How did this happen? Read on and all will be revealed.
Took my life in my hands crossing Victoria Road to BWS. Grog all sorted, I reached the club on time and chomped into lamb sandwiches that the lovely Lola had prepared for me. Turned out to be frozen chicken, and I mean frozen! Dentist appointment is 4.00pm Tuesday afternoon.
Enough of my problems – on to the race.
Numerous tacks by both LOEG and AOE jockeying for favourable start position. We started fairly wide as it looked pretty quiet in front of Abbotsford Sailing Club. Strategy was paying off until we were knocked and had to tack to miss Wright’s Point. AOE had been sailing higher (and slower) and did not have to tack. Despite our two tacks, we managed to stay in front but our early lead was lost and passing Searles, the little devil was right on our tail. And that was as close as they got. We gave the No. 1 headsail a little more head and by Five Dock Bay we were steadily improving our lead. No doubt Barry Who was bemoaning the lack of water line length and not having Jim on board exacerbated their situation.
The wind strengthened as we moved up harbour and the Etchel became a small speck in the distance. Willow estimated we were surfing along at about 9.5 knots and we were touched when our Queen Elizabeth smiled down on us and whispered, “Go well, League”.
After rounding Shark Island, we surfed along in the opposite direction – certainly no need to hoist a spinnaker. We lost AOE and thought they had gone to play with the large Etchel fleet. Then, looking back towards Shark Island with the high-powered binoculars, we saw the Etchel put up a white surrender flag. This, naturally, was an excuse for us to have another celebratory libation. Tacking deals were not the order of the day. We had a total of 5 tacks for the whole race. AOE and some of the Div 3 fleet only had three tacks (two at Hunters Hill and one at Shark Island). Despite our record breaking speed, we only passed Sandy on Windfalls as we went up the Drummoyne shore. Was good to see Sandy take out the Div 3 handicap honours. We ended up 14 minutes 45 seconds in front of AOE and took out the double. Our total time was 2 hours, 7 minutes, 43 seconds.
Back at the club, Barry Who and Speed tried to convince us that they had put up a white spinnaker but we know the truth.