(Guest report from Teal)
Dione volunteered to be on-the-water race officer since she was three-up and, in the continuing absence of the G mark sent us on a good long race around course H6 (ZBfcY) – the F mark being the furthest up the Shandon shore. The line was biased to the Z mark end and, with a light patch before the start, Dione, Thalia and Halycone made the best of it with Teal following close behind. Teal followed for a bit but following wasn’t going to achieve much so despite the risk of a strong incoming tide in the middle of the loch she tacked away to what appeared to be a darker windier patch and towards a distinct dark cloud which she reasoned was causing it. When she tacked back to consolidate, Dione was only just ahead of Teal so it had paid. Dione tacked on top of Teal but Teal tacked herself to head back towards the Clynder shore. Heading back towards the better wind and out of the tide. And leaving Dione and others heading against the worst of the tide! When Teal tacked back again on a shift, she was so far ahead that the race was almost already won.
Teal rounded the B mark for the very long run to the F mark. In the following pack Halycone rounded first having played the tacks and shifts well, followed by Dione, Athene then Thalia. Thia too both going well and with the pack. Ceres trailing somewhat with spinnaker troubles? Thalia overtook Athene with slicker spinnaker handling but the order otherwise unchanged. Rounding F for the beat to C, Teal decided to immediately tack and head up the loch on the Shandon shore out of the tide and towards what appeared to be better wind back towards the mouth of the loch. When they rounded Halycone and Dione decided to stand on towards the Clynder shore which didn’t seem to pay with mediocre wind. And Dione exacerbated it by bearing off towards the E mark! Thalia meanwhile made a good decision and followed Teal up the Shandon shore in good wind and when she tacked to cross the loch she crossed ahead of both Halcyone and Dione. Sadly for her she didn’t cover to consolidate her position. Teal rounded C and watched the following pack wondering whether they had over stood the mark; perhaps all tying to get inside mark rights. Halcyone had Dione well covered and sure enough rounded second, followed by Dione then closely by Thalia.
Teal watched secure on her fine reach to the finish at Y. We thought Halcyone was secure too in second. Dione however kept attacking, hoisted her kite and went well to leeward of Halcyone. She was rewarded when the wind lifted half way across and she powered through well under Halycone to finish a good few boat-lengths ahead. Thalia too put up the kite but couldn’t quite replicate the gains.
1 Teal, 2 Dione, 3 Halcyone, 4 Thalia, 5 Athene, 6 Thia, 7 Ceres