Now we have enjoyed the happy life on Hawaii for 4-5 days, socialized with the other teams and the time has come for looking back at what we have been doing the last 3 weeks.
Preparations are a big part of this. Category 1 ocean races have big demands to equipment and training and maintaining a proper job on the side the last 2 months could be a challenge. We made it to the starting line and would say that we were 90% prepared. It is also possible to do too much and with that lose the focus. Our performance in the race is 98%, which we would say is a better result than those preparing 110% and perform closer to 90%. The gear we have lost or damaged; The Masthead VHF antenna, one bucket (one of our two showers on the aft deck). Also, one webbing on the S4 was broken, but we saw that after the finish.
We have not had the handbrake on much of the time, but after discussing with the other boats on the dock, we see that we are adding some more safety in to preserving our equipment than others. For the fast boats, this is not as big issue, as they can bear away more in the gusts and squalls and somehow maintain the apparent wind. For us «slow going» boats (division 6-10) an increase from 20 to 30 kts true will add 8 kts apparent wind, and even worse, when a wave hits your transom and turns the boat up 30 degrees, the forces are enormous on the spinnaker, rigging and eventually also the rudder construction. Our most normal setting has been of course, full main and S4 (spinnaker). In more than 22 kts true, we have put in a reef in the main and experiencing that we have kept or increased the speed because it has been easier to steer correct in the waves. Another thing we have also seen is that we have been able to sail deeper angles. Before really heavy squalls, we have dropped the spinnaker and poled out the genoa and unfurled the staysail to the same side as the main. The speed has with this set-up been slightly lower than with the spinnaker, but we still have had the spinnaker after the squall and all the way to the finish-line. During the first 3 days we used both jib and genoa. After we had hoisted the spinnaker, we re-rigged the genoa to be a furling genoa, this has been great for the quick changes between spin and poled out genoa, and at the same time made it possible to reduce or increase the sail area very easy.
We ended in division 9, that was a small one. Our rating was in the lower end of that division and it was only the Cal 40s that are slower by rating, so we were presumably in the right class. It would of course be nice to have more competitors than 3, but we could not do anything else than sail as fast as we could. That ended up with victory by close to 24 hours on corrected time. We have also been a part of the best 3 boat team, Oaxaca won their class (Santa Cruz 50), Azure came second by the Cal`s and we won division 9.
Price giving ceremony is later today, photos will be posted!