Race 1 started with us onboard_ Quantum Racing_ nervous about the predicted right shift, but mindful that in the 50-degree wind direction, the upper left can be quite strong. We chose a safe start at the windward end of the line to defend against the shift, and controlled the fleet from the windward position. The plan worked fairly well, and our toughest decision came with about 4 minutes to the port layline when Vespa tacked and started charging right. The decision really was to back our plan, or pound Vespa and keep starboard advantage. We chose backing ourselves, went for another 2 minutes, and set up to windward of the group. Doug and Don had the boat charging on the long port tack, and Quantum Racing _was trucking! We got around the top mark and buggered off down the first run. Michele nailed the layline, I mean nailed it to perfection! The second beat was all good with us stretching our lead. The final run to the finish, though, we learned quickly about the advantage of the IRC 52 verse the the TP 52. _Vespa, with her bigger kite, came charging up behind us. The power of the extra sail area was impressive. They completely chewed away at our minute lead, and inevitably we ended up beating them by 5 seconds boat-for-boat, and 3 seconds on corrected time! Close for sure, but a good way to start the series.