With Elaine away for the whole day I used the time to visit the club early and swap equipment audits for a fellow club member and then sail the regular Balmain Friday Afternoon pursuit series. It is a very pleasant dash around the islands west of the bridge and with a fresh 16 knots of breeze it was all over in less than 60 minutes.
Some of the time in the past two days was spent setting up a new data page for the Raymarine cockpit plotter to show VMG to windward in big bold numbers and we did hit a full 6.0 knots in a couple of gusts when we were feathering into the breeze so I am hopeful that the full main and No 4 jib will be a useful combination in these fresher conditions. The drawback is that if the breeze dies we become under powered so there was a lot of discussion on board of how quickly we could change the headsail up.
Everyone agreed we had the appropriate rig up for the day and with the short footed jib tacking was very civilized. There was a few stronger gusts up to 18 and possibly 20 knots and we saw 9 knots of boat speed on the broad reach along the Hunters Hill foreshore. To help in the gusty conditions we kept the vang loose and the leech of the mainsail well twisted. Upwind we cranked on the backstay but eased it on  the downwind legs a la Etchell style.

At the end we caught all but the one yacht so we must have been doing most things right.

By contrast on Wednesday when we had the larger No 3 jib up the winds were a couple of knots stronger today and that seemed to make a lot of difference. Also today there was more reaching while Wednesday was dead into the wind one way and dead square the other way and that is not our sweet spot.

And while Elaine was away for the day she would have wanted to thank all the crew for keeping me occupied and happy for the day.

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