In the last Wednesday twilight we made good use of the wind shifts on the work to Goat Island up to the last one. The tracks from the chart plotter show good angles and even the angle on starboard going up the Balls head shore look good so what went wrong?
Half way along the tack the fleet was deep against the Goat Island shore in light air and pointing at our stern. Despite our good angle relative to the earlier shifts we should have tacked to cover. Not only would that have protected our gains it would have put us on starboard approaching the mark.
Having missed the opportunity of clear air to tack the next massive lift brought the fleet up and to windward. Back on port trying to make the island we had to take the stern of Utopia losing valuable windward metres and forcing us to pinch to round the island now that we were in a massive header.
The tacking angles show the extreme shift in wind direction and is a good reminder to take what you can when you can.

Caught on the wrong side of a big shift at Goat Island and paying a high price for not covering the fleet.

Caught on the wrong side of a big shift at Goat Island and paying a high price for not covering the fleet.

The take away from tonight’s race is that we did a good start and hung on for a fifth place on handicap against some pretty stiff opposition. The score sheet is currently showing sixth place due to the erroneous inclusion of Much Ado V which if you were to believe the result sheet beat the MC38 Infotrack home by six minutes. I am sure the Beck team rivalry will have that sorted out pretty soon and Much Ado V relegated back to a DNF. That will leave Infotrack only a couple of minutes ahead of Dump Truck which is a pretty impressive performance by the Ker 11.3 considering they had not read the current season course sheet and took a detour. Including the detour they still finished seven minutes in front of Meridian and had three minutes to spare on handicap.
Time will sort out the handicap for the MC38 and team Beck and aside from them the outstanding result on the night was from Meridian who turned the tables on sistership Joli from last week.
We made a well timed start from the club end and allowed for the massive header so we could clear Onion Point in the lead. Once we turned the corner there was nothing until a fresh breeze sprang up from behind and brought Dump Truck and Meridian over the top. We went high and tried to do the same with the next gust but they got their noses around the corner and took off. Dump Truck took off for Cockatoo while Meridian and Passion X headed to Goat Island.
Long before we hit the Balmain shore Infotrack came charging over the top and refused to tack away from the shore line doldrums until clear ahead and giving us dirty air all the way back to the point.
We managed to stay in phase for most of the work to Goat by which time Much Ado V, Utopia and Jackpot had made up ground.
We did well on the square to Long Nose on the shore side of the fleet and managed to round behind just Meridian and Infotrack. Unfortunately the wheels fell of a bit on the reach along the Balmain shore where we lost Utopia and Jackpot.
Humbug was our last chance to make up ground but it was not to be and we were fortunate to hold out the fast finishing Joli to the line.

One of my concerns on Wednesday night was the lack of cooling water in the engine so we were very constrained on how we used the motor. On Thursday while Elaine was at the gym I did a quick dash to the boat and replaced the water pump impellor which had lost a blade. In very quick time the pump was back in action.
A second concern on Wednesday was that the instrument brightness was out of sync and the autopilot was glowing brightly while the wind instrument was dark. Nothing ruins your night vision like a bright light in your face and in the absence of a wind direction how do you steer? Not very well is the correct answer so I checked the instrument instructions and reset the group lighting and here is the silly thing, set it very low so that in daylight they appeared to be off.
The net result was that without a visible warning in the cockpit I left the power on .
Friday afternoon I get a message that the nav lights are still on so we made another quick trip to Passion X to turn the power off. Now after 28 hours of power draw the voltage was still at 11 and the fridge was all but frozen over even with an open top.
Anyway it was a pleasant late Friday afternoon drive and drinks and cheese and bickies on board while we gave the battery a top up.
For good measure I set the group illumination on the instruments a little brighter possibly brighter than the skipper.

Drifting around a too long course for far too long only to run out of time a few metres from the finish is what hurts.
Joli, Utopia and Jackpot beat the guillotine courtesy of the last dying gasp of the almost dead breeze while Meridian and Passion X had almost nothing to take us home through Humbug.
Well done to the finishers and heaps of thanks to the crew for enduring a pretty tame night.

