The result from Wednesday’s RANSA race was a surprising and disappointing thirteenth out of seventeen finishers. Until the results came through I was confident we had finished in the top half. The day had been very pleasant if chilled off by the seventeen knot westerly and we had already enjoyed spotting the dolphins in the harbour. Post race in bright sunshine we saw a seal resting in the water off Long Nose point with one flipper in the air catching the breeze.
It is tough doing a post mortem on a race where nothing went wrong and yet we placed at the back of the fleet. We selected the No 2 genoa which seemed like the right choice given the wind conditions and as the breeze lightened off at the end of the race we were catching L’eau Co with a smaller No 3 and Solange with a reef in their main. Also we were making time on Gwhizz which is a good benchmark for us. What I now appreciate is that the yachts with larger genoas and full mainsails also pulled away from us in the lighter conditions and a small loss of time meant a lot of places.
In the fresh conditions the fleet were well bunched at the top mark so while we were at the tail end we seemed to be ahead of our handicap. Allegro and Trim were just in front and unusually close to the back of the fleet. Allegro never recovered time but Trim shook our the reef and just pipped us on handicap. The big blue Viva was enjoying the fresher conditions and even she was over canvassed rounding up multiple times on the work back to Steel Point. Izzi with full rig finished a full five minutes ahead of us and managed a very good third on handicap.
In conclusion we gave away a little on the strong downwind leg by setting the smaller No 2 genoa but lost out more on the upwind leg in the lighter conditions.
What genoa will we set when next confronted by these thirteen to eighteen knot conditions?

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