Elan 340 | G-whizz. Summer Series Twighlight Racing.

Our postings here have been a little scant of late, however some recent results have motivated us to say something. It may be bragging and/or narcissistic  (or are the same?) to point out how well G-whizz performed in the GFS summer twilight season.

G-whizz competes in the blue division in twilight races at GFS, there are six divisions grouped by perceived performance potential G-whizz competes in Blue Division (Div  5). A link to entries in the summer series – all divisions here:

Elan 340 Vs Hanse 400e
Elan 340 G-whizz dwarfed by Aurora a Hanse 400e. Photp Christian Charalambous

G-whizz competes against various Jeanneaus (36i, 39i, 379),  Northshore 38, Hanse 40 and Dehler 38 amongst others. G-whizz is very much the smallest boat in the division, about 1.2 meters shorter than the division’s average length. The picture to the left visually illustrates the size variance between G-whizz and one of her competitors, in this case Aurora a Delher 38.

If you are reading this you will probably already know that G-whizz is an Elan 340, she has a long water line compared to her overall length and was designed by Rob Humphries to perform well in light air. This works in our favour as most twighlight races at GFS are held in winds below 12 knots reducing as the evening temperature cools, while not being an super lightweight, she is lighter than most of her competitors and accelerates quicker than her competitors in the fickle winds that we race in.  Visitors to her can be somewhat amazed when they go below, expecting to see a gutted out race boat, they are surprised to see a performance cruiser that is kept in full cruising mode. We only need to put food and drink on board to be ready her for an cruise.

I have digressed a little from the subject which is about the 2018-2019 GFS Summer Twighlight racing season, the  majority of competitors in these twilight races compete in good spirits balancing the social aspect of these events with the competative aspect, we all like to do well while having fun doing well. Well we did well in the summer series, winning it on both scratch and on handicap. I have mentioned before that we judge our performance on scratch results, while it is the PHS result that awards the bottles of wine and on which most results are determined at GFS, it is the scratch result on which we judge our performance, a finish in the top 3 or 4 on scratch is an indication of a good performance.

In this series we won on both scratch (ahead of  Words Apart on a count back) and handicap. The last race of the series was the GFS Australia Day Regatta event, our win on handicap in this race means that we get to go to the Sydney Town Hall to receive our trophy. All in all a pretty good result.

This is by far the best result we have achieved and we have been trying to work out how we performed so well. There are a few obvious reasons. Most of the races have been held in wind strengths in the 5 to 12 knot range, right in G-whizz’s sweet spot. We have changed G-whizz’s bottom maintenance regime, while this should not make a difference, she does feel very slippery through the water. We had a consistent and competent crew through the season. As a crew we are learning more about reading the wind, by no means are we experts but we are now getting it right more than wrong.  One thing that comes to mind, although  counter intuitive is that because of Christmas/Boxing day, New Years Eve and day and Australia day cruising we have kept the water tanks full, we have done the majority of the season with full or near to full water tanks, on thinking back we can recall that a number of our better results have come with full water tanks. There are two 100 litre tanks located on either side of the keel at or just below the water line, this is probably telling us something, just what I’m not too sure but we will be leaving the tanks full until we work it out.

Some pictures from the 2018-2019 Summer Season

Elan 340 | -whizz