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“Gill-fire” meets the Gillbank

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Against a field of tough competitors with wide PHRF splits, apparently getting the gun by 13 minutes, is still not enough!

Yes indeed, Gil and I took on 10 others with a massive range of handicaps, and did ourselves proud on a day with steady moderate wind.  The forecast called for a veer of 20-30 degrees, so we had a big choice to make:  take the route near shore and enjoy an early lift with better breeze, OR, head out into the lake, take the header early and tack onto a lift to the layline.  We opted for the latter, a strategic choice that was the road less travelled.  We started on Port, dipping a few boats to start a wee bit late right at the pin end of the line, crossing just inches beneath Christephanie’s stern.  In clear air, we moved well, and then chose carefully the right moment to tack.  Battlewagon came across to meet us, a bit ahead, but we each tacked — them toward shore, and us away from shore.  After another tack, we needed 12 degrees of lift to hit the windward mark.  Sure enough, we got ten degrees, and cut off a nice corner.  Battlewagon rounded ahead of us by about ten boat lengths (after 90 minutes of upwind sailing), and we were well ahead of Coyote (a personal victory).

Hoisting double-handed is a choreography of the absurd, but we managed quite well. We rounded at Shell Pier just behind Battlewagon, and overtook them shortly after hoisting (that’s when they snapped this great picture of us), and then blasted away toward the CCIW spider, extending our lead continuously.

We were carrying the spinnaker on a pretty hot angle and debated with one another whether to jibe at the spider or douse and finish under genoa.  We opted to douse, and it was the correct decision for us, but the wind kept veering, and boats who came after us were able to carry their kite on the last leg, and eat into our lead with precious minutes.

Pandora II got top honours, with Coyote just behind them.  I’m content to mix it up with those sailors, anyday, and especially today!

Fanstastic sailing with Gadget, and a great get together on the BBQ dock afterwards.  We commemorated Fred Gillbank with rum and coke and enjoyed burgers and salad and typical after-race banter on a perfect summer day with a fresh easterly breeze.  Is it really mid September?


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