Joli just ahead of Passion X at the windward mark

Joli just ahead of Passion X at the windward mark

I am sure this is the feeling of many of the yachties who contested the RANSA Winter Series today as many had the opportunity to be in front of the fleet only to find their handicap position was at the bottom of the list.
The first to fall from grace was Larrikin who made a very good start on the pin end of the line in the only breeze on the course. Larrikin shot to the lead and very wisely ran down with the breeze to cross our bow. We had managed to point up from below Trim and Allegro to have a handy lead on that pair and when Larrikin sailed across our bow into nothing we momentarily led the fleet. Below Joli picked up her private streak of breeze and shot to the lead only to sail into another light patch.
For a few minutes it looked like we would catch the No1s fleet yacht, Duende, but a little Nor easter came down the harbout just to Duende and no further so we were left in the no man’s land between the breezes. Eventually the westerly breeze won out and brought the tail enders up to the lead. Senta and Mako must have thought all their Christmases had come at once as they reached up the course and went on to first and second on handicap by three minute margins from Trim.
Trim was having a good day both downwind and upwind and deserved her third position on handicap.
At the top mark Joli lead Allegro and Trim while we were in the dirty air behind. I wanted to keep going left for the persistent shift and to get out of the tide and the two times we tacked away because of dirty air cost us much more than if we had hung on. First it was Allegro whose dirty air we were not enjoying and the second time it was Hanni. On both occasions we lost a minute by being on the wrong side of the next shift. At this stage little Britannia joined us courtesy of better shift picking and only our longer water line and larger sail area allowed us to climb over the top on the way into Rose Bay. The leg into Rose Bay was one of our better ones as the breeze freed up so we were just off a hard beat and were able to build up a bit of speed.
On the windward work the J 121 twins, Joli and Meridian, pulled well ahead with Meridian fastest from Hanni and Joli but that was not good enough to save Joli who joined Passion X and Allegro at the back of the handicap list along with Larrikin and Krakatoa. While we beat Allegro in handicap on the day we both scored discards and as Allegro’s next was half a point better than Passion X’s we slipped back to fourth overall. Joli kept her tenth place and retains second overall while Hitchhike who never showed up stays on top.
On the last work to the finish it paid to be a little high and on this leg we almost caught Allegro who by now must have been wondering if they could do anything right.

Passion X about to tack away from Allegro's dirty air

Passion X about to tack away from Allegro’s dirty air

Passion X about to tack away from Hanni's dirty air

Passion X about to tack away from Hanni’s dirty air

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