Category Archives: GFS

Summer Series in Review

Possibly one of the reasons why posts have been a bit scarce recently is that we have not really enjoyed the GFS Twilight Summer Season as much as we do other sailing, there may be a few reasons for this but include our (possibly influenced by my) dislike of the handicap starts and G-whizz herself never really performed to her best, with the exception of the last race. Her performance was affected by a number by:
Her hull was rarely as clean as it could have been, a situation that took a while to address but rectified for the last race and hopefully future races.
My sail selection would have benefited from more thought.
Missing our start time, sometimes by may minutes in an attempt keep out of the melee caused by the handicap stars. (Read the previous post “Summer Series an experiment” which probably explains my state of mind – hence the results).

Smoke haze from the Bush fires blanketing the City of Sydney.
Smoke haze from the Bush fires blanketing the City of Sydney.

There was some very pleasant evenings on the water and some good racing, the sunsets weer often spectacular, I believe caused by the smoke in the air from the bush fires that seemed to want to continue burning, that smoke at times reduced visibility on some evenings. There was little complaining about the smoke, it reminded all of us about the horrific conditions some people were being subjected to.

The Twilight race that falls closest to Australia day forms part of the “Australia Day Regatta” this regatta consists of organised racing on the weekend closest to Australia day plus events conducted at most of the Harbour based sailing and Yacht clubs, it is recognised as the oldest continually run regatta, first sailed in 1837. Having won this event in two of the last three years we approached it with a positive attitude, had the Hull cleaned, selected the correct sails and race in wind conditions that were right on G-whizz’s sweet spot. Needless to say the handicap we were given that reflected our previous poor performances was a major contributor to our first place and a third Australia day Medallion in four years.

Congratulations to the boats that sailed well throughout the Summer Series, Especially Chris Stannard and “Words Apart” and Patrick Houlihan on “Saoirse”. Some photos follow:

Preparing to start
Looking down the Lane Cove River as the fleet jostles for starting positions

Summer Series an Experiment

Once this is off my chest I’ll get back to something that resembles normal postings.

Some time ago the GFS ran a survey to solicit skippers’ opinions of the safety of various aspects of racing at GFS, from memory this survey concentrated on the start and crowding at Onions Point. The results of the survey led the Committee to believe that they should take action and these actions should be trialed in the Twilight Summer series, they included:

  1. Address the crowding at Onions Point.
    They addressed this by placing a buoy off Onions Point, this buoy is not a mark of the course but forms part of the continuing obstruction that is Onions Point. My initial thought was a little perverse in that there is concern about crowding at a certain point so let’s increase the size of the obstruction that causes that congestion, making less navigable water for yachts thereby magically reducing congestion. There was logic behind the placement of this buoy and that was that if a yacht was running out of room they had an escape route that did not involve hitting another yacht(s) or running aground. My opinion is that if all skippers knew, understood and complied with RRS 19 then there would be no issue.
    In retrospect this has not caused too may issues however there have been reports of skippers ignoring rule 19 and barging through, probably encouraged by the fact that there is now room for them to take an escape route if they are unable to bully the boat they are overtaking to give them room. We had one instance of this with a boat demanding room while overtaking between us and the obstruction, we gave them room as it was easier than having an argument with a skipper who has proven before that he believes that the rules do not apply him. I’ll keep the reasons as to why we did not protest private.
  2. Address crowding on the starting line
    I must admit I got tired of being told that there is a regulation that specifies the length of the start line is to be 1.5 times the total length of boats starting and that in Blue and Black divisions that regulation is regulatory broken.
    As far as I can determine there is no regulation, there does however appear to be a recommendation to Principal Race Officers (PRO) to set a start line 1.2 to 1.5 times the total length of boats starting, it also recommends that PROs should use discretion with regard to the environment, the type of boats, the experience of skippers amongst other considerations.
    To address this percieved concern it was decided to have pursuit starts, also described as handicap starts during the summer series, somehow this was going to alleviate the congestion on the start line.
    You can only make judgement from your own perspective, and from our perspective it has been a fail. The Sailing Instructions applicble to racing at GFS 9state that during normal starting procedures (5 minute start sequence) all boats with the exception of those in their start sequence are to keep clear of a defined starting area, in our division that means that there is the potential to be 11 boats (the nimber of boats in Blue division) in the start area, 11 boats that we race against consistently and boats by virtue of being in the same division have similar performance characteristics.
    With the handicap start the Sailing Instructions require that all boats must keep clear of the starting box except those within 3 minutes of their start time. What this meant to us (at our allocated start time) there was the potential of up top 38 boats legally in the start area in the first race of the series, reducing (due to alterations of handicaps as the series progressed) to 33 boats in the last race. Many of these boats have substantially differing ,performance characteristics. Starting is always a little daunting but with that many boats in start sequence daunting went to a completely higher level.

