Cruise: Adelaide to Port Lincoln Race, 2014


On Saturday February 22nd, Arriba completed her first Adelaide to Port Lincoln yacht race with me as skipper, joined by four fine crew Andrew, Byron, Luke and Nick.
 
Arriba's crew: Nick, Andrew, Luke, Alan and Byron (from left to right)
As a complete newbie, I made lots of mistakes,such as crossing the starting line a whopping 3 minutes late! Still, in a 150 nautical mile race, 3 minutes should not have mattered greatly. Our biggest disadvantage, however, was not having a spinnaker, which cost us dearly during the final downwind leg of the race as we slipped from 2nd place in our division to 2nd to last. Oops!

One of the cool things about the race was the use of GPS-transmitting trackers supplied by Yellowbrick Tracking, allowing friends and family to track our tortuous progress. Below is a screen shot from the Yellowbrick map for the 2nd half of the race.

Here is a neat animation as Arriba approaches another vessel at sunset.
Yellowbrick tracking of Lincoln 2014 race
Arriba's rectilinear path stands out dramatically and highlights our inability to sail before the wind on more than a broad reach of about 135° (i.e., the wind coming from 45° behind us). During the day we could have managed 150° but this section of the race was during the night necessitating more conservative sailing.

The other thing that stands out about our course is that we were the only vessel to have sailed between Wedge Island and the small North Island 1 mile to the north. For the record, this did not happen on my watch! The first night watch assured me they had triple checked the charts and by aiming straight for the lighthouse on Thistle Island the maneuver was safe. Nick and I relieved them at 2am.

We completed the race in 22 hours and 15 minutes. By comparison, the winner of the racing division, a fast trimaran, managed 11 hours 40 minutes, setting a new course record.

Safely moored with other multihulls in Port Lincoln.
Everyone had a blast and I expect to do it again - next time with a spinnaker though!

OVER.