I felt sorry for the Ker 11.3 twins, Dump Truck and Much Ado V last night. Well sorrow is too strong a word and perhaps some empathy is more appropriate for as much as I appreciated lifting up from behind Dump Truck, I did not appreciate all the fleet behind lifting above us.
In the sub 4 knot conditions we made a good start at the leeward end of the line and were first into Humbug on top of the earlier fleets that were still parked.
Dump Truck and Much Ado V caught us on the drift through Humbug and the three of us made it out into the clear still conditions off Greenwich Point.
It was here that the breeze lifted some 60 degrees allowing us to lift well above Dump Truck and Much Ado V.
We were half way to Goat Island and becalmed when the breeze lifted further and freshened from behind to a few knots bringing almost all the Black fleet up to our position. We were being passed by past Commodore Geoff Lucas in his Cavalier 28 Capriole when Dump Truck tacked onto a southerly shift and drew away. Jackpot and Flashback had joined the fray and it made for close racing around Goat Island. Much Ado V recovered from the adverse wind shifts on the way to the island to draw alongside and so the fleet parked on the South side of Goat Island waiting for developments. In the dark and quiet conditions pleasantries were exchanged between boats and issues of lack of steerage discussed.
Flashback managed the rounding best and established a lead of a few boat lengths with Dump Truck and Passion X in close pursuit. The two leaders seemed to reach away with fresh breeze on the quarter but we all stacked up in Humbug drifting across the line stem to stern.
Just as we crossed the line all Hell broke loose with an unexpected Southerly squall bringing the fleet home.
The biggest challenge of the evening was taking the sails down in the 20 knots conditions with the late finishers all coming in from behind. We had to go a long way up the Lane Cove River to find a safe place to drop the sails.
The bonus for the night was beating Much Ado V across the line. I don’t know by how much and am waiting for the official results to be posted but we might be in the hunt for the series fastest times result and it would be nice to know.

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