The GFS twlight race last Wednesday was the final race of the summer series, it was also one of the Club’s Australia Day Commemoration races. I am vain enough to consider the concept of attending the Sydney Town Hall to recieve a Medallion for winning an Australia Day race to be an attrative one. Looking at the weather forecast on Wednesday morning and seeing predicted winds in the 5 – 10 knot range (Right on G-whizz’s sweet spot), I said to Ann, “I want to win tonight”.
We half jokingly said that we would just follow “Passion”, consistantly the best performing boat for a number of weeks. If we were good enough to stay within “Cooee” of them they would most probably drag us to a handicap win. This plan fell apart during the pre start when we needed to give a number of starboard tackers room. However it meant that we were able to start at the low end of the line in reasonable wind, a breeze that carried some of us all the way through Humbug.
The drift around Cockatoo Island gave most of us very little oppurtunity to improve postions, then on the work to Goat Island G-whizz’s light air performance meant that we were able to point higher an be faster than most of the fleet, by Goat island there was only “Worlds Apart” ahead and we were closing in on them. Surprisingly we were able to maintain our postion on the run back to Greenwich point, running is normally our achilles heal. Eventually on the work through Humbug “Worlds Apart” was able to get more height than us, while we were just ahead they were able to sail through the line when we had to shoot the mark. Thanks to Chris on Worlds Apart who gave us plenty of room. Officially they beat us by 1 second, but it was more like half a boat length. Second on scratch and the desired handicap win.
With Ann and Chris on headsail duty and Graham on the main meant that all I had to do was point the boat in the right direction.
The results on the GFS web site are here, they are probably a bit flattering to both “Worlds” and ourselves as we were able to finish in the last of any appreciable wind, the rest of the field struggled through Humbug in whatever zephyrs the could find.