keep taking times" and gone back to Queenstown. Never mind, we had a great day and did pretty well - in our own minds, anyway.

Owen Cambridge and Mark Schroeder discuss tactics - or something.

At several points, we were right up with the leading bunch, but it was very flukey.

A pizza at The Cow, followed by a vain attempt to buy draught beer in Queenstown (we made do with Steinlager...) saw us crashed at a backpackers about 11, and then I drove back today in picture perfect conditions. I was back in Chch and unloaded by 5pm, and Heather helped me take the boat back to Lyttelton after tea. Schroeder and Owen had their own cars, and went their separate ways from Queenstown, so I've had two long solo drives in the new(ish) car - it's superb for towing with its diesel engine and 4wd. The trip could have been a lot worse in another vehicle.

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