Started at the pin. Rounded weather mark in second just behind Chris Larr, with George Cousins and Peter Barton in hot pursuit. The three of us quickly passed Larr in big waves going right-to-left looking downwind. The lead shifted several times between Barton and me before I caught a few good wave sets near the leeward gate to round 3 boatlengths ahead.
The chop on top of the big swells was vicious, making forward progress upwind quite difficult. The breeze was oscillating through about 15 degrees, with a few oscillating cycles per beat. I missed one of the cycles but got more correct, especially the last at the top to extend on the beat.
Blasted down the reach, during which I hit a light-ish patch that allowed Barton and Cousins to get closer, then on the latter quarter of the run had a real case of the slows, allowing Barton to zoom up from astern. A bad gybe at the final mark and he was nearly overlapped, but I managed to get my act together and surfed a final wave to be clear ahead and prevail by less than 10 seconds. What a nail-biter!
After a general recall, we had to wait quite a long time for another start under black flag. I had a good start near the boat, with Peter Barton about 1.5 boatlengths to leeward. He sailed low and fast over the boats to leeward of him, while I, noting we were in a header, sailed in high mode, not sacrificing much fore-and-aft speed. Nonetheless, 3/4 up the beat it looked like Barton would be first to the top mark, until he did another tack to get more left. I stayed on the (barely) lifted port tack, digging into a nice little header about a minute later then tacking on layline to reach the top mark in first. Extended nicely on the run and ended up with a 25 second lead over the hard charging Barton, with Cousins in 3rd.
By now just about everyone was good and tired. I had trouble setting something up during my pre-start routine that left me a bit discombobulated. Managed to sneak into a little hole to leeward of Liam Willis at the boat during a black flag start, but slammed into one wave immediately after the gun that let both him and the boat to leeward pull ahead. Tacked quickly onto port, which was the favored tack anyway, ducked about 5 transoms then settled in. Sailed and sailed and sailed on port waiting for the compass to confirm it was OK to sail back to the middle of the course. When it finally did, I tacked over and had a big lead, rounding first after playing a final shift near the first mark. Extended from there. Cousins beat Barton in this one to stay in 2nd overall, with Barton four points back.