2008 Race Reports

Tuesday 29th April

Six Garelochs were on their moorings, but only five came to the start. Thia was lacking crew so that her helm Michael Knox assisted Race Officer Andrew Nicholson.

The wind was testing for the race officials. A large shift led to a postponement during the sequence and a change of course. The postponement was Iris’s undoing. The gun as the AP came down confused her helm so that she started a minute early. Teal made a strong start a little way down the line. Catriona lost momentum. Iris found some pressure and was quickly on terms, despite having had to return.
Teal took advantage of her lead on the beat to D, north of Clynder, and was comfortably first at the mark. Thalia and Hermes prospered up the middle of the loch. Thalia did not learn and went too close to the Clynder shore, Hermes rounded in second place.
Iris had had to make a wide rounding so as to keep clear of Hermes approaching on Starboard, which let in Catriona. She increased the advantage with smart spinnaker work on the reach to G, off Gully Bridge. Hermes lost her spinny halyard so that both Iris and Thalia got by.

1 Teal, 2 Catriona, 3 Iris, 4 Thalia, 5 Hermes.

No Sonars or Pipers.

Sunday 4th May

Only 3 boats came to the start. Presumably the others were put off by the rain and lack of wind. They will be taking up golf next.
On the water Race Officer Charles Darley set a short course with a beat to A, off the club, and a run back.
Graeme Walker, new owner of Circe (to be launched shortly) took the helm of Catriona. He made the best of ghosting in light air and finding fair tide to be first at the windward mark. Hermes second, Thalia third.
The vagaries of the wind meant that the course became a reach both ways after that. We got two rounds and a bit wet. The order did not change.

1 Catriona, 2 Hermes, 3 Thalia.

Tuesday 6th May

Six Garelochs at the start. There was a lone Sonar, no Pipers.
On account of (a good) wind blowing off the Shandon shore, it was a running start to D. Iris got it right, Catriona just behind but on the wrong side for the mark rounding. The two were overlapped for most of the leg. Teal and Hermes were also satisfied with their starts.
After hardening up at D for the beat to G, Catriona found herself pinching in back wind from Iris and tacked away. That did not pay. She caught Teal on starboard but was well behind Iris. Hermes lost a couple of places at D by getting into irons. Teal, meanwhile, lost out to Thalia by heading for the wrong mark.
At the end of the first round, Iris had a good lead. She always goes well on a beat in strong air and this was her kind of night. Her skipper had obtained an unfair advantage by helping to lay the racing marks. He knew just where they were. He had a strong two man crew including Zoe’s Reay Mackay. Zoe will be afloat shortly. It was inexplicable, therefore, that when Iris finished the first round she headed for the wrong mark.
Catriona did not need asking twice. She made a misjudgement at B, the gybe mark, and mistakenly tried to carry her spinnaker. It didn’t matter. Iris’s spinnaker woes are best left undescribed.
Towards the back, Hermes retrieved a place from Thia. Neither set a spinnaker. Both will have to if they are to move up the fleet.

1 Catriona, 2 Iris, 3 Teal, 4 Thalia, 5 Hermes, 6 Thia.

Sunday 11th May

A superb day, bright sun and a good breeze, if a little shifty.
Graeme Walker, new owner of Circe, had her afloat for the fist time in several years. She was looking very smart and on the pace, too.
On the water Race office Gordon Mucklow set a course with a beat to A, off the club, run to D, north of Clynder and beat back.
Catriona badly misjudged her start, tangled with Iris, and made the penalty turns. That put her in last place at A with Iris well down the run. She soon began to make ground, perhaps because of better wind coming in from behind. Of the rest, Circe handled her spinnaker best and cemented third place. Thalia and Hermes argued about who would be last.
Catriona was in touch at D. The leg back to the line was to be mostly on starboard, so there was no point tacking away. Unusually, she was able to make up to windward of Iris and there were moments when the two seemed equally placed. Towards Gully Bridge the Gareloch excelled itself with regard to fluky and shifting wind. Iris made far the better job of getting through it and had a substantially increased lead for the start of the second round. Perhaps the two came a little closer on the run, but not significantly so. This time, there were no holes around the finish to catch the unwary.

1 Iris, 2 Catriona, 3 Circe, 4 Thalia, 5 Hermes.

Tuesday 13th May

It was Shakespeare’s Mark Anthony, speaking of the dead Caesar, who said ‘The evil that men do lives after them. The good is oft interred with their bones.’ So Catriona felt about her luck tonight.
The wind was similar to last Tuesday, off the Shandon shore. It was a running start with a first leg across the loch to D. Catriona got it right for a change and was to windward of Iris and Teal, on the correct side of the fleet for the mark rounding. She had to go a little too high to avoid wind shadow from Thalia and Reay Mackay’s Zoe (just afloat). Iris and Teal rounded in first and second and hardened up for the beat back across the loch. Unaccountably, Catriona climbed high, with good speed, and passed both. That was put down to skill, rather than good luck, and soon forgotten.
On the second round, a spinnaker leg up the Clynder shore did not favour the leader. Iris and Teal were brought right up. On the beat back to the finish, Catriona lost the tacking dual with Iris. She foolishly held on to the less favourable tack for too long and became blanketed by Teal. That was the bad luck to be remembered. Iris, meanwhile, made the best of the fluky wind into the finish to take the win.

1 Iris, 2 Teal, 3 Catriona, 4 (and nearly 3) Zoe, 5 Thalia, 6 Hermes.

Pipers. 1 Pompous, 2 Suilven.
Sonars. 1 Grouse, 2 Micky Finn V.

Sunday 18th May

On the water Race Officer Roger Kinns set course with a beat to A, off the club, run across to C at Clynder and beat/fine reach back. For those used to the Gareloch, it was a good wind on a beautiful afternoon. Sailors used to true, steady winds might have thought it a little fluky.
The start favoured the inshore end, which is where Hermes was. She capitalised. Iris, a little further out, did well. The rest were left behind.
After two rounding marks, Hermes was leading with Iris looking angry just behind. Changeable Gareloch wind let Iris into first for the start of the second round, Catriona third but now in the race. Iris tended to the Shandon shore, which had paid before. Hermes, then Catriona failed to fetch a moored boat and tacked out. The right side turned out better. Catriona came in to the A mark on starboard and caught out Iris, who could not tack quickly in the light air and was obliged to perform penalty turns. That let Hermes and Circe through for the start of a trying run to C.
Iris benefited from a zephyr on the Clynder shore which came in from the narrows. By C, Catriona was having to work hard to avoid her getting an inside overlap. Iris was tempted into a space on the inside at the mark which was insufficient for her. Catriona was not in a generous frame of mind and once again, Iris gyrated.
The wind from the narrows had brought up the rest of the fleet, which got past. The last leg was now a fine reach, so there was little scope for changes of place. The only determined effort was from Circe on Catriona.

1 Catriona, 2 Circe, 3 Hermes, 4 Thalia, 5 Iris.

Tuesday 20th May

We are consistent in this life in only one thing, our faults.
With a steady breeze blowing off the Shandon shore, the course had a running start across the loch to D, north of Clynder. Hermes, Teal and Thalia started well.
Iris stuck to the left in clear wind, but on the wrong side of the fleet for the mark rounding. Catriona found herself to leeward of Thalia with no hope of breaking through. She was able to luff and break through to windward. Hermes did not respond soon enough to the boats approaching from behind and was blanketed. Catriona got a fortunate inside overlap on Teal and was first away from the mark. She cemented her lead.
The fighting was between Teal and Iris. On the second round spinnaker leg up the Clynder shore, which was about as fine as the Garelochs could manage, Iris got the better of Teal. Teal returned the compliment on the same leg of the third round. Slick work by Catriona’s crew, Daka, kept her well in front. As Catriona hardened up at the last mark for the beat to the finish, she had a commanding lead over Teal, then Iris. Iris tacked early, a move which had not paid in previous rounds. Catriona tacked at once, well to windward. The two were a long way apart. In the variable air of the Gareloch Iris had leverage. She was able to climb in front of Catriona and was leading as she approached the pin end of the line. A puff of air at the shore end of the line gave Catriona and Teal brief hope, but it died. Not for the first time, Catriona and Teal learned to cover the opposition.