The committee is to be congratulated for recognising that there may be an issue and trying something to address it, however ourselves together with many of our competitors were getting a little tired of hearing  about  statistics that said we the skippers critical of the experiment were in the minority, especially when none of us had spoken to anyone that liked the experiment. In the words of a famous person who’s name does not come to mind, this seemed like a solution that was looking for a problem. Thank goodness we go back to status quo in the Autumn season.

Two Different Races

The first two twilight events at Greenwich Flying Squadron were two different races, race 1 was held in winds that varied between 8 to 20 knots with some gusts to over 25 knots,for  race 2 the maximum wind speed was  closing in on 4 knots but most of the time it was around 2 knots.

There were 48 yachts started race 1 in all divisions, a little down on a normal twilight but probably due to the predicted conditions and some not having their new season’s paper work in order. We were a little late at the start, a circumstance that was all my own doing, I could not make up my mind as to where I wanted to be on the start line compounded by a desire to keep a distance between ourselves and a coupe of other boats, I digress a little but there are a few boats in blue division that I will race very close to, they are quality yachts with quality crew and quality skippering, there are some I will not! My lack of a viable starting plan combined with taking avoiding action on some boats meant that we were last across the line, but with the number 3 and a reef the boat was handling the gusty conditions easily and we were about the fourth or fifth boat out of Humbug and in a strong third around Cockatoo Island, KoKo (Elan 37) and Aetos (Northshore 38) were way off into the distance.

We consolidated our third place on the reach down the Balmain/Birchgrove shore a little in the lee of the shore, I again made a poor decision, conned by the lower wind along the protected shore and shook out the reef the folly of this action was demonstrated as we rounded Birchgrove Point and were back into 15 to 18 knots with gusts over 20 knots, we sailed pretty much on the jib with the main trimmed for minimum power, just to keep her under control, needless to say some of the bigger heavier boats were able to run us down. on the broad reach from Goat Island to Greenwich Point were were able get one or two positions back, but were again overrun in Humbug as the boats behind came up on a strengthening Sou’wester. Race 1 was bit of an interesting baptism for the season but enjoyable all the same.

G-whizz looking for wind
Looking for the wind

We again missed the start in race 2 not for lack of effort and planning but due to an extremely unlucky wind shift, we were about 25 meters from the pin with about 90 seconds to go, the rest of he fleet were about 100 meters away, we started a 360 to kill some time but halfway through the wind shift quite a bit to the east leaving us in a hole and filling the sails of the rest of the fleet, we pretty much sat there and watched them start wondering what to do next. somehow we managed to get back to the fleet at Greenwich Point, but some of the front runners were already way out in the the Parramatta River. the picture  was taken by Jeff Lewis on Aurora and gives a pretty good indication of the conditions, you can see most of the crew with Michael hidden behind the headsail holding on to the forestay divining some wind.

Humbug carpark
A group of yachts going nowhere in Humbug Race 2

By the time we got to Goat Island we were up into second place, behind KoKo who was some distance ahead, but were listening on the VHF to all the boats retiring believing that they wold not make it to the finish before the 2015 cutoff, we too knew that we wouldn’t make it, but kept going in the hope that the predicted strong Nor’easter would kick in and get us home, this was not to be, the only consolation was that no one in our division made it. Out of the 62 yachts that that started only 10 all from the earlier starting divisions made it home in time.


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

An Unhappy Couple of Weeks

The GFS twilight race on the 14th of February was an enjoyable race, we were joined by Julian from the Young 88 “Mind over Matter” which is sold and his replacement boat is yet to arrive. Julian will be forgiven for breaking our dry boat race rule, he is the purveyor of fine wines from his company “Back Vintage” and brought along a bottle of his excellent bubbles.

We tend to think that if we can finish in the top three we have had a pretty good race, so a fourth across the line is pretty close to a satisfying result. A very fond memory of this race that we will carry for a long time is the tussle we had with Izzi (Northshore 38) almost all the way from Cockatoo Island to the start of Humbug.  On a close reach we were never more than a few meters apart, each of us moving ahead or dropping back as if connected by an elastic band, but most of the time we were beam to beam, there was some fantastic banter between the crews and between the skippers, Ross Springer on Izzi and myself on G-whizz,  it was one of those instances that really highlight the friendly competitiveness of yacht racing. We heard the next day that Ross died from a heart attack that evening, not long after returning home.

