We were stuck between two weather systems today with the winds forecast to lighten and veer north which is just what it did. For the start however we had a good 13 knots on a beam reach before squaring away to run down Humbug. We started mid line with Jackpot just below and right up on the line. By Onion Point however the pin end yachts has inside overlaps on the clearance mark so we the windward of four yachts including Jackpot, Joli and Much Ado V. As we squared away for the run down Humbug, Fireball and Sweet Chariot came up with following wind so that little distance separated the fleet until we reached the open water around Clarke Point.
Having been caught in the wind shadow of Cockatoo Island for the last two weeks we went a little wider only to see Lisdillon go in close and cut the corner by a large margin.
Sweet Chariot, Fireball and Passion X now seemed to fall off the back of the fleet and were left tacking up the Balmain shore well back from the leaders. Dump Truck with her green hull was the most obvious of the fleet ahead and we were pleased that she was not already off into the distance.
Around Goat Island we could make out Lisdillon ahead and in front of her Joli but the rest of the leaders were gone off into the distance. We had made a good break on Fireball and Sweet Chariot and so settled down the chase Lisdillon.
Along the reach and run back to Cockatoo Island we crept up on Lisdillon so that at the rounding she was just ahead. Now it was our turn for a bit of luck because as we rounded the end of the island the breeze swung to the north giving us a very large lift above Lisdillon and Joli further ahead. So big was the lift that we sailed past Lisdillon and pulled back significant ground on Joli. On the long tight reach back into Humbug we were sitting just above Joli and making tiny inroads into the gap until the Woolwich wharf we were headed which put us clear astern for the next tack up Humbug. Now we were in interesting times with multiple fleets all converging on the narrow channel. We lost a bit of ground taking the stern of the starboard tackers but were lucky enough with the phases to just sneak ahead of Joli and claim starboard tack rights. The last tack onto port took us to the finish line lay line but with the shifty conditions how far should we go? Joli tacked early and at first seemed to be making the line easily from below but as the fleets converged and the wind was more disturbed she slowed while we were able to bear away with the next knock and still make the line with a few seconds to spare.

While we were pleased to have pulled away from Lisdillon and to have squeaked in ahead of Joli it was humbling to see Meridian six minutes ahead with Much Ado V eight minutes in front, Dump Truck ten minutes in front and Jackpot a massive twelve minutes ahead.

Not surprisingly Jackpot scored the daily double of first and fastest with Dump Truck second and second fastest. Passion X and Meridian were equal third on handicap with Much Ado V just twelve seconds behind.

The extra bit of breeze tonight kept us occupied and on the ball and it was a good feeling to hit eight knots on the way home past Long Nose. Hopefully this is the start of more consistent breeze and the longer races like we had tonight.

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