Next Sail: 03 Mar Port Stephens to New Plymouth NZ

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Next Race:
2018 Solo Tasman Challenge 01 Apr 2018
Start: 1300h Port Taranaki New Plymouth NZ
Finish: circa 11 April 2018 - Mooloolaba QLD

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Race 3....3rd in a strong finish

Once again the BOM forecast was looking very ordinary. With a forecast breeze of variable below 10 knots it was going to be a long day.  Fortunately, in reality we did have a light but steady WNW breeze for this weeks Sternchaser. Ross on Goodlife2 took the starters prize for best start. The first yachts started around 1250 h whislt our start time was to be 1322 h. We did a practice run at the start line that paid off when it came to our turn, as RW hit the line just about smack on time. We managed to gain several positions to windward despite the light airs but just couldn't hold off  Craig's  X332 Exhalte with its light weather sails. Thankfully to our relief, course D4 was shortened as the breeze faded away, only returning on the final turn for home.

After rounding Garden Island mark we headed for the northern side of Middle Island. We could clearly see the mirrored water from the wind shadow and after my previous park in the same spot a couple of weeks ago, we opted for a wider track. As we closed Middle Island running under Asymmetrical, we watched as half a dozen front runners come to a screaming halt as they strayed in close to the island. Staying wide allowed us to fly the kite longer as the breeze veered around the eastern end of the island and we were able to come up onto a tight reach before dropping the kite and storming home in 3rd place....our first podium!

Daz, Dani and Ruth worked extremely well in the light and testing conditions. Thankfully a pod of dolphins helped distract them from the lack of breeze, dispelling any thoughts of mutiny! Once I provide the crew with some new tools to keep them busy and make us competitive in light and medium air, I have an inkling we may see RW hanging around the podium for a little while longer.

Sailing down to Newcastle Cruising Yacht Club in the morning so hopefully there will at least be some early morning land breeze. No racing next Sat 26 May at this stage, but keep an eye on the blog for updates. The pics were taken by my beautiful daughter Danielle from Soldiers Point.

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