All the boats which competed had their dog. Caillie cutting her teeth on Catriona. It was her first dog race. She was up against Canna on Iris. A dog both long and experienced. Brodie on Zephyrus, his second dog race. Sammy again racing on Athene, his experience perhaps more valuable than his length. You will remember that boats receive a time advantage of five seconds per inch of dog.
Chief measurer Gordon Mucklow still has all his fingers, despite a general dislike, amongst the crews, of being measured. He went on to assist Race Officer Ufo Sutter aboard John Blackie’s Maid of Lorn.
We were sent on a beat up the Shandon shore to G, then two reaches to C, off Clynder and back to the start, off the club. It was a good wind and no one set their spinnaker. Perhaps if wind had been lighter, or the boats closer, someone might have. As it was, there were times when wind was forward of the mast on both the reaches and we were cautious.
Iris was clearly out of sorts on account of being scruffy below the water line. She could not stay with Catriona and was passed by Zephyrus. Sammy’s lack of inches did not matter to Athene. She was so far back (underwater growth again?) that a Great Dane would not have helped.
1 Catriona, Caillie. 2 Iris, Canna. Her length advantage over Brodie made the difference. 3 Zephyrus, Brodie. 4 Athene, Sammy.
And so to one of the premier social events of the year. The Dog Race fancy dress barbecue. Kindly hosted by Shane and Fenella Rankin, Hon Barbecuers Don and Elspeth MacLean made the smoke. Barbara McManus had chosen the theme, 1924 with particular reference to achievements in sport and aviation. Barbara herself was dressed as Zephyrus but her hat of an upturned boat and green shirt combined to create a strong suggestion of Maid Marion. Eric Boinard was a pilot with an an authentic flying helmet. The pilot theme was also taken up by Charles Darley and Neil Isaacs, who had a moustache so convincing we hardly recognised him. Ufo and Miriam Sutter evoked political upheaval in the east with Cossack outfits. Miriam, with whom one would not have wanted to tangle, took the fancy dress prize.