1 Iris, 2 Catriona, 3 Teal, 4 Thalia, 5 Hermes. Thia (who did not set a spinnaker) DNF.

Sonars 1 Grouse., 2 Micky Finn V.
Pipers, 1 Suilven, 2 Pompous.

Tuesday 27th May

The final race of the spring points series with Iris, Teal and Catriona all in the running.
There was plenty of wind in the Gareloch but its direction was unpredictable. One of those evenings of tacks with no change of direction or, for the unlucky, tacks through 180 degrees. One skipper was bumped on the head by the boom when, in an instant, a fine reach became head to wind.
Teal and Catriona were on the line at the running start across the loch. The curiosities of the wind and blanketing from behind brought up Iris, Zoe and the rest. Thalia went for the middle of the loch early. She looked strong for a while but faded.
At the leeward mark, Iris had a lead from Teal. Both were well in front of Catriona who had managed, by luck not judgement, to break Zoe’s inside overlap. Thalia gained a place on the leg back across the loch but lost it in a hole at G as Catriona came in on an unpredictable streak of wind.
The air around the line at the end of the round was especially trying. Teal was briefly ahead of Iris. Zoe crossed in third place but was headed away from the pin.
The next opportunity for substantial changes of place was the final beat. In fact, it had most points of sailing but the boats were never on a run for long enough to set a spinnaker. Catriona found better air in the middle and her spirits were lifted for a brief moment.

1 Iris, 2 Teal, 3 Catriona, 4 Hermes, 5 Thalia, 6 Zoe, 7 Thia.

Sonars, 1 Nona, 2 Jamie. Pipers, 1 Pompous, 2 Suilven.

Tuesday 27th May

The final race of the spring points series with Iris, Teal and Catriona all in the running.
There was plenty of wind in the Gareloch but its direction was unpredictable. One of those evenings of tacks with no change of direction or, for the unlucky, tacks through 180 degrees. One skipper was bumped on the head by the boom when, in an instant, a fine reach became head to wind.
Teal and Catriona were on the line at the running start across the loch. The curiosities of the wind and blanketing from behind brought up Iris, Zoe and the rest. Thalia went for the middle of the loch early. She looked strong for a while but faded.
At the leeward mark, Iris had a lead from Teal. Both were well in front of Catriona who had managed, by luck not judgement, to break Zoe’s inside overlap. Thalia gained a place on the leg back across the loch but lost it in a hole at G as Catriona came in on an unpredictable streak of wind.
The air around the line at the end of the round was especially trying. Teal was briefly ahead of Iris. Zoe crossed in third place but was headed away from the pin.
The next opportunity for substantial changes of place was the final beat. In fact, it had most points of sailing but the boats were never on a run for long enough to set a spinnaker. Catriona found better air in the middle and her spirits were lifted for a brief moment.

1 Iris, 2 Teal, 3 Catriona, 4 Hermes, 5 Thalia, 6 Zoe, 7 Thia.

Sonars, 1 Nona, 2 Jamie. Pipers, 1 Pompous, 2 Suilven.

Sunday 1st June

A delayed start because of the Club open day. Ceres was brought round to her mooring. Now we are nine. She did not race, though.
There was rain in the air, but a good wind, for a beat to A, run up the loch to D and back. Iris started well, on the line with boatspeed. Catriona was to windward, though. She avoided the lee bow, broke through, and kept good cover on Iris and Zoe along the shore.
Thalia and Circe had gone out into the loch and found good air. Catriona, coming into the A mark on port, was just in front of Thalia on Starboard. Iris and Zoe rounded behind them.
There was clearly a wind shift because the run to D became as fine a reach as the spinnaker would tolerate. Catriona benefited from clear air and got away.
Two thirds of the way down this leg, the wind was turned off. Thalia and Circe went for the shore where there seemed to be a band of ripples. Iris, Zoe and Hermes stayed out. With no wind, Catriona pointed for the mark on what became a beat. She found enough pressure to keep her position.
Then began the trying business of keeping spinnakers full in light air and enough rain to make them heavy. In the end, the matter was resolved by the wind going so far forward they had to be dropped.
Zoe, not well placed at D, had stuck to the Clynder shore. It looked disastrous for a long time but she was the first to get some new pressure. She finished a few boat lengths ahead of Catriona. Iris, on the other hand, had chased an illusive band of ripples further up the loch. She did not prosper.

1 Zoe, 2 Catriona, 3 Circe, 4 Iris, 5 Thalia, 6 Hermes.

Tuesday 3rd June

There was sufficient wind for Race Officer Tim Henderson to set a long course, starting with a beat to E, off Rahane.
The shore end of the line was favoured. Iris makes a speciality of reaching in on port and tacking close to the shore. No one challenged her for the premium slot and she got the best start. Catriona was not far behind, though. On the beat up the loch she crossed ahead. In the curiosities of the wind, these two became widely separated although they had never been on opposite tacks for long. Catriona and the rest of the fleet tended to the Clynder shore. Iris had been headed towards the Shandon shore. She was lifted back across in a good breeze and was first at E by a margin. Catriona second. The wind at E lightened for the rest and they fell back.
Catriona caught up slowly on the remaining two spinnaker legs. She went for the shore end of the line and nearly, but not quite, caught Iris napping.
Zoe took third. Hermes went for the shore end against Teal and made it pay. Ceres, in her first race of the year, caught Thalia at the line. Despite her helm being unable to persuade his wife to set a spinnaker.

1 Iris, 2 Catriona, 3 Zoe, 4 Hermes, 5 Teal, 6 Ceres, 7 Thalia.

Sonars, 1 Grouse, 2 Jamie, 3 Nona.
Pipers, 1 Suilven, 2 Pompous, 3 Mealista.

Sunday 8th June

Five Garelochs were off their moorings. Teal, though, had weans aboard and decided to avoid the cut and thrust of racing so as not to frighten them.
The wind was changeable, both in direction and strength. The race officer chose a course, chose another, went back to the first option and decided to go anyway when the first leg (to B, off Silvers) became a broad reach. It went back to being a beat.
Catriona got a good start in light air and looked comfortable half way to B. The wind then seemed to favour Circe and Zoe, who were on opposite sides of Catriona. She kept her place though, just crossing Zoe and in a strong position to windward for the last tack in to the mark. Good wind now for the run to G, on the Shandon shore. Catriona established a lead until the wind again ran out. It was a stop-start race. This time, Zoe and Circe passed to port and Hermes (who had found a good streak of air on the shore) passed to starboard.
Hermes was first around G for the fetch to C. She had achieved that without setting a spinnaker but that is no excuse for not setting one in future. The other three were overlapped with Circe inside, then Catriona, then Zoe. Circe was right of way boat with room but made a poor rounding and let Catriona get to windward. Zoe was not so lucky. Thereafter, the wind to the finish was steady.

