Last Wednesday the racing was cancelled due to the wind exceeding the GFS regulation strength for racing. It was a bit sad as an hour later the conditions had abated and would have made for good fair and safe racing. It is not possible to delay the twilight races that long as they would then become night races so we had to be content with a very pleasant BBQ on the deck with the loyal GFS members and crew who came along to support the financial cost of running the function.
I had been looking forward to a good breeze to blow away the memory of my less than stellar performance in the Laser the previous weekend. As luck would have it we had the big blow on the day I sail with the large rig and next to no breeze on the Sunday when I sail with the smaller radial rig. I don’t complain when it is vice versa and for Australia Day I did get to sail the smaller rig in a good breeze at Gosford in a novelty race down Paddy’s Channel and back up the Woy Woy Channel.
Absent sailing on Passion X I have been attending to some small improvements of which some are cosmetic and unseen like routering the underside edges of the floorboards and re doing the epoxy saturation of the edges. Taking the back corner off the floors makes it easier to tilt them up and place them back and the epoxy saturated rounded edge is more durable than a sharp corner.
The ends of the full length battens had been fattened up with tape to fill the batten pockets but that had worn away over time so I augmented the ends with thin batten strips glued and taped to the ends so that the battens now fit tightly into the pockets. Hardly something you would notice but it should improve the shape of the mainsail off the mast.
While the high strength epoxy on the batten ends was curing in made up a stronger bridle for the mainsheet. There are two lines with splice on both ends and they have to be identical length but I had plenty of time waiting for the epoxy to cure to do a precise job. Not a functional improvement but an increase in factor of safety.
Our non skid on the deck is a bit harsh so I smoothed the section on the cabin where the ropes on the starboard side run to the Spinlock jammers. This should help the sheets to run more freely and if it not too slippery under foot I will do the other side too. The starboard side has the mainsheet, the first reef line, the masthead spinnaker halyard, the spinnaker pole topping lift and the spinnaker pole kicker so that is where most of the action is. If it is a big success I might even over coat it with some two pack polyurethane to seal the remains of the non skid granules.
The last task of significance was to check our first reef set up. Our front reef line comes out of the top of the boom and is quite a long way back from the goosekneck. The take off point on the sail had already been moved back but with the shackle onto the take up point there was too much swing aft and the sail was pulling hard on the slider above the reef point. I removed the shackle and attached the reef line directly to the sail to reduce the swing aft with immediate improvement. For good measure I lengthened the tie from the main to the first slug above the reef point and it all looks a lot better. I am now looking forward to a bit of a blow where we can try out the improved reefing lines and also the tighter V1s.
Perhaps this Wednesday the wind will be just right.

We had already updated our Cat 4 safety certificate with the latest expiry dates for the renewed insurance and some inspections but I finally purchased a 12.5 mm bolt cutter as the emergency rig removal equipment. Hopefully it will never be needed but after trying to cut up some 10 mm chain with hacksaw and angle grinder I realised that these were not practical alternatives. Pulling the split pins will still be the first line of attack but if they cannot be removed then the bolt cutter will be quick and effective.

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