Report from Shane Rankin (Halcyone).
An afternoon of frustration and surprise.
There was good wind and sunshine. The gusts were prolonged and brought big shifts.
Teal acted as on–water race officer. Course H7 was chosen, a complex of zig zags starting at Y mark and finishing at Z.
The start was a scrappy affair. Y is probably too far inshore so there isn’t much room for 7 boats. The line wasn’t quite square to the wind with a bathing platform half wayalong. All boats came charging in for the start in the fresh breeze, running the line, waiting for the gun. Most boats were close to the shore when the gun went and then tacked out. Catriona made the cleanest start, although slightly down wind of most of the others, but in clear air. Thalia had barged in at Y and was heading straight for the bathing platform, when she spotted the obstruction she tacked and forced Halcyone to tack.
The first leg was across to C at Clynder. Catriona made the mark first, she had kept her clear air and pointed higher than the others. Closing the mark Teal and Halcyone looked like they weren’t far behind. They tacked to make the mark, they were too early and were headed. Thalia and Hermes had anticipated the wind shift close to the shore and held on well past the mark. They tacked, Thalia rounded in second, Teal followed and Hermes closed on Halcyone.
Teal caught Thalia at the next mark. After that a procession set in. On the last legfrom D to Z final positions looked set until the Offshore Supply Vessel, Kingdom of Fife decided to leave Faslane and come down the loch. Teal was forced to round up and drop her spinnaker to let this 60m vessel past. Meantime Thalia slipped astern of the ship and left Teal waiting to follow.
Teal had been carried down the loch waiting for the ship to pass. When she was able to make for the line she forgot the start line wasn’t the finish line. By the time she realised Halcyone was closing on the line.
Meantime the rest of the fleet had been caught on the Clynder shore when the wind dropped, they had a slow sail home.
A frustrating afternoon for some, surprising final positions for others.
1 Catriona, 2 Thalia, 3 Halcyone, 4 Teal, 5 Hermes, 6 Athene, 7 Thia.