The more than fifty yachts that braved the threatening weather were rewarded with a rainless sail in very pleasant conditions. Perhaps the only downside was the lighter than expected breeze which faded early favouring the faster yachts that were home in the fresher winds.
After a break last week for antifouling we were keen to get back on the water and see if a really clean bottom would make any difference.
Conscious that we have been well up on the start line all season and slow to accelerate off the line we held back so that we could approach the line with speed and were rewarded by being first into Humbug. Jackpot was right on our transom and threatening to go high so we went higher than usual to protect our wind. Unfortunately that took us to windward of a green fleet yacht and up into the wind shadow and now Jackpot drove down hard for better wind and to cover Much Ado V who was driving through well to leeward. That let both Jackpot and Much Ado V through to battle it out for first fastest all through the race. Down the back of Cockatoo Island Meridian did an excellent job poling out thier genoa and went through inside Passion X while Joli came up with breeze threatening to do the same. We did manage to squeeze around the end of Cockatoo Island behind Meridian and settled down for the windward work to Goat Island. The choice of the tacks up the windard work was not one of our better performances particularly compared to Lisdillon who picked a couple of shifts very nicely to get a good gap ahead. Off Long Nose Joli passed ahead on starboard and then tacked hard to port to cover us which they did very nicely. Below Fireball was making good progress while we were blanketed by Joli so we lost both and rounded Goat Island with plenty to chase. On the reach home we took a course close into Snails Bay and while Fireball and Lisdillon got first use of the breeze we managed to sneak out from below particularly as the wind went very square from behind. Back towards Long Nose the breeze was dying and we drifted better than Lisdillon and Fireball as well as making up a little ground on Joli. We were by ourselves going back through Humbug and drifted slowly to the finish line for a fourth on handicap.

The three fastest times leaders shared out the handicap results and the dying breeze protected our handicap position from the yachts behind even if our margin over Sweet Chariot was only 6 seconds.

If we could set the whisker pole a fast as Meridian and pick the shifts as well as Lisdillon we might get onto the podium.

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