Winter in Sydney is better than summer in many sailing capitals with respect to warmth but what we lack for much of winter is wind. When it does blow it can be too strong for sailing so it is truly a feast or famine. We were fortunate that one windy wednesday the racing was held at RANSA where in a depleted fleet we scored a first and fastest but it was our only one for the winter. That was the icing on the cake for the shortened point score series and gave us second on countback from Krakatoa who had an excellent start to the winter series. In the individual post series races I-Super had a blinder for the first race but we got one back on them the next race after which we both lost count of who would have won had the series been continued.
The last race of the series started well for us with a long broad reach out to the South Head and a tight work back to Rose Bay. Fidelis loves those conditions even more than Passion X and was well ahead at the turn and stayed there all day. We held out Hanni until the Point Piper mark at which point Crosshaven broke our overlap and Joli followed close behind. On the reach around Shark island we tried too hard to go over the top of Crosshaven only to sail into the wind shadow while Joli wisely went wide for more consistent wind. A big gust at the mark caused us to round up and we had to do a 360 to round the mark properly. In the confusion we forgot to haul on the backstay and struggled to windward on the last leg to get passed by I-Super by a mere 2 seconds.
We did carry a lot of sail for the wind and while we were super fast on the first reach it is arguable that we could have been faster to windward on the way home with the No3 jib.
Two days later we were rigged with the No 4 jib and two reefs in the main and ready for a blast around the Balmain course in the Friday afternoon series only to have the race abandoned due to the forecast. For the heck of it we sailed the full course with just our No4 Jib and made it around in better time than in many of the drifts. The only bit of excitement was the 40 knot gust which did what 40 knot gusts are supposed to do. The wisdom of the cancellation was proven when shortly after packing the gear away a 50 knot squall came through and did quite a bit of damage around Sydney.
Monday we headed out to Pittwater sailing on the nose all the way from Sydney with the No3 jib and the vang down hard so we could ease the boom down. That proved very fast and stable and was a good start to three days of quiet up in Refuge Bay and the Coasters Retreat areas.
Thursday was a motor back home as the breeze was absent or right on the nose at just a few knots but the trip was exciting enough with whale sightings off of Barrenjoey and later just 500 metres from the North Head. The pod off the heads was in the direct line of our travel and we had to take a wide detour to avoid them. Along with the commercial whale watching vessels and other private spectators we spent 30 minutes absorbed by the antics of the pod.
Friday was the last day of the Winter Afternoon series at Balmain and a good chance to try out the boom down technique we had practiced on the way to Pittwater. The steady breeze favoured the early starters so we had a mid fleet finish but we did pass quite a few and held out Avalon and Irukandji with whom the handicapper had finally come to terms. They both beat us around the course on time but by not enough to pass. In the end this was to be a drop as we had so many sixth places that we had ones to spare and ended up second in the series to Avalon. Our win over Irukandji was due only to their misfortune at running aground in one race and not contesting another otherwise we would have been back in third place. On the other hand we sailed the series with a small crew on many days and no ballast on the rails.
This weekend is the start of Daylight saving time and the commencement of the GFS Twilight series. For Passion X it will be a new experience to race with the trimmed down pin head main and fixed backstay so we are looking forward to the racing.

The eighteen to twenty five knot breeze provided quite a challenge for the fifteen yachts in Division 1 of the RANSA Winter Wednesday race. Adding to the challenge was the wind direction which was straight down the course so it is a real credit to the crew of Amanti that they got around in an hour and ten minutes. It is not the best direction for Passion X but we have been more competitive with the pin head main and fixed backstay and were not disappointed with ninth on handicap.
Like a lot of the fleet we hoisted a No 3 jib and reefed main but later shook out the reef, again like a lot of the fleet.
The pin was the correct end to start and we were well lined up when Amanti charged back into the fleet from windward. To avoid a collision we had to give up our safe starting position and go to leeward barely making the pin in the process. The tight pinch to the pin was not pretty and we stalled out in the dirty air of the fleet. When the breeze knocked we tacked and were among the leaders well to windward of the fleet. Leeward came across on starboard and being unable to duck her we went back in a safe leeward position but she kept driving towards Bradleys Head and did not stop until we were both becalmed behind the point.
This was a disappointing pointless exercise as it put us right at the back of the fleet and in the full dirty air of Leeward. After a long slow work back into clear air we set off after the fleet. In the far distance Hanni picked up a nice shift off of Steele Point so we headed that way hoping to get into the lift.

We did get back into the lift but it was short lived and back on port tack we were convincingly bested by Fidelis and Tula out wide.