1 Catriona, 2 Circe, 3 Zoe, 4 Hermes.

Tuesday 10th June

The wind during the day had been perhaps too strong. It moderated in the evening to give a good race.
The first leg, a beat to D, north of Clynder, required a start at the shore end of the line. Usually Iris’s speciality, but she was not there and Catriona took the spot. Teal second. Catriona maintained good cover on Teal up the beat and maintained her place. Hermes and Thalia swapped third place between them.
There were no attacking moves off the wind so that Catriona was leading comfortably for the start of the beat to D on the second round. She stood on to the Clynder shore for too long and was headed. Teal was unable to take advantage of a wind shift because she was slow to take in her spinnaker equipment and could not tack. That let Catriona away with it. Loose cover was restored and maintained to the finish. Thalia, meanwhile, had dropped her spinnaker (in its bucket) into the water. Returning to collect it was not the fastest way around the course.

1 Catriona, 2 Teal, 3 Hermes, 4 Thalia.

Sonars 1 Nona, 2 Jamie, 3 Grouse, Lobi-Wan Kanobi DNF.
Pipers 1 Suilven, 2 Pompous, 3 Mealista.

Tuesday 17th June

Race Officer Simon Jackson looks young, but he has been at the fair for a long time. We all benefited from his experience as he set a course starting with a beat to B when the direction of the wind on shore indicated that would be a fetch.
A drop in the strength of wind just before the start caused most to be a little late. Iris was closest to the line at the gun and set off along the Shandon shore to keep out of the tide. Catriona would have covered but was in dirty wind and needed to tack out. That turned out to be fortunate for the light blue boat because there was good wind in the middle. Teal went that way, too.
Hermes got the wind first and was delighted to cross ahead of Catriona. She was headed back to the Shandon shore and was pleased to cross Iris, too. That was less impressive because Iris had had a dreadful time inshore.
Catriona, feeling awfully pleased with herself, rounded B with a good lead. She failed to allow for tide and touched. The penalty turn let Teal past and gave hope to Iris.
Downwind to F, off Shandon Church, wind was more than a little curious. Catriona was trying to pass to windward of Teal but saw Iris going well nearer the shore. She bore away onto a dead run, sometimes by the lee, and unaccountably passed Teal to leeward.
A beat to C next. Iris, with two boats ahead, was obliged to take to the Shandon shore again. It hurt less this time.
Catriona was not to be caught but Iris managed to get an inside overlap at the pin end of the line and was second at the start of the second round.
Hermes mistakenly thought she had seen a signal for shortened course and lost a place to Thalia by going for the shore end of the line.
Thia and Ceres had a determined battle at the back. They were so close at the finish that they needed to consult the sheet of results.

1 Catriona, 2 Iris, 3 Teal, 4 Thalia, 5 Hermes, 6 Ceres, 7 Thia.

Pipers, 1 Suilven, 2 Pompous, 3 Mealista.
Sonars, 1 Grouse, 2 Nona, 3 Charlotte.

Sunday 22nd June

It had been decided to start earlier and race to Gourock so as to see the Fifes. At the start (a line from the A mark to a mooring) there was debate about whether or not we should make it through the narrows, such was the lack of wind.
Iris started well and set a spinnaker. There was not really enough air to fill it. When the wind went ahead she lost momentum taking it down. Catriona passed to windward and Circe to leeward. Thalia was further out into the loch, caught a line of wind first and had a good lead in Rhu bay.
The wind was now off the Rosneath shore. Each boat tried to find the correct balance between keeping to windward and avoiding the wind shadow from the shore. Iris got past Circe and those two caught the leaders by going further in shore. As we hardened onto a beat at the green isle buoy, Thalia was comfortably in front. Catriona tacked to cover Iris, who was pointing high as usual. Towards the Greenock/Gourock shore, Catriona sensed a lull and tacked out again to make sure of Iris. Better air in the middle promoted her to first by the time Thalia tacked.
Circe, meanwhile, had tacked down the Kilcreggan side of the river. Not a good strategy.

1 Catriona, 2 Thalia, 3 Iris, 4 Thia, 5 Circe.

Tuesday 24th June

A damp evening. It is better, though, to sail in the rain than to be dry watching TV. There was good wind, too.
The beat was from the D mark, north of Clynder, back to the line. The first leg, therefore, was a fine reach to A. Hermes, under the command of Mike Lidwell, was busy with spinnaker drill for her crew. Mike wrongly opted for the windward end of the line, not realising the nature of the leg. Iris started at the pin, just behind Catriona. Teal in the middle. She was level with Catriona for most of the leg, but unable to set her back.
Down wind to D, there was naturally a tendency for Teal, then Iris to take Catriona high. Iris was the more determined, so that the two were sometimes by the lee on the final run to the mark. Teal had stayed low here and kept her second place. Catriona, obliged to keep her spinnaker late to avoid inside overlaps, made a poor rounding and Teal sneaked inside. Catriona luffed sharply, Teal thought too high, to avoid being blanketed. That, of course, killed her boat speed and she watched Iris sail through to leeward with pace. There began a battle of wits between these two. Iris put in a false tack, Catriona let her jib back for a little too long as she responded and Iris got into clear air to leeward. Teal had the lead at this point.
The long tack on port along the Shandon shore required full concentration. There were substantial shifts. The headers making Iris look better and better. Tell tales were stuck down with rain. In the end, Catriona came out on top. Iris tacked to leeward of Teal, could not break through and was set back for the start of the second round.
Catriona now had enough of a lead to keep her air clear. The fight was between Teal and Iris. Down wind to D, the air was heavy enough for maximum boat speed and thoughts of Ride of the Valkiries. Not so much, though, as to be uncontrollable. Iris tried to break through to windward just as a puff hit. She did not keep flat enough. Teal scooted forwards as Iris displayed some of the symptoms of a minor broach. Loose cover upwind to the finish prevented any further changes of place.

1 Catriona, 2 Teal, 3 Iris, 4 Hermes, 5 Thia, 6 Ceres DNF.
Pipers, 1 Suilven, 2 Pompous, 3 Mealista.
Sonars, 1 Grouse, 2 Jamie, Charlotte DNF.

Sunday 29th June

The annual Yvonne Armstrong Regatta for under 21s was held on Sunday. The trophy, a model of a Gareloch by David Spy, was donated by the Armstrong family in memory of Yvonne, who was a keen Gareloch sailor. She died of meningitis when she was 20.
Six teams entered, two from Cove Sailing club, two from Lomond School, and one each from Helensburgh Sailing Club and The Royal Northern and Clyde Yacht Club. The event was well supported by parents and friends who came to watch.
Race Officer Mike Henry was aboard John Blackie’s very pretty Mylne Ketch Maid of Lorn, she is 100 years old. He set a course across the loch and back. For the first race, Gareloch wind was at its worst. Big holes, huge and unpredictable wind shifts. That, naturally, increased the element of chance although concentration paid. The RNCYC team in Zoe were first. Cove B were a very creditable second. The commentators of Formula 1 tell us that first, you have to beat your team mate. Cove A were second to last.
After lunch, the wind was truer. Strong enough in the gusts to wet the lee decks. The course was from Blairvadach to mark H at Clynder for the second race and to C, just to the north, for the third. It was still changeable on the Clynder shore but the boats always kept moving.
Lomond B were sailing Teal and had the feel of her. They won both of the afternoon races by a margin to take overall victory. RNCYC in Catriona were second both times. They had recovered well from being over early and having to return at the start of the second race. Cove A just pipped Cove B at the finish of the third to reduce their embarrassment.

