Sun 26th May

Report from John Campbell, Circe

There is a conspiracy theory on the internet that says that boats cannot be propelled by the wind (you cant see wind) but that they are really driven by rain (which you can see). Of course, we all know what conspiracy theories are like, but I cant help feel that I started to believe in this one. As the boats left moorings and headed towards Blairvadach, the wind dies, and the rain came down in a very visible and forceful downpour! Yet, the boats seemed to make slow progress, never quite coming to a complete stand.

Charlescalls for an on the water RO saw Ceres volunteering, but with no whistle, a transfer from Catriona to Ceres was organised, only to see Charleswhistle head to the bottom of the Gareloch. Others had a lack of stopwatches (see essential item list for racing), so Circe ended up with the role, even though sailing single handed. The sequence started, then stopped when it was realised that no boats would make it to Z in time!

Course L4 was optimistic in such light winds, but it was worth a go. Both Catriona and Circe were over the line and had to duck back, but the fleet made a fairly tight start together heading up to A. The wind lifted and Zephyrus and Ceres made good use of it, and at A Zephyrus rounded first, followed byCatriona, Ceres and Circe with the others not that far away. C was the next mark, although you could have thought that Catriona and Hermes thought otherwise as they headed straight down the Shandon shore. The tide had turned at 3pm and was heading out, so it could be argued that sitting in the middle in such light winds wasnt a good idea. Patchy wind continued, some spinnakers were hoisted (and hung, limply) but then, ever so imperceptibly the wind tried a bit harder. Those with the spinnakers up at the end of the run (Athene and Luna) benefitted and somehow, despite all the different courses and sails, the main fleet ended up close together at C. Athene took the lead at the mark, but had to give water to Catriona and Circe, and there was a general congregation which Ceres was involved in as well. Through it all, Luna arrived at C, rounded nicely and avoided the gaggle, whilst Dione and Hermes were a bit further back.

After the rounding, it was Catriona and Luna who were ahead as the fleet headed back to Y to finish. Circe tried for the single tack and almost managed it, leaving Luna behind who really overstood the mark. Incredibly, given the closeness of the boats at C, by the time they all got to Y they were very spread out. Obviously some of them had more rain hitting them than others!

1. Catriona, 2. Circe, 3. Luna, 4. Zephyrus, 5. Dione, 6. Athene, 7. Ceres, 8. Hermes