Tuesday 27th April
Gareloch and Pipers are racing together in the primary points. Pipers use smaller than usual headsails to make the boats more equal.
There was light air at the start. Ideal for sailors rusty after the closed season.
Pipers Curlew and Pompous were on form for the first beat. Catriona and Iris showed strongly, as did Teal, who has new sails. Off wind, the Pipers suffered from being a little heavier and Catriona was first at the leeward mark, G. If fact G was on the beach so that a mooring was chosen as a substitute.
Wind was changeable and strengthening on the beat back. Iris got her nose in front and, surprisingly, Pompous and Curlew faded. Iris tacked for the windward mark on a nasty shift which followed her round. Catriona, just behind, was able to take advantage and got an inside overlap at the mark.
Off wind again, Catriona looked strong at first. She was further out into the loch with clear air and a stronger favorable tide. Iris and Teal, inshore, got some good puffs so that they had inside overlaps at the zone. Wind by now was stronger than spinnaker hands, softened by the winter months, would have liked. Iris gybed as her crew was on his way to the foredeck to deal with the spinnaker. The boom knocked him into the water and in the confusion, a spinnaker sheet caught the mark. The hardship of Teal and Catriona having to round both the mark and Iris was compensated by that warm feeling that only schadenfreude can bring. Curlew at first tried to sail between the mark and Iris. She realised the problem and lost time doing a turn so as to avoid disaster.
Teal and Catriona battled closely to the finish. Curlew not far behind. Iris was so attached to the mark that all but Hermes got past.
1 Catriona, 2 Teal, 3 Curlew, 4 Pompous, 5 Thalia, 6 Iris, 7 Hermes.
It would have been churlish for anyone not in the green boat to expect the evening to bring even more pleasure. Nevertheless Iris realised that, in the confusion, she had not rounded G and so retired.
Sunday 2nd May
An inauspicious beginning to the afternoon. So little wind that there was talk of starting off the club. A good breeze filled in to take us to the line. On the water race officer Carol Rowe selected a course with a beat across the loch to D. Which in our case we have not got, so that once again a mooring was selected.
Thalia and Hermes elected to go up the Shandon shore to begin with, which was their undoing. Catriona got the best start and led Iris most of the way to the Clynder shore. Iris found her own streak of wind to be first at the mark. Catriona close behind. Off wind to G, which was still missing (another mooring chosen), the Gareloch wind lightened so as to be a trial for those who like their spinnakers to be full. Catriona kept her kite a bit longer than Iris. Maybe that is how she retook the lead but it is hard to know when the wind is so fickle. When it filled in again, it had shifted about 180 degrees so that the leg to the finish was now a beat. Iris pointed high and kept to the Shandon shore but it was not the right move and Catriona stretched her lead. We finished before the wind died again and the rain started.
1 Catriona, 2 Iris, 3 Thalia, 4 Hermes.
Tuesday 4th May
A very biased start line. You could barely lay the pin from the shore end. Iris got the best of it, as she often does. She led the first beat up the Shandon shore and reach across the loch to Clynder. Catriona just behind and the Pipers always close.
Offwind to A, Catriona and Suilven got on her air. Catriona had an inside overlap at the leeward mark and seemed to pull away thereafter. Suilven remained third in good but changeable wind.
Pressure again came on the leading boat on the offwind leg of the second round. Catriona managed to keep to windward of the chasing pack but that compromised her approach to the mark. Her rounding was not good and boat handling still rusty after the winter. Immediately after rounding, Suilven passed to leeward with ease and sped off. Remarkable because the air was now light and Garelochs should have had the advantage over heavier Pipers. Curlew passed Iris too.
1 Suilven, 2 Catriona, 3 Curlew, 4 Iris, 5 Pompous, 6 Teal, 7 Hermes, 8 Thalia.
Jock Fleming, helm of Suilven, was asked how he got past Catriona so decisively. He pointed to Catriona’s handbrake turn and suggested that once past, lee bow effect increased the lead. The way Curlew went past Iris suggests Pipers go well in light, steady air.
