Report (mostly) by John Campbell, RO – who kindly filled in the bones when we realised we had forgotten to write one!
A lovely evening on the Gareloch, but with the wind from the East, or even the North East depending on whether you were north or south of Blairvadach!
RO John Campbell realised that it was going to be a reaching start. Course ZACY was set. With an ebbing tide, there was the risk of a boat being carried over the line before the start but all boats started cleanly… apart from Dione who was a considerable distance south of the line and then caught out by a drop in the wind.
The first leg to A was a reach and those brave enough to set a spinnaker flew them, even though they then were at risk of being carried below the mark. Teal and Catriona set them… just as the wind headed and it turned into a very fine reach indeed.
Round A, it was Thalia, who had made a superb start, followed by Catriona. Spinnakers were then set by all to get to C, with an upwind leg back to Y. After the first round, Thalia was in the lead, followed by Catriona. Teal, Halcyone were having a good tussle – with much changing of positions and crossing in the tacking battles – and were neck and neck at the end of the first round. Teal forced a port tack Halcyone to tack right at the pin and squeezed through and ahead chasing Catriona. Hermes, Dione, Athene and Thia followed
One final beat. Thalia on fire and unstoppable out in a clear lead. Catriona chasing her. Teal again stood on slightly before tacking for the main beat to the finish having thought the wind better closer to the Shandon shore on the previous round. She gained enough that Catriona only just crossed her back on starboard. And close enough that Catriona stood no chance of tacking to cover and making it stick. Possibly Catriona was also looking forward and trying catch Thalia and claim a win; rather than defending second. Teal stood on towards the moorings before tacking back towards finish and the wind had been kind: she crossed Catriona by many boat-lengths.
The lesson of the Gareloch is that you need to cover. It’s a lesson even the best of us forget.
Thalia was still well clear. A header forcing her to tack just before the line, with Teal and Catriona charging in, must have given her palpitations, but Thalia didn’t panic and sealed a fine win.
1 Thalia, 2 Teal, 3 Catriona, 4 Halcyone, 5 Dione, 6 Hermes, 7 Thia, 8 Athene (RO Circe)