That is the best excuse I can muster for our twelfth place on handicap today on a day when the breeze direction was favorable. I had considered going up one genoa size for the lighter conditions today but when the breeze freshened pre start the crew agreed the old faithful off Passion would be adequate for the day. We made a very good start on the line with speed but were squeeze out by Hitchhike coming up from Leeward and Allegro reaching down across our bow. Now we are getting to the pointy end of the season and a bit of dirty air is to be expected but I felt uncomfortable in such close quarters and dropped behind Allegro as soon as I could to take a higher course . To my surprise Joli was already in front of the fleet and close enough for Passion X to be in her wind shadow. With Allegro and Hitchhike below there was not a lot of room to run away for clear air. We made small gains and had almost broken through for clear air when Amante and Allegro now behind, came up with fresh breeze and forced Joli to go higher. We held our line to the mark and were rewarded with a clear ahead position behind Hitchhike at the top mark. Hitchhike did the safe thing and put in a short dig to the shore so that she was not tacking back into the starboard tack fleet and we did the same to a lesser extent so that they were just ahead and to windward on the way back. With the 40 m2 genoa and flattened main we held our position quite well to Steele Point and were pleased with our windward speed and height. Once past the point Joli was the first to tack away into Rose Bay and was rewarded with a big lift and a huge gain on Hitchhike and Passion X. We were the most leeward and ahead yacht and soon had the fleet lifting well above us. Allegro powered ahead in the strong breeze until forced away by The Red Hand charging through the fleet. We had almost reached the island when the lift reached us and that meant tacking away from the lift. Without The Red Hand in the way we might have been able to lift further along the shore of the island but we had the hand we were dealt and carried the knock all the way into Rose Bay only to tack for the mark and be knocked again. There is no doubt that the out of phase sailing cost us a couple of minutes as we went from a better than usual position at Steele Point to a pretty average one in Rose Bay. The tracks from last week were still on the plotter and the difference in similar wind strength and direction is very telling. In this phase Hanni and Amante drew well away and Amante went on to take line honours while we were two minutes adrift. Joli who had been first to tack for the new lifting breeze deserved a better result but the Hanni and Amanti group got the lifts coming and going and I would like to see their tracks for the day. It was a bit of a procession around the island and back to the finish and while we made up some ground on the reach the breeze was now fading and our chance of big gains on the reach limited. There were a lot of good points for the day. We did beat Hitchhike and Hanni and Meridian on handicap. Our positions at the back of the handicap fleet reflects both the punishment from the handicapper and that the following yachts had a better angle into Rose Bay.¬† Joli, Hithchike and Passion X who had been on the podium will suffer from today’s results¬† and Trim, Izzi and Agrovation who were not far behind will be celebrating their gains. The new chartplotter looks safe in the new enclosure, the cleat along the centre line of the cockpit floor was well received by the crew and the new numbers on the cabin side for the genoa car position look very professional. We has a safe day with plenty of close racing and plenty of action.

Boat speed was down from 10.6 knots last week.

Boat speed was down from 10.6 knots last week.

Maximum wind speed was 5 knots lower than last week.

Maximum wind speed was 5 knots lower than last week.

The genoa car numbers look the part.

The genoa car numbers look the part.

Comments are closed.