Sun 5th May

The first race we had this year.  The first scheduled race is the last Tuesday evening of April.  For that, there was rain but no wind.

Today, five of the nine Garelochs afloat turned out.  The breeze was blowing down the loch, creating an uncomfortable swell on the moorings.  It was strong enough that carelessness  could lead to water coming over the cockpit coaming.  It caused Thia to retire, after a cross tree broke.

A longer course was selected, beginning with a windward leg to E, near Rahane on the Clynder shore.  The shore end of the starting line was favoured and Catriona misjudged things to let Teal pass to leeward and get the best start.  Dione had trouble with her main sheet at a crucial time and was late.  Teal and Catriona set off towards the Clynder shore with Teal comfortably to windward.  Continuing headers on the way across gave Catriona an advantage and she took the lead.  Halcyone was in the fray.  Dione had elected to go up the Shandon shore and was nowhere.

Catriona got to E first, from Teal and Halcyone, and began the two offwind legs back to the starting area.  Spinnakers were perfectly feasible for these two legs but with start of season nervousness, none was set.

There was time for a second round.  Downwind to A, off the club then another windward leg to the Clynder shore.  Somehow, Teal and Halcyone pointed much higher having rounded A and by the time Catriona tacked to cover, she had lost her place.  She compounded the error by staying on the Shandon shore for a while.  A tactic which had done for Dione on the first round.  By the time she tacked across the loch, Teal and Halcyone were ahead by a margin.  In the curious air of the Clynder shore, Halcyone passed Teal for the lead and increased it by sticking to the shore.  Out of adverse tide and with a good lift in the wind.  Catriona saw this and copied.  Conditions further out in the loch were unkind to Teal who dropped to third.

Downwind to the finish, Catriona set her spinnaker.  Teal and Dione followed.  The want of a third sail slowed Halcyone.

1 Catriona, 2 Halcyone, 3 Teal, 4 Dione.  Thia DNS.