1 Lomond B, 2 RNCYC, 3 Cove B, 4 Cove A, 5 Lomond A, 6 Helensburgh Sailing Club.

Tuesday 1st July

Iris’s skipper was Race Officer so that our numbers were depleted. Thalia was otherwise engaged as well. Catriona, Teal, Hermes and Ceres came to the line.
With the wind off the Shandon shore, a course was set to give a beat from D, north of Clynder, back to the line. Catriona, in the charge of Iain MacGillivray, made a good start for the first leg to A. It ought to have been a fetch but, in the way of the Gareloch, became a beat. Catriona was comfortably in front of Teal for the run to D. Ceres was late at the start and so unable to put pressure on Hermes.
Catriona fell into lighter air as she approached D and Teal came up. It was not quite enough though. Catriona extended her lead on the beat by maintaining good cover.
The gaps were too large for the order to change on the second round.

1 Catriona, 2 Teal, 3 Hermes, 4 Ceres.

Sat/Sun 5/6th July

The RNCYC mid summer regatta was held over the weekend. The first race on Saturday was to have counted in our Sunday points series. Four Garelochs ventured to the east patch but the wind was too much for racing. It did not moderate during the day, so we felt we had made the right decision.
Sunday was only slightly less windy and by then, enthusiasm had evaporated.

Tuesday 8th July

A magnificent evening. At five o’clock, there was next to no wind. That changed. The sun was shining and we always kept moving. It would be churlish to grumble about the flukiness which occasionally penalised the leaders.
The fist leg was a beat to D, north of Clynder. As so often happens with this course, the shore end of the start line was the place to be. Usually Iris’s speciality, but this time, Teal was on pole. She was a bit early, however, and had to bear away down the line after tacking. Iris out of the traps first again. Catriona was behind Hermes on the reach in to the shore. If she had tried to pass to windward, she would have been luffed over. If she had gone to leeward, she would have been trapped. She stayed behind and was thus well to leeward of Iris and Teal for the start of the beat. Realising the hoplessness of her position, she tacked back to the Shandon shore and found that it paid. She soon crossed Teal and Iris had to duck when they met on the Clynder side. Catriona tacked to cover and the two were neck and neck (both in clear air) for some time. Eventually, Iris drew ahead and Catriona tacked away. Iris thought she was in better wind so did not tack to cover. Wrongly.
Catriona was comfortably ahead for the start of the broad reach across the loch to G, on the Shandon shore. Puffs from the Clynder shore brought up Iris, Teal, then Thalia. On the approach to G, Iris had the inside slot with Thalia overlapped outside, then Catriona, then Teal. Catriona elected to go behind the leading pair but was undone by a puff which brought her up when it was far too late. Her illegal presence set Thalia back, her 720 put her on terms with Thia and Hermes.
Teal and Iris indulged in some determined luffing on the leg back to the line. To the benefit of Thalia, who was first at the start of the second round. This began with a reach to A, as fine as you would like it with the spinnaker. Thalia tried to prevent Iris passing to windward but had trouble with her kite and failed.
After the leading four had hardened up at A for the beat to D, Teal then Catriona tacked away from Thalia who was pinching up. Iris was to leeward, ahead and moving well.
Catriona was happy enough, recalling that the Shandon shore was good the first time round. After a while, Teal tacked and crossed ahead of Catriona. Some time later, she was on terms with Iris. There were moments when it appeared to the leading three that Catriona’s position on the Shandon shore was hopeless. After she tacked, though, she was well in front of all of them.
It was not Iris’s night. Again she backed her judgement of the variable wind against covering Teal. She was third at D and could do nothing about it on the run to the finish.

1 Catriona, 2 Teal, 3 Iris, 4 Thalia, 5 Hermes, 6 Thia.
Pipers, 1 Suilven, 2 Pompous, 3 Mealista.
Sonars, 1 Jamie, 2 Nona, 3 Halfingalaugh, 4 Carpe Diem.

Sunday 13th July

We benefited from a dedicated Race Officer today. Capt. Mike Henry set a course beginning with a beat to B, off Silvers. Catriona had the best start at the pin end. Iris, just below, went in for some fierce luffing before the gun, which cost Catriona boat speed. Iris was going the better of the two. She pulled out a lead to leeward. When it seemed that she would be able to tack onto port and cross, Catriona tacked away and that was that.
Later in the race, when the two were separated, Catriona tried going a different way. Team racing guru Steve Tylecote calls that ‘leverage’. A small shift can cause the order to change when boats are widely separated. Not today, though.
Circe used her spinnaker to good effect to finish third. Ceres showed improving form in fourth.

1.Iris, 2 Catriona, 3 Circe, 4 Ceres, 5 Hermes.

Next weekend, the Gareloch World Championship.

Tuesday 15th July

The forecast was for lots of wind. It was certainly a bit draughty but nothing excessive.
Iris’s and Catriona’s skippers stood at the end of the jetty and pondered. There was more than the usual number of Sonars this evening, so a wait for the launch to take us out to our moorings. Teal, who had arrived early, looked perfectly happy sailing to the start. Unaccountably, Iris decided that it was too windy and did not race. The series winner was already decided, which might have influenced her. She missed a good race.
The line was about square for the beat across the Loch to C, at Clynder. Catriona started as if the shore end was favoured (so often the case). She reached in on port, which was silly, tacked poorly and let Teal trample over her. As these two crossed tacks, it was the boat on starboard which crossed ahead. Thalia found some good air on the Shandon shore and stayed in touch. Hermes had a reef, which was sensible in the gusts but slow otherwise.
The heavy air tacking was good practice. Getting every tack spot on would certainly have made a difference at the front.
Wind on the Clynder shore was lighter and fluky. Catriona looked good but on the tack in to the mark Teal went to leeward with boatspeed and claimed the inside slot. Catriona could not break the overlap although dirty wind forced Teal down and she had to tack again.
Catriona had a few boat lengths lead for the reach across to G on the Shandon shore. She kept it for the next beat and run back to the line.
Having raced for less than an hour, with a short second round, none of us spotted the shortened course. The horn could not be heard in the breeze. The superfluous second round was good training for spinnaker hands. A run down the loch from C to B on the Clynder shore was characterised by changeable wind. Boats going dead downwind with forty degree shifts are liable to gybe quite a lot. Strength was variable too, so keeping the kites filled to their optimum required finesse. No places changed, so no one was disappointed.

1 Catriona, 2 Teal, 3 Thalia, 4 Hermes.

Pipers, 1 Suilven, 2 Pompous, 3 Mealista.
Sonars, 1 Charlotte, 2 451, 3 Jamie, 4 Carpe Diem, 5 Nona, 6 Halfingalaugh

18th to 20th July – Gareloch Worlds
Racing Report Saturday

The competition began at the lift off cocktail party on Friday evening. The main contenders were taking great care with their cocktails, so as not to lose before the first gun. There was pessimism over the weather forecast, which was for wind too strong for racing.
Race officer Mike Henry, aboard the Dicken family’s Tegwynt, set a sausage course up the loch to D and back. The wind was lively but the gusts were not stong. Lee decks were rarely under.
On a comfortably long and true line, there was no argy bargy and it was easy to get a good start. Iris stayed on starboard towards the Clynder shore and Catriona covered. It soon became apparent that the right side of the loch was better. Zoe had a commanding lead, having gone that way. Circe, Thalia and Teal also looked good.
Catriona tacked and stayed on port for a long time so as to get the benefit of the favoured side. The leaders did not realise why they had done so well and stood on to the Clynder shore. At D, Catriona had a good lead from Zoe. The wind veered to make the downwind leg a reach. Iris, try as she might, could not break out of the peloton.
The course was changed to give a short beat to Z and back. Catriona hardened up towards the Shandon shore but soon realised she needed to tack out for more wind. Zoe, second at the downwind mark, followed Catriona. As did Teal and Thalia. Iris rounded in fifth place, tacked at once and was comfortably second at Z.
After the wind shift, the Committee moved Tegwynt for the second start. A sausage course to Z. With another true line, shorter this time, most got a good start. Catriona did her best not to. She was idly reaching in to the Committee boat end and let Iris tack below her and shut the door. Nevertheless, she was only a little late and was lucky with wind. Iris was never able to cross her. Zoe was on form again and was on top of Iris for the tack in to the mark. This happened on the subsequent rounds too. On the last occasion, they were both below the layline so Iris could tack away. Not for the first time, she was not covered and got back to second.
The wind in the afternoon lived up to the forecast. We stood at the end of the pier and decided to abandon. Going out to the boats to secure them for the night, it was clear the decision was right.
That leaves two races scheduled for tomorrow morning. All is to play for with Catriona on two points, Iris on four and Zoe leading the rest.