Coming back into the top mark I set my sights on Allegro as a possible target to catch on the run home. Downwind with the jib poled out we held Fidelis and passed Tula. Into Rose Bay and in lighter air we shook out the reef in the main and jumped away from Fidelis and Tula. Along the reach to Point Piper the fast reaching Fidelis came up to our transom and it was touch and go to round ahead. On the beat around the island we tacked back to Shark Island while Fidelis carried out mid stream. In the chase we made up ground on Allegro but were run over at the mark by Fidelis.

The last run for home  was a chase after Allegro and Fidelis and while we were not able to catch them we did make up enough time to beat them on handicap.

Leeward collected second place which is typical of their heavy air performance but we were happy to stay within two minutes of Joli, to make ground on Allegro and to beat Hitchhike over the line.

We were indeed fortunate with the weather on the rain front as there was a prolonged break in the rain during the race. On the other hand the breeze was well under forecast. Joli and Passion X both had crew numbers appropriate for the 20 knot forecast breeze but a bit over the top for the 10 knots we had. That did not stop us getting first and second on handicap and while Joli was a clear winner Passion X had to fight for every second to beat Allegro on handicap.
On Passion X we made the chase a bit harder than it should have been by being 15 seconds behind the line at the start. We went low to avoid the dirty air of the fleet to windward and sailed parallel to Fidelis, Joli and Allegro to the top mark.
At the rounding we continued on starboard enough to get clear air on the leading three and were rewarded with a lift above the leaders. In hindsight we should have used the lift to get more boat speed and try to get ahead of the next shift but alas we went too high and sailed into the quiet air in the lee of Steele Point.
Joli and Fidelis out wide tacked on a big knock and came back ahead. Allegro chased Passion X along the shore and we had an extended passage side be side sailing into Rose Bay. As we approached the Rose Bay mark Fidelis dropped down on our line giving us a dose of dirty air at which point Allegro started to nudge ahead to leeward. As we tacked for the mark Amanti came in on starboard so we stayed high giving them room to round but they managed to touch in the rounding and went back for a second go. That gave us room to chase Fidelis and try to stay ahead of Allegro. Around the Point Piper mark Joli, Fidelis and Allegro went deep while Passion X went straight to the mark. In that phase Joli drew further ahead, Allegro passed Passion X to leeward and effectively sailed around us while Fidelis did not enjoy the detour and dropped two places. The rest of the way home was a drag race chasing Allegro and trying to stay ahead of Fidelis.
We never caught Allegro but managed to cross the line ahead of Fidelis and Amanti who never made up the extra turns in Rose Bay.

Chasing Fidelis

Chasing Fidelis

Nose by nose with Allegro into Rose Bay

Nose by nose with Allegro into Rose Bay

Allegro goes deep and around Passion X

Allegro goes deep and around Passion X

That is the gap from first fastest back to Passion X in a very bunched fleet. On handicap it was even tighter with just 12 seconds separating Joli in second place and Passion X in fifth. Meridian in third was five seconds in front and Coco in fourth just a single second ahead. The handicapper will be very proud of his work tonight.

The race started in northerly winds gusting to fifteen knots and a little more. On that angle Passion X performed well under full main and No 1 heavy genoa where we hung onto the tail of Agrovation and Meridian until the breeze shifted to the north east and we had to work to the top mark. At the shift the yacht to leeward flopped over and passed ahead of Passion X but it was close at the top.
On the run back to Steele Point we travelled well with the genoa poled out and pulled a few metres ahead of Hanni. On the gybe we left the pole up to leeward and gained on the fleet only to have Amanti drop their pole and reach up under us. On the reach to Point Piper we managed to sail out from under Amanti but on the work around the island they were too smart and too fast while we were locked down by the high pointing Hanni just behind.
Around the island and on the reach home it was anyone’s race. We managed to reach out from under Hanni but could not make an impression on the leaders.
At the finish it was a well enjoyed race with the only surprise the narrow loss to Joli and Meridian on handicap.

Despite the increased restriction on sailing events due to the Covid 19 virus a large fleet was able to take to the water at Balmain today for a glorious Friday afternoon sail around the West Harbour. There are a lot of people well past retirement age enjoying these events and to the organizers we extend our grateful thanks. For today we were down to three Zone D sailors. For those uninitiated in the rituals of Covid 19 sailing zones that mean we all live in as odd quadrilateral designated by Sailing Australia NSW as a zone where we are allowed to associate for sailing purposes. It is fortunate that for our Wednesday sailing we are predominately Zone D people and for the upcoming twilight series also Zone D persons.