Thalia was reminded that those in the middle of the fleet cannot relax. Her helm, Roger Kinns was put on the spot. He admitted that a schoolboy error of rigging the main sheet the wrong way through a ratchet block had not helped. He went too far out into the loch on the beat, where the adverse tide was stronger. Hermes stayed in.
Sunday 9th May
Just the same four participants as last Sunday. On the water Race Officer Peter Proctor kindly held back the start. Catriona’s crew had been delayed for a while by a temperamental launch.
Catriona thought she would be able to luff Iris to the wrong side of the starting mark. She mistimed it and the green boat got away well. Thalia barged outrageously which did not help Catriona to get on terms.
Iris consolidated her lead on the beat to B. Thalia not far off the pace.
Offwind to G there was the usual phenomenon in the Gareloch of wind from behind bringing boats up to the leader. Iris’s lead was reduced. For the beat across the loch to C, Iris failed to cover Catriona and paid. Catriona was able to tack on top. It was touch and go. Iris seemed to sail away but she slowed near the mark and Catriona got an inside overlap and with it the right to go round first.
A reachy spinnaker leg back to the line. Catriona lost her halyard up the mast but maintained her lead without the kite.
For the second beat to B, it was Catriona who behaved foolishly and failed to cover. The Clynder shore had not paid the first time round, but Iris found a helpful streak of wind and was first to B by a margin. The reach to C (on a shorter second round) was marginal for the spinnaker. Catriona, without one, caught up to Iris, who had set hers. Favorable pressure at the key moment kept Iris ahead.
The leg to the finish was reachy again. For a while, it seemed Iris’s spinnaker had taken her too far to leeward. The wind lifted us as we went across so that Catriona hoisted her spinnaker on the jib halyard. Not a pretty sight.
1 Iris, 2 Catriona, 3 Thalia, 4 Hermes.
Tuesday May 11th
The forecast was for light air but it was blowing hard enough to make helms pay attention.
A biased starting line with the pin end favoured. Uncharacteristically, Catriona got the pole position but it did her no good. Curlew, Teal and Iris started a little further back and were lifted where Catriona was headed. The beat was to F, up the Shandon shore. Pompous seemed to be doing well inshore, so Catriona tried that. A little later, she was crossed by Hermes and on terms with Thalia.
At the windward mark, Iris had a good lead from Pompous. It was now a reach across the loch to Clynder. Spinnakers rewarded those who took the risk.
Downwind from C to A, strengthening wind made things more exciting. Iris held the Clynder shore and delayed her gybe. It did not look fast but she was too far ahead for it to matter. Catriona made ground, particularly against Teal, who lost a spinnaker sheet and fell back.
The order towards the front was becoming established by the second round. Iris and Pompous were out of sight, Catriona had taken third from Hermes. The Pipers did well on the second round. From the windward mark onwards, Hermes had that awkward feeling that Thalia was catching and she could do nothing about it. By the final beat, we had the light air which was forecast. Thalia just got to Hermes at the line.
1 Iris, 2 Pompous, 3 Catriona, 4 Teal, 5 Suilven, 6 Curlew, 7 Thalia, 8 Hermes
Sunday 16th May
One of those afternoons of changeable weather. We sheltered from a heavy shower, brought through on a cold front, before going aboard. The race was warm and pleasant.
On the water race Officer Gordon Mucklow set a course beginning with a beat to D, between Clynder and Rahane. The fleet quickly split into two pairs, Iris and Catriona, Hermes and Thalia. Catriona and Hermes each thought they had the better start of their pair.
Catriona became concerned as Iris was lifted across the loch. She tacked to cover and made it stick. For that round anyway. Iris suffered from Catriona’s wind shadow on the way in to D so that she was well back for the start of the offwind legs. That was as well, because Catriona’s spinnaker gybe was not as slick as it might have been.
