Gareloch Championships – 22nd to 24th July

The annual Gareloch Championship was held over the weekend.  The event began on Friday evening with a cocktail party thrown by Iain and Ali MacGillivray and their family. The Gareloch ODd, a cocktail unique to the class, was especially enjoyed.

On Saturday morning, all eleven Garelochs which are afloat gathered.  Jon Reid on Galatea racing for the first time.  Race Officer Jean Mackay, aboard Tim and Elizabeth Henderson’s Blue Iris, was challenged by light air.  She sent us on a short sausage course and  finished us after one round as wind lightened further.  Zoe won from a charging Hermes.

The second race was a longer affair.  Wind had strengthened but there were light patches and large changes of direction to catch out those not paying full attention.  Contenders for the title, Teal and Zoe left rival Catriona struggling at the starting line and then hampered by other boats.  A pattern which was to be repeated.  She was second last at the windward mark.  A good spinnaker leg brought her back into contention.  Luck with wind and tide on a windward leg made up for the bad start and she crept past Thalia under spinnaker to scrape a win.

It was now clear that conservative sailing was required.  With the comparatively large fleet and the variable air, it was all too easy to collect a large score.  There are no discards in this event.

Catriona managed to sneak the third race, passing Halcyone downwind to the finish.  In the fourth and last race of the day, Zoe reasserted herself to win but could only take one point from Catriona.  Rounding of the windward mark had been trying.  Teal had lost out here and finished third.

A wonderful barbecue in the evening.  Hosted by Richard and Frances Reeve with Don Maclean, hon barbecuer to the class, hard at work.

We gathered in the car park on Sunday morning to find little wind and a smooth Gareloch. Fearing there would be no racing, we went out anyway and insinuated ourselves towards Blue Iris.  There was sufficient pressure to start a race.  Halcyone found the best part of the Gareloch in which to make progress to windward and established a lead.  Catriona was happy to keep Zoe and Teal behind her.

In the light and unreliable air, the final race was just a windward leg to a finish off the club.  Teal made a good start, sailed in favourable wind and tide and took the win from Hermes.  Zephyrus, who had improved her form from Saturday, was third.  Catriona avoided the disaster which might have followed from yet another poor start and finished fourth but importantly ahead of Zoe.

1 Catriona, 2 Zoe, 3 Teal, 4 Hermes, 5 Halcyone, 6 Thalia, 7 Zephyrus, 8 Athene, 9 Ceres, 10 Thia, 11 Galatea.

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