After a few rough wet days with an east coast low hammering the coast we woke this morning to brilliant sunshine and forecasts for around 10 knots. We were not disappointed with the consistent 10 to 15 knots which propelled us around the full course in just over seventy minutes.
The first leg was a broad reach where we went low to avoid the jostling of the fleet. Perhaps we pushing against more tide out in the middle but the free air and faster approach to the mark had us near the front of the fleet alongside the eventual first and second fastest times yachts, Hanni and Agrovation. Fidelis was doing her reaching best and had streaked out on the first leg and it was easy to predict her win on handicap from that position. Hitchhike and Whistling Kite were also out front on the reach. Whistling Kite hung on for third on handicap but Hitchhike did not fare as well on the hard tacks home.
The work back to Steele Point and into Rose Bay was always going to be a challenge. Hanni did well by going all the way to the rocks before tacking for Steele Point and had clear air. We were back in traffic and dirty air and had to tack away from the second division starboard tackers who had just rounded their turning mark. We tacked inshore for clear air and did well until the wind shadow off of Steele Point where the yachts out wider moved forward and then tacked back off the Shark Island obstacle. Amanti tacked below us on the way into Rose Bay and gave us a healthy dose of disturbed air to break away and eventually beat us by a couple of minutes. Along the reach to Point Piper we held our position and again on the run to round the Island we held our position against the chasing pack but gave away some time to the yachts with genoas poled out. On the work back around Shark Island we were fortunate to clear the heavy air specialist Leeward who loves a stiff beat to windward but clear her we did and held her out to the finish. Ahead was Hitchhike and Meridian but as hard as we chased on the tight reach home we could not catch them.
At the finish it was a close contest with eight yachts in front with margins from 2 minutes 48 seconds down to 20 seconds. On handicap it was even closer with Larrikin, Britannia and Leeward leapfrogging us into fifth, sixth and seventh place.
We were pretty satisfied with our performance in the conditions particularly finishing in front of Allegro for the second week in a row and finishing just 2 minutes 23 seconds behind Agrovation in solid windward beating conditions.

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