Gusty conditions provided plenty of exercise for our small crew on Wednesday night and despite muscle stain no one left the field.
Ever since we managed to keep Passion moving in 20 knots with the tri radial carbon fibre genoa in one of the RANSA Winter Wednesday races I have been more confident to set it in conditions when we might have set a No 2 in the past. The extra sail power comes in handy in the many wind shadows on the course and in the gusts the flogging main does not seem to slow us too much.
At the start our plan to start on Port at the windward end was thwarted by the starboard tack Tartan. It was a good plan and we were well positioned when Tartan alone tried to take the fleet. Unfortunately their move was not well executed and all they achieved was to push us off the line and to the back of the fleet. We were heading to Goat Island and by good luck or good sailing we managed to clear Long Nose Point on port while many of the fleet had to tack away. As they tacked away we took all the sterns and picked up half the fleet in one move. It was a similar story at Goat Island where we worked the boat hard to avoid a tack and again it paid off to bring us up to the transom of Izzi and Agrovation.

On the broad reach back from Goat to Cockatoo Irukandji and Jedi cleared out while we had a close match with Agrovation. Worlds Apart poled out their Genoa for a while but had to run deep to keep it flying. Izzi tried to keep her genoa poled out too but it was so far around the forestay she did not gain from it. We did well with the genoa to leeward particularly as the breeze headed us along the Cockatoo shore. At the turn we took the inside line and with plenty of breeze about the wind shadow was our least concern. On the work from Cockatoo to Humbug Worlds Apart seemed overpowered and could not clear Clarkes Point. We had Izzi to windward, a ferry to the stern and the port tacking Worlds Apart to contend with. There were plenty of port and starboard crossings on the way through Humbug and we almost cleared Onion Point but to expect three out of three was too much so we tacked away and had to tack back onto starboard below Worlds Apart. We crossed the finish line overlapped which in my book was an excellent result. Izzi and Agrovation were close behind.

On the chart I have marked this weeks tack into Humbug in red and you can see how we lifted into Onion Point. last weeks we tacked out of Humbug and I have marked that track in green. We were not so lucky last week with the shifts in Humbug but got our luck back this week.

A big thanks to the crew for their hard work on the night.

Tacking through Humbug

Tacking through Humbug

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