There was time for a second round, with another beat to D. Catriona set off across the loch with a handsome lead. Iris climbed well but was well back. By the time Catriona noticed that she had fallen into lighter air on the Clynder shore and Iris had a huge lift, it was too late. She tacked but Iris crossed by a margin.
Catriona was now heading into the air which had put Iris ahead and vice versa. Catriona stayed right. Each time the two crossed tacks, they were closer. Just before the last occasion, Iris found a light patch and lost her lead.
Hermes, meanwhile, was feeling guilty. She had been heading for the wrong mark, a friendly word from Thalia put her straight. Later, the two found themselves on converging courses but, with the curiosities of Gareloch wind, on the same tack. Hermes came out on top and never looked back. Except for that nagging feeling that Thalia had had a raw deal. ‘Tis an unjust world, and virtue is triumphant only in theatrical performances.
1 Catriona, 2 Iris, 3 Hermes, 4 Thalia.
Tuesday 18th May
The forecast was for light wind but it was blowing from the Clynder shore strongly enough to wet the lee decks. With hindsight, that indicated an offshore wind. Air from the land, cooling after a hot day, blows onto the water. Thus, it was strongest near to the Clynder shore. Not everyone realised.
In the scrabble for the favoured pin end of the line, Curlew won pole, if a little cheekily. The rest were more or less blanketed or well back in the queue.
Upwind to B, off Silvers, Catriona was strong to start with but she did not follow Iris, and later Suilven and Pompous, into the stronger air on the Clynder shore.
The offwind leg was to G on the Shandon shore, against the tide. Catriona insinuated herself past the Pipers but could not catch Iris. Teal sailed quickly as well. Iris benefitted from a clear rounding of G. The rest suffered blanketing and congestion.
On the second beat to Clynder, Pompous fell back but little else changed.
A reach back to the starting area. Wind was forward of the beam but had lightened so that Catriona risked a spinnaker. She closed the gap to Iris and kept out of the clutches of Suilven.
With Iris yards from the line, Race Officer Peter Proctor shortened the course so that we finished after one round. Instant gratification only for Iris. It was the right call though. That offshore breeze had blown itself out and we ghosted back to the moorings.
1 Iris, 2 Catriona, 3 Suilven, 4 Teal, 5 Curlew, 6 Pompous, 7 Hermes
Sunday 23rd May
This was a showdown between Iris and Catriona for the series. The wind was strong enough but its direction, as so often in the Gareloch, was variable.
Ceres, just in the water, came to race. She was going well, but rusty after the winter. She did not prosper in the big shifts.
Catriona went for pole position at the favoured pin end of the starting line but she was early. Bearing away down the line let Iris into a commanding position she was never to lose. Catriona got it wrong with a tack in to the middle of the loch, where Thalia had done well, and was last for a while. Iris kept to the Rhu shore and was rewarded by both the strength and direction of the wind. Catriona got back to second by the windward mark, but Iris was just a speck in the distance.
1 Iris, 2 Catriona, 3 Thalia, Ceres DNF.
Tuesday 25th May
Another end of series clincher. Catriona was well ahead on points but after five races, Iris would be able to discard her disastrous result from the first race.
Juno, recently launched, was being sailed solo by Fraser Noble and rushed to make the start having just rigged her mast. She was a little late, but so was Ceres so that the two had a keen race.
In a similar start to the previous Sunday, Catriona repeated her schoolboy error. She was a little early and had to bear away whilst Iris hit the pin end of the starting line at speed.
Iris was first round the windward mark with Catriona leading a chasing pack, not far behind. The curiosities of Gareloch wind allowed Catriona to sneak past Iris whilst the rest fell back. Wind died as we approached the leeward mark. Iris found a little pressure and got clear ahead for the crucial mark rounding. The light air gave emphasis to the tide and Iris was swept onto the mark.
