Perhaps the sun didn’t shine but it was a superb afternoon with as much wind as anyone could want. Race officer Peter Proctor, crewing on Halcyone for Shane Rankin, was faced with the problem of wind blowing from the Shandon shore. He set us off on a reach to A, off the club, then up the loch to D, north of Clynder and back again.
For the reach to A, a good start was essential. The shore end of the line was favoured geometrically, but wind was better further out. Hermes did well at the pin end. Teal and Zephyrus less so by being close to the shore. Catriona had intended to start inshore but, approaching the line, ducked Halcyone so as to avoid being luffed and ended up just to windward of Hermes. It seemed to work well as Hermes, the only threat to Catriona, fell into wind shadow and dropped back.
Offwind to D, the gusts and changeable direction of wind (occasionally forward of the mast) separated those who love their spinnaker from those who don’t. Catriona made ground with hers. Hermes kept the kite stowed and remained in a strong second place. Peter Proctor, on Halcyone, brought something of the style of his own boat, Thalia, with him. First, the spinnaker set as an hour glass and stayed like that for some time. Then, Halcyone was allowed to broach. Certainly, concentration was needed to keep boats flat in the conditions. Which is essential when wind is strong and on the side. Some were alarmed by Halcyone’s angle of heel. Her crew included, no doubt, as water overtopped the cockpit coaming.
For the beat to the finish, Catriona hardened up to sail for Shandon where there seemed to be good wind. Hermes tacked down the Clynder shore to try something different and the rest followed. Wind was better on the Shandon shore and first place was, thereafter, settled. There was time for a second round. Teal made her spinnaker work well and climbed into second. Towards the back, Ceres and Athene were battling. Athene has carefully cleaned below the water line so that the slowness which has recently afflicted her was gone.
1 Catriona, 2 Teal, 3 Zephyrus, 4 Hermes, 5 Ceres, 6 Athene, 7 Halcyone.