Report from Teal.
September continued to be a poor month and the wet easterly allowed only for a downwind start so Teal – as on-the-water RO – selected the standard but rarely sailed Easterly course: H3 – yDgeY. Which would give two good true downwind legs y-D and g-e as well as two good beats back firstly back from D to g and then a long haul back down the loch from e to the end of the first round (or finish) at Y.
Catriona made the best start but close in shore in lighter wind. Teal and Halcyone started further out at the Y mark. Teal a little late as she concentrated on RO duty as well as starting and spinnaker hoisting. Halcyone luffed up to follow Catriona. Teal gybed to get further away from the shore reckoning on better wind. And it paid. Gybing back they were ahead of Catriona. Crossing gained the inside for the mark. But then the wind – forecast to be good if gusty – died. When it re-appeared it was now southerly and Catriona had the best of it! Catriona ahead at D, with Teal following and then Halcyone still. In light winds however and with the wind back behind from the east. As we were rounding however the wind went back S again and Teal managed to gybe quickly and used it to round wide around Catriona and in to pole position for the beat across the loch to the G mark. And leading out in to better wind which had reverted to the prevailing easterly.
Catriona, following in Teal’s dirty air, tacked off down the Clynder shore. It did not pay and at G she had given up another place to Halycone. On the beat up to E however Catriona kept low and left – protecting the inside – and another shift to south gave her the edge over Halcyone.
Back from E to the finish and the wind strengthened – good sailing. Catriona went high across to the Shandon shore – hoping to pick up a good shore lift and gained some ground back on Teal but it wasn’t enough. Behind Hermes was charging and challenging Halcyone and only a very well judged tack for the line put Halcyone in the clear. Meanwhile others weren’t enjoying the wet shifty gusty conditions. Circe’s skipper decided he might need new sails…
1 Teal, 2 Catriona, 3 Halcyone, 4 Hermes, 5 Circe, 6 Dione, 7 Athene