The predicted gusts of 29 knots thankfully did not materialise, but it was breezy with some gusts around 20 knots and with shifts all over the place.
For me it was frankly a day to forget - my worst yet with 2 last places.
In the first race I had a mediocre start slightly behind a good sailor who immediately started giving me bad air. I tacked away planning to go to right since the day before I had the bad experience of finding myself on the left about 2/3 up the first beat, only to realise that the Blue fleet that started before us was all rounding the mark and would be blocking me from getting over to the right to round the mark. It was a dense pack and I tacked away, losing places. So, today, I was conscious not to make that mistake again and also I thought the pressure was better on the right. But it didn't pay off.
The gusts were really tricky - I had a brief dry capsize when one strong one hit on the first beat, but I didn't lose much from it.
I had one incident at the leeward mark with an Aussie sailor. I had an inside overlap and the Aussie boat outside started to lose control a bit. I yelled for room but he couldn't or wouldn't bear away. I rounded up and just managed to bear away in time to get around the mark. I didn't bother protesting but the Aussie was clearly in the wrong - he could have at least said sorry.
An American sailor and I were bringing up the rear. He rounded the last windward mark slightly ahead of me but I managed to pass him downwind and kept clear ahead until just before the leeward mark when he managed to go lower and get ahead of me. I congratulated him on a good move and then did a nice rounding, coming up just inches from his transom. He was struggling a bit with the rounding and I managed to get above him on the reach and pull ahead. Things were looking good as I rounded the last mark slightly ahead. I covered him on one tack and then he tacked just behind me and out-sailed me to the finish - he was hiking better and had a finer touch on the waves. Oh well.
The second race was really one to forget. A decent start but then things started going awry. No specific error to point at - just falling behind and feeling a sense of frustration. Oh well.
Overall I was still feeling frustrated with the waves. They were especially choppy and close together today. I tried going through them but they were so close it was hardly worth it. Afterwards, a couple of fellows told me it was not worth trying to weave through them since they were so close and to simply slog your way through them, moving back a bit in the cockpit if necessary and using your body to push through.