A superb afternoon. Sunny and as much wind as anyone could want. Why only four Garelochs turned out is unfathomable. Race officer Luke Dicken sent us on a course taking in the northern most marks. Beginning with a long beat to E, near Rahane.
Only Catriona spotted that the shore end of the starting line was favoured and she was late. It was enough to cross in front of Luna, though. Catriona set off across the loch, thinking there might be a good lift up the Clynder shore on the opposite tack. Luna and Hermes followed whilst Thalia stuck to the Shandon shore. Shandon paid, at E Thalia was comfortably second. Next was a broad reach across the loch to Shandon Church where a gybe took us onto another broad reach back to the starting area. In lighter air, there would have been no hesitation about spinnakers. As it was, only Hermes and Catriona felt brave. Both were assisted by it, Hermes coming into contention with Luna.
There was time for a second round. Hardening up a little to A, off the club, was just too fine for the third sail in the strength of wind. There was no advantage to be gained on this leg. Thence a beat to D, north of Clynder. Here, Catriona committed a tactical error. She hardened up and sailed for the Clynder shore. The correct move was to tack and start up the Shandon shore. Then, if the others stood on at A she could tack to cover. If they tacked, she had them covered. As it was, if the others tacked and Catriona went to cover, she would find herself beating up the middle of the loch against the worst of the ebb tide in a place where wind is often less good too. Catriona got away with it, but her error led Luna distressingly astray. Luna followed Catriona, then saw that both Thalia and Hermes had tacked to travel up the loch nearer the Shandon side. She went to cover them and found herself in the worst of the tide and not the best of the air. Not only did she not catch Thalia, she was overtaken by Hermes.
1 Catriona, 2 Thalia, 3 Hermes, 4 Luna.