From the Convener – Gareloch 90th Anniversary

The Class enjoyed an active season throughout 2013. Zephyrus (Eric Boinard) made her first appearance for some years and looked immaculate after 500 hours of refit during the preceding winter. Halcyone too (Shane Rankin) was resurrected, in her case from lying ashore in Kilcreggan for a decade, and entered the water in August. In total, we had 13 Garelochs racing at one time or another. With an ever growing fleet, competition was fierce at several levels including amongst those who do not usually win trophies. I suppose I should mention here that Charles Darley was overall champion for the season (again – well deserved nevertheless). A highlight was a visit to the Baltic in September where the Class was represented by eight members who enjoyed racing in Knaars on the Schlei fjord as guests of the FKY (the German Classic Boat Association). We lost – but the weather and hospitality were outstanding.

So 2014 brings the Class to its 90th anniversary, an achievement which no doubt would have given great pride to McGruers who built these lovely small dayboats in 1924. And, possibly uniquely for a class of its seniority, we still have the complete 16-strong original fleet. Of these, 15 are in private hands locally and able to race. Only Dione is in need of a major refit. She was generously donated by Adam Rodger to the Class who now own her, and the necessary refit which will last a couple of years has been put in hand under the leadership of Bill McLaren.

We do not intend to let the anniversary year pass unnoticed! Planned special events include:

  • a three-cornered team racing weekend in the Gareloch with the Howth (Dublin) 17 and Cultra (Belfast) Fairy Classes. Both of these classes – note – are considerably older than the Garelochs.
  • a mid-summer’s day passage race to Rothesay.
  • a ‘sail-past’ in sail number order at the end of the Gareloch ‘world championships’ where the salute will be taken by our Westminster MP Alan Reid who will also present prizes.

Of particular note is ‘Gareloch Reunion Day’ on Saturday 30 August. We would invite anyone who has had a past interest in the Class whether as owner, crew or stalwart supporter to join us for some informal racing during the day and/or dinner following the racing that evening in the Clubhouse. Speakers at the dinner, which is open to all RNCYC members and friends, are David Spy and Iain McAllister and the occasion will be used to launch ‘Gareloch Goddesses 1957 – 2014’, a private publication written by Tim Henderson. We are grateful to the RWYC and the RNCYC who have generously donated prizes for races on the day in the form of copies of Tim’s publication in recognition of their close connection with the Gareloch Class. If you would like to attend the dinner or sail in a Gareloch on 30 August, please contact me or class secretary Charles Darley.

Peter Proctor
Class Convenor