If you are going to shoot a mark, make sure the gun is loaded

Today’s GFS Saturday point score started well enough, only three of us on board, Ann and Colin on head trim with both sharing main trim with me, not too much of a problem as the winds were predicted to be in our favour and that’s the way it turned out.

After a good start just off Clarkes Point, we quickly consolodated our lead and headed to the first mark just off Goat Island, where we almost arrived quite a distance ahead of the field, my timing of our last tack to lay the mark was a tad premature, no probs I thought, good boat speed a reasonable wind, I’ll just shoot the mark. Great idea except that the wind quickly left us and the boat speed went looking for it. Needless to say we were quickly in irons drifting with the non helpful tidal current watching half the fleet round the mark without too many issues.

We eventually extradited ourselves and were off on a run, on a chase, this was never going to go well, with only three of us spinnakers were out of the question and we were chasing some well sailed boats flying colourful bits.

Through some fortunate picking of shifts we could still  see the leading boats as they were passing Spectacle Is. We were able to pass all but “Velocity”, (you give Brian, Velocity’s skipper one inch and he promply takes a full nautical mile) on the work around Schnapper Island and back to the Goat buoy. Our second rounding of the Goat buoy was a little more seamanship like, our last challenge then was as to keep a fast (spinnaker clad) approaching “Hasta la Vista” behind. The fickle winds of Humbug were on our side and we were able to finish nearly a minute ahead of Hasta la Vista, but about three minutes behind “Velocity”.

Well done to “Paca” for their handicap win and John for his second on handicap on “Hasta la Vista”. Due to the vagaries of our handicap system Brian an “Velocity” finished an undeservered handicap seventh. Results here.

Moral of this story is that if you are going to shoot a mark, make sure the gun is loaded.