Tue 24th May

Report from Teal.

The wind was forecast westerly but the local geography means the wind hits the mountains further north and funnels the wind down the Gareloch from the NW. And so it was: a classic NW wind and the Race Officers obliged with the classic NW course. A beat across and up to the D mark off Rahane (middle W side of the Gareloch), and then downwind to the finish via the G mark off Gullybridge on the E side (acting as a sort of wide spreader mark!). And then a short reach down to A off the moorings, followed by a wonderful long beat back to D, before finishing directly down to Y.

So, one of the best courses in the roster. But the fixed start line is biased with the shore end being favoured. And with a looming shallow shore and sea wall to intimidate those wanting to win it!

Thia is now jointly in the hands of jointly helmed by Michael Knox and Peter Brown [edit – Peter’s wife will be relieved to know that he has not bought a share in another boat!] and they’re gelling well – and getting more aggressively in the mix at the start (as well as often going well on the beat). And so it was with Thia taking on Catriona (who always like to lead in where possible!). Teal happily followed in close behind, slightly higher on the line but ensuring she could not be ‘hooked’ by Catriona (luffed up over the line). Thia dropped down. Teal chased Catriona in.

Catriona eventually called for room to tack, not leaving it too late. “You tack” responded Teal and Catriona did. Teal didn’t though. And instead ducked to squeeze the last out of the line before tacking so she was on top and controlling the beat on starboard. Halcyone did likewise and started well following Teal across the loch. Dione had started lower down the line, going well but lower and left of the fleet. Thia in the middle following Catriona.

Teal sailed high and fast and by the other side of the loch was clearly in the lead and in control. And that to some extent was that. Halcyone crossed Catriona but couldn’t make it stick and Catriona sailed well to cement a clear second by the D mark. It was now a game of sailing well and not making mistakes in good wind on a good course. A broad reach to G under spinnaker, gybe and down through the line to A. Plenty of spinnaker practice tonight for crews (or Charles single-handed in Catriona). Drop and round A for the cracking long beat back to D.

Teal stood on for a bit to tack and cover Catriona. Who surprisingly did tack and allow herself to be covered. Without much wriggling. Perhaps her skipper felt a good 2nd was ok and the series was wrapped up? Or merely packing her spinnaker (how he sails so well while doing this is a mystery)?

Halcyone kept going well – newish crew getting up to speed – and took a good 3rd. Dione will have regretted 4th after a good series so far.

1 Teal, 2 Catriona, 3 Halcyone, 4 Dione, 5 Circe, 6 Thia (Results provisional until confirmed by the official RNCYC ones)