Wednesday was a good day to pick up Passion from Noakes and return her to her mooring at Woolwich. I arrived at 7 am and Passion was in the travel lift ready to be launched. In quick time she was back on the mooring and I did a bit of housekeeping while waiting for Elaine to taxi me back to Noakes to retrieve the car. En route we had coffee in Blues Point Road and a chat with one of our sailing friends before heading home.
The forecast for the evening race was for around 20 knots so the No 2 genoa which was already on the furler was the logical choice. The smaller genoa worked well while the breeze was fresh and we were comfortably second behind Saoirse, the Dehler 38 with the unpronounceable Gaelic name. In the lee of Cockatoo Island on the tight reach to Goat we were run over by Izzi and French Connection who found some breeze in the lee of the island. Izzi soon dropped on us and gave us all the dirty air they could find while we pinched up to pull clear ahead of French Connection. At the clearance mark at Goat Island we were dead ahead of French Connection with a lead of 20 metres when a big lift put her alongside and we were forced to tack behind her stern. She promptly tacked on us and started to bear down to give us her dirty air. We were pinching as high as we could to clear the island so we could not force her higher but neither could we tack away from the shore. I don’t know how we cleared the last pylon but we managed without being knocked onto port into French Connection so we lived to fight another day. Now we were chasing three yachts. Izzi had made up a lot of ground on Saoirse but could not bridge the last gap. Fench Connection was just ahead and we had every intention of blanketing her once around Onion Point but alas the wind would not cooperate. We found our own private wind eddy and stalled while they took off and lead us over the line by a minute and a half.
As disappointed as I was with the result I felt for Gwhizz who got separated from the leaders and never made it back to the top group. Avanti who had been sailing well the past few weeks was also well behind so mid fleet was not a bad result for Passion given the fading conditions.

Comments are closed.