Division 3 had just three boats. Roustabout had a great start hitting the line right on the signal at full speed, we on Farrago were below them and back a few boat lengths with Xena Warrior Princess followed up behind. Concentrating on what became a great match race between Roustabout and Farrago we did lose track of Xena.
Roustabout, having enjoyed a nice lead off the start could not add to it, we stuck with them and started to claw back. Eventually we managed a Starboard crossing ahead of them. Shortly later, as we approached Ball Head, we tacked onto Port, and at around the same time Axis of Evil tacked on to Starboard. Barry was aware of Axis and was planning to run down below her, however she was suddenly upon us and the only course of action was a crash tack. Recovering from this and tacking back to Port we found that we had fallen back behind Roustabout. The catch up was on again. As we both reached Port Denison we were right in their transom, there was only 2 meters in it.
Roustabout quickly popped their big red spinnaker and kept to the North side of the harbour. We had a slower host and headed straight back under the harbour bridge. Roustabout had got the jump on us and continued to slowing increase her lead all the way to the finish.
The run back had some interesting moments. The sail traffic on the river grew thicker as we rounded the islands. We her joined by a fleet of Maricat’s, Heron’s and other dinghies from Concord Ryde Sailing Club doing the long race. The run past Cockatoo & Snapper Island was very shy, Roustabout dropped the kite before Snapper but we managed to keep it up. The turn at Drummoyne point had us again shy. Unfortunately on the jibe the spinnaker became tangled around the forestay and it took us until Gladesville bridge to get it sported. All this time we had an audience at close quarters with the dinghy fleet surrounding us.
The run past Five Dock Bay produced some fresh guts right on the beam making it a white knuckle spinnaker ride. Roustabout were well ahead by the time they reached Searle’s and dropped their spinnaker again. We held our spinnaker past Searle’s and all the way to the finish. With 150% handicap applied we picked up a handicap win with Roustabout second and Xena third.
Finally a quote from the skipper Barry: It was our best ever race.