Lifting inside Fidelis on the way into Rose Bay

Lifting inside Fidelis on the way into Rose Bay. Will we cross or not?

We have been waiting for the South East breeze for a few weeks now because we know Passion X does relatively better in the reach up and down the course than in the square runs and hard beats to windward. The forecast of nine knots was also favourable so we set the large No 1 light genoa and full main for the day. Despite our careful approach to the line Joli stole the start by coming in closer hauled to the pin mark and then kept going a bit. I think it was Leeward that was the meat in the sandwich to leeward as we tried to get the sheets on so we could point higher. No sooner were we in high mode Joli bore away to the mark and we were able to follow. Very quickly the fast reaching Fidelis was out in front and to windward while we gave Joli a wide berth in between. At the sailing angle to the mark we had reaching sheets sheeting to the the rail and slowly pulled away from the fleet. In the light patches we made up a little ground on Fidelis but at the heads the breeze picked up and they took off again. The leg back to Steele Point was 5 degrees off of close hauled which is good for Passion X as we drop off speed fairly quickly if we point too high. Not needing to point was bonus and we sailed this leg mostly at 7.4 knots which is right on our polar plot for 14 knots of breeze and 45 degrees to the true wind. I could not see the speed from my steering position but Graham kept calling 7.4 and I am not sure if it was true of he just knew that number would keep me happy.
Past Steele Point we got into a progressive lift which we had to carry to the island. Fidelis tacked early and once we tacked at the island we could see ourselves lifting inside her. So good was the lift that we crossed Fidelis with starboard rights and luckily managed to cross her while on port going into the Rose Bay mark. Reaching into Point Piper we were not confident of holding Fidelis out but we did and did so also for the run and work around Shark Island. On the work into the mark at the bottom of Shark Island we received a late lift which delayed our tack for the rounding and that resulted in a small over stand and a loss of distance to Joli. The broad reach back home was also on our favoured angle and again to our surprise we held out Fidelis by a few seconds for our second fastest times for the year.

On handicap Fidelis turned the tables and the improved Rainbow took third place just 14 seconds behind. Allegro and Joli were next in line with the results keeping the progress scores pretty well as they were with first second and third in the progress scores scoring second, third and fourth on the day.

The Starboard cross where we passed Fidelis

The Starboard cross where we passed Fidelis

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