The Saturday point score race on the 17th was a forgetful affair still slightly glum with the passing of Ross and struggling in strongish winds with a short crew we finished the race without too much damage, although Ann was pretty shaken and left bruised after a bad gybe that had her flying horizontally across the deck and under the life lines, only staying on board only by raising her arms vertically, the only reason we did not retire there and then was that is was quicker to sail back to the club than to motor.

The Twilight race on the 21st was a melancholy affair with Izzi joining the race crewed by just about every one that has crewed on her and a number of Ross’s grandchildren. Most of blue division sailed with a black streamer flying from our back stays out of respect for Ross.

Friday before last Saturday’s race was Ross’s funeral, a large affair that was attended by many of his crew and competitors along with a huge number of his friends and people that Ross had touched in his professional career, I gather in a lot of instances the same people. One poignant moment was watching his coffin being carried into the chapel by the Izzi crew dressed in their crew shirts. In her eulogy Ross’s wife Helen made a passing reference to his pleasure in beating us on the water, a feeling that we also share about Izzi, hopefully to  continue as Ross’s sons have indicated they will try and continue to campaign Izzi.

Saturday’s race was held in strong gusty winds, not our favored conditions, but was memorable more by the antics of some of our competitors and other fleets on the water. on a couple of occasions we had competitors demand right of way while still in the process of tacking onto starboard, in hind sight I should have protested but to be honest my mind was not in it. Although I have now added a couple of boats to my “Stay Clear Of List”. We also had two other instances where matters could have turned out a lot worse. The first was when we were running on starboard but sailing a little by the lee in an attempt to make a navigation mark, (In GFS races all navigation marks are to be respected) when a Hartley 16 competing in their Saturday race decided to tack onto starboard without looking! We were able to miss them, Just! With another unwanted uncontrolled gybe! They went on their merry way seemingly totally oblivious to us, we had to do a 360 turn to leave the mark on the correct side, and left us wondering what the result would have been if an Elan 340 doing around 6 knots T-boned a wooden Hartley 16, we would probably still be trying to explain it to the coroner. In the second instance a close hauled port tacking Laser decided that he had more right to a piece of water that was also occupied by a starboard close hauled Elan 340, every time we pinched up a few degrees to give him room he appeared to do the same almost as if he was hunting us, at the worst possible moment he capsized and launched himself right in front of G-whizz, a quick crash tack saved the laser sailors life but also then put us on a collision coarse with a couple of dicing 12 foot skiffs and a Cherub being sailed by juniors. Fortunately good seamanship by all concerned avoided any further issues.

I have never thought that I would prefer to be somewhere else than on a sail boat but the events of the past week made me think about the enjoy ability of yacht racing. I’ll get over it! My apologies to the crew for my attitude have been profuse.

Not a Bad Result and a Series Round Up.

Last evening’s twilight was race in 2 totally different sets of conditions. The course started as usual outside of the GFS Club House proceeded through Humbug did a lap of Cockatoo Island then around Goat Island back to another loop of Cockatoo then through Humbug to the finish outside of the Club. (See area Map).  The wind in the area from the start to the area off Manns Point averaged about 8 knots, with the occasional gust to 12 knots. The area east of there had wind averaging about 15 knots with gusts to over 20 knots. If we had one more crew member I probably would have done a couple of sail changes, but as it was it was prudent to run with one sail, in this instance we chose “Bas” the #3. This decision meant that for about half the race we were properly rigged, for the other half we were seriously under canvassed. Due to the sheeting angles on Bas G-whizz can point quite a bit higher in most winds, but on anything but close hauled the lack of sail area really hurts.

This was a night for the bigger boats that can carry more canvass in these conditions, so it was pleasing to be able to lead for a substantial part of the race, only to be run down by some bigger heavier boats as the race progressed. There is one boat in the fleet “French Connection” a Jeanneau Sunshine 36 from the 1980s, she is incredibly quick, and well sailed she also seems to be able to carry a lot more sail in bigger winds than G-whizz. French connection just out dragged us on the last run from Long Nose point to Cockatoo Island, putting us back into 4th.

A sail change would have substantially improved our position, but as it was not to be, we finished where we finished, still a great result and a credit to the crew of Ann, Graham and Chris(2), and another great evening’s sail.

