We were too busy for photos today due to the occasion shower that drifted across the harbour. (However a fellow club member captured the start chaos) Being water shy the yacht preparation was left until we arrived at the course and while the preparation went well an eagle eyed crew spotted a missing split pin that needed a temporary repair. Repairs were effected with ten minutes to go and then the wind died. Cautiously we worked our way back to the start boat where the Div 1 s fleet was becalmed along the line and our division becalmed to the shore side of the committee boat.
Due to the lack of wind and incoming tide we were able to hold a spot mid line on starboard and come up when the fleet reached along the line. Unfortunately Coco was becalmed on port and unable to move so we had to call rule 14 on the otherwise entitled starboard reachers.
It took minutes to untangle the mess and while I felt sorry for Larrikin who was the unwilling meat in the sandwich we had nowhere to go and the yachts to leeward of Larrikin should have given more room.
A whiff of breeze over our right quarter pulled us ahead of Coco who was still stalled and with that little puff we broke cover and headed off after the fleet which had started a couple of minutes earlier.

Thanks Andrew for the perfect photo to match the commentary

It was our good fortune that the clear starters ran out of wind just as the Div 1s yachts had so we could catch the fleet with following wind and with a bit of luck.

Ignoring strategy I followed the swirls in the breeze which by chance took us to seaward of the fleet and in our own stream of breeze.

Little Britannia was also in the stream of breeze so we sailed side by side for the whole downwind leg never more than boat length ahead or behind.

Inshore out of the tide the fleet occasionally looked threatening so I tried to work to that side. As we left the Rose Bay area we crossed the Division 1 S yachts Euphoria, Wild Thing and Blue Chip which was possible after some negotiations with Britannia as we both needed to sail to leeward of the fleet who were over on port gybe locked in by our starboard gybe rights.

We never got over to the line of the following yachts but managed to pull clear ahead of all except Britannia on whose stern we rounded the mark. on the wind we were matching Britannia and could see the menacing stem of Allegro chasing us up the course. By Steele Point we were in Britannia dirty air and had Allegro looming on our starboard quarter but pulling below Britannia we were able to point up from under and also get a few metres on Allegro.

The tight leg to Point Piper was tricky as the breeze was light off the wind shadow but the angle called for pointing high. Try as we might we could not avoid a short tack to clear the mark and in the process we seemed to gain a few metres on the fleet. Now we had a poled out genoa to the mark above Shark Island and a tight reach around the island and home.

Execution was pretty good on the day and enough to hold on for a fastest time and a second on handicap to Britannia and just one second in front of Allegro.

Well done to Britannia for an excellent run and a strong work to windward for a well deserved win and well done to Allegro for getting to within a second of our handicap. One small lift on the last work and they would have done it. As it was we had to endure a lot of dirty air to get over the finish line and were pleased that we avoided a late tack or having to shoot the line as Allegro did.

It was a pleasing team effort with lots of trim adjustment to get the best out of the conditions. That included crew weight forward and back and windward and leeward as the breeze changed gears.

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