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.





Sometimes it Works

The conditions this evening were not uncommon for the West Harbour sailing area, a South to Sou’Easter of around 10 to 15 knots dropping out to not much around sunset. What was not uncommon though was that David Leslie was giving his new to them Elan 37 KoKo its first outing in twighlight racing, Obviously we had a challenge! No need to read to the end, they beat us.

The start was not our best, we were a bit early on the final run down the line, and while I wanted to start at the windward end we were getting there a little early, in our efforts to correct this we found ourselves in a position where we could not muscle ourselves to the line on the gun. “Agrovation” an “KoKo” along with “French Connection” and a couple of others timed their start to perfection and were well on the way through Humbug while we contended with a situation where 4 or 5 boats wanted to be in exactly the same part on the Lane Cove River, there was “Conquitser” a Farr 36 pinching up along the the line of moored boats towards Onions Point, then us doing our best to keep up speed in the fickle winds and contending with the disturbed air from Worlds Apart (Chris Stannard’s Jeanneau 39i), there was another boat to windward of “Worlds Apart” but I have absolutely no idea of who it was, there may have been more in the line to windward but we were a bit busy to see. “Saoirse” the Dehler 38 found themselves in that horrible situation where they were clear astern of the 3 of us but got a bit of a puff and accelerated towards our stern, somehow we all found the inches to give him some room, however not without the obligatory on water rules discussion, probably led by myself with something along the line of “You are the overtaking boat, you have no rights!” A nasty situation was avoided with  common sense and good seamanship from all involved, we are still all friends but geez it was close!

The course was a Port rounding of Goat Island and back to the finish, for reasons that too ka little while to identify we were unable to find optimum speed or height for quite some time, until a few judicious adjustments to the headsail sheet car position and back stay adjustments gave us the speed that G-whizz is capable of giving, we had some hope of getting near the leaders but when a Sydney Ferry came up behind us we had too pinch up to give him room to pass between us between the “Dolphins” in Snails Bay and us, He also took his time to pass us, travelling quite slowly to ensure the safety of both of us. Unfortunately it did cost us quite a bit of time, but that is one of the “Joys” of racing on a busy working harbour.

We continued aground Goat Island and took off on the run back to the finish in Mid field able to stay ahead of the boats behind but unable to make any ground on those ahead until we rounded Greenwich Point and saw about 25 to 20 boats parked windless in an counter accommodating tide (Now isn’t that a weird way of saying the tide was against them?) they were all towards the western Shore of Humbug, the generally accepted place to be in these conditions. I decided that if we were going to get past them we would need to do something different, that we did, taking a course along the Eastern side of Humbug, reasoning that we would be in less tide and would give us the first use of any wind that existed as it was now tending from the East.

G-whizz Elan 340
Agrovation is the lead boat in this photo (about 100 Meters from the finish), G-whizz is on the far left, we managed to pass and beat all but 3 of the boats in this photograph to the finish Line

It worked, we sailed right around the fleet and finished third on scratch, behind “KoKo” and “Agrovation” who had finished minutes ahead of us. After the race while we were dropping sails, Chris Stannard sailed up to us and said “We could almost hear your motor running” while obviously in jest it must have been frustrating to be stuck going nowhere while a competitor just sails by.


An Unexpected Result

A couple of years ago when we race against David and Elaine Edmiston’s “Passion” a Jenneau Sun Odyssey 37 (Since replaced by “Passion X” a Didi 40CR) with both G-whizz and Michael Groves “Agrovation” we’d  joke that the time period between the finish of the race and the publication of the race report on David’s excellent blog was directly related to David’s performance in that race. Well I have to admit we are not that much different on G-whizz, commitments mean that I have little time to update this blog, I would normally wait until Sunday before writing something, but after last evening’s result I just had to make time to write this. Am I happy with last evening’s result? You bet I am!

The forecast was for a southerly that would abate as the afternoon/evening progressed, the strength was forecast (depending on the forecaster) between 13 to 18 knots, generally  in the area where we race the wind will be softer than forecast as the evening progresses. After a bit of discussion we decided on “Bas” our number 3 knowing that we would have good control to windward but would suffer on the reaches an runs, especially if the wind did drop out. If we were racing for sheep stations we would probably set up for “On-the-fly sail changes, but we race for substantial less and while Twilight racing at GFS is exceptionally competitive it is also social and fun for most crews.

After watching the carnage of the Black division start, with almost the entire fleet attacking the pin on the western side of the the start line,  very much the favoured end, I decided to hold back a bit and avoid any potential mess in our start and look for a bit of clear air and water. We started a bit lower to the fleet but with clear air we able to lift above all but two boats before the first tack on the eastern side of Humbug, on the work to the south Eastern corner of Cockatoo Island we consolidated our position by being able to point constantly higher than the fleet, with Agrovation (Jeanneau 379) an Izzi (Northshore 38) well ahead we settled into and interesting battle with Words Apart (Jeanneau 29i) and Saoirse (Dehler 38), making up time on them on the works and in the light air while losing out on the reaches and runs and when the wind picked up.

