We got a good start on port about the middle of the line and being clear of the wind shadow of Abbotsford we were surprised at our boat speed at least we weren't recalled like at least one other boat. We were in a good safety position when we reached the Cape Cabarita Marina and tacked onto starboard we realised that we were insufficiently ballasted to be with the front runners but we were quite pleased with our position after the starboard rounding of mark 4. We were slipping through the water at a slippery pace as divers had cleaned the hull only that morning. On the run to No1 it became apparent the LoEG was being sail perfectly in the conditions with AofE keeping them honest and SF struggling without a kite and the new boat Van Demon in fourth place ahead of us. BringIng up the rear was NL.
The weak flood tide had little bearing on the race as the South Easterly was quite Fresh at times. The places remained the same as the second leg throughout the race and the boats crossed the line with only the distances being different.
After we rounded mark 1 the last time and sailing up towards the club we were sailing on starboard towards NL we decide to indicate our intention by steering to port although we had right of way, low and behold they steered towards us so we steered to starboard and they came towards us again 'what the....' so we avoided them again by steering to port. These manoeuvres cost us valuable height as the wind had moved to the East.
Although we were short handed we all thoroughly enjoyed the experience so winning on handicap was an unexpected bonus.
P.S. I heard on the grapevine that a new mudbank is being gazetted in the Parramatta River, it's to be called O'Brien's Mudbank. If you don't know where it is, just ask Pat!
By Graham Bevan