The wind was favorable for our designated start time and by the first island rounding we were hard on the stern of those that started a minute earlier. That sense of achievement was soon extinguished in the cut and thrust of the windward work up the Hunters Hill shore as Irukandji found the right side of a couple of wind shifts and went on to win the afternoon.

Our next crack at fame came on the reach along the Balmain shore back past the club when we went wide and found more wind to run through the lee of a  large proportion of the fleet. Odyssey was just in front and Avalon to windward but we hung on to their tails for the run down the narrow passage between Drummoyne Yacht Club and the islands. At the “No Loitering”sign where Irukandji parked last week we ran out of wind which was extremely disappointing as we watched Odyssey and Avalon charge off into the distance for second and third place respectively. Meanwhile we had caught Van Demon and were having one hell of a fight with here for one place in a friendly Friday sail. They skimmed across our bow and tacked onto starboard giving us dirty air. When they tacked away we hung on to a progressive lift and came back strongly so they tacked again to close out the passage to the line. We dared the wrath of the sailing gods and drove to the very edge of the Cockatoo Island wall and tacked back trying to get a starboard call on them but alas they snuck through for fifth place leaving us pretty pleased with a sixth place for the afternoon. It was perhaps fitting that we started together and finished together and in the interval had a very enjoyable afternoon on the water playing for sheep stations not.

Our mate Geoff was out on the water running the motor on Capriole and took some great sailing photos for our enjoyment.

The genoa we were using for the afternoon is one we took off of the old Passion so it has done a lot of miles. It was built by Ben Gemmell back in the day and we had it repaired late last year and put aside as a cruising sail. When the Covid 19 virus struck we pulled the sail out of retirement into service as it is high clewed and skims the life lines. The repairs by Sydney Sailmakers have added years to the life of the old Genoa.

The other Covid 19 related change was to remove the fat head from the main so we could sail with a smaller crew and that has been a success as far as enjoyable sailing goes. This is the first good photo of the modified mainsail.

Nice photo of Passion X in one of the fresher patches of wind. Photo courtesy Geoff Lucas

Nice photo of Passion X in one of the fresher patches of wind. Photo courtesy Geoff Lucas

Trying to get some twist in the sails for the light shifty conditions. Photo courtesy Geoff Lucas

Trying to get some twist in the sails for the light shifty conditions. Photo courtesy Geoff Lucas

We did get a very good seven to ten knots sailing breeze for the Wednesday sail our of RANSA and a real bonus as only three knots had been forecast. Before the start Geoff had predicted the direction would move about and that it did indeed. Meanwhile inside the boom a shackle pin worked loose, possibly after a flogging last Wednesday and Friday when the main was reefed and the main outerhaul was lying loose inside the boom. The upshot was that we had no outerhaul and had to jury rig and fix the clew of the mainsail in one position for the duration of the race. It was too full for the windward work and too flat for the reaches but it was a reasonable compromise.
We had a well timed start off the boat end in clear wind with a slight shift favouring the boat but eventually it knocked putting the pin end starters who had persevered on starboard well in front when they tacked.
Krakatoa was just above us and as they tacked early we had freedom to move which we did to stay in phase with the fleet. I Super did something super and was clear ahead of the fleet. Back int the pack we were having some good gains and some of those shift which go down as losses. Consequently we were ahead and behind of the same yachts many times on the long work to the heads.  We arrived at the top mark ahead of Allegro and Krakatoa but behind a close bunch including Amanti, Joli, Meridian, Hanni and Hitchhiker. Crosshaven snuck in there too so we had plenty of company for the run back to Steele Point. We stayed out with Crosshaven trying to emulate what they did two weeks ago by going wie around Steele Point but it did not work as the fleet close inside got a good gust along the shore and successfully shot the corner. Out wide we were still hoping to get the breeze from over the top but it came from forward of the beam and we were left in the dirty air of the fleet. Around the Rose Bay mark we gave room to a big Div 2 yacht and suffered from her dirty air so the leaders moved further ahead.

Behind Allegro and Krakatoa were coming down with fresh breeze while we were sitting in our private light patch. The three of us tried to round the  Point Piper mark at the same time with Allegro getting the front spot and Passion X the inside spot on Krakatoa and that was the way we rounded the island.

