We scored a fourth place in the windy RANSA Winter Wednesday race this week due to the non appearance of the larger yachts in the fleet and gear trouble on Blue Chip. I would like to say that we went faster for this result and to some extent that is true. With a reef in the main and the No3 genoa set we were first of the small trio in the fleet to the bottom mark. We don’t expect to keep pace with a TP52 in any conditions and we did not but we did beat Blue Chip and Sorcerer on the windy running leg. At the turn for the beat home we put a second reef in the main and settled down for the long slog. Even with two reefs we were overpowered and the X-Yachts 442 Sorcerer which is twice our weight and had twice as much ballast was just too powerful into the wind and waves. Blue Chip looked to draw away well but had trouble with a genoa and changed down to a nice No 4 jib. After the change they were quick and so quick that we failed to catch them. Their delay did however put a big enough dent in their elapsed time for us to beat them on handicap.
I thought we sailed well for our weight and would be happy if it was not for the ORCi velocity predictions which say we should match Sorcerer and Blue Chip to windward. Perhaps we are still too overpowered with the No 3 genoa and as a result have the main flogging too much and creating too much drag but if anything Blue Chip with one reef and Sorcerer with none did better in the light area around Shark Island.
Looking at our performance against Blue Chip over five races and Sorcerer over four races we appear to be averaging about 1.03 rating compared to our ORCi of 1.11.
We did well in the one light air race and could easily add a light air No 1 Genoa to the wardrobe to improve that performance and a heavy air No 4 jib might give us a couple of minutes in the stronger breeze but I struggle to see where we can make up 8 minutes to sail to our rating.

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