This race was also the last of the Summer Twilight season on which I would like to comment on the scoring system. While I do hold to the adage that if you don’t want to do the handicapping, don’t criticize the handicapper. But I am not too sure as to how to take the scoring system. In race 4 we retired due to our in involvement in an incident (To the Rescue). we were given 5 points as redress on the night. Supposedly our average which after the results of the previous three, a 1, a DNC 15 (which would be a drop) and a 5. Including the potential drop the average would be 7, not including the potential drop the average would have been 3. To confuse the matter further the score given to us for that race in the scratch results was 5.8 which is an average of all our results for the series, including the drop, while the drop is not included in the total score. This may sound like bit of a moan, it probably is, but it is to my mind not only a little confusing but also it somehow seems a little unfair to G-whizz and her crew.

We do not race for sheep stations, unless Julian Todd of Back Vintage Wines puts that value on his marvelous sparkling wine, one of a number of different prizes awarded, and Twilight racing is more of a social affair. We all do have a competitive component in our make up, most of us give the results some regard. Given the score that we were awarded for redress I still would not have hesitated in assisting our fellow sailors. I do muse however if the stakes were higher and some one else was involved would the outcome have been the same. A final comment; if the penalty should fit the crime, some might say that we got a dud rap. Rant over, don’t abuse me too much – thanks.

To the Rescue

The start of last night’s GFS twilight was a bit chaotic, about 7 boats (us included) seemed to have exactly the same idea as to the best starting procedure. We all wanted the same bit of the start line at the same time! There were at least 3 boats that we could have protested and I suspect about as many that could have protested us, but in the light winds and limited room to manoeuvre it was mutual self survival, there was no shouting just people getting on trying to stay out of other peoples way, fortunately the start remained non contact, a couple of boats were able to stay out of the melee and benefited with big leads through Humbug.

We ended up at the back of the field, the trimmers worked hard to give us a bit more speed on the reach across to Cockatoo Island and by the time we turned down wind to run along the southern shore of the Island we were in a position to get to windward of the fleet. The pressure was a bit stronger a bit further out and we were gathering in the fleet, by the time we rounded the south eastern corner we had climbed to fourth and were make good time on third place.

We had just gybed onto a starboard and as I looked behind to make sure we had room to come up on the boats behind I saw something that I never wish to see again. The crew on one of our competitors boats were changing position, probably in preparation for a gybe when they accidentally gybed, two of their crew were hit by the boom, the noise was astonishingly loud (sickeningly so), one of the victims just slumped to the deck, while the second went over board and hit the water motionless (the splash can be seen off Sirocco’s port side in the incredible photo below). A third noticed the that the crew member in the water was not moving and dived in to assist, fortunately the first in quickly regained consciousness and started a slow swim, but there were now two people in the water, and the crew of the boat were tending the first victim on board. We hailed them asking if they required assistance to which they quickly answered in the affirmative.

L to R Takana, Saoirse and Sirocco at the the moment of MOB from Sirocco , incredible photo by Jeff Lewis.

We quickly dropped the head sail and luffed the main, started the engine and put our selves in a position to retrieve the swimmers. Those familiar with the Elan 340 will know that it has a high transom that makes it extremely difficult to board without assistance, (The picture below does not illustrate that height as it was taken in fairly rough water while we were exceeding 8 knots on a broad reach, in these circumstances  she tends to bury her bum – it’s the only photo I can find of the subject safety gear) the swim ladder is not a permanent fixture and lives in a cockpit lazarette, we have an emergency rope ladder that hangs unobtrusively from the stern pushpit, we deployed that ladder and were able to position the boat so that the suspected injured swimmer could grab and hold on, a lifesling was thrown to the second swimmer. The guy hanging onto the ladder was unable to climb it, made even more difficult by me having to keep the boat moving to avoid colliding with the rock wall of Cockatoo Island. We were able to collect and fit the swim ladder, swing the victim from the rope ladder to the swim ladder and get him on board. Quickly followed by the second swimmer. Even though it was quite a balmy evening, these guys were really cold and I suspect out of embarrassment or a bit of shock were reluctant to accept any form of assistance. Fortunately the girls in our crew were able to at least get wet jackets off them and wrap them in dry towels.

G-whizz Elan 340
The safety gear used to good effect last evening.

The upshot was that the two crew that were hit with the boom were in pretty good shape, at least one of them was taken to hospital as a precaution while the second, the one we picked up was apparently showing no ill effects for his adventure, I hope he got himself checked out though. I am now glad that we always set up the lifesling and emergency ladder whenever we go out, I have often thought why do I do this and maybe in the benign waters in the harbour we can go without these safety bits, never again will I think that. I was also glad to have had a bit of training in Man Over Board, while this was the first time I have had to use it, it did demonstrate to me just how hard it can be to get an exhausted, but conscious person back on board, I hope I never have to deal with an unconscious one.

