What a Weard Race

Last evening’s twilight at GFS was one of the weirdest race I think I have competed in:

We were OCS Again! I think I may be pushing the envelope a bit, but at least we were near the pin so did not lose too much time exonerating ourselves, but it did put us near the back of the fleet in lightish breezes.

The course took us around Goat Island and back to the start finish line outside of the Club on the Lane Cove River, it took until Greenwich Point on the run home before we caught the leaders. It was Worlds Apart (Chris is really sailing that boat well in the light winds) , Agrovation then ourselves with quite a distance to the rest of our fleet,. We were preparing for another good result. Our progress to the front of the field was assisted significantly by Umzimkulu 2’s absence from the race. Let me explain;  we were able to get Danni off Umzimkulu 2 to race with us, she knows G-whizz well having crewed with us at Sail Port Stephens earlier this year, and will again at the same regatta next year, Danni is a great fore deckie, so we were able pole out the head sail on the long square run from Goat Island, a process that gives quite a speed advantage.

Then all hell broke loose, or at least the absolute opposite, there was literally no wind at all in Humbug (That dreadful bit of the Lane Cove river near its junction with the Parramatta River). Most of our fleet bunched up along with many boats from other fleets, there appeared to be about 40 – 50 yachts in Humbug, a bit of water about 300 meters long and 150 meters wide. we were all jostling trying to find any sort of wind, I think we must have gybed twenty times in about five minutes. But unfortunately we could get over to the Western side of Humbug, where if any wind existed it would be there, because it was already populated with apparently half the total twilight fleet. As expected the boats that came in behind us were that were able to get to the western side did, and crept past us. Chris on Worlds Apart out thought us by getting in a good position when entering Humbug, while Agrovation and ourselves pretty much languished and just watched as a substantial lead was whittled away to a deficit.

The finish was extraordinary,  we crossed the line in company with about ten other boats, all of whom finished with in about a thirty seconds of each other. We were the second closest boat to the Club House and looking across towards the pin end it appeared that someone could have “Boat hopped” from us to the pin about 50 meters away. I was feeling pretty frustrated at: One- Being over at the start and Two- watching a good result turn out to be a so-so result in the space of about 300 meters. Ann brought me back to earth when she reminded me of the times when we had achieved a great result by winning the Humbug lottery, occasionally we have got to expect to lose the lottery, as we did last evening.

David Edmiston on Passion X writes about his experience in black fleet (we race in blue fleet) last evening. http://3gwiz.com.au/passion_wp/?p=2121, It would appear that he won the lottery. Another great evening on the water though and a great meal at the Club afterwards on a balmy Spring evening.