An evening of light air from the south.
Just north of the starting line, a burn flows into the loch. Associated with it is a shingle bank which stretches out at a shallow angle. All but one of the Gareloch skippers knew about it. The deficiency was rectified this evening. By coincidence, the previous inductee was also an Officer in the Royal Navy.
After all the boats were manoeuvring freely, on the water Race Officer Iain MacGillivray set one of the shortest courses, a windward leg to A, off the club, and back. There was the usual decision to be made about whether to start inshore, to windward and in less adverse tide, or at the pin end where air was moving more freely. Teal, Halcyone, Luna and Hermes started well, part way up the line. Catriona, delayed by a penalty turn having touched the mark, was late at the pin. The better air helped her back on terms.
A speciality of Hermes is to benefit from conditions close to the Shandon shore and she hit the right compromise, being first at A from Teal, Catriona and Halcyone. These positions were maintained downwind back to the starting area. There was time for a second round in the now lightening air.
Hermes again went close to the shore. Perhaps too far in because this time it did not pay. Teal and Halcyone looked for better wind out in the loch. Catriona would have followed but she was lee bowed by Teal and tacked for the shore where she found a line of pressure which had eluded Hermes. The tide did for Teal and Halcyone.
Downwind to the finish was a matter of keeping sails as full as could be. There was a weak offshore breeze which did not extend far out into the loch. Catriona managed to keep going so as to stay ahead of Teal and finished just inside the time limit.
1 Catriona, 2 Teal, 3 Halcyone, 4 Circe, 5 Hermes. Luna and Ceres DNF.