G-whizz Elan 340 Cockatoo Island
Twilight October 24 2018, looking West towards Cockatoo Island. Photo Mark Palmer

The above pattern of the race continued all the way around Cockatoo Island, around Goat island and back through Humbug, (About the racing area here) the three of us, G-whizz, Worlds Apart and Saorise all entered humbug from slightly different angles, us substantially to leeward, Saorise to windward lose to Greenwich Point and Words Apart somewhere in between. About 300 meters from the finish line the three of us came together, Soarise slightly ahead and to wind ward, then Words Apart then us half a boat length behind and to leeward. Although we were all on starboard tacks and the Windward Leeward terminology fits in reality we were all running pretty square.

Logic (Physics?) says that waterline length is a big advantage when yachts are running, the same logic says that the windward boat should have the advantage, but last evening we broke a few laws of logic and physics and were able to win the “Drag race” to the finish beating Worlds Apart across the line by 2 seconds with Saorise a further 9 seconds back. I hasten to add that Agrovation who crossed the line first followed by Izzi  had crossed the line minutes ahead.

I think I’ve written before that a place in the top 3 on scratch is about where we should be if we get most things right while a 4th is a satisfying result, the 3rd across the line last evening was most unexpected as it was achieved by being faster downwind than a couple of well sailed boats about 5 to 6 feet longer than us. Given that the wind generally was above 15 knots and we carrying a small headsail we had expected to be competative up wind but lose out on the runs and reaches the result was a bit unexpected.

I cannot end this without thanking Dianne, Graham, Chris and Ann our exceptional crew and also Chis Stannard and Patrick Hooligan the skippers of Worlds Apart and Saoirse respectively who made on the run to the finish what could of been a very dangerous racing situation both enjoyable and safe, especially the communication between the boats which meant we could remain extremely competitive but also respect each other and avoid any potential problem, I’ve respected these guys for some time, there are not too many boats that I would feel comfortable with racing against in such close quarters but these two guys again confirmed (for what it is worth) our respect.


A Slow Start to the Season

We have been a bit tardy getting started this season, missing the first race of the Twilight season at GFS. We have had and followed a loose policy of not racing when there is a Strong Wind Warning in place for Sydney closed waters, there have been times when that policy was not followed, when we have had a full crew of experienced sailors on board or the forecast gave a definite indication that the warning was for a period that would end before or start well after the race period.

The forecast for the 10th of October included a strong wind warning for Sydney closed waters, while it indicated that the wind could abate somewhat around race time we would be  a small crew of just Dianne, Ann and myself, it was a no brainier to leave G-whizz on her mooring. As it turned out it was obvious that the wind could be quite light by our start, at about 30 minutes before race time Ann and I discussed getting out there and racing with just a reefed main and with minimal starters in our division (Blue or Div 5) we were assured of a good result. Fortunately sanity prevailed and we stayed at the club and had another drink.

Race 2 was again held in conditions not typical of Sydney spring weather, a gusty nor’easter and rain. We had a crew of 4 and joined the other 7 seven starters. “Tom” (our cruising RFG) was on the furler and I thought it best to leave him there, especially as the wind was extremely variable ranging between 5 to 25 knots, the thinking being we could quickly shorten sail by furling the headsail. This decision dictated a fairly poor result with “Tom’s” pointing ability being some 10 to 15 degrees less than our racing headsails. A point driven home by a comment from Danni “If we had a racing Genoa up we would be pointing higher and going faster than those other boats”,  we were all thinking the same thing.

The only way to get a result was to do thinsg differently to the fleet, this worked well enough on the very short course around Cockatoo Island and then to the finish, we sailed higher on the run out of humbug while being out of the tide on the Eastern shore and in bit of a wind shadow, we lost quite a bit of ground to the fleet but it gave us an angle where we could broad reach past Clarke’s Point to the North western corner of Cockatoo Is. at which point we were up with the 2 leading boats. The next navigational difference from the fleet was to take a course through the wind shadow of cockatoo Is. while this sort of worked by travelling substantially less distant than the fleet that stayed in the pressure we lost a place or 2. This left us with a work back to the finish, with our diminished pointing ability it was satisfying to finish where we did, some great crew work with Chris on the main and Danni and Ann working the headsail winches we were always well trimmed and lost nothing in the tacks and gybes.

All in all it was great to be back on the water after a long break and to finish a race in trying conditions without drama to or with boat and crew.

Results here.

