Once again, wind was unkind to the Race Officer. Shane Rankin this evening. There was steady breeze as we milled around the starting area so that he sent us on a long windward leg to the northernmost mark on the Clynder shore. We had barely set off when the wind began to ease and by half way we were struggling to maintain smooth flow of air over the sails. The water around the windward mark was unrippled. We could see the Sonars, who had started 10 minutes earlier than us, taking a long time to round it.
Catriona made a good start at the favoured shore end of the line. She covered Dione as they sailed out into the adverse ebb tide in the loch. Others went up the Shandon shore where there was less adverse tide but less wind. Zephyrus was the best of these and was in the fray when she finally tacked towards the Clynder shore.
Different boats gained and lost in the patchy and changeable air. Dione and Catriona were usually to the fore. Dione followed the usual advice, leaving it late to tack in to the shore. It did not help this time because ‘wind’ veered and it was possible to lay the mark earlier. Catriona made it round first and escaped across the loch on transient currents of air. Dione and Hermes followed but Hermes had trouble making progress across the loch and faded.
Time was getting on and it seemed we should not finish the round before the time limit. There was about 30 minutes to go as the leader rounded F, off Shandon Church, and set off for home. With occasional patches of breeze she was able to finish with just a couple of minutes in hand. That led to a 15 minute extension of time so that Dione and Thalia made it too.
1 Catriona, 2 Dione, 3 Thalia. Zephyrus, Thia, Athene and Hermes DNF.