Where did the Wind Go?

G-whizz Elan 340 - KoKo
KoKo struggling in very little wind. Photo John Mackay.

The forecast was for a pretty fresh southerly wind that was to be increasing through the evening, but what happened was something quite different.  Given the forecast it was incredible that the race committee were at about 5:00 pm considering abandoning due to a lack of wind, further complicated with an incoming tide that could make it difficult to get out of Humbug. We decided to hoist “Reg“, the heavy number 1 up the forestay, while the light weight number 1 “Wes” was the first choice there was still a chance that the wind might fill in and Reg can handle light winds without loosing too much and pretty fresh winds while still giving a pretty good degree of control. but the wind just got lighter as the race progressed, contrary to the forecast, but I guess that’s Sydney in spring.

G-whizz Elan 340 - Aetos
G-.whizz and Aetos fighting it out at about one and a half knots. Photo John Mackay.

We had a very good start that was made better by a hole that opened up between the stern of Worlds Apart (Jeanneay 39i) and bow of  Aetos (Northshore 38) that allowed us to be first across the line and lead the fleet out of Humbug  together with Worls Apart went the full distance to the Birchgrove shore to get the reverse eddy that runs counter to the tide along the shore, or at least did until the new Birchgrove Ferry Wharf was

constructed about six months ago, Izzi and Aetos the two Northshire 38’s tacked early and while sailing against the incoming tide stayed in the wind,

G-whizz Elan 340 - Worlds Apart
Worlds Apart powered up in one of the brief moments of anything that resembled wind. Photo Simon Elliot.

the end result was that the four of us while sailing somewhat apart were swapping places when we crossed each other on different tacks, a situation that existed until we had all rounded Goat Island, although it did appear that the other three were getting the better of the shifts. (I felt that we were being out sailed and they were picking the shifts better than us). We were not able to make any gains on the run back to Greenwich Point, it really did highlight that we need to pole out the headsail on these longish runs if we are to stay with the longer boats, but at least we were able to hold off the

G-whizz trailing Aetos rounding Greenwich Point, Photo Simon Elliot.

rest of the fleet. A fourth on scratch (As well as a fourth on handicap)  is up there where we want to be, and a beautiful evening on the water where the expected wind and rain did not eventuate was a real bonus.


Elan 340 | G-whizz