Do nice guys come last?

Do nice guys (or boat crews) come last? Not really but that is the way it felt today.

Again today we were a bit short crewed and once again we decided not to use spinnakers, with light winds I thought that we could get away with no big colourful things, what we would lose down wind we would make up on the windward works.

Now the first nice guy bit, at the start we were in a position to make life very difficult for a few boats, we were the leeward boat heading straight for the committee boat on a starboard tack. there were  a few boats to windward, while most of them could luff up and wait or bear away and go behind us, one boat had only one option, to steer above the committee and do a 360 before starting, that boat was Umzimkulu 2, half the crew of which sailed with us in our very successful Sail Port Stephens campaign. I decided it would be nice to let him through, the bugger went on to win the race.

The second nice guy bit came at the finish of the race, which was frustratingly shortened at the end of a down wind run, we needed the final windward work to make up for our lack of spinnakers, I said to the crew that if we continued to sail to designated course, ignoring the shortened course we would win the race on a protest against the committee, my reasoning was; the committee boat setting the shortened course finish line was only flying a blue flag, the sailing instructions state that a blue flag signifies the finish line, it also state in the sailing instructions that a blue flag is a division flag. The sailing instructions also state that a S code flag will signify a shortened course. There was no S code flag flying so according to the sailing instructions the course had not been shortened.

I decided that a protest against the committee was not the best action, if successful it would not give us a result in the autumn series, it would reflect badly on a couple of great guys on the committee boat and probably put us off side with most of the Club members (There are many other ways that I can think of that would achieve the same result). It is also possible that the protest could have failed.

So there you go, nice guys do finish last, or nearly last. (Stone motherless last on handicap. 4 out of 8 on scratch). Not that I claim to be a nice guy, that’s for others to judge, today though I think I did a couple of nice things.

All that aside, it is a real pleasure to sail with Greenwich Flying Squadron, the camaraderie between competitors, the willingness to help each other, the great organisation from the Committee best described as just the vibe of the place (thanks to that great Aussie movie, the Castle).

Also thanks to all the people that crewed on G-whizz throughout the season, without crew Ann and I could not do what we really enjoy doing.

Chris Low
Chris Winston
Colin Worner
Danni Birchall
David Leslie
Graham Dicker
Rob Jarvis