A few of us used to joke about the time it took David Edmiston to post on his excellent blog (Visit David’s blog at Passion.org.au or in friends on this site) after a poor result, a good race result would inevitably be followed with a new posting in a short time, while a poor result seemingly took a while longer. After two races where our results have been less than stellar, I have lacked the motivation to update the results pages or even write about it.
The first of these two races was the down harbour race on the 14th of October, we were a crew of three and the winds were in the high teens. Rob did a masterly job on the main, especially as it was his first time in that position. We used the number 3 and a full Main, there was no suggestion that a spinnaker would be taken out of its bag. A 4th on scratch, out of 5 starters an a stone motherless last on handicap is not the type of result that gives you bragging rights.
The second race was last night’s twilight GFS. The winds were predicted to again be in the high teens but there was a suggestion in the forecast that they would soften as the evening went on. There was a lot of discussion as to what would actually happen, as usual there were about as many opinions as there were participants in the discussion. With white caps visible in both the Lane Cove an Parramatta Rivers the number 3 and a reef was the order of the day, or evening to be more accurate.
We had a decent crew so I was hopeful for a reasonable result, but with the stronger winds I also knew that it would be a night favouring the bigger heavier boats. That is the way it turned out. Eight starters 6th on scratch and another stone motherless last on handicap. There was an upside though. At Greenwich Flying Squadron the daily handicap results are awarded with prizes for the first three handicap finishes, the only trick is that you need to be back at the Club to receive your prize, if not there the prize goes to the next boat on the result sheet. We were fortunate that unusually there were a lot of crews that did not go back to the club for dinner after last night’s race, we won a bottle of wine for coming last, actually we won a bottle for just being there and five boats that finished ahead of us weren’t.
Our performance in these two race highlight or lack of experience racing in these winds, G-whizz is a joy in light winds, but can be a bit flighty in stronger winds, I am sure that she is capable to handle these winds (and a lot stronger) it is just that we are struggling to get to her best. Last night in particular was a nightmare with winds ranging from 15 to 22 knots, that I saw, and gusts up to 25 – 28 knots, some of the bullets that hit us seemingly came out of nowhere. Still most of our competitors handled it and we struggled, so some head scratching will need to happen before we race in these conditions again. I am sure it is us, read that to mean me, that are unable to get the best out of G-whizz.
Once again the behavior of most of the boats was exemplary with most taking extra care not to become a hazard to other competitors, and a relaxed attitude to some on water situations where the right of way would have been demanded in more benign conditions, but a pragmatic approach taken to ensure that we all finished the race with no damage, protests or other nasties. It is good to race against good folk.
It was great to have an old friend Dianne on board last night, we are hopeful that she will become a permanent crew member bringing with her a lot of experience and a lovely attitude.