After the excitement of the launch, first sail and first race on our Didi 40 Cr Passion X it was back to work preparing her for the Sail Port Stephens Regatta and the lead in Newcastle to Port Stephens race. There is a long list of wants to have finished including the galley drawers. There are four draws, top three being 150 mm deep and the bottom one 300 mm deep for cooking utensils. I assembled one of the 150 mm deep drawers in the garage and rowed it out to Passion X for a trial fit before gluing it together. The rest are all made now except for site fitting the faces. When I say made I mean they are glued up and have the first coat of paint on them. The extra galley storage will be welcome as most of the utensils are currently stored in sealed plastic containers tightly crammed into the shelf behind the fridge and stove.
I have also made up a base for the gas bottle. The base is a set of concentric rings to be glued into the gas locker so that the bottle cannot slide around. The bottle will be strapped to the base so it cannot move. Another task on the list was rail supports for the hanging locker they are now made and primed.

Drawers, draw fronts and other items with a first coat of primer

Drawers, draw fronts and other items with a first coat of primer

The long spinnaker pole off Passion has been trimmed to 4.7 metres for a lower rating penalty and once the spinnaker lines are finished we will have to get in some spinnaker practice.
Last night was our second race at Greenwich Flying Squadron on the Black fleet. The forecast was for fifteen knots on the Harbour which means quite light on the west side of the bridge. We set the No 1 genoa and prepared for the start. We were windward boat on the line when a knock put the leeward ones ahead so we had to tack through the fleet on the way out of Humbug. Meridian was one of the leeward boats and she cleared off making a fast passage through Humbug to be five minutes ahead after fifteen minutes of racing. We had a good battle with the rest of the fleet to get through Humbug behind Lisdillon and then all of a sudden the breeze freshened to around 20 knots.
Now this was the first time Passion X has seen any breeze and we had the big genoa up too. We flattened the main and let it flog while sailing on the genoa and survived our first test. Within minutes we had trimmed the sails for heavy air survival and survived very well. Only the big Beneteau 44.7 passed us in the breeze and soon we were reaching away along the Cockatoo island shore in moderating conditions.
We now had a large group of yachts just behind including the Young 40 Flashback who gave us a very tight race all evening.
As we moved back into beating mode after rounding Cockatoo Island we managed to sail over Calliban and Lisdillon while just holding out Flashback.
The next challenge was to sail around Goat Island where we picked the breeze remarkable well and were able to reach around the Island with a good lead on the fleet minus Meridain. The rest of the fleet experienced some very light shifty conditions which took them some time to negotiate.
Ignoring Meridian, we now had a larger lead on the fleet that in our first race but in a repeat performance we were becalmed on the run home. At the finish we just held out Flashback not noticing the large group of yachts just a minute behind who had come home with good breeze.
I was surprised that we managed the 20 knot conditions so comfortably. All the mainsail flogging was not fast due to the drag but we did not round up so I am looking forward to some steady 20 knot conditions with the No 3 genoa set.

We still have some issues to resolve with the sailing gear. The sheeting angle on the No 1 is fine in light airs but at 20 knots the pressure needed to keep the leach (leech if you prefer) near the spreaders pulls the foot in against the shrouds. I will try moving the sheeting angle forward to let the foot curve around the stay base but the angle will be very much down the leach. We have yet to put shock cord on the runner to pull them forward of the boom in a tack or gybe. It should be on the must do list for next Tuesday’s measurement slash busy bee jobs. The No 3 sets forward of the stays and inside them so that is good to go for a blow. The No 2 has not been hoisted but I fear we will have trouble finding a sheeting position where the foot does not clash with the stays. It might have to go between the D1′s and V1′s. On a lighter side I started referring to the No 1 last night as our No 2. The crew new that I was mentally preparing for a bigger No 1.

I must not rush this one as we seem to go well in the light beating conditions with very good height compared to the fleet. I already feel the 200 mm deeper keel, fat head main and longer foot on the main are working a treat with superb balance and a bigger genoa would impact our rating. On the other hand we have almost 2 metres of track behind the No 1 position which seems an awful waste and we do a lot of light air sailing in the RANSA Winter Wednesday series.

Gusts to 20 knots but very light patches too.

Gusts to 20 knots but very light patches too.

This week I will be trying to finish the galley as well as measuring Passion X for an IRC rating.

Comments are closed.