Racing under Sydney Harbour Bridge

Most people that know me know that I am not a fan of racing (or indeed sailing of any sort) under the Sydney Harbour Bridge, there are a number of reasons for this attitude including:
1 – The fickle winds that bend, test, gust and die for no apparent reason, affected by all the tall buildings on either side of the harbour and the funneling effect of the narrow channel at that point and probably others reasons that I don’t know or understand.
2- The washing machine conditions; it is almost is almost as  if  every bit of wash that bounces up and down the harbour meets under the bridge, bouncing off the deep and vertical walls that have been placed there and “improved’ on since colonisation of the area.
3- Circular Quay is the epicenter of Ferry activity on the harbour (Circular Quay  is “Central Station” for Ferrys) and for those that don’t know a local rule gives Sydney Ferrys absolute right of way, and don’t some of the captains like to enforce it. – Have a look at all the ferry routes on the map below. Time for a caveat here the majority of Sydney  Ferry Captains are the most considerate navigators on the harbour.

4 – It just gets busy with boats of all sorts, from International  Cruise Liners to little tinnies controlled by masters with equivalent variation of ability.

Then I look up and around, get my mind out of sailing mode and look at the scenery, and realise  just how lucky are we to sail in this area. All this comment was generated when I came across a little video on You Tube that was uploaded a few months ago, it motivated me to pen the following an place it on the Video page of the site.

The West Harbour Winter Series race 4 (17-Jun-18) was held in pretty gusty conditions, the course started and finished in the vicinity of Cockatoo Island proceeded down the Harbour around Fort Denison and return to Cockatoo Island with a little detour around Goat Island. we did not do too well on scratch (5th) but were lucky enough to get a first on handicap.

There is a pretty popular web cam on Sydney harbour (https://webcamsydney.com/) and the operators were good enough to record the period when the Western Harbour Winter Series fleet went under the Bridge and then returned, They then sped up the video and up loaded to  You tube. We are in the third group of yachts heading towards Fort Denison, the only boat in that group with a black main and light coloured genoa. Its worth a look and reminds me of how privileged we are to have such a special sailing area.

G-whizz Elan 340

Wind, Wary, Work, Whoops, Wet then Wow

The forecast for today’s race was for winds in the low 20 knots, the first order of the day was to pick up the crew, go back to the mooring and prepare the boat for the expected wind. The mooring is in a fairly protected area that is only open the westerlies, and while there we had quite a discussion about sail choice, sitting in about 10 knots the choice was leaning towards “Reg” the heavy weight number 1, we were hit with a couple of gusts around 18 to 20 knots, which made the decision to use “Bas” the number 3. That only left fitting the first reef lines, as it appeared that this would also be needed (as it turned out it wasn’t). In light air we normally remove the reef lines to improve wind flow on the Main.

After earlier announcing over the radio course 2 (Laps of Snapper, Spectacle and Goat Island) the race committee changed their mind and decided to  send us on course 4 (Down Harbour, under the Bridge to Clarke island the back again with a little detour around Goat Island thrown in before finishing off the South Eastern Corner of Cockatoo Island). This meant a down hill start with a run to Clarke Island then a work back. After witnessing what could be described as some spinnaker carnage at the start of division 1 we decided to be a bit wary and let the fleet sort itself out and hopefully start a bit behind, unless as we all knew a hole opened up then we would take it, as it happened we were about 20 seconds late, however we were at the leeward end of the line and were able to make a lot of leeward ground which gave us some room the come up a bit in the (not too frequent) lulls.

John had Hasta la Vista going really well and we followed them most of the way to Clark Island. To win the series we really had to beat Hasta la Vista across the line. On the work back up the harbour we were able to slowly pull in all but one of the boats ahead of us and just to confirm my dislike of racing under the Harbour Bridge, with it swirling winds and washing machine water conditions, we had a couple of close port/starboard’s that slowed us down a bit, we did call protest on one, but decided against going through with it as the conditions were a major influencing factor and the other crew were most apologetic.

After finishing second place across the line we sailed back towards the mooring, dropping the sails along the way, normally I would drop the crew off at the club then put the boat on the mooring by myself before returning to club for a drink. Today we put G-whizz on the mooring with the whole crew on board, while that made putting her to bed easy and quick it did mean that we would have to relay the crew back in the dinghy, the first trip with 2 on board and all the bags, the waves were were breaking over the bow and we were taking on a bit of water, when I leaned forward to get the bailer from under all the bags my weight dipped the snub nose into the water, then it was instant submarine, although the gunnels were a few inches under the water, with me in the water hanging on Mark was still able to steer the Torqeedo to a position where we could extricate ourselves onto the Bay Street public wharf. Withe the help of the crew of Hasts la Vista the rest of our crew were able to get back to the club a bit safer and a lot drier than Mark and myself.

A pleasant drink with compatriots on the deck of knowledge, a BBQed sausage and the news that our fifth on handicap was enough to win the series. Wow!

