(Guest report from Thalia)
A very wet day, with poor visibility. Only Hermes and Thalia went out for the last race of the present series. Wind was a light northerly, after wild weather on Saturday. Race Officer Roger Kinns set L1, with a beat down the Shandon shore to ‘g’ then across to Clynder and a lap finish via ‘a’ and ‘z’. Both boats headed down the line for a pin start on Starboard with Hermes ahead. The gap narrowed so the pair were almost level near ‘g’. But where was the mark? The two boats agreed that a yellow mooring buoy would have to serve for the day. Hermes rounded first, but Thalia had the better of the fetch to Clynder and got an inside overlap.
The run to ‘a’ saw hardly any change in relative position, with crews deciding that wet spinnakers were not going to be much fun. Thalia was ahead on port tack, with Hermes overlapped on the outside. Unable initially to see the next mark in the damp gloom, Thalia tracked too far left and had to bear away as the ‘a’ mark came into view. Uncertain whether she had lost her right to a proper course and unwilling to risk boom contact, she executed a quick double gybe to duck under Hermes’ stern and conceded mark room as a result. A stuck jib sheet cost another couple of lengths. Seeking to balance the effects of an ebb tide with better wind in the loch didn’t favour Thalia in the beat to ‘z’ and on to a second lap via the substitute ‘g’. The race seemed to be over as a contest. A generous Hermes then sailed on up the Loch towards Faslane, never found the real ‘g’, eventually came across ‘f’ and turned towards Clynder.
So who won? Technically it was Thalia with Hermes second through her extra voyage. Both enjoyed a refreshing sail.