Catriona unfortunately suffered a broken rudder stock before the start (about 20 years after the last one) so the Class Secretary wasn’t there to witness the action and write this report. The report therefore fell to the winner as her ‘reward’.
And so, the SE wind was good if a little gusty but didn’t allow for much of a beat to start so the Race Officer sent us on course H3 – a down-wind start and a cracking long course zig-zagging down the loch and with a premium on spinnaker handling. Teal started first at the pin end closely followed by Thalia slightly further down the line. Thalia quickly shadowed Teal’s wind and accelerated through before Teal could get her spinnaker pulling strongly. Teal attacked to constantly luff Thalia while wary of a closely following Ceres also trying to get on her wind. Hermes, even higher up, threatening to shadow – all on starboard but only just laying the mark without gybing. In the end Teal managed to luff Thalia beyond the gybe lay line and gybed – Thalia seemed to continue for an unwise length of time on starboard. Teal couldn’t however also maintain an overlap on Ceres so Ceres rounded D first.
Teal rounded more tightly and climbed up on Ceres to take first on the beat across and back up to G. Thalia also managed to point higher and pass. A starboard approach allowed the attentive to have their spinnaker ready for a very quick bear-away and hoist for the second long run down the loch to E. Teal leading Thalia leading Ceres leading Hermes, with Thia suffering from a compliment to their spinnaker handling in a previous race. Round the mark for the long beat back up the loch to Y.
The final beat was a lesson in both picking the right course and balancing the tactics of covering. Thalia seemed to luff too high after rounding and stalled. Teal was away and loosely covered the chasers while trying to stay in the best wind to ensure first. Thalia was just ahead of Ceres while Hermes headed across the loch to the Shandon shore before a long tack up the loch. The story was now all about the race for second between Thalia, Hermes and Ceres – exciting enough that Teal, half way back to the moorings, gybed and headed back towards the start to watch! Thalia lead most of the way but forgot to cover near the finish – how many times do we need that hindsight? – and let Hermes and Ceres take advantage of a late lift closer to the shore. A late charging Ceres managed to luff up enough to force Hermes to tack off and Hermes – perhaps wrongly – thought the tack would anyway take them across the line. Ceres instantly responded to tack and cover and a late luff head-to-wind took them across the line just ahead of Hermes. Thalia followed over shortly followed by the jinxed Thia.
Teal 1, Ceres 2, Hermes 3, Thalia 4, Thia 5