It was a strange night for the final race of the Greenwich Flying Squadron twilight series as the forecast 11 knots around Cockatoo Island was more of a drift and the 18 knots forecast for around Goat Island was lucky to get to 10 knots.
In the lee of Long Nose Point it was zero knots for the five minutes we sat in the calm after unsuccessfully trying to convince Joli to go to leeward. For additional punishment for this decision Lisdillon drifted over the top and away with Joli while we sat in nothing.
Up to that point we had been doing quite well and had Utopia just to leeward and ahead and Agrovation just a bit forward of Utopia and had we stayed in the breeze we might not have finished 16 minutes behind Utopia.

Jackpot did exceptionally well off the start line by coming in below the fleet with speed and hitting the line on time. Dump Truck and Passion X were hovering just in the pin waiting for the gun and as a result had no speed and no steerage. Certainly Dump Truck had no way on and did not have to respond to a call to go up because they had no way on to go up with. That left just enough room and I mean just enough room for Passion X to follow Dump Truck over the line . Meanwhile crossing on port Meridian tacked in front of the fleet for another good start.

Infotrack and Much Ado V had to take Jackpots stern when they tacked back on port and when Infotrack tacked back to starboard in front of Passion X we tacked back to the Onion Point shore to maintain starboard rights off the point.

Well we were not quick enough so Dump Truck crossed and Much Ado V tacked in front and lifted clear so that they could tack cleanly for the beat out of Humbug.

At this stage we had Joli and the two Sydney 38s behind and were travelling quite well on the work to Cockatoo Island. What I thought would be a tight reach to Cockatoo turned into a hard beat with plenty of the earlier fleet crossing with rights.

Before we left Humbug Agrovation pointed up from below to a clear ahead position and once in front gave us a good dose of disturbed air to establish a small lead.

Once around Cockatoo island Utopia ran along the shore in a breeze of their own and cut inside at the corner to also take our air. Then they pulled below a few boat lengths for clearer air and established a small lead.

That was about the order of proceedings until Long Nose point when Joli tried to go over the top and we went with them all the way into the wind shadow.

By the time we extricated ourselves from the wind shadow we had lost five minutes on Utopia and had been passed by Joli and Lisdillon.

Hoping that was the end of the troubles for the evening we pressed on. By the time we had rounded Goat Island and ran and reached to Cockatoo island Joli was just a few boat lengths ahead and we had caught Lisdillon.

Now we were very careful not to get caught in the lee of Cockatoo Island but that was of no avail because there was no wind anywhere. Ahead we could see Joli reaching away with breeze while we sat waiting for Lisdillon, Fireball and Sweet Chariot to catch us.

They all caught us but we managed to pull clear and again they all caught us. Finally we came to Onion Point almost line abreast across the stream. On the western side of the group of four we picked up a flick of the breeze and with Don experty holding our the genoa to windward we crept to the line a few seconds ahead.

It was a hollow victory over the tail enders as we knew full well we would be last on handicap. What was astonishing is that Joli pulled out an eight minute gap on that leg from Cockatoo to Humbug.

Just as surprising is that Utopia took out the handicap win having been just in front off of Long Nose on the first lap.

Finally well done to Jackpot who had a cracker of a start and kept on going all night for a second in handicap.

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