18th to 20th July – Gareloch Worlds
Racing Report Sunday

The second instalment. Superb barbeque at Peter and Francoise’s house on Saturday evening. Catriona had done well that morning but was acutely aware that Iris was capable of snatching the victory.
There was as much wind as we wanted on Sunday morning. Big waves, too, with wind from the north over a flood tide.
Sausage courses. The first race with a beat from the line off Silvers to C, at the north end of Clynder. Catriona was keen to cover Iris. She did so and was first round C. Iris was more adventurous with the spinnaker (not for the feint hearted in the strength of wind) to be first at the leeward mark. Catriona had dropped her spinnaker earlier after some photogenic rocking and rolling. She was able to round up to windward of Iris and keep her at bay. Perhaps Iris’s usual technique of tight sheets and pointing high cost her in the waves. Whilst these two had been preoccupied, Zoe had prospered out in the Loch and was leading comfortably for the start of the second run back. Iris set her spinnaker again. In the strongest of the wind it looked a handful and generated little competitive spirit in Catriona’s crew. As the wind lightened towards the end of the leg (and the finish) Iris was catching quickly so Catriona was forced to launch her kite. It worked and she kept her second place.
Thalia, meanwhile, had trouble with her main sheet and was unable to finish. Teal was solidly fourth. Hermes and Circe had a close race, swapping places on the second round to give Hermes fifth.
The wind and waves had not moderated for the fourth race. Captain Henry set a shorter beat to H, off the middle of Clynder. Catriona found herself starting towards the Committee boat and shore end with Zoe on her windward quarter. Iris tacked at the pin end and went out. She did not look especially good on account of the stronger wind and bigger seas so Catriona was only a little nervous about being pinned by Zoe. Catriona called for room to tack away from the reef off the south end of Clynder and was then able to climb away. Iris fell in behind Zoe. Teal, Hermes and Circe were battling for fourth and swapping places. Thalia was trailing, having been late for the start on account of having to repair her main sheet.
At the start of the final run, Iris was still third and tried all she knew to get past Zoe. Wind was absolutely on the limit for spinnakers. Iris was alone in setting one. Zoe was never likely to give up second place easily. As Iris approached, she luffed. Iris ducked her, crash gybed and broached spectacularly. She caught up to Zoe again. Near the line, she might have had second but was informed there had been contact during the previous encounter. These were not ideal conditions for penalty turns. Teal took advantage.
Iris’s lot was not cast with a white bean. She touched Hermes as she finished her turns and ended up fifth.

The results for the series, in reverse order, were 8 Thia, 7 Circe. She won the tourist trophy (a handsome silver rowlock) for the highest score of a boat competing in all the races. 6 Thalia, 5 Hermes, 4 Teal, 3 Iris, 2 Zoe, 1 Catriona. Catriona’s crew Jennifer Darley collected the 50th Anniversary Cup from assistant race officer Mrs. Elma Henry. Fellow crew member Iain MacGillivray and she took the first celebratory swigs from this impressive trophy.

Tuesday 22nd July

Your correspondent was the race officer and had an interestingly different perspective.
The first leg was a beat across the loch to D, North of Clynder. Wind was about force 3 and steady. By Gareloch standards anyway. The place to start was the shore end of the line. An Iris speciality, usually. She was in cruising mode on this occasion. On the course side at the gun, she ducked and continued towards the shore for some time. She could have been doing that before the start.
Catriona was in the charge of Iain MacGillivray. She found herself overlapped to windward of Hermes and on a collision course. Her two penalty turns were not taken very sharply, either.
By now Iris, as we have come to expect, was leading comfortably. The rest were well separated with Hermes and Teal looking strong. Catriona took a long, long tack up the right of the loch. From the starting battery, it seemed she had overstood. Dave Perry, in his excellent ‘Winning in One Designs’ has a cartoon of a dinghy amongst some reeds next to a sign, Cornersville. Population 1. It turned out to be a good move, she was ahead of all but Iris on the tack in to D. She was, though, undone by one of those wind shifts of the Clynder shore which Teal read just right.
Wind had lightened for the run back to the line. Spinnakers could not be kept full. Teal was firmly in second place. Ceres was fast catching Catriona and Thalia, Hermes. Neither of them made it.

1 Iris, 2 Teal, 3 Catriona, 4 Ceres, 5 Hermes, 6 Thalia.

Pipers (who suffered a second round in the dying air), 1 Suilven, 2 Mealista, Pompous DNF.
Sonars, 1 Charlotte, 2 Grouse, 3 Carpe Diem.

Sunday 27th July

The club arranged a race around the sugar boat and the Garelochs agreed to take part. It did not count in the points series.
In the morning, there was mist and not a breath. A little before the 12.30 start, the trees were moving and there was enough enthusiasm for the committee to send us to the green isle buoy and back. Catriona was half asleep and let the others start to windward of her. She tacked out into better air. Iris was hoping for a beneficial back eddy towards the spit. She stood on and became engaged in a port/starboard with Hermes. It was Hermes who gyrated. Thalia cemented her third place.
The better wind paid. Catriona kept Iris at bay all the way to the green isle buoy. Here, the Committee met us. There was sufficient wind to revert to plan A and go round the sugar boat. Catriona kept her lead and made sure Iris was overlapped outside at the wreck (rather than clear astern) so as to keep her rights after tacking. It didn’t work out like that, though. Iris tacked inside and Catriona could not get to her. Catriona tried going to leeward of Iris on the way back to avoid the blanketing from the Rosneath peninsular. It was no use.

1 Iris, 2 Catriona, 3 Thalia, 4 Hermes.

Tuesday 29th July

There was no wind as we left the moorings. There was no wind when we reached the starting area and there was no wind at the delayed start.
The course, one of the shortest, was to A, off the club and back. The tide was flooding but a back eddy on the Shandon shore was carrying boats to the course side of the line. Iris got it just right. Catriona was too near the line and was carried over early. The rest were further out in the loch and similarly swept away.
After some time (when Iris had drifted almost to A), there was enough of a breath to carry Catriona and Teal to the pre-start side of the line. Hermes took a little longer, Thalia longer still. Ceres gave up.
Catriona led Teal to A. Both rounded the wrong way, realised and had to unwind. By now, Iris was almost at the finishing line. No wind there, though. Catriona, Teal and Hermes found themselves in good air and were moving quickly. The first two went for the shore end of the line and ended up closer to Iris (who finished at the pin) than ought to have been possible. Thalia started shortly after Iris finished.