By the time we got back to the Deck of Knowledge for our meal we were informed that a decision had already been made to award us our average point score as redress.

Fortunately it was a balmy evening!

What a strange night it was last night. The wind was forecast to be in the mid teens with only a slight reduction as the evening went on. With a number of boats not racing due to skippers/owners still in the Christmas/New Year holiday mode, we picked up a few extra crew. After spending a wonderful New Year’s Eve with friends the eating on the Deck of Knowledge and taking them out on G-whizz for the 9.00 pm Kiddies fire works display and later on the midnight display. The former was next to the exclusion zone just off Cockatoo Island and the later mixing it with the crowd of anchored boats in Snails Bay, this is a great spot to watch from with full view of the bridge.

As Ann and I intended to stay on board after the New Year’s celebrations I filled the water tanks, so with a crew of eight and about 200 kg of water on board and an experienced main sheet hand in Mark off Agrovation I had no problem running “Reg” our heavy number 1, although I did not have the courage to take the first reef out of the sail. What I didn’t expect was for the wind to drop out to an average of about 6 knots, with only the occasional burst up around 12 knots. We were a little too heavy and could have done with a lighter rig.

We were fortunate to get a good start and incredibly we were about 40 meters in front by Onions point (Only about 150 meters from the start) , the wind shifts worked very much in our favour and starting toward the windward end gave us a better sail angle over the rest of the fleet. and that was about the last time the shifts worked in our favour! French connection and Takana made the best of the shifts through Humbug and we trailed them both over to Cockatoo Island. We were able to get past Takana but for the rest of the race French Connection was just a “Bridge too far”.

We haven’t raced for about four weeks and I think we were out of practice, we failed to pick the shifts, and when we thought we had it we got in wrong. Our most competitive part of the race was a square run with a poled out head sail (Thanks Danni), with the wind consistently behind us it was easy not too make too many mistakes. After the last rounding of Cockatoo Island we were run down by Patrick Houlihan on Saoirse a Delher 38, substantially heavier than us and he just ran us down and passed us as we entered the Lane Cove River, in about 6 knots of breeze.

A third on scratch (5th on handicap) was a satisfying result and is where I like to be, we are the smallest boat in the fleet at just under the 33 feet the next smallest is over 36 feet much to the dismay of Mark, our guest main sheet hand who asked the pertinent question “How come we have to give every other boat in the field time on handicap?” That’s PHS racing I guess, which is why we tend to concentrate on scratch results. At least last night’s result won’t do any harm to our handicap.

Spectacular non Race

Last week we decided not to race, which was probably a pretty good decision. There was a strong wind warning for Sydney closed waters, we were short crewed and did not have experienced main sheet hand, While the wind was abating a bit there were still some white caps visible on the Parramatta River and in the area that we race in a fresh north easterly can be bit of a mongrel wind with viscous bullets and gusts falling off the land, at times some of these gusts can arrive unannounced without any associated pressure on the water surface. Ann and I sat on the Deck of Knowledge and watched the starts, drank a bit of wine, watched the finishes, listened to the stories of carnage then had dinner congratulating ourselves on a good decision. We weren’t the only ones to make that decision.

Lightening just North of GFS
Lightening just North of GFS Dec 20, 2017. Photo Joanna Copeland

Last night was to be the last Twilight of the year, it is traditionally a big night, we had over 300 people booked for dinner. Unfortunately the weather gods did not play ball, the forecast was for a short sharp Southerly to hit at around 3:00 pm dump a bit of rain then (as is not uncommon in Sydney) abate to a cooler quieter dry evening. At around 5:30 pm the committee had to make a call and were influence by wind observations around the area, 32 knots gusting to 41 knots at Sydney Airport, normally a pretty good indicator of the wind will be in our racing area. There was also very heavy rain coming across in bursts with associated squall activity and some thunderstorms in the area. The incredible photos taken by Joanna Copeland up to the left and Simon Elliot to the lower right, probably illustrates one of the influences the committee’s decision. Almost as a consolation the weather gods were kind enough to put on an impressive light show.

Light show over Ballast Point
Lightening over the Harbour, Ballast Point in the foreground, Dec 20 2017. Photo Simon Elliot

Fortunately for a surprisingly large number of people that still turned up for dinner the weather did calm down to what was quite a balmy evening and a enjoyable Christmas party was had by all.

Thus far in the Summer Twilight series we have won one race, on scratch and handicap, did not compete in another and had the third abandoned, so with a drop of one race from the scores we are leading the series after three scheduled races, a bit of glory that I’m going to bask in until it inevitably ends.