Congratulations to the Groves clan for winning the fastest times contest in the Blue fleet at Greenwich Flying Squadron. It was a tough battle between the three Jeanneau designs, Agrovation, the newer 379, Passion a 2006 Jeanneau SO37 special and the larger Worlds Apart, a 39i Performance. Agrovation was always going to be the one to beat. They have a nice set of Carbon sails and sail the boat well. Any time we can beat them we think ourselves fortunate and this was the case in the last race of the Spring series. We started in light conditions with a gust of wind in our starting sequence that ensured we all arrived at the line on time unlike the earlier fleets that had struggled to get into the starting box. We were sandwiched between Worlds Apart in front and Izzi to windward as we beat up the Greenwich shore line. We were close to the line of moored yachts when Worlds Apart tacked away leaving us clear air. To windward Izzi was preventing a free tack so we needed to go right to the prohibited zone before we could call for room to tack. We never called. Izzi tacked away when it looked like we would need to tack and suddenly we got a big gust from behind that lifted us around the last moored boat. That was the last reasonable gust for the next 20 minutes but we had a couple of knots of breeze and were out of Humbug unlike the rest of the fleet that were becalmed. We were almost at Cockatoo Island when the fleet struggled out of Humbug with new breeze from the East so while we tacked to the Island they were reaching along. I was instructed by the crew not to look behind and there were promised of blinkers for Christmas to keep me focused on where we were going. On the beat to Goat Island Agrovation took the Greenwich shore and seemed to be going at twice our speed. Once past Long Nose we were in similar fresher wind and we seemed to hold our own. It was look behind for all the run back to Humbug and I was relieved when we made it into Humbug with a few boat lengths to spare. Very cleverly Agrovation took the Onions Point tide into consideration and shot the point while we had stood off enough to give them clear air. Now we were side by side going for the finish line. Agrovation normally points higher than Passion so we were surprised that we could keep a good line with wind across the sails right to the mark with no room for Agrovation. At the last minute she tried to shoot the mark but the angle was just too sharp so she had to do a recross of the line. In the light conditions the recross cost a couple of minutes and must have been frustrating for the crew but they recrossed in second fastest place to seal the series. Worlds Apart had an unlucky series as they were in front several times only to be beaten on those occasions by the conditions. It might be the last Spring Series for Passion so it was  nice to finish on a high note beating our long time rival. Congratulations to Michael Murphy and family in another Jeanneau, French Connection, for blitzing the handicap series and to Alan Grundy in Farrst Company who came good once the hull was antifouled. Alan and family finished with two handicap wins out of the last three races.

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