Five knots of breeze arrived just five minutes late and with some very well judged starting by the committee we were away into the sea breeze just five minutes behind the scheduled start time. We were aiming for the pin with Krakatoa reaching over the top and with either Foreign Affairs or Hitchhike below. Joli tried to climb over the top but even in the dirty air of the two pin enders in front we managed to climb out from a safe leeward position. When Joli tacked for clear air we promptly followed but found the boat end starters all lifting above us. Taking a few sterns was very costly as with each stern we dropped below Joli’s line even though we had tacked above. As a result we found ourselves deep into the fleet but with clear air and freedom to tack. We used both to good effect settling into a fast mode and tacking on the shifts. We also covered the fleet when we made a gain and at the top mark found ourselves up with Foreign Affairs and Hitchhike.

Freedom to tack and covering the fleet paid off

Freedom to tack and covering the fleet paid off

Around the top mark we poled out the genoa and drifted back to Steele Point. With the wind behind the apparent wind was down to a couple of knots but the close competition kept us on our toes. I Super also had a good windward work and was on out tail. Into Rose Bay we were looking for a finish boat but none came. Foreign Affairs ran away and Hitchhike pulled out a safe distance leaving us to be hassled by I Super all the way home. I Super did pull ahead down the side of Shark Island but on the broader reach home we found a wisp of wind and drew ahead again and hung on for a third fastest place. Hitchhike managed to pull ahead just enough to beat us on handicap by 10 seconds but they in turn were beaten by Coco and Britannia so we were pushed back to fourth on handicap just ahead of I Super. With the close racing we were able to talk to our ex crew now racing on I Super so that added a bit of good competitive tension to the day. Today was the best result since we trimmed down the fat head main to a conventional pin head with a bit of roach. In the light airs we have to drop the main halyard to get the roach under the backstay. A mast head flicker would be nice but just for sub 5 knot breezes it seems a luxury. I have been using the quiet sunny days of this week to so some maintenance and upgrades on Passion X. Some are just the routine tasks like tightening the water impeller v belt and changing the seal on the head toilet pump in preparation for a week away at Port Stephens but another is a more permanent change. When Passion X was designed it complied with the offshore racing standards of the day but that standard is no longer accepted for yachts built after 2010. I am working through the current codes which were updated in 2019 and have reviewed all the structural scantlings for the hull. All of the sheeting exceeds the 2019 code requirement and almost all of the stringers do too. Of all the stringers only eight need a small section of timber glued to the existing stringers to comply. The largest addition is two stringers which need to be increased from 22 by 44 to 28 by 50 mm. One stringer needs as little as a 22 mm wide strip 6 mm thick added to comply. In two days I am half way through completing all the stringers and I plan to have them all finished and epoxy painted in the next week.

An example of the stringers in the quarter berth with one completed and the other with the first addition glued and clamped.

An example of the stringers in the quarter berth with one completed with strips on the side and top and the other with the side strip glued and clamped.


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