For this race Peter and I went double handed which meant no off watch periods for a potentially long overnight race. The forecast turned out to be pretty much true to form with North veering North East which suited us as Laser 28s are good downwind. It was nice to complete around 88 of the 90 miles of the race under spinnaker. The start under white sails was looking good until I decided we were going to be early and slowed down only to find we were at least 10 seconds late. With Whistler and Aquila we had decided to start out at the buoy in the hope of picking up a stronger tide at least after the first 30 minutes or so. With the two top raters of Longue Pierre and Paddiwack choosing the inshore side it was difficult to tell where the advantage lay due to the huge inherent speed differential between the two groups. Once passed the Medina and having turned for the course to the Forts all spinnakers went up and for most it seemed reaching versions were the order of the day. Whistler and ourselves were nip and tuck, Aquila slowly dropped back and Longue Pierre and Paddiwack steamed ahead closer inshore. Approaching the Forts all that could had changed up to AP/larger kites and the boats were all set for the broad reach then run to Fecamp.Soon after leaving the Nab Channel the wind started to rise and the reach with the East going strong tide gave us an apparent wind speed of up to 15 knots at 120 degrees apparent and fine boat speed with an occasional surf at over 10 knots (not many of those really!). There was no Moon so once darkness set in spotting waves to catch proved tricky and at such an acute angle to the waves it was never going to be easy. The skies cleared and shooting stars were in evidence along with the twinkling lights of the many ships encountered in the shipping lanes. By the shipping lanes the lights of classes 4 and 3 could be seen behind and the whole scene around us was like a fairground dodgem! Ships altering course, yachts weaving about amid fortunately very good visibility.With the turning of the tide the apparent wind eased, however, it seemed much harder to steer the course required, previously it had been a bit on the edge with the load on the rudder building to broach like proportions at times but controllable, now it was so easy to wander both sides or the required course. We had sailed around 140 to 150 magnetic overnight but the last few hours to the finish we crabbed across a strong West going tide steering closer to 130.Whistler crossed our bows on the opposite gybe with a couple of hours to go so we knew we were well placed on her on corrected time. Paddiwack we were sure was close by as we had tracked her masthead light for quite a time overnight and were close when we lost contact. With 8 miles to go we heard Longue Pierre calling on the radio to state they were three miles off the finish. We then estimated her finish time as around 08:10 so thought we had to finish by 09:10 to beat her on corrected. Those last 8 miles were taxing, the wind although steady in direction fluctuated wildly in strength giving us boat speed of anything from 3 to 6 knots. We crossed the finish line at 09:16 so thought we had missed our chance but to our surprise we had a five minute win over Longue Pierre. We later found out that Long Pierre had a very torrid time over the last 3 miles with a wind that decided not to play ball at all and their finishing time was much later than we had guessed.It was great to win and fun to be first boat into the harbour, we did have only 1.5 metres under the hull as we inched in soon after the tide turned. We touch at 1.4! It was especially nice to have a chat with Tony Joy and Margaret Cherry in the club house. Thanks to Tony and Margaret for the calmly competent finishing and efficient results and thanks also to the race officers at the start of a great quick race.