1 Iris, 2 Catriona, 3 Teal, 4 Hermes, 5 Thalia, Ceres DNF.

3rd and 4th August
Visit of Fairy Class from Royal North of Ireland Yacht Club

A team of nine members of the Fairy Class travelled from Belfast for a Team Racing match with the Garelochs. The board used to attract their attention as they were collected from the airport drew enquiring glances.
The sailing instructions said there were to be five team races on Saturday and a fleet race, when crews from the team racing would helm, on Sunday. We were thwarted by Gareloch wind. Some of the time, there was rain. It dampened both wind and sailors. After the first race, won by the visitors, Race Officer Denis Jackson aboard John Blackie’s Maid of Lorn sent us for lunch.
In the afternoon, the home team benefitted from experience of the big wind shifts on the Clynder shore. It wasn’t that we knew what would happen next, we were used to the unpredictability. There was time for two races, both of which went to the Garelochs.
On Sunday morning there was more rain, a little wind and no enthusiasm from some of the Irish. Perhaps in Northern Ireland they are unused to rain. Maybe they were suffering from the night before. Sisters Morna Babington and Gilli McCleave were the worst.
The day quickly brightened and a light but steady wind gave us the best race of the weekend. Ronnie Barr took advantage of Iris’s boat speed to take first place on the beat from Mary Knatchbull on Catriona. Iris was undone by a big header on the Clynder shore just after she tacked for the mark. Catriona took advantage and rounded first. Offwind, there was confusion over whether or not spinnakers were allowed. Catriona thought not. Iris set hers and the rest of the fleet followed. The extra sail took Iris back into the lead, Catriona kept the others at bay.
Maid of Lorn raced as a Gareloch. She had a new sail which had taken some time to rig. She was a little late at the start and never recovered. As the leaders finished, she was seen in very light air at the C mark with an inflatable crocodile off her stern. Race Officer was Mike Henry aboard the du Boulay’s La Cavale. He awarded the race jointly to Iris and Catriona.

At lunch, The Fairloch Trophy was presented to Gareloch Convener Gordon Mucklow. It is safe for a year but we hope no longer than that.

Tuesday 5th August

With the wind off the Shandon shore, Race Officers Michael and Jo Knox were obliged to set a course with a running start to give a good beat back.
Catriona was pre-occupied with staying close to Iris, who was a bit late. Thalia got a good start at the pin end, Hermes and Teal did well further towards the shore.
On the run to D, north of Clynder, Catriona and Iris worked their spinnakers to good effect. Teal was on the pace as well. The first two were trying to cover and break cover respectively on the beat across the loch, so that Teal was leading at G for the fetch back to the line. Curious wind around towards the end turned the leg into a beat. Teal was first at the line but Catriona caught her on starboard at the pin and took the lead.
The first leg of the second round was a reach to B, off Silvers. There was deliberation about whether or not spinnakers should be set. In the end, Catriona and Iris did, Teal didn’t, no places changed. B to C was definitely a spinnaker leg and Iris muscled past Teal. These two went out into the loch and got better wind than Catriona who was nearer the shore. Iris hardened up at C for the beat to the finish in second place. She was pointing higher than Catriona but lacked the boatspeed to get past. On what should have been the final tack into the line, Catriona was to windward and leading, Teal to leeward in clear air and Iris in Catriona’s wind shadow. Thalia crossed close behind this group but continued into the light and shifting winds of the Shandon shore. Iris had to put in a tack to clear her air, which set her back. At the line, there were more oddities in the wind which caused all three leaders to tack. Iris could do nothing, though. Thalia was beaten by Hermes in a photo finish.

1 Catriona, 2 Teal, 3 Iris, 4 Hermes, 5 Thalia, 6 Ceres.

Pipers, 1 Suilven, 2 Pompous, 3 Mealista
. Sonars, 1 Grouse, 2 Nona, Carpe Diem and Jamie DNF.

Thursday 7th August
Crews Race

An evening of light wind. Race officer Denis Jackson set a course across the loch to H (off the middle of Clynder) and back. In a running start, Teal, Iris and Catriona were quick to set their spinnakers. Relatively quick, that is. When the usual helms are on the foredeck, nothing happens quite as it should.
Catriona played the angles best on the run to H and rounded in front of Iris and Teal. Iris’s man on the foredeck dropped the spinnaker into the water and spent a long time as an air and water brake as he re-arranged halyards and sheets.
The wind for the beat back was true and steady by the standards of light air in the Gareloch. There were no holes but there were streaks of better wind. Iris, Teal and Catriona fought over what they thought was the lead. Teal passing to windward of Iris with elan.
Ceres, meanwhile, had opted to stay near the Clynder shore for a while after rounding H. She passed to windward of the rest, freed a little on a line of good pressure, and was not to be caught.
In the oddities of wind near the finish, Iris emerged best of the rest.

1 Ceres, Margaret Isaacs; 2 Iris, Adam Rodger; 3 Catriona, Jennifer Darley; 4 Teal, Mirriam Sutter; 5 Thia, Jo Knox.

Sunday 10th August

A light air day but it stopped raining for us. We began with a beat across the loch to B. Catriona started second below Iris but tacked out for better wind and crossed. Thalia missed an opportunity to squeeze both of them out.
The leading pair were on the layline or B when Gareloch wind changed the beat into a run, then a reach on the opposite tack. Iris got to B first and was almost swept onto the mark. Catriona watched from just behind and determined to leave enough room. She didn’t, though. The penalty turn put her out of touch. An attempt to find better air out in the loch for the reach to C failed.
The others, meanwhile, were becalmed in the worst of the tide. They took some time to round B.
Wind now picked up and filled. Those jib sheets which had been made single, for light air, were returned to the double purchase position. There was now little chance of Catriona catching Iris or the chasing group catching Catriona. Thalia opened a large gap in third.
Dying and changeable wind towards the end of the second round led to lots of unwanted gybes on the run to the finish. The Gareloch was least kind to those at the back.

1 Iris, 2 Catriona, 3 Thalia, 4 Circe, 5 Hermes, 6 Ceres.

Tuesday August 12th

Iris and Catriona’s helms fancy their chances and think they know what they are about. Both displayed gross incompetence this evening.
Catriona beat Iris to the start but was so absorbed with upsetting her rival that Teal and Thalia got away well.
Catriona could not break through to leeward of the two leaders and risked being luffed to let Iris by if she tried to pass to windward. Zoe, meanwhile was looking strong in clear air well to leeward of the group.
Catriona was not paying attention coming into C and failed to give sufficient room to Thalia and Teal. Iris kept her nose clean on the outside. After Catriona had gyrated, the leaders were well away and she was in last place.
At the end of the first beat, Thalia had faded a little, Zoe and Teal were looking good, Iris can never be ignored. Catriona had picked up only one place.
Iris did well on the next offwind leg and put herself into second, behind Teal who was well ahead. Catriona could do nothing.
On the beat back, Catriona came up behind Ceres and tacked away. That paid because she took the place although Ceres was never shaken off.
Coming into the finish, where the wind was a little changeable, Iris crossed ahead of Teal. After they had both tacked, Teal was on starboard and Iris, on port, snatched defeat from the jaws of victory. Whilst she was spinning, both Teal and Zoe finished.
Thalia had stood on down the middle of the loch and tacked late for the finish, well ahead of Catriona. Catriona stood on longer and was able to lay the pin despite the headers close to the shore. Thalia, having been slowed in the odd wind around the line, was caught on port just before she finished. The third penalty of the evening.

1 Teal, 2 Zoe, 3 Iris, 4 Catriona, 5 Ceres, 6 Thalia, 7 Hermes.

Pipers, 1 Suilven, 2 Pompous, 3 Mealista.
Sonars, 1 Grouse, 2 Carpe Diem, 3 Charlotte, 4 Jamie, 5 Nona.

