I am still reflecting on the fourth place on Wednesday and only 54 seconds out of first place. It did help that we had a very good start and protected our position going through Humbug. It did not help that we were triple cautious with the No3 jib up, a reef in the main and the boom bag and lazy jacks set up for a second reef.
The very nice Mark Palmer photo of Joli, Passion X and Avalon approaching the start line shows well the sail area we had up for the day. We were giving away 7m2 to Joli and 18m2 to Avalon. That is Ok when the breeze is honking but as it dies we have the largest wetted surface of the three and need the sail area.
While the trend for yacht racing these days is to reduce the jib area first it might be a better solution for Passion X to keep the overlapping genoa on and reef the main more. That will keep the centre of effort lower which might be a good thing as Passion X is quite tender.
The other lesson is that I need to be more conscious of the sail settings as the breeze dies. It took quite a while for me to realize that the back stay was on too tight and the foot too tight for the dying breeze and the jib halyard also too tight.
And when we did shake out the reef in the main I forgot to check that the runner was on the correct side of the head of the main and that the outerhaul was tight enough. It did not help that we went from a reefed flat main to a full main with a large round in the foot and without the backstay a very loose forestay and full genoa.
Well it was a good week to relearn all these lessons and the small fleet ensured our finish place was a keeper for the seasons progress scores.

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