We made a very good start to this week’s twilight race at Greenwich Flying Squadron only to be run over by the following fleet from above and skirted by the other half of the fleet below. It was incredibly frustrating to go from first to last in such a short time and more so that both sided of the fleet did better.
The wind was flukey so we took off after the fleet hoping for some redemption. By the corner of Cockatoo Island we had recovered a little to be alongside Sweet Chariot, Firebll and Lisdillon. Ahead we could see the fleet fighting for the inside run around the island but they were drawn in so close that surely they would be caught in the wind shadow. Lisdillon went inside us hard up against the island while Sweet Chariot and Fireball went wider and again the two sides did better than Passion X . Dump Truck just a few metres in front put her nose into the breeze first and got away with going in close while Sweet Chariot and Fireball did very well going wider so around the end of Cockatoo we were looking pretty dismal sitting beclamed and blanketed from any approaching wind by Lisdillon inside.
Eventually we put our nose into the wind and took off after the fleet. Dump Truck, Much Ado V, Jackpot, Meridian and Joli were already so far up the course as to be invisible to us with the gap possibly already four or five minutes.
By Goat Island we had passed Fireball and Lisdillon by a small margin and were chasing Sweet Chariot. Along Snails Bay the wind direction was dead from behind which is not our favourite angle but we held out the genoa to windward and hung onto our small gap over Fireball and Lisdillon while catching Sweet Chariot. Around Greenwich Point Lisdillon went in close followed by Fireball and that was their undoing as both Sweet Chariot and Passion X went as wide as practical and kept some wind going into Humbug against an outgoing tide. Sweet Chariot manouvered well to keep clear ahead of Passion X all the way to the finish line and take handicap honours. For our part we managed to escape far enough from Fireball to beat them by just one second.

Back on the deck enjoying the post race BBQ we were surprised to find that we were just 10 seconds behind Dump Truck and Much Ado V with the sister ships tied on handicap. Jackpot was just another 10 seconds in front so for the sake of 20 seconds we could have moved up three places. At the front of the handicap results Sweet Chariot won by just one second from Joli so this has to be one of the closest set of handicap results for a long time.

The breeze did die out as the evening progressed so that the elapsed time from the leaders in the early starting Gold fleet was in the range of the Black fleet times but the last starting Blue fleet was five to 25 minutes behind the Black fleet times. Although we did different courses they were all around the two islands and a similar distance but the dying breeze left the last of the fleets struggling through Humbug against a strong tide.

Comments are closed.