For the final run home Allegro went north and picked up the first use of a new squirt and bounded away and Krakatoa persisted with giving Passion X dirty air to be successful by a short nose over the line.

Between Rose Bay and home Passion X lost 4 minutes on the leaders which is a bit troubling as it is not normally the case. I suspect we had the rig a bit stiff because as I review the video footage of the race I can see the loose leaches on the mainsails of the yachts leading away from us into Rose Bay.

Well done to I Super for the wind and to Joli for getting back onto the podium. Unfortunately for them the point score series finished last week with Krakatoa taking the prize on a countback from Passion X. It was a well deserved win for Krakatoa as they performed well from the first race.

Thursday in idyllic conditions I audited a GFS yacht and in turn was audited ready for the 2020 2021 season. Post audits I tackled the broken mainsail outerhaul and was able to replace the broken shackle and reinstate the 4:1 purchase system ready for the Friday afternoon pursuit race at Balmain.

The fleet did better close in to Steele Point

The fleet did better close in to Steele Point

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Where the fleet got away with the freshening breeze on the nose into Rose Bay

 

 

The nicest thing about the Friday Afternoon pursuit series run out of Balmain is the spirit in which racing is conducted from the honour system for starting to the leeway given in awkward situations. We sail very short handed for a yacht of our size so we are not the quickest to respond and today even with extra crew the strong wind called for a lot of caution. Thank you to the sailors who gave us some slack and did not drive us into Cockatoo Island off the start line. Thank you to Tana for not putting us about into the moored yachts we had just tacked away from along the Balmain shore.
On the careful front we went out with a double reef in the main and the No3 jib thinking that with the small crew today would be a good time to see how we went with such aggressive reefing. It was a good test as to windward we were competitive with the single reefed sailors while downwind we suffered as would be expected. A gun crew might have taken one reef out on the runs and put it back in for works but we were making a little ground and our 7th place out of 17 starters was a satisfactory result. Maximum boat speed was 9.4 knots according to the same instruments that recorded 12.4 knots on Wednesday with more wind and a single reef.
By a small margin over Odyssey and Van Demon we were fastest around the course but that might be a bit generous as Irukandji parked next to the “No Loitering” sign off of Spectacle Island and while they did not incur the nominated fine they did suffer a bit of embarrassment. At times we made up a little ground on them but when they parked they probably had us by a small margin on fastest time.

Another windy day this time beating towards Darling Harbour

Another windy day this time beating towards Darling Harbour

A big thank you to RANSA for running the Wednesday afternoon series today and getting it done before the big breeze hit. We did see 38n knots on the sind instruments on the way back to the mooring. Today was the first time we had contemplated the No 4 jib since we purchased it for the 2017 series but that contemplation was brief and I brushed the thought aside in favour of the No 3 jib and a reefed main. Before the start we watched our competitors one by one sail off into Rushcutters Bay to put in a reef so that by the start most of the fleet was on smaller jibs and reefed mains.
Krakatoa timed the start perfectly while we had to wait for Reve to get far enough forward so we could duck her stern and head to the line.
Helped by the strong breeze we were able to hang onto Krakatoa’s tail for the reach to the heads and the most exciting bits were surfing down her stern wave in the gusts. Our maximum boat speed showed at 12.4 knots although the most we saw while watching the dial was mid tens. The 12.4 must have been off of Krakatoa’s stern wave in one of the gusts where we momentarily drew level. We had by now build up a handy 80 metres lead on the fleet and were content to safely follow Krakatoa around the top mark and head off on a very tight reach to Steele Point. Along this leg we went higher to be able to pass without any interference and pass we did particularly as we approached Steele Point and freed off for the reach into Rose Bay. Amante and I Super were also not far behind and we had a long beat to the finish line to try to hold them out.
In theory the Sydney 36crs are faster to windward in 20 knots and we had all of that and some more so we knew we would be working hard to hold our slim lead. Everyone pitched in with winching and tailing the main and jib and calling the angles and telltales so we were in good shape for the work home. We stayed in phase with the fleet on the way home and were surprised when Amante took a detour not realising that we were sailing the No 2 course and heading straight for home. Next in line was i Super with a full main then Krakatoa holding onto here place from a mighty reach to the heads. Behind we could see Leeward with mainsail backwinding and enjoying the fresh conditions and further back Allegro but we held on for our first fastest time for the season and first in a breeze. On handicap we had a close win over our similarly handicapped I Super and we waved to our old crew member as they crossed the line..
The win elevated Passion to equal first with Krakatoa on the leader board and a handy place to be at this time of the series.

