Drifting to a handicap win

Last evening was the first race of the Autumn Twilight Series at Greenwich Flying Squadron, the forecast was for light winds and they were spot on! The fleet started in about a 5 knot southerly (about the strongest all race), from our vantage point it appeared that all 10 boats hit the line together, prompting the starters to announce on the radio “Blue fleet clear start – JUST!”.

We were third out of Humbug behind “Passion” and “Agrovation” and that’s the way it stayed until the finish. As usual “Passion” was able to pick the shifts and catch what ever wind was available, they slowly pulled away from “Agrovation” who in turn were slowly pulling away from us. These two boats have crew that are champion dinghy sailors, and they do show it in their skills. I get a sense of satisfaction when I can keep these guys in sight.

I thought that we may be able to catch the boats in front when they were becalmed in the vicinity of Goat Island, only to experience the same fate ourselves. They got first use of a building easterly, to about 3 knots, and pulled away again.

On the run back to the finish we had about 15 minutes of time left, we were half way between Birchgrove and Greenwich points, we had around 1 knot of breeze and still had to get through Humbug. The boat speed was showing 0.00 but there was the faint hint of movement off the stern. Then it started to rain, unusually the rain brought about 4 knots of wind and we able to finish with about six minutes to spare before the time limit, four and half minutes behind “Passion” and about a minute behind “Agrovation” the three of us being the only Blue division boats to finish within the time limit. A first place due to a generous handicap put another excellent bottle of Back Vintage into our wine rack. Results here.

Thanks to Graham on the main, Ann and Adrian (a mate of Chris’s from New York) on head trim and Chris taking care of most other matters.