Thursday August 14th – Cadets Race

The Garelochs always hope that this race might attract younger people to the class. The Loch did its best to thwart us. With light air, Race Officer Jean Mackay set a short course to B, off Silvers, and back.
The strong flood tide dominated. There was no headway to be made against the tide in the middle. Catriona was late getting to the line and saw the problem. Iris and Teal led the fleet and were close to B whilst Thalia and Hermes were still half way across and Catriona was nowhere.
There seemed to be wind near to the Clynder shore, where the tide would be less. Catriona went for it and it paid. She (after some time) drew level with Iris and Teal, who were further out and not stemming the stronger tide. Iris drew the correct conclusion. Even though she appeared to be laying the mark, she tacked in and rounded a little while after Catriona. Teal left it too late. By the time she went in to the shore, the streak of wind had gone.
For the run back, Catriona aimed ludicrously high to try and avoid being swept past the finish. Iris was less extreme. She had more trouble than Catriona in maintaining her momentum. In the end, she was beating against the tide to get back to the line.

1 Catriona, Elizabeth Darley. 2 Iris, Laura Jackson. 3 Thalia, Lena Sutter. Hermes, Ollie Addyman and Teal, Lasse Sutter DNF.

Sunday August 17th

Today, we benefited not only from a superb wind, but also from a Race Officer on shore (Mike Henry).
The course was a beat to A, off the club, run to F, off Shandon Church and beat back. There was a strong shore end bias on the line. Catriona got in there on pole, in front of Iris. She made a good start, but did not have the courage of her convictions when a recall was signaled. It turned out to have been Iris over early. Catriona lost more in the going back, though.
Iris was overlapped to windward of Catriona but somehow lost out. It was the light blue boat first at A. Zoe had stayed inshore and rounded close to the leaders. The rest had gone out and not prospered. Zoe was single handed and did not set a spinnaker so she was compromised down wind.
Iris and Catriona were overlapped for most of the run, Catriona with the inside slot, though.
There was a gentle tacking duel on the beat back. The two hit the layline for the pin end of the line with some way still to go so that Iris was set back in dirty wind from which she could not escape. On the second round, Catriona had a good lead at A but lost much of it by going out on port when Iris gybed straight away to go inshore on starboard. Catriona responded and once again, much of the run was sailed overlapped. Catriona still inside.
The tacking on the final beat became more intense. Iris tacked onto starboard and forced Catriona to tack. There was discussion. Iris thought she had to alter whilst Catriona was tacking, Catriona thought Iris was clear astern when she had completed her tack. No red flags, though.

1 Catriona, 2 Iris, 3 Thalia, 4 (and close) Zoe, 5 Ceres, 6 Hermes.

Tuesday August 19th

An evening of little wind, there was some rain as well.
Most of us were late for the start, but some were later than others. Iris was just a little late for the beat to G, up the Shandon shore. Catriona, Thia and Ceres were much later.
Inshore seemed to pay, out of the last of the ebb tide and with some patches of pressure. Iris rounded first. Catriona got inside Thalia in a rule 18.3.
There began the drift down ‘wind’ to A. Made more frustrating by spinnakers heavy with rain. Iris was there first but in dead air she was unable to stem the ebb tide to make progress back up the loch.
Catriona was second, some time later. Her rounding was compromised by having to give room to the last Piper. By this time, it was almost slack water and she stayed well above Iris. Thalia arrived and looked good for a moment, but never seemed to get going on the wind.
There was a zephyr so subtle that it did not show on the water. Coupled with the now flooding tide, Catriona was able to make progress back to the finish. Iris and Thalia were stuck.
Catriona was agonizingly close to the line when she ran into the time limit. Broadley finish at A. Named after former Rear Commodore Sailing Ian Broadley who suggested when no one finished, positions be taken at the last rounding mark.

1 Iris, 2 Catriona, 3 Thalia, 4 Teal, 5 Hermes. Thia and Ceres DNF.

Pipers, 1 Suilven, 2 Pompous, Mealista DNF.
Sonars, 1 Grouse, 2 Nona, 3 Prelude, 4 Carpe Diem, 5 Charlotte.

Tuesday 26th August

The last evening race of the year. The season of mist, mellow fruitfulness and dinners is almost here.
Race Officer Carol Rowe was faced with light wind of indeterminate direction. She set a course across the loch to H and back. It turned out to be mostly reaching, but given the wind there was a bit of everything.
Iris and Thalia got away well at the pin end of the line. Catriona just avoided being squeezed out by Teal and decided to tack down the loch in search of better wind. She was followed by Teal and Zoe and all three did well for a while. A streak of wind, about the width of a Gareloch appeared and by chance, it contained Iris. It took her to the mark.
On the way back, Catriona and Teal went right, the rest left. Both options looked good some of the time. Iris found a patch of air which had not disturbed the water and which took her to the finish. Teal found some wind to pass Catriona.

1 Iris, 2 Zoe, 3 Teal, 4 Thalia, 5 Catriona, 6 Thia, 7 Hermes.

Pipers, 1 Suilven, 2 Pompous, 3 Mealista.
Sonars, 1 Grouse, 2 Charlotte, 3 Nona, 4 Jamie, 5 Carpe Diem.

Sunday 31st August

There was rain, but no wind.
Catriona, Thalia, Iris and Circe insinuated themselves up the Gareloch by finding back eddies of the tide. At the starting area, we decided there was insufficient wind to race. It seemed to be good air for the sail back to the moorings. We almost changed our minds but we were right not to.
No Race.

Saturday 6th September – Dog Race

Instigated by David Ryder-Turner, the Dog Race is prominent in the Gareloch Calendar. The key rule is a 5 second time allowance for every inch of dog.
The weather forecast for this year’s event was so bad that there were thoughts of postponing. As it was, we had a superb day. There was, though, a certain lack of dogs. Ziggy, the 2007 winner, was on holiday. Milton set out on Hermes with Carol and Jimmy Rowe and Marjorie Reith. Sadly, he suffered mal de mer when the wind strengthened a little and did not race.
Race Officer Denis Jackson, assisted by Molly (David du Boulay’s exuberant spaniel) took the committee boat La Cavale to the Clynder shore and set a beat to F, off Shandon Church. John Blackie’s Maid of Lorn, racing as a Gareloch, was in the fray at the start and was ahead of Teal (stuffed dog) at the windward mark. Her greater dispacement told from then on and even a generous allowance for Hamish, almost 5 ft long, was insufficient to lift her from the end of the fleet.

Iris won, from Catriona, Thalia, Teal and Maid of Lorn.

The theme for the fancy dress barbeque in the evening was The Olympics 1924 to 2008. Adam Rodger had produced prints of the Olympic logos for these years. The 1924 games held in Paris had a powerful image of a javelin thrower. The time frame allowed us to avoid lycra. John Blackie as a cyclist and Margaret Isaacs as a speed skater did not take advantage. Margaret looked much better than John.
The Convener eschewed his usual cummerbund and came as his schoolfriend Tony Nash who won gold in the two man bob at the 1964 winter olympics at Innsbruck. It was said that he looked like he was about to be fired from a canon. His break with the cummerbund deserved better.
Worthy of special mention were Ufo and Lasse Sutter as showjumping horse and rider and Elspeth MacLean as one of those Chinese young ladies who helped to present the medals.
As for the prizes, in second place was a very athletic Peter Procter who made the singlet and shorts his own. The winner was boxer Neil Isaacs. His baby face testament to his skill in ducking and diving.

