We were held on shore for a couple of hours waiting for the breeze to fill in from the predominant sea breeze direction which quickly became 15 knots prior to start time.
Geoff and Bernice Holden took the pin from the start - and we took every transom out to the right hand side of the course. It is not a good idea to change our mind with 20 seconds to go! We were positioned for a pin start. It was not a good start. However, with lots of teams struggling as the wind increased to over 20 knots we pulled though to second at the top mark with Geoff and Bernice launched benefitting from another nice leftie in the left hand corner.
Meanwhile Michael Duflos was in his element - he likes windy sailing and was out to prove that this was his conditions. Michael passed us on the approach to the leeward mark taking a better angle - whist we were more interested in keeping the metal above the plastic (in Geoff Holden's own words).
On the next upwind we passed Michael again - but showed no sign of catching Geoff and Bernice. The next downwind the breeze built some more - now perhaps 25 knots. This time Michael passed us just after the hoist, they nearly passed Geoff and Bernice, but dropped it in on the drop at the leeward mark. We again passed him upwind and held them off in the reaches to the finish as the wind built to perhaps 30 knots. Racing was then postponed ashore.
The sail in was frantic. Many of the fleet either retired or needed assistance to get home. The RO's call to send us in was perfect.
It was nice to see the standard of the British Fleet had improved from last year. We have all been pushing each other on for the last 12 months and it was showing.