A superb afternoon of good wind and sunshine. Race officer Carol Rowe sent us on an ideal course beginning with a windward leg to the northernmost mark on the Clynder shore.
The place to start was at the shore end of the starting line. Catriona and Teal fought for it with Teal the winner. Catriona, well below Teal, was first into better air out in the Loch and was eventually able to tack and cross. She stretched her lead from there. Zephyrus, Teal and Hermes fought it out and changed places. Whilst the wind was strong, it was variable. It was important to be in the right part of the loch. Often, covering another boat meant someone else taking advantage.
The second leg, a reach, was a little too fine for spinnakers in the strong air. The third, down the Shandon shore was ideal. There was a little shelter from the strongest gusts and wind was on the quarter. Never so far forward as to make broaching a possibility but far enough to prevent that alarming rocking and rolling which characterises a dead run in strong air. Nevertheless, not everyone set a spinnaker. Thalia, of course, had had to turn back to recover hers from the water after a mix up between helm and crew.
Time for a second round. Catriona ventured into dead air on the Clynder shore and very nearly lost her lead to Teal. Hermes stayed right on the beat up the loch and prospered. She was in the lead for the broad reach back to the finish but did not set a spinnaker and was being chased down by Teal, who did. Hermes sailed high to prevent Teal taking her air. In time, the Shandon shore prevented Teal rolling over the top of Hermes. If there had been a few more yards to the race, the result might have been different.
1 Catriona, 2 Hermes, 3 Teal, 4 Zephyrus, 5 Thalia, 6 Thia, 7 Ceres. Halcyone DNF.