Today was the first official post Covid 19 race from the Balmain Sailing Club and it turned out to be an exciting one. Pre start the wind and rain came through in waves so we had already decided to sail with a reef in the main and the No 3 jib by the time we arrived at the club.

DJ joined us for the day and Elaine was relieved to have a strong male on board to help with crew duties. From the start it was a balancing act to find a groove with enough height but not too much heel. Our almost full water tanks helped to make up for the small crew numbers and we trucked along in the 20 knot breeze quite nicely. As we pulled away from the yachts that started with us I though we must be the only yacht with a clean bottom. Whatever the reason we were pleased to be overtaking and to be creating distance between the back markers.
From Spectacle Island to Goat the breeze hotted up and we saw regular hull speeds of over nine knots. Just off the navigation mark at Goat Island the wind hit 30 knots and we surged and popping up momentarily to 12.2 knots.
That was the last of the downwind excitement as we had to turn away from the breeze to sail into the wind shadow to leeward of Goat Island.
Little by little we drew up to the Jeanneau 409 only to have them jump out again. They were sailing well to windward and as the breeze had freed a little there were no overtaking opportunities. Our lucky break came at our next approach to Spectacle Island where we had obstruction rights in the narrow channel.
No sooner had we passed the 409 the breeze died down to seven knots. They with full mainsail seemed to be catching so we shook the reef out and held our slim lead to the finish.
I am sure next week will see a lot of yacht return to form as they clean their hulls ready for the first of the races where points count. Our hope is that todays result will not affect our handicap for next week

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