Silverrudder 2021, review from Maxx
Dear all. Here is a short review from my trip onboard Maxx from this years Silverrudder, singlehanded around Funen. My boat is a standard X-99 and I do not have any code 0 or genakker installed, but the boat was emptied for any loose weight, such as matress and galley equipment…and…. you know how much stuff we have onboard. My two forward stanchions each side is lowered to 30 cm so the genoa can pass on top at each tack.
The weather forecast said 8-10 m/s NW wind and wearing to NE, increasing to 10-11 m/s at the northern Funen. Sail direction was Funen to port and this made sail choice easy, full main and fock for upwind sailing the first 6-7 hours. Early next morning the wind should de-crease to 4-6 m/s NE-E. This meant upwind sailing at the south part of Funen. Before start, the Genoa was packed with all hooks in one end, so sail change during night was as easy as possible.
The start zone was just outside the harbour(Jesus it’s crowded).
The current was against and the start area was divided in two. To the left is the main channel with a lot of head current - but less crowded, and to the right more shallow water and less current - but more crowded. I did notice during departure it was high water, so it would be possible to go closer to the coastline than the gps plotter said. I decided to go for the right side, closest to the shore line and then “pedal to the metal” spinnaker up and pull away from the main fleet immediately. My timing looked good and 1m30s before start I launched the spinnaker - but disaster happened. The hook on the halyard snapped off and was now flying half way op the mast. I was behind all boats close to the shore line and this gave me a few minute to solve my problem. On autopilot and adrenalin pumping I crawled like a monkey in the mast and managed to get the halyard down. I don’t know how I managed - and I can’t do it again, but I didJ and was ready to fight.
As I started behind I did not put the spinnaker. If I come from behind with high speed I have to give way. But as mentioned, it was high water and the main fleet seemed to be on the 2m curve. I gambled and went closer to shore,- and it paid off. Free wind and shortest distance to first waypoint gave me an advantage. I launched the spinnaker and pulled away…overtook a few boats and came out of Svendborgsund as first boat - out of 103J.
Along east side of Funen it was upwind on port tack. I passed the Great belt bridge between pylon no 47-48 and proceeded on port tack, waiting for the wind shift from NW to NE. After the wind shift it was straight upwind to the northern part of Funen and even with slightly slack on the sheets at the end.
At North Funen the wind came on TWA 110 deg to stb - 10 m/s. I was on the limit to carry the spinnaker, but I launched the small reacher spinnaker and immediately lost control several times I a row. Then I went for a 10 deg lower course and this way I was just able to keep control most of the time. With spinnaker sheet in one hand and the rudder in the other, Maxx was flying with 10 knobs but after an hour I had to take the spinnaker down and go to a higher course to come back on track toward Æbelø. From Æbelø to Lillebælt I had a TWA 160 deg on stb and I launched the max spinnaker and flew off. Long, long, long period with 13,5 kn on the log and a maximum at 14,7 kn. Maxx was flying in total control and I gained huge on all other boats around. It was pitch-black darkness, but what a ride - the X-99 is a fantastic boatJ
I kept up the spinnaker most of the way in Lillebælt. I boomed a few times and between the two bridges I had to take it down. I launched it again after the old bridge until Fænø Kalv…lots of work during night time, but it payed off, I was pulling away.
The rest of the way to Svendborg was upwind. 3-5 m/s and perfect for x-99. I changed from fock to Genoa after Lillebælt and managed to hold back much faster boats such as X-35, XP-33 and Queen 34.
I finished in the medium class as no 8 and as fastest x-yacht in the 30-35 feet class. It was a fantastic race and our X-99 is a perfect boat for singlehanded racing. Hope to see more of you on the starting line next year.
DEN 467 - MAXX