Where has the season gone, this was the last Tuesday evening race of the year.
Race Officer Carol Rowe sent us on a beat up the loch to G, on the Shandon shore. The pin end was slightly favoured and hence congested.
Juno had joined us from her mooring at Clynder. She sailed along the line towards the pin end on starboard tack, rather lower than close hauled. First she irritated a group to leeward of her (which gave them right of way) including Hermes, Thia, Iris and Athene. Near the pin, she contacted first the front end of Ceres, then that of Catriona. Both to leeward. If not blood brothers, these three are now paint brothers.
Zephyrus, Teal, Zoe and Iris, meanwhile, got away cleanly. With tide ebbing, there was the usual choice between better wind out, better tide inshore. It was hard to call. Teal prospered going out, Iris going in. The four were in front at G. Nothing much changed on the reach to C, at Clynder. Then a leg downwind to A, off the club.
Zephyrus had a good lead. Zoe sat on top of Teal and the skirmish slowed them both. Iris, light crewed, did not set a spinnaker. We’ll have some of that, said Catriona’s helm to her crew as they moved swiftly into second place.
On the final beat to the finish, Zephyrus snatched defeat from the jaws of victory. She went far too far out into the loch and found herself on a fine reach on port tack to finish at the pin end of the line. The place to start, but not to finish. Catriona got across first at the shore end. There was worse to come. Teal had benefited by going up the shore and was right of way boat on Starboard tack approaching the pin and Zephyrus. There was avoiding action. Carol could not separate the two as they crossed the line.
Athene had got the better of Hermes on the downwind leg by dint of Miriam Sutter operating the spinnaker. Another snatcher of defeat, Athene sailed for the wrong finishing line.
1 Catriona, 2 Teal, 3 Zoe, 4 Juno, 5 Thalia, 6 Iris, 7 Ceres, 8 Hermes, 9 This, 10 Athene. Zephyrus RAF.