Big thanks to the crew Rob, Graham, Mark and Joely for a great result. (I know I’ve missed a couple – my apologies.


Oops, Damn, then it got better

Oops number 1:
For some insane reason I thought that yesterday’s race was the last for the season, we were sitting in first place in the series, after a count back with John Veale and Hasta la Vista so I did all the calculations of where would need to be in this race to get a result that would keep us in the number 1 position in the series, we arranged for G-whizz’s bottom to be cleaned and were quite happy with the light wind forecast, we were to be a crew of four and I didn’t feel comfortable flying a spinnaker, the light wind and its direction meant that no spinnaker would not really be a disadvantage. Later on the Deck of Knowledge it was pointed out to me that there was still one race left in the series, Oops!

Oops number 2:
About  one minute from the start I was maneuvering into a good position by the committee  boat to be able to toss onto a port tack on the line, taking advantage of the huge bias in the line set,  I was concerned about a later division boat that was getting caught up with us in the start, after giving that boat some convivial advice as to what they needed to do and do it quickly, I lost a bit of perspective and called starboard on Eau de Vie (the eventual leader, changed course to take their stern, called protest only to be politely advised that we we in fact the windward boat of two starboard tackers, as they were so polite I profusely apologised. Oops!

Oops number 3:
Running down the line we had the opportunity to push Eau de Vie over, but decided against it out of the guilty feeling induced from Oops number 2. Oops! Leading to:

After being the nice guy (should that read guilty guy) we found ourselves in a position where we would have difficulty getting above the pin end mark, which we didn’t in fact we picked the damn thing up on our rudder and took it for a drag. At this point we thought our race to be over and decided to try and get the mark back to it something approximating it original position. After a couple of 360’s and some judicious cursing and podding with a boat hook we did part company with the mark and probably got rid of some of the port bias out of the line. We then did another 360 just to make sure we exonerated ourselves and eventually started some six minute late.

Then it got better:
The bottom clean meant that G-whizz was sliding through the water nicely and the wind hovering in the 5 to 8 knot range put it right in our sweet spot. Being so late starting we had the entire fleet ahead of us and we were able to get a good reading on the wind further up the course.

We did a lot of tacking to stay in the wind, the whole crew were concentrating on sail trim, where the wind was and trying to keep in positions away from other boats to stay in clear air and avoid getting into a position where another boat’s stand on position would take control of our course, we really worked hard to be masters of or own destiny.

The wind stayed very much from just north of west which meant that on the course we were set there was really only one short run, between Spactacle Island to the Schnapper Island mark, so our non use of spinnakers was not really a disadvantage.

On the final leg from the Spectacle mark to the finish between the Balmain Sailing Club and Cockatoo Island we were able to out drag Hasta la Vista and get into second behind Eau de Vie, John (Hasta la Vista) set a symmetrical spinnaker but was really a bit too shy, our boat speed on the broad reach was quite a bit faster, John replaced the spinnaker with a big genoa, but by then we were satisfyingly a fair distant ahead.

For the last race let’s hope for less of the Oops and more of the better, we will need it to stay ahead in the series.

Results http://www.topyacht.net.au/results/clubs/balmainsc/2017/kb/whws2018/06RGrp44.htm


Better than Expected

GFS Start Panarama
Panorama of GFS Twilight start. Photo by Mark Palmer.

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.



Twilight Racing Becomes Moonlight Racing

The last Twilight for February was a frustrating affair. The course set was in hindsight too long, but to give the course setters credit the fluky winds could not have been predicted. We were again only three but with a steady 10 to 12 knots predicted it was not going to be a problem.

The wind that were experienced were some of the strangest that I  have encountered in my limited sailing experience. wind shifts of over 90 degrees were the norm and coupled with a strong incoming tide made working along the Parramatta River between Cockatoo Island and Clarks Point a frustrating affair. At one point we witnessed two yachts ahead of us both

G-whizz Elan 340 Moonlight Sailing
Five minutes before race time limit and about one Thousand meters to go. Frustrating. Photo Jeff Lewis.

close hauled but the starboard tacker was on a collision course with the port side of the port tacker, two boats about thirty meters apart sailing in wind differing in an angle of way over 90 degrees. The majority of us needed over 10 tacks to travel the length of Cockatoo Island, about 500 meters. Two boats Izzi, now skippered by Ross’s son Andrew, and Worlds Apart added to the frustration by sailing through this area  with only a couple of tacks.

Izzi an Worlds Apart were the only two boats in Blue division to finish within the time limit.

The photo was taken by Jeff Lewis on Aurora with the side of G-whizz being illuminated by their starboard navigation light, as we drifted past using the moon as a pointer. the photo was taken at about 8:10pm just five minutes before the 8:15pm time limit, and with about 1000 meters to go to the finish.

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.