Due to the light conditions the starters sent us out on the shortest possible course around Goat Island and back home. We made an aweful start. As we circled close to the start line we were trapped by a row of starboard tackers and after taking the last stern could not make the pin end mark. On tacking back to starboard we found Izzi was also trapped so at least we were in company with our rival for the point score. We both chased the fleet out of Humbug and found most of them becalmed in the lee of Greenwich Point. We both went wide and made up a few places by sailing the long but fast way around the point. Agrovation was in a class of its own ahead and to windward and in the only wind strong wind on the course. We went for tide free area around Long Nose and once there made good gains on the fleet. In a master stroke Kevin sent us short tacking back to Long Nose to stay out of the tide and we emerged in second place. Only French Connection made it around Long Nose close to us and by going lower made better progress towards Goat Island. Eventually a bit of breeze filtered westward and we gained speed to chase French Connection. Again at the Goat Island mark we hugged the shore to stay out of the tide and managed to sneak in front of French Connection. We had just enough breeze and just enough angle to clear the mark and head for the safety of the incoming tide on the way back to Humbug. French Connection never made the last five boat lengths to the mark. Five times they tried to round the make and five times the tide was stronger than the wind. We were in fact only the second Blue fleet yacht to round the mark. The tide was now carrying us at one knot back to Humbug while the breeze was varying from zero to two knots. Back in line with Long Nose we could see no yachts behind us except the few left on the course still trying to round Goat Island. One by one the engines came on as the skippers and crew realised they could not make the cut off time. By now the tide had peaked and there was no flow and no wind so with ten minutes to go we too took to the motor and dropped sails. As we motored through Humbug we found Agrovation short of the finish line by a distance we would normally travel in a few minutes. As we motored past they too were dropping sails. Ahead a loud cheer went up from the deck at GFS as the last yacht to finish crossed the line with fifteen seconds to spare. In all six out of sixty completed the course while everyone else was beaten by time and tide.

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