The moment we caught Krakatoa

The moment we caught Krakatoa

This Friday afternoon was possibly the lightest day sailing in a long list of light day sailing. Quite probably a day just as light was experienced in Canberra in the distant days when I sailed NS 14s and where the water was so flat it was hard to tell what was reflection and what was real. In the even more distant days when I was a young Moth sailor 54 years ago we had a winter race at RPYC in Western Australia where the breeze died and in second place I refused to retire even though it was windless. In that distant day before cut off times for races the committee turned off the lights so I could rock home over the line and everyone could go home. Also there was a string of light days at Jeju Island in South Korea where we could not get off the beach for lack of wind but as far as light days where we actually started today was possibly a record. We started in two to three knots and made good progress up to Birchgrove but along the Drummoyne shore any wisp of wind was a figment of an overactive imagination and off of Spectacle Island the committee cruised around the fleet making gestures as to indicate that the race was dead. Yes like the Norwegian Blue it was dead, deceased, no more.
On the bright side we motored home at speed stowing the sails and beat the rain. Now safe inside the warm house with air conditioning blasting warm air into the room we can be grateful for another day of light exercise and sunlight before the rain.

Britannia cleaned up big time today both on the upwind leg to the turn mark and spectacularly on the reach back into Rose Bay where they went right across to Shark Island for breeze and skirted the fleet.
Our goose was cooked when we planned on reaching into the line and starting behind the most windward yacht.

 That was good in theory but awful in execution as the breeze died and headed so we had a slow work to the line the dirty air of the big Reve. While we were only a minute late at the line we had our fair share of dirty air until we worked out to windward in clear air. With the occasional flick back to the north we had glimpses of success until the breeze did the forecast change to the North East while we were at the back of the shift. We had to stay on the north side of the fleet and try to stay in phase and with a bit of luck we managed to come back in front of Agrovation and Crosshaven. Other notables behind were Allegro and Whistling Kite while just in front was I Super. Further ahead was Meridian, Hanni, Foreign Affairs, joli and Amante.

On the run to Steele Point we ran square while Crosshaven and Britannia went far out into the mid channel and came back around the fleet. Agrovation was slowly gaining ground and giving us a dose of wind shadow while we did the same to I Super. Allegro was charging up on the shore side when we decided to stay wide. As we watched Britannia reach away over on the Shark Island shore we tried to stay as low as possible and keep some wind across the sails. At times I Super and Agrovation looked to be picking up wind inshore but eventually the sailed into nothing as did Allegro behind them .
From there it was a follow the leaders home and the best breeze of the day was the work to the shortened course off the top of Shark Island.

The dying breeze into Rose Bay spread the fleet out so that some of the finish margins look a bit cruel. In particular the six minutes gap from Meridian and Amante and the 4 minutes from Joli hurt but then our 5 minute margin over Allegro was not indicative of boat speed.

For the day we were happy to hold out I Super and Agrovation by a minute over the line and salvage eight handicap points and hang onto equal 4th place overall with Larrikin.

The forecast wind shift put us behind the eight ball.

The forecast wind shift put us behind the eight ball.

The run of fine weather had to come to an end and it did so with a vengeance. So wet was it that only six yachts braved the conditions and Elaine may have been the only lady on the course.
The early starters were unlucky as right on 14:09 hours, our start time, a breeze sprang up and powered us up the reach to Long Nose where the becalmed fleet lay waiting. from there it was almost all drift with just a little shifty wind around the south side of Goat Island.
The drift back to Cockatoo Island was particularly frustrating as the wind from the Harbour proper kept filtering through up to Long Nose and no further.
Avalon made good us of the wind filtering in across Balls head to lead the fleet by Cockatoo Island. At this point we managed to put our nose in front of the rest of the fleet and set off after Avalon.
On the final reach from Snapper Island Elaine took the helm and I played with the sail settings and we made up a lot of ground on Avalon. Perhaps it was our turn to have the breeze but if felt good to do a bit of catching up. Of course that meant a big gap to third place and possibly a nasty handicap for Passion X and Avalon next week.