In the past week I have sailed four times and enjoyed the time on the water as well as the fine Autumn weather that is characteristic of Sydney. On the four days we had enough breeze for to sail the full courses but not enough to tax the skill of the crews. Last Sunday was the West Harbour Winter series, Wednesday was the RANSA Winter Wednesday Series, Friday was the Balmain Friday afternoon series and today was the Gosford Sailing Club Winter series. The first three were sailed on Passion X while the Gosford race today was sailed on Kevin’s Avanti a speedy Ross 780. In these mixed fleet races it is great to see a wide range of designs do well and boats of the 1980′s beating modern designs. Our visit to Balmain for their Friday afternoon series was our first but hopefully not our last. For the day the crew was Elaine, Ron and myself with an average age over 70 so we were quite pleased to keep close to Another Planet with five on board. They pulled away a bit on the works but we managed to pull back the deficit on the run down Snails Bay. We were able to sail by the lee with the genoa poled out to windward and then gybe the main leaving the genoa poled to leeward and later gybe the main back again with the genoa now back out to windward. With the small crew and with out speed better at a higher angle this was quicker than trying to pole out to windward on each gybe. We have done this to advantage on twilight races and I am inclined to use this technique more often now that we have a hull that enjoys higher angles. We were pretty well side by side until the last run when we were pinned by leeward yachts into the wind shadow of the islands while Another Planet was ahead and able to sail a wider course. It was a good afternoon and some much needed time on the helm. Today at Gosford Kevin’s boat is well sorted out with a nice square topped main and with the overlapping genoa it enjoys a good turn of speed with just a light breeze. It felt good to finish ahead of a Match 38 and an Adams 10.

Sunset on a Sydney Autumn day

Sunset on a Sydney Autumn day

Avanti after the race waiting for high tide

Avanti after the race waiting for high tide

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