The first race of the season is always a source of excitement. Eight Garelochs were afloat, some more tenuously than others. It takes a while for the planking to absorb water and swell so that the old ladies are prone to leak a little when first launched.
The wind was strong and blowing from the north, straight down the Gareloch. This caused a lumpy sea which was awkward for crews who do not yet have their sea legs and inevitably have some rigging to sort out. It was a grave disappointment that all but one Gareloch decided not to race.
Catriona, alone at the start, challenged the Piper Magic Flute (also alone) to a race. The Piper should have been faster, especially in the heavy air. She had a little trouble with gear and started late. Catriona had enough of a lead to be untroubled until the last but one leg, a broad reach down the loch. Careful luffing to prevent a pass to windward maintained the order. Neither boat made an optimum rounding of the leeward mark so that, by covering, a pass could one again be prevented.
All of this was better than not sailing at all, but counted for nothing. In the bar, Catriona’s skipper did his best to embarrass those who had gone ashore early. To no avail.