The above photo was taken by Mark Palmer and posted to the GFS Facebook page. It shows Black division start in last evening’s Twilight, Blue Division boats (our division) can be seen hovering along the Northwood shore in preparation for their start.
G-whizz was fully converted to cruising mode during the week in anticipation of a cruise up the coast this weekend. There is not a lot involved in this mostly filling the water and fuel tanks, removing the racing sail wardrobe, converting the forward cabin from a sail locker to human habitation, putting the #2 (Tom) roller furling Genoa on the furler and provisioning with a supply of food, drinks and clean linen. In this configuration coupled with the hull bottom not being cleaned for about six weeks a result near the front of the field was not anticipated.
As is becoming frustratingly common all of our regular crew members were else wise occupied but we were lucky that Chris from “Red William” the SS34 was available to assist due to Red William’s non appearance. Being a bit short handed and not expecting a great result we made a conservative start trying not to adversely affect the other competitors, but were surprised on the run out of Humbug at our competitiveness, by the time we had rounded Cockatoo Island we were mid fleet running down a couple of boats but unable to stay anywhere near the front runners of “Izzi”, “Agrovation“, “French Connection” and the casual entry of “Allegro” an indecently fast Cavalier 395. After the rounding of Goat island and the run home we tried to stay on the windward side of fleet, running off by about 15 degrees seemed to give us a better VMG than the rest of the fleet that were happy to run pretty square. A fairly well time gybe (Thanks Ann) meant that we were able to cross through the fleet and set up for a better angle to enter Humbug.
Ahead of us we could see plenty of yachts stalled on Humbug’s western shore, normally the position of choice to navigate Humbug in any wind that has any sort of East in it, we could also a bit of pressure building on the eastern shore so decided on a course pretty much up the middle of Humbug, it worked a treat, not only did it give us a shorter course to the finish line but also gave us first use of the mildly building pressure enabling us to pass all but “French Connection”, “Agrovation” and “Worlds Apart” (“Allegro”, the casual entry had already finished some six minute earlier) who were just too far ahead. A fifth on scratch, fourth if you discount the casual entry was a pleasing and welcome result.
Another great night on the water enjoyed by a fleet of 66 yachts and more than the usual number back at the club for a very convivial dinner.