The 15-20 in the forecast obviously related to the number of whitecaps we would see in the Great Sound all day. The wind coming out of the SW meant that we could see very similar racing conditions to the last few Saturdays. The turnout from the J24s was much better than last week, with the boys from Cyclone even deigning to put in an appearance. On Solaise we did not have the lovely Rebecca (skipper?), but we did have our secret weapons “Mayhem Matt” and “Crewcut Craig” (nothing to do with his hair cut). Todd had left Jon in charge of driving on Mayhem, and Centi-slug were also out on the racecourse. There were even some 505s out today, and the IODs couldn’t make it. It was really hot, and we watched the Etchells start to see if it would provide any clues. It didn’t, but someone wondered why Dave Allen was wearing a jumper in the heat. The RC set a 2 lapper, and we were off. Most boats started by going left towards Pearl, but then started peeling back. All apart from Mayhem and Erin, who looked at one point as if they were going off to Paradise Lakes. But the left paid off, and at the first mark rounding Mayhem and Erin were out front, with the rest of the fleet pretty close behind. We were close to Sadiiqi, and behind us was Moxie, Siren, Tempest et al. Moxie decided to sail hot and immediately lost a few positions. Jezebel decided to gybe early, which cost them for the rest of the race. The first downwind was really hot, and Mayhem rounded the turning mark in front of Erin. We managed to break clear of a bit of a melee behind us, and headed out left. It was about playing the shifts now as the breeze had dropped slightly. The next upwind saw a little drama, with Erin sailing deep and pipping Mayhem at the line. We picked off third ahead of Sadiiqi I think. Race 2 saw a bearing change on the RC boat, to more accurately reflect the true wind direction. Cyclone headed off way left, following Erin’s lead from Race 1, and managed to sneak in front of the fleet at the first mark. Mayhem and Erin were close behind, whilst we were floundering back in seventh or eighth. They kept their lead on the downwind, but the next upwind saw everything change. As Cyclone, Mayhem and Erin plied the right side of the course, Sadiiqi and ourselves headed left, then halfway up the course Pete must have dialled 1-800-LIFT, and we caught a good 20 degree shift as we tacked back to the right. We trucked along, passing the entire fleet apart from Cyclone, who came across on starboard and forced us to tack, leaving Sadiiqi on the big lift alone. That left them to round the mark in front, with Cyclone next followed by us. That was how the race finished, with Tempest finishing fast behind us. Race 3 was started quickly, and if it was Formula One you could have said we started from the Pit Lane, so much so that the RC beeped their horn when we crossed the start line because they thought we were finishing. Cyclone again went left, and a few other boats, including Tempest, had got the message that the left side of the course was certainly helping rather than hindering the fleet. I saw Moxie coming in on port and force Mayhem to alter course, but Jon was obviously not in the mood for red-flagging Fred. Siren decided to park right on the mark, causing some consternation as Centi-slug had to go wide to avoid, leaving a gap wide enough for, say, a J24, to squeeze through inside them, which of course Neil did (whilst the rest of his crew shouted “Don’t do it”). Nice move. As we caught our breath and looked up we saw Erin off in the distance, leading the fleet by miles. The downwind saw the usual manoevres, with some boats still not learning that sailing too hot on this course does not pay off. The second upwind allowed us to claw back some positions, and I think I saw Mayhem do turns (?) at the windward mark rounding. We managed to claw our way through the fleet all the way back to fourth. Erin won by a country mile, and I think Cyclone were second. Only the official results will tell. Then it was back to the RHADC for a quiet refreshement.