Sunday 7th September

We drifted to the starting area with no wind. It was such a superb day for the dog race that it would have been churlish to complain.
On the water race officer Peter Proctor sensed some pressure and set a course up and down the Shandon shore. It turned out to be much better than anyone could have hoped. Most of the boats were never without a bow wave. The wind, whilst light, was true.
Everyone was late at the running start. A safe move because the tide was with us. Trying to get back after being over early would have been miserable. Ceres was in a strong position at the pin and took Catriona’s air. Iris had it in mind to follow Catriona out into the loch but was forced by Circe, on starboard, to think again. She took to the shore, with Circe close behind, and did well. The favorable tide was less strong, but the wind was better. Catriona had the edge on the approach to the mark, though. On light air days, it is hard to argue with tide.
Catriona rounded comfortably in front and tacked in shore to benefit from the wind which Iris and Circe had had on the run. A tactical error. She should have stood on to cover. Meanwhile, there was a melee at the mark. Circe got an inside overlap on Iris and Thalia, approaching from out in the loch, had an inside overlap on all of them.
Catriona saw her mistake and tacked out. She was a little to windward of Thalia and well to windward of Iris. It should have been OK, but in the Gareloch when boats are separated, you never know.
Thalia fell back into wind shaddow and tacked inshore, where there was now no wind. Circe and Ceres followed Iris and Catriona. Hermes had barnacles.
There was a moment when Iris might have found good air and less tide on the Clynder shore, but it never happened. When she finally tacked away from Clynder, it looked so bad against Catriona that she tacked back.
Catriona comfortably first at the A mark for the run back to the finish, which was without incident.

1 Catriona, 2 Iris, 3 Circe, 4 Ceres, 5 Thalia, Hermes DNF.

22nd to 24th August – Visit to Germany

The Garelochs went on a visit to Germany and Klaus Birkhoff was asked to write the report on the weekend. He has very kindly sent us the following:

Last weekend in August the Freundeskreis had the Gareloch visit to the annual meeting of classic yachts at Laboe. Laboe is a little town near the Kiel-fjord in the Baltic sea, where every year more than a hundred classic boats meet, from little dhinghies up to big 12m racers. Our scottish friends took part in the races on different boats. The crew of our Knarr was supported by the actual Gareloch world championon the helm,so we were looking forward to a hard race and, offcourse, a good result. We had not been disappointed! on the upwind beat we got in trouble with a big red dragon who wouldn`t give us way and really had somme problems to keep our helmsman on board our boat because he wanted to jump over with an axe and chop down the mast of our adversaire. Lter on, on the downwind run, there was a close fight with another dragon, Felix B.,helmed by another hairy scottish sailor,which lasted for over one hour. On the finishing line, after lots of tricky maneuvres that needed all our strength, we had the better end for us. This was a good day for us indeed. Talking about the weather we have to admit that on the baltic sometimes there might be so much rain that even scottish sailors are impressed. It started friday evening and never stopped until sunday when our friends had to leave for the airoplane. Everybody was wet that we could not have the sunday races for the David- Ryder- Turner Trophee which was taken back to scotland until next year. Instead we all went to the marine museum which had a roof so we could dry out. Now we all are looking forward to next year on the Gareloch where we are suuposed to have lovely nice and easy races in the sun and we will never give up the hope to get the cup back to germany.
Klaus Birkhoff,

Sunday 14th September

Another light air day. On the water Race Officer Gordon Mucklow set a short course with a beat up the loch to G, just north of Gully Bridge. The tide was against us, though.
Catriona seemed strongest at the start. Like many others, she approached the line on port and tacked at the right moment (in front of Iris) to lay the pin. Circe, approaching on port from out in the loch, was obliged to duck.
When Iris and Catriona tacked, Iris did better and climbed out from under. Circe prospered in shore. Iris had to duck as she came out. Catriona continued in shore a little. After she tacked out, the headers were grim and it was clear that Iris was well ahead out in the loch. Catriona tacked back inshore and was able to cross ahead of Iris when they next met. Catriona covered for a while. Iris, suffering from dirty wind, dropped back. Thalia was looking good out in the loch and Circe, who had stayed closer to the shore, was on the pace too. Hermes still had barnacles, couldn’t stem the tide and went home.
Catriona reckoned inshore was the place to be, where the tide was less adverse. She was far enough ahead of Iris to dispense with tight cover. The others, Circe included, went out. They were impressed with slightly better wind in the middle. Trouble was, they were barely stemming the tide on starboard and got washed away when they tacked back inshore. Catriona crept up the beach and rounded G twenty minutes before Iris. She now had twenty five minutes to run down to the next mark, A, so as to get a finish before the time limit. With decent air on the beam and the tide now favorable, it was possible. As it turned out, she was about three minutes too late.

Catriona, Thalia, Iris, Hermes, Circe, Ceres all DNF.

Sunday 21st September

An afternoon of good wind after several very light air days. We benefited from a Race Officer on the shore too, Mike Henry.
Iris had the bit between her teeth. She needed to beat Catriona today to keep the series alive. The final race is next weekend. She luffed Catriona very sharply before the start and there was contact. Catriona began her penalty turns with little time before the start, so she was comfortably last over the line. Thalia had started well and was on top of Iris. Circe was in there too. Hermes was taking her barnacles for a walk and quickly dropped back.
The first leg was a beat across the loch to B, off Silvers. The fleet was hugging the Shandon shore to keep out of the worst of the flood tide. Catriona was unenthusiastic about being in so much dirty wind so she tacked out. It did not pay. Only Hermes was behind her at B. Catriona perked up a bit when she saw Iris, on the long run up the loch to F, losing ground by getting into a luffing match with Thalia. It was still a big gap, though. Circe found a hole which allowed Catriona to get an inside overlap at the mark and gain a place for the next beat to C, off Clynder. Shifting wind made it a fetch. Curious air near the Clynder shore brought the leaders closer. Iris had got past Thalia by now.
Downwind to the line, Catriona was able to blanket Thalia and creep past sufficiently far to windward to avoid being luffed. She now had Iris in her sights. There was just sufficient time for a second round. Three or four minutes later and we should have finished there, with Iris the winner.
Catriona made little impression on the fetch to B. Iris stood on towards the shore here for a beat to C. A tactical error because it allowed Catriona to tack at the mark and break cover. As it turned out, wind and tide were more favorable further out and Catriona had a good lead at C. Thalia stayed well out and looked strong for a while but lost ground to Circe on the tack in to the mark. Iris last. Hermes had given up by now. Iris got a place back downwind to the finish but could make no impression on Circe.

1 Catriona, 2 Circe, 3 Iris, 4 Thalia, Hermes DNF.

Sunday 29th September

Our usual correspondent being otherwise engaged (could the previous week’s photo provide a clue?), this report is written by a guest correspondent.
With the season’s results already decided, the usual victors off the scene, and different faces (Adam Rodger on Iris and Murray Caldwell on Ceres) at two of the helms, the final race of the season was sure to produce some non-usual results. The race was a brisk whip around a two leg course set by Race Officer Mike Henry, ably assisted by daughter Philippa. Despite threatening clouds the sailors enjoyed fine and breezy conditions throughout the race. At the start, a contretemps between Hermes and Thalia meant that both got off to a poor start, while Ceres nimbly took the lead, followed by Circe then Iris. Thalia eventually recovered from her bad start and in the course of the race, was able to overtake Iris. Other than that, the start positions were maintained throughout the race. With a NNW wind prevailing, it was a lively run to up to the furthest mark at Rahane, and even on the downwind run, there was enough bluster in the wind to render a spinnaker optional rather than necessary. On the second run, there was a little mystification regarding a mark that seemed to have disappeared but a substitute was chosen by the leading boat, thus satisfying protocol.

1.Ceres, 2. Circe, 3. Thalia, 4. Iris, Hermes DNF

Thats all folks, see you next season!