For the final race of the season we went out all guns blazing with the largest genoa up and high hopes but these did not last long. Our first mistake was being too low on the leeward end of the line and getting a header in the last 20 seconds. That left us pinching to make the mark in very slow mode while the more conservative fleet reached away to Onion Point. The breeze through Humbug was a bit stronger than forecast so we and the tail of the fleet caught the leaders who went in a bit close to Greenwich point into the doldrums. We skirted the fleet and were sailing along to leeward of Lisdillon when the fleet sailed into the breeze all at the same time. Jackpot, Joli and Meridian did best being to windward of the returning breeze but at this stage the fleet was well bunched. Fireball managed to come between Lisdillon and ourselves but we eventually pulled out from below them in a less windy patch. When the breeze was stronger our 140% genoa would have been better suited to the windward conditions and not much slower downwind. Much Ado V was within striking distance but they made no mistakes and with the soldiers course there was not a lot of room for passing. Lisdillon kept a healthy lead from Passion X while we had Fireball right over our shoulder all night with Soundtrack and Sweet Chariot very close behind. Out in front there was plenty of action with Joli catching Meridian and Jackpot for line honours and taking out the daily double with a first and fastest. Joli also took out the series scratch prize for the black fleet. Fireball finished second on Handicap while we scored an eight which became one of our drops. That left Lisdillon out in front on the handicap series from Passion X and Fireball in equal second. It is tradition not to break the ties at Greenwich Flying Squadron but Fireball would have bragging rights if we did break the ties. I was surprised how far Joli finished in front of Much Ado V and Passion X. Both Much Ado V and Passion X had to tack away from Goat Island to clear the rounding mark and perhaps the leaders sailed through without a tack but they were well gone by the time we rounded Goat Island. I was also surprised how close Fireball, Soundtrack and Sweet Chariot were at the finish and they fared well in the handicaps with Soundtrack fourth and Sweet Chariot fifth. It has been over a year since we launched Passion X and while we do have the hull scrubbed regularly there was quite a bit of growth around the waterline on Wednesday night. However in other fleets yachts with similar growth did OK so I am lost for words. The raft up after the race was equal to the most I have seen and the 340 members and guests enjoyed a fine BBQ and a very successful end of season function. There are lots of photos on the Greenwich Flying Squadron Facebook page.

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