The eighteen to twenty five knot breeze provided quite a challenge for the fifteen yachts in Division 1 of the RANSA Winter Wednesday race. Adding to the challenge was the wind direction which was straight down the course so it is a real credit to the crew of Amanti that they got around in an hour and ten minutes. It is not the best direction for Passion X but we have been more competitive with the pin head main and fixed backstay and were not disappointed with ninth on handicap.
Like a lot of the fleet we hoisted a No 3 jib and reefed main but later shook out the reef, again like a lot of the fleet.
The pin was the correct end to start and we were well lined up when Amanti charged back into the fleet from windward. To avoid a collision we had to give up our safe starting position and go to leeward barely making the pin in the process. The tight pinch to the pin was not pretty and we stalled out in the dirty air of the fleet. When the breeze knocked we tacked and were among the leaders well to windward of the fleet. Leeward came across on starboard and being unable to duck her we went back in a safe leeward position but she kept driving towards Bradleys Head and did not stop until we were both becalmed behind the point.
This was a disappointing pointless exercise as it put us right at the back of the fleet and in the full dirty air of Leeward. After a long slow work back into clear air we set off after the fleet. In the far distance Hanni picked up a nice shift off of Steele Point so we headed that way hoping to get into the lift.

We did get back into the lift but it was short lived and back on port tack we were convincingly bested by Fidelis and Tula out wide.

Coming back into the top mark I set my sights on Allegro as a possible target to catch on the run home. Downwind with the jib poled out we held Fidelis and passed Tula. Into Rose Bay and in lighter air we shook out the reef in the main and jumped away from Fidelis and Tula. Along the reach to Point Piper the fast reaching Fidelis came up to our transom and it was touch and go to round ahead. On the beat around the island we tacked back to Shark Island while Fidelis carried out mid stream. In the chase we made up ground on Allegro but were run over at the mark by Fidelis.

The last run for homeĀ  was a chase after Allegro and Fidelis and while we were not able to catch them we did make up enough time to beat them on handicap.

Leeward collected second place which is typical of their heavy air performance but we were happy to stay within two minutes of Joli, to make ground on Allegro and to beat Hitchhike over the line.

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