Thursday 29 August – Ladies Race

After a jetty discussion and, relying on the initial wind (a moderate Westerly breeze) and a favourable (just) forecast, 5 boats set off for a course that would require 4 crossings of the loch. The start line was long for the Gareloch with a full tide albeit neaps.
Zoe with Jean Mackay at the helm made best use of the space and managed to clear to windward the substantial yacht causing a major obstruction to those that crossed on starboard and were beating to windward. Catriona, with Rebekah Choules at the helm, on opposite tack had to give way and lost her normal early position. Hermes, helmed by Carol Rowe had tacked onto starboard before Zoe, having decided against attempting to pass the obstruction to windward and then risked being over the line early as a rib now blocked her path.
From the start, the bulk of the fleet headed out into the middle of the loch following a fast moving Zoe to make their way to Clynder. Hermes tacked behind Zoe and took a course up the Shandon side of the loch approaching the C mark in the lead. As she rounded the mark, a substantial wind shift caused serious delay for Zoe. Catriona made up ground on the next leg by setting a spinnaker and approached the G mark third, ahead of Zephyrus who had niece Olivia at the helm. Crossing the loch again, courses diverged but fickle winds made for anxious moments. Thalia, with Fiona Du Boulay at the helm, chose the Shandon side and caught up on lost ground, negotiating the D mark a couple of lengths behind Zephyrus. A long spinnaker run to the finishing line followed, with Thalia catching Zephyrus and ending the race with a tie for fourth place.
1 Zoe 2 Hermes 3 Catriona 4 (equal) Thalia Zephyrus.