The forecast was for a reach up to the top mark and back to Steele Point which is ideal conditions for Fidelis and so she took off from the line and was never headed. She must have been a little worried early as she very carefully reached down to our line and gave us all the dirty air she could.
At this stage we had Hitchhike to leeward and Hanni behind so with Fidelis covering us we all sat in line. For a while I sought out her waves and rode them up the course for as long as we could stay in touch but eventually Fidelis was so far ahead that we had clear air and no wave assistance.
We had the same rig as last week but the fresher breeze was helpful and in these conditions we were pulling away from the rest of the fleet. We were using the same genoa we had on Passion and since transferring it to Passion X we have had trouble setting it properly. The tracks on Passion X are further inboard and the J measurement is 200 mm longer so the foot does not flow around the shrouds. To help this I had put a long shackle and snap shackle combination on the tack which lifted the foot and brought the clew higher and the genoa sheet further back and out. The downside was that the sheet pressure pulled the tack away from the forestay and flattened the entry. I had been contemplating a recut of the luff to make the entry angle fuller but today I replaced the long tack attachment for the shortest shackle I could buy and it made a huge difference to the entry angle.
This one small adjustment made an oversize contribution as I could get the leeward lower tell tales to stream at last.
We maintained our position behind Fidelis for the reach into Rose Bay but on the work to Point Piper Hitchhike was making big inroads into our lead. Along this leg Fidelis had a dream run with a big lift while behind we had to tack up the course. Going into the mark I was concerned that we would not be able to tack around in front of Hitchhike but a late knock let us clear her bow and hold her out around the island. We both went in so close as, Hitchhike was trying to get the inside overlap, that the crew, both the bold and cautious ones, tells me that the rocks were very close. We were both so high in the wind shadow of the island that we had to square run to the mark and a quick flick of the genoa to windward let us break the overlap and round in front.
By now we had let Hanni gain some ground on us both and that was to prove very costly on the tricky work to the finish.
Hitchhike tacked away early while Hanni and Passion X took the starboard tack as long as we could looking for the wind to swing to the west late in the day. Approaching the lay line to the last mark the Manly ferry was bearing down and rather than risk two tacks I went as far as was prudent into her disturbed air before tacking for the finish. Hanni was below and needing a tack to clear the last mark and Hitchhike was above and able to foot to the finish. In the middle we managed squeeze past the final mark but not before Hanni was able to tack on a knock and clear our bow easily. In the meantime we pulled up inside Hitchhike at the mark and were able to foot away to the finish line a few seconds ahead.
All the work we could see the fast finishing Joli making big inroads into our lead and they were next home.
There were no surprises with the finish place of Fidelis and Hanni in front of Passion X but we were surprised that Izzi and Senta snuck in ahead of Hanni for second and third and the other surprise was that only Rainbow snuck in between Passion X and Hitchhike and Joli so we did not make up big inroads on the leader board. Still it was good enough to give us a clear third position behind Hitchhike and Joli and but for 7 seconds Joli would have been two points closer to Hitchhike.

The windward works from today's race were good enough.

The windward works from today’s race were good enough.


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