Sunday was an unexpected bonus as far as sailing goes as the breeze was good enough for a shortened race in the West Harbour Winter Series. We were started in no breeze and were still on or just over the line when the next fleet started five minutes later so there was a large fleet trying to make progress up the Hunters Hill shore. We had expected a beam reach but were stuck in a dead square run with our 60 m2 code zero up so we poled it out and in the sub 3 knot breeze fared particularly well. Our code zero rates as a headsail with a pretty large rating penalty but it can be poled out to windward legally while some were carrying spinnaker versions which cannot be flow to windward but no one seems to care about rules west of the bridge. No names but some yachts sailed inside the moored yachts and even hit them with loud bangs and some yacht think that if they don’t make eye contact they can ignore port and starboard rules. Oh well! it was Sunday and we were trying to be charitable. InĀ  the three knot conditions the dead run with the poled out headsail fared as well as the drooping asymmetric spinnakers. Very cheekily I tried to carry the code zero headsail up the work from Spectacle to Schnapper Island but it was too tight so we hoisted the genoa and furled the code zero without losing any places. It was on starboard tack coming up this work that the fleet ignored the starboard call but as I said earlier it was Sunday and a good day to practice forgiveness. We fared well on the work up to the mark at Goat Island but from there the cards fell the other way. Avalon and Passion X took the eastern side of the dead square run while the following fleet went hard down the Snails Bay side in much stronger wind and a better angle. This choice cost us both dearly as we ended up at the back of the handicap fleet. The Adams 10′s were particularly potent along this leg with large spinnakers working well. We opted to keep the code zero pole out but in the slightly stronger breeze the spinnakers were coming back into their own.

We were satisfied to keep the Pogo 36 behind on the square run. They looked very fast in any gusts as they hotted up the angles with their asymmetric but the longer distance they traveled seemed to work out for us by the Spectacle Island mark. Now we were very happy as the breeze had swung right just far enough for us to carry the code zero all the way up the leg to Schnapper Island. In four knot of breeze the hard strapped down code zero was back winding the mainsail and we were flying. If only this leg was longer! If only we sailed this angle more often!

Today one day later the breeze was too light for a race but the new forecast for Wednesday is for a very promising 8 knot southerly.


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