Seventeen yachts contested the RANSA Winter Wednesday race in conditions more like early Autumn. Nothing in the warm day and light airs suggested that the shortest day of the year is just a month away.
In the conditions I was pleased with our tenth place which might have been better but for the dying breeze that leaves the slower yachts out on the course struggling to finish in the lightest air of the day. It was worse for the big blue Viva and who was some 19 minutes behind and not so good for Enigma who was 9 minutes behind.

RANSA21MaY#2 RANSA21MayAllegro RANSA21May#1RANSA14May2014V2

Izzi and Gwhizz from GFS have at last been granted suitable handicaps and Izzi with a good start in clear airs managed a respectable fifth on handicap while Gwhizz showed what a good light air yacht she is with a fourth on handicap and a finish well in front of Passion. John and Graeme on Gwhizz will be delighted that they beat the newer Elan 350 over the line and we will be hearing about it for a while.
The course was a tight reach up to South Head and a broad reach back to Steele Point before tacking into Rose Bay. The line was laid favouring the boat end and that is where a lot of damage was done to handicap prospects. Allegro did a penalty turn and it took half way to the head to catch us while Rainbow Gwhizz and Izzi seemed to get away unscathed .
We did try a few things. A new adjustable tack on the main seemed to work well and we were able to leave the main halyard alone all day. Letting the backstay right off so that the genoa and main were fuller seemed to help too. The tight reach to the heads was too tight for the reaching tweaker on the genoa so we settled for moving the car forward.
On the reach back to Steele Point we found some private wind and climbed above Silky for the first time in the race and made good ground on Gwhizz and Crackerjack. We were however forced by a starboard tacker to tack away from the shift ahead and that cost us dearly. Well maybe not too dearly but at least one place on handicap.
At the finish we beat Silky by the smallest of margins of one second but a place is a place.
At the finish I declared the day a roaring success because we had enough wind to get around the course in picture perfect conditions and we beat our new “mark” boat Viva by nineteen minutes.

Comments are closed.