Curlew had found some momentum at the end of the run and rounded the mark well to take the lead. Pompous too came to the fore and Teal was back in contention. By now, wind had all but gone. Those earlier to begin crossing the loch were now being swept away by the tide whilst those behind, closer to the Shandon shore were creeping in the right direction. As it happened, the new breeze filled in from the Clynder shore and so restored the previous order. Catriona got past Pompous on the final, offwind leg. On the moorings, Iris led the cheers for her series win.
1 Catriona, 2 Pompous, 3 Curlew, 4 Iris, 5 Teal, 6 Hermes, 7 Juno, 8 Ceres.
Team Race against Howth 17 Footers, 29th-30th May
There was a considerable push to get boats afloat for this home event. Particular thanks are due to John Blackie, Neil Isaacs, Fraser Noble and Graeme Walker for increasing our number from five to nine.
The Howth 17 Footers are the oldest one design keelboat, in the world. They began racing at Howth, north of Dublin, in 1898. The first ever one design race was in Water Wag dinghies just around the coast from Howth at Dun Loaghaire. That was 1887.
The 17s are relatively heavy boats, well suited to the big seas often found at Howth. They have been kept original. No winches and no double purchase on the large jib. Crews need to be strong. The team which came to Scotland was strong too. Led by Ironman competitor (that is where you swim a few km, cycle nearly 200km, then run a marathon) Harriette Lynch, they had the bit between their teeth.
Race Officer Carol Rowe got the very best from the poor wind on Saturday. In the morning, Howth won the first start comprehensively. It was only local knowledge which allowed the Garelochs come back. Tide was flooding but there was a strong back eddy on the Shandon shore. As it was, we tied on points, but Howth had first place so they lost the race (rule D3.1d for the pedants). With no breath of air, we took an early lunch.
There was sufficient pressure in the afternoon for two races. Again, Howth won the starts. Two of the usual lights of the Gareloch class, Iris and Charles Darley, were concealed by bushels. Iris was last in more than one race over the weekend. Charles not much better. Nevertheless the Garelochs were, each time, able to creep back into contention. Aggressive luffing going upwind and blanketing downwind played their part.
In much better wind on Sunday, there was a fleet race with helms from the team racing crewing for members of the opposing team. Mark Lynch (Harriette’s uncle) sailed Catriona well to draw ahead of the fleet. There was a fight for second with several boats trying to keep their air clear on the downwind leg to the finish. Harriette, in Thalia, took the place by a whisker.
We hope to visit Ireland next year, where the 17s will be harder to beat.
Tuesday 1st June
The first of the summer points series. The Garelochs and Pipers have gone back to sailing as separate classes.
Wind was a little west of north and Race Officer Tim Henderson had the problem of finding a beat to windward and a reasonably square starting line. Always a problem when starting from the shore with fixed lines. He could achieve the former but was frustrated by a starting line where the pin could barely be laid on starboard tack. That presented a dilemma for competitors. Battle for pole position on starboard which only one boat could win (Iris) or try a risky start on port. Iris, Thalia and Hermes opted for starboard, Athene and Catriona for port. Athene ducked everyone, Catriona just crossed Hermes who was pinching to lay the pin.
On the beat against the tide to G, up the Shandon Shore, Iris and Thalia went a long way out. Too far it seemed to those who kept closer to the shore. As it turned out, Catriona got to the mark first with Iris reaching in close behind. Athene had a rough time as wind died and she struggled against the tide.
A reach to C, at Clynder. Places should not have changed on this leg but Athene, comfortably in front of Thalia, was again becalmed at C. Being swept by the tide, she tacked onto port and, with no momentum, was presently caught by Thalia on starboard. She recovered from the penalty turns on the downwind leg to A and retook the place. Meanwhile Iris got better air away from C and passed Catriona. The light blue boat concentrated on playing the angles (straight downwind in light air is slow), with help from Gareloch winds she again moved into first.
There was a little breeze for the final leg to the finish. It backed to make the leg a fine reach and to make overtaking difficult.
1 Catriona, 2 Iris, 3 Athene, 4 Thalia, 5 Hermes, 6 Ceres, 7 Teal.
Pipers, 1 Pompous, 2 Curlew.
Tuesday 8th June
One of those evenings of extremely fluky wind. It paid to keep close to the starting line, but there could be a sudden strong gust on the beam to carry you over early. As it was, a group of boats got more or less stuck in light air. Teal sailed round them and Ceres was well placed.
For the beat to A, off the club, there was a choice of going out into the loch for what might have been better wind, but against the flood tide, or staying in where the tide was better but the air might have been lighter. The fleet was well mixed. Ceres to the fore, Iris in the middle, Catriona at the back.
Offwind to G, up the Shandon shore, was a trial for spinnaker hands. Huge shifts with the racing flag not necessarily indicating the direction of wind lower on the mast. The boats closer to the shore did not prosper. Catriona went up the middle of the loch. Approaching the mark, she luffed Teal so as to be clear ahead and was first round. Iris close in third.
There had been strength in those random puffs of wind, Catriona returned to the starting area in about 25 minutes. The Race Officer, Hugh Normand, sent us on a second round. Almost at once, ‘gusts’ became much lighter and direction more variable. Catriona and Teal struggled together to A. Iris and Hermes dropped back. Thalia and Ceres lost enthusiasm (it was raining, too) and went home.
Offwind again, the leaders did not set spinnakers. Most of the time, they would have hung wet and lifeless from the forestay. Experienced hands in the Gareloch are used to seeing the racing flag at the top of the mast turn full circles. The record, held by Iris, is six consecutive turns. So it was this evening. A new experience for some was to see the mainsail set on one side at the top of the mast and on the other lower down.
Approaching the finishing line, a streak of wind came to Teal which eluded Catriona.
1 Teal, 2 Catriona, 3 Iris, 4 Hermes. Ceres and Thalia DNF.
Pipers, 1 Suilven, 2 Pompous. Curlew DNF.
Sunday 13th June
The morning was wet with no wind. As we walked along the jetty, the sun was shining but still large glassy patches on the Gareloch.
On the water Race Officer Gordon Mucklow seemed very optimistic when he chose one of the longer courses, beginning with a beat to E, off Rahane. The usual biased starting line (an inevitable feature of fixed lines) with the shore end favoured. Getting pole position is a speciality of Iris. Catriona and the rest concentrated on a decent position on the line with good boatspeed.
Once away, Iris exhibited her other speciality, sailing very high. Catriona was further across the loch but appeared to be behind. She stuck it out through some holes to reach a band of superb air on the Clynder shore. Soon she was level with Iris and much further to windward.
John Blackie, in Athene, led the rest. He went up the middle, which seemed to be a bad move with the tide ebbing. His motive, though, was top cover fourth boat Thalia. Which he did.
The two offwind legs, across the loch to F, then back to the starting area, were not directly downwind so that Iris did not have the opportunity to blanket Catriona. The blue boat kept her lead well into the next beat, intent on covering Iris. Changeable wind close to the Clynder shore made that difficult. After some struggle, Iris was able to break out from under Catriona and had a good lead in to the windward mark (D this time, less far up the loch).
The leg to the finish was close enough to downwind for Catriona to interfere with Iris’s wind. She insinuated herself back to the front.
Athene, meanwhile was not threatened by Thalia; who found herself fighting for fourth place with Hermes. Ceres had started late and did not like the look of the second round.
1 Catriona, 2 Iris, 3 Athene, 4 Thalia, 5 Hermes, Ceres DNF.
Tuesday 15th June
The wind in the Gareloch was true this evening. From the north, it could run down the loch with little obstruction.
The pin end of the starting line was favoured. The usual contenders approached on port so as to tack onto starboard for the pin. They got in each others way and were all behind Hermes, who was in the right place at the right time with boatspeed.
For the first leg, a beat up the Shandon shore, there was the usual choice of staying in with possibly lighter wind or going out where the unhelpful ebb tide was stronger. Catriona did the former, Iris the latter. Not really by choice. A little after the start Catriona was in disturbed air from Hermes and tacked in. Coming out again, she crossed Iris (now on port coming in) and tacked on top. Iris immediately tacked away and so the pattern was established.
Approaching the mark, Catriona had a few boat lengths lead. Next a fine reach across the loch to C, off Clynder. Iris was being pressed by Hermes with Teal close by in fourth.
A gybe at C for a run down the loch to A. Wind had lightened now. Everyone went high so as to play the angles. Directly downwind in light air is not fast. Iris pulled away from Hermes with some careful spinnaker work. Teal was now the threat and looked very strong until the nuances of air in the Gareloch did for her.
A fetch to the finish, by now, the order was established.
1 Catriona, 2 Iris, 3 Teal, 4 Hermes, 5 Thalia, 6 Athene, 7 Ceres.
Pipers, 1 Suilven, 2 Pompous, 3 Curlew.
Sunday 20th June
A superb wind. Zoe was racing for the first time this year. Perhaps she would have preferred lighter air: she was still taking up and not a little bailing was needed.
Five boats came to the start, which was biased towards the shore end of the line for a beat to E, farthest mark up the Clynder shore. Zoe took Iris’s usual pole position. Catriona must try harder. Hermes, with guest helm Mike Lidwell, was most definately on the pace. Ceres too had guest crew, although too used to cruising to impart an edge.
Zoe’s permeability did not compromise her pace. She held Iris at bay for most of the beat, it was only bad luck with the shifts which put her back to second. Catriona tried hard to improve from her poor start. She got past Hermes at E but was not on terms with the leaders.
Offwind, lack of practice with the spinnaker did nothing to help Zoe or Hermes.
The second round began with a reach to A, with the wind ahead of the beam. Iris and Zoe kept their spinnakers but had trouble. Catriona saw what was happening and took hers down. It brought her up to Zoe for the beat, but she was obliged to tack away for clear air. When the two crossed tacks again, Zoe had increased her lead.
Downwind to the finish, there was more than the usual trouble with the spinnaker on Zoe and it seemed Catriona moved into second. An illusion. When the boats came together again, Zoe was just ahead and too close to the line for blanketing to be effective.
1 Iris, 2 Zoe, 3 Catriona, 4 Hermes. Ceres DNF.
Tuesday 22nd June
An evening of good wind. A super biased starting line for the beat to B, off Silvers. For once, Catriona fought for pole and closed the door on Iris, who was approaching the pin end at speed.
Zoe was again moving quickly and pulled out from under Catriona to be first at B. Downwind, across the loch, Zoe was not slick with her spinnaker and dropped back a little.
Regular readers might recall the first race of the season, where Iris amused the fleet by fixing herself to a mark with a sheet. Catriona was so impressed with the plaudits Iris received that she did the same thing herself. The time taken to get free and the subsequent penalty turn demoted her from first to sixth. She would have been seventh but Athene had dropped her spinnaker into the water and it took some time to bring this most effective brake back aboard.
On the beat to C, off Clynder, Zoe and Iris were in close contention for first place. The two separated, perhaps Iris got the best of the wind. She came in to the mark on port tack just far enough in front to avoid troubling Zoe on starboard. Thalia, meanwhile, tried the same thing with Hermes but the two were closer. A spurious call of ‘no water’ was heard from Thalia (rule 18.1a for the people who have no social life). Her skipper a JP as well. At least Hermes kept her place.
A fine reach to the finish, Catriona desperately wanted another round.
1 Iris, 2 Zoe, 3 Teal, 4 Catriona, 5 Hermes, 6 Thalia, 7 Athene.
Thalia felt guilty about her port/starboard with Hermes and has retired. The JP has deliberated.
1 Iris, 2 Zoe, 3 Teal, 4 Catriona, 5 Hermