A slower race today meant that the handicap times expanded out enough for us to finish sixth in a fleet of thirteen yachts. I had expected to beat Enigma, Viva and Britannia who were behind or in close company on much tougher handicaps but I never imagined we would be at the front of a group of six boats all within 90 seconds on handicap.
The race started in quiet conditions not at all like the forecast. In the seven to ten knots we were surprised to see the big blue hulled caravan Viva matching us on the reach to the heads. This was doubly unfortunate as she blanketed us for most of the reach and rounded in front. Rainbow went high for clear air and while she was well above the course it seemed to pay off. Izzi, the same design was stuck below us and Viva and did not get away until she also decided to go to windward for clear air.
The work back was a long beat to Steel Point. We tacked on one knock and back on the next to be above the fleet and while that looked good for a while the fleet in front lifted above our line so we came our about line ball with our starting position at the Rose Bay turn but just sneaking around in front of Viva.
On the work to Point Piper for the turn around Shark Island we picked up Britannia and Enigma who were caught with a big header as they approached the mark. Britannia got away but we kept Enigma and Viva at bay to the finish.
The tight beat to the finish was not all beer and skittles as we had a No 2 division yacht right in front. She was too big for us to go to leeward and too quick for us to pass to windward so she slowed our finish. I was blaming this yacht for our demise until I saw the handicap results. Rainbow the fifth placed yacht on handicap was so far in front I doubt we could have beaten her even with the interference we were suffering so now I can stop muttering.

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