The Scottish summer continues and today there was wind too. It was blowing from the north west so that on the water Race Officer Barrie Choules was able to send us on a long windward leg to the E mark, near Rahane.
Only Teal made a good start. She opted for the shore end of the line. A little unfavoured by the bias but avoiding inevitable congestion at the pin. The rest of us either arrived early and lost time in the turning back or were just late.
Dione started to windward of Catriona but just behind. An unfavourable position out of which she was able to climb. Teal, meanwhile, was well to windward of the fleet and looked secure. Variability in strength and direction of wind did her no favours. In particular a large header towards the Clynder shore put Dione on terms. We all looked for the best route and fortunes changed. The only constant was that Dione sailed fast in the best of the air. She was round the E mark first, Catriona had to give mark room to Teal. Zephyrus and Thalia were battling for the last of the podium places.
Offwind to Shandon Church, Catriona drew level with Teal and had the benefit of the inside position for the next mark rounding. Wind from behind brought Zephyrus and Thalia into the mix. After the gybe at the mark, Thalia took the shore route for the run down the loch to the end of the round. Zephyrus tempted Teal further out with the threat of passing to windward. Dione maintained her pace, despite the group behind disturbing her air.
There was time for a second round. Shorter and beginning by hardening to a spinnaker reach to A, off the club. Catriona had been obliged to luff Teal to prevent being blanketed and losing mark room. As a result, the final approach to the mark was by the lee. Catriona held her boom out but Teal needed to gybe. She dropped her spinnaker which set her back. Thalia, meanwhile, had done well in shore but could not break an overlap and so had to give mark room. On the way to A, she could not live in disturbed air to leeward or make a pass to windward.
The next leg was to windward, this time to D, north of Clynder. The variability in wind was the same as before and as then, Dione did not put a foot wrong. Catriona did alright, Teal suffered. It was all decided before the run to the finish.
1 Dione, 2 Catriona, 3 Zephyrus, 4 Thalia, 5 Teal, 6 Hermes, 7 Thia