We are just home from a most enjoyable Friday sprint around the islands in the Balmain Sailing Club Friday afternoon series. The 15 knot breeze took the heat off the day and provided ideal conditions for a quick race. The A team was Elaine and our Grandson Otis and between the three of us we kept Passion X moving in good fashion. To make life easier for the small crew we vanged down the boom hard and left it on all day. That let us drop the boom to leeward so we could power through the gusts without playing the main. Quite frequently the genoa was backwinding the bottom half of the main but this seemed to have no adverse effect on the height or speed. With the vang on hard the top of the mainsail was controlled and providing lift. With the boom angled out I let some depth creep back into the foot which seemed fast up to the 18 knot wind range after which we did flatten it out.

For the day I had the GoPro camera mounted on the stern facing aft to capture some of the yachts that we might pass or catch us. What is most noticeable from the video is that we sailed on a consistently large angle of heel without rounding up.

So ideal were the conditions that we consistently saw over 5 knots VMG to windward and the rare 6 knot pointing up into the stronger patches to stop the yacht heeling too far.

With only one helmsman on board I was not about to abandon the helm to pole out the genoa on the downwind legs but we sailed the wind shift to keep it flying to windward and while not as quick as properly poled out the conditions helped to keep it flying

In the conditions no one was going to catch Riders of the Storm but we did make up 12 minutes over the course of the race and did stay in front of Avalon who gave us a 6 minute start. It must have been one of our better days as they typically take 7 minutes out of us around the course and today it was just under 5 minutes so we are pretty pleased with that effort by our little A team.

Our first pass of the day
Our second and last pass of the day
Typical angle of heel on the windward works
Avalon catching but not enough today

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