Today we sailed our first race of the West Harbour Winter Series having forsaken the first of the series for a Mothers Day get together. As if to be rewarded for our homage to mothers we started on the pin end and worked into clear air while Avalon behind was stuck in traffic. Far off to windward Odyssey picked up a huge lift and was first into it so she steamed ahead. On our side we enjoyed a tussle with Another Planet at first and then Irukandji next and for our careful wind picking we were rewarded with a spot close to the front of the fleet at the first mark.
Now for the second act of this play we were pretty well becalmed for the run down from Spectacle to Snapper Island and while at first slow with the spinnaker held our own with the ones we would expect to while the slicker crews like Avalon sailed past. At Snapper Island the breeze headed so we were flogging the big mast head symmetrical spinnaker trying to point up above the moored yachts. While we missed the moored yachts the fleet in front which did the leg in more free conditions sailed away into the distance with a huge and somewhat demoralizing lead.
Eventually we capitulated and pulled the sock down over the spinnaker until we reached Long Nose and could bear away.
On the square we went over square for a while to good effect as the wind was so light the mainsail seemed useless while the poled out masthead symmetric spinnaker was doing a good job of pulling us back up the fleet.
Act three was one for redemption as we rounded the mark and after a short flop around in no breeze lifted up from under Omnishambles and took off. From here it was all catching as we had our own fresh southerly breeze that kept trying to fill in to reach the fleet in front but kept getting pushed back. We rode the front of the new breeze all the way up the Hunters Hill shore neither going too close to the Cockatoo Island wind shadow not too low to the old breeze. To our surprise we now close reached past Irukandji and then tightened up for the last stage into the mark.
The final leg to the shortened course finish line was a work up the Drummoyne shore when the last lap had been a run. In this third act we picked every shift to perfection and pulled away a couple of minutes from Irukandji and closed the gap on the front runners by a greatly undeserved margin.
So great was our fortune in this last act of the three act play that we scored fourth on handicap.
As much as I enjoyed the catch up in this race this was the sort of good fortune I would rather save for a heat of the World Laser Masters championships. I hope I don’t sound ungrateful in saying it seems a waste to use up this good fortune on a West Harbour Winter Series

A very lucky set of wind shifts up the narrow channel off Drummoyne

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