It was another very pleasant day on Sydney Harbour with winds from the South averaging 15 knots with a maximum wind speed on our instruments of 22 knots. In anticipation of a freshening breeze we set the No 3 genoa and full main which we carried for the day.
We rounded the downwind mark at Cannai Point level with Marloo and just in front of Sorcerer with Blue Chip a couple of minutes ahead of our group of three. With the wind freshest at the rounding mark the big Sorcerer quickly climbed over us or more correctly we dropped below their line. Expecting the breeze to quieten in Rose Bay we kept the full main although at times it seemed to be doing very little work.
We had good breeze in Rose Bay where the course had us reaching and here we seemed to gain a bit on Sorcerer and Marloo who had a quiet patch off Point Piper. The reach home was a very comfortable angle and the race was one of the quicker ones of the season.
Our time difference to our competitors was instructive. Sorcerer was clearly quicker than usual and that showed in the results with their second place but showing what a mixed bag the handicaps were we had our best time relative to Ichi Ban but they won the race on handicap.
Against Blue Chip our time difference was exactly our average right down to the last second but considering the wind it was our best result in those conditions. Against Marloo our results were even better with an elapsed time 2 minutes 49 seconds better than average for the season but on handicap we could only beat them by 47 seconds.
Against Kookaburra we also had our best result for the season by some three minutes and at least that one showed in the handicaps.
Duende is on average 16 minutes 30 seconds faster than us and today they were only 14:53 in front so it was disappointing to see the finish 1:15 in front on handicap.
On balance I thought we did remarkably well and deserved a result near the top of the fleet behind Sorcerer. It is the best we have done in those conditions except for when our competitors have had mishaps on the water.

We do appear to be paying for the one first place on handicap in the third race of the season in light winds with no offsetting correction for the second last place the next time it was light. Also our string of last places when there was only three or four starters do not appear to have improved our handicap. And while a better deal on handicaps would look better in the results what we need is a few minutes faster boat speed so we can have some company on the beat home.

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