After a dry morning, five Garelochs went out to sail in rain which was unusually wet and gusts strong enough to concentrate the mind.
On the water Race Officer Carol Rowe sent us on a windward leg to B, off Silvers, followed by a long run downwind to Shandon Church. Catriona got the best start at the favoured end of the starting line. Dione behind and the rest inshore. It was the end of the flood tide and Catriona thought there would be advantage in going down the Shandon shore so as to find a back eddy. Dione followed and was lifted dramatically so as top take the lead. Catriona tacked out, expecting to have to duck but Dione tacked too. Constant heading of the wind put Dione, who was to leeward and ahead, even further in front. As Catriona fell into disturbed air, she tacked away. Dione failed to cover and paid the price in the light and changeable wind on the Clynder shore.
Ceres, meanwhile, was establishing a strong lead over Hermes and Thia.
A gybe was needed at the F mark, at the end of the downwind leg. Thia did this with her crew on the foredeck trying to recover the spinnaker bucket. The crew lost his footing and ended up in the water, although still holding on to the boat. It was not possible to get him back on board. MOD Police boats from Faslane responded very quickly indeed and rescued the crew. Who was now even wetter than the rest of us. He was taken ashore and checked over, he was and is fine.
Thanks are due to the MOD Police for their very prompt and professional response.
1 Catriona, 2 Dione, 3 Ceres, 4 Hermes. Thia DNF.