Once again the weather forecast was correct. A fresh southerly was forecast and what did we sail in? A fresh southerly. Not as tough as on Sunday but enough to have the rigging area asking about whether racing would proceed. But we are a skiff class and it wasn't crazy conditions, so the starting boat crew set the course & got us away on time.
Eight boats made the start for the first race of the day. 2 Sailors + 1 had shredded a mainsail the previous day so was gone for the series. Raptor also headed for shore early after Matt had second thoughts about racing, much to the disappointment of Mackenzie...
A nice, long start line saw the fleet get away to a very even start. I think all boats crossed tacks at some stage up the work & rounded the windward mark stem to tuck. And all flew kites. Wineglasses on a few gybes changed some places but everyone stayed upright. Close racing continued for the rest of the race to the point that Runaway rounded the left hand bottom mark just before Firestorm rounded the right mark for the final beat to the finish. The wind shifted left and Firestorm took a close win from Runaway. TBS was a comfortable 3rd before Incognito crossed in an impressive 4th and for a probable corrected time victory. Except that rival Purple Haze finished an equally impressive 6th across the line and once again took the handicap victory. Three in a row! Has Alex, Andrew & Rob peaked too soon?
Race 8 was similar, except this time TBS really found their mojo and sailed mistake free race for an easy victory. Runaway kept them honest but (i don't think) crossed them in the race. Firestorm was even further adrift in 3rd but unfortunately did cross both TBS & Runaway when on the first run they gybed onto port only to have to luff to avoid both. They swum and started a long chase, eventually passing Incognito on the line. But this time Incognito were not to be done on corrected time and took a solid handicap victory. The ever consistent Tim, Hugh & Lennon on Stowe again crossed the line in 5th and scored a nice runner up place on handicap, which might prove crucial in the final wrap.
So going into the final two races the regatta is close. Check the results. But in summary Firestorm, Runaway & TBS are all still vying for the scratch title with just a few points between. But the handicap series is even closer. Hawkesbury hotshots Incognito & Purple Haze are tied on points with Stowe ready to claim the title should either falter.
The forecast for the final day of the regatta is another southerly. Some models predict light to moderate, some fresher. Let's just hope it is good VS sailing weather & we can all finish the regatta on a high.
See you tomorrow