It was one of those days when there was enough shifts and lulls and gusts for everyone but only the best made full use of their opportunities.
After a good even start Amante managed to spear out from below the fleet for a good lead while Joli managed to get over the top of Passion X and gave us the maximum grief possible for the first reach to the heads. Hitchhike also suffered in the dirty air of both Joli and Passion X while Crosshaven to leeward managed to avoid all the dirty air and round not far off the lead.
The reach back to Steele Point was a procession and the big moves came on the run into Rose Bay. To our great detriment we went low and while avoiding the lull where the leaders were becalmed near the mark we were blanketed to leeward of the whole fleet with fresh wind coming from the west. We ended up many yacht wide and below the big Fidelis who was slow to come onto the wind so we were very low on the fleet for the work to Point Piper. Only a very lucky flick of the wind to the west in on the Point Piper shore allowed us to recover a few positions. We made up some ground on Fidelis on the work to Point Piper but had to allow them to round the mark before spearing off below their transom for the run around Shark Island with Allegro in hot pursuit. On the square run back to the bottom of Shark Island we managed to hold the genoa out to windward and skirt the fleet but gained not enough ground to round first. This time we managed to keep wide and harden up above Fidelis. We stayed on starboard all the way back to the shore while Hitchhike tacked away and picked up more wind and a better angle out in the middle. We were making up ground on Crosshaven so were content to keep following them but in the process we lost out to Allegro on two crosses where they had starboard tacking rights. Allegedly Joli and Amanti picked up some northerly breeze on the work back to the finish but this is second hand information. The rest of us mere mortals had a hard beat and struggled to clear the naval buoys after successive headers . The tide should have been helping the fleet clear these marks but apparently no one told the tide gods.

So it was Joli who prevailed over Amante with Hitchhike making a good recovery with their early tack out to the middle on the last work. Crosshaven held on for fourth fastest while Allegro out tacked Passion X on the last work. In the light windward work Fidelis slipped a further one and a half minutes back.

The handicap results went to Amante from Rainbow and Joli so perhaps there was some truth in the rumour that Amante and Joli picked up a nice bit of northerly breeze on the work home. There is also an unconfirmed rumour that Joli had a crack crew on board and judging from their result perhaps it is true.

Larrikin was not having a good day and finished towards the rear of the fleet on both time and handicap. Hopefully all us handicap tail enders will get a bit of handicap back for next week.



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