A much more eventful night than might have been imagined when standing on the jetty watching large patches of smooth water appear on the Gareloch.
9 Garelochs left their moorings. Zoe went home early, presumably after a failure of equipment.
The start was a spinnaker leg to D, north of Clynder. Zephyrus was on it and got away first. Iris was keen but a little way from the favoured pin end. Catriona, with Barrie Choules on the helm, was a bit late but soon got on terms with a swift spinnaker hoist. Hermes was in the fray until she amused the fleet by hooking a buoy with her spinnaker sheet. She kept the spinnaker full but still it was not the fastest way across the loch.
Zephyrus maintained her lead and was first at D for the start of the beat back across the loch to Shandon. Catriona, second, fell into her wind shadow. Iris, round in third, was able to do her trick of pointing high and escaped the disturbed air to take the lead. On the approach to the next mark, Catriona was second.
A fetch back to the starting area. Too fine for spinnakers. Catriona concentrated hard on playing sails in the shifting air blowing off the shore. She closed the gap to Iris. Zephyrus had a scrap with Thalia.
The second round began with a broad reach to B, off Silvers. Catriona was slicker than Iris hoisting the spinnaker and got past. It was not to last. A large hole developed on the approach to B which swallowed Catriona. Iris saw it coming and found a streak of pressure to leeward. As did the rest of the fleet. Zephyrus, Hermes and Athene took their inside overlap on Catriona and were round and away. Thalia was less sure of herself and went to go round the outside. With pressure coming up from behind, she was on starboard tack when she made a point of catching the stationary Catriona on port. The two penalty turns in little wind set Catriona back further. Teal was much kinder than she needed to be as Catriona finished her turns. She had got in front of Ceres but found herself in Catriona’s wind shadow and lost the place.
Thalia was laying a comfortable third on the approach to the finish when an 89 year old iron fitting broke and she was forced to retire. Catriona was fortunate to have on board Lasse Sutter, who is fluent in German. He was able to explain the meaning of schadenfreude.
1 Iris, 2 Zephyrus, 3 Catriona, 4 Hermes, 5 Athene, 6 Ceres, 7 Teal. Zoe and Thalia DNF.