The weather was not very summery but the wind was good. RO Prof. Blackie (Athene) and assistant RO Miriam Sutter selected course H6 – a bold choice of ‘High wind’ course on for an evening race but one that gave a good beat to B and then a good long run down the loch followed by a beat back and across via C. Interestingly with not only a differing course for Sonars and Garelochs (not unusual) but with differing marks on largely the same route. This would prove to be crucial for those paying, and not paying, attention as you will see!
With Catriona’s helm being away at Classic Week on the Baltic, Teal had only to finish 2nd or better to secure the series. So it was strategically rather incompetent that she found herself starting last having been OCS. The start had a not-uncommon bias due to the fixed shore with the Z mark being favoured. This led to all of the boats vying for pole and Thia, Hermes and Teal were all over early. This made it difficult to work out who was OCS and Teal thought she was just OK and that Thia or others were the culprits. But the flag stayed up and so back she went belatedly. (The RO later reported that it was a matter of six inches but over is over.) This left Dione well out in front with the others chasing and Teal at the back.
At the B mark Dione was still well in front with Hermes, then Thia, Thalia following. Teal had managed to get in front of Luna and chasing down Thalia and Thia who had a luffing battle. Hermes having some struggles with the kite allowed the others to pass to windward.
At this point Teal realised that Dione was heading to the G mark – following the Sonars – rather than the correct F mark much farther up the loch. Thia and Hermes following Dione. Teal luffed up a little to point to the correct mark and overtake Thalia. At the F mark Teal – unbelievably given her start – now leading from Thalia. Thia and Hermes spotted the error and Dione eventually realised her mistake when she saw everyone ignoring her and her illusory lead.
A good beat now to C. Teal covering both Thalia who had tacked immediately and kept down the loch and Thia who had headed slightly further over to the Clynder shore before tacking and was pointing menacingly at times. Careful covering of a strong Thalia was required by Teal to arrive first at the C mark. A swift kite launch saw Teal well out in the lead heading for the finish of the shortened course. Thalia was careful to defend against Hermes’ luffing and came in a solid second having made neither an OCS start nor gone to the wrong mark! Dione did at least manage to get past Luna but her crew were somewhat sheepish in the bar after.
1 Teal, 2 Thalia, 3 Hermes, 4 Thia, 5 Dione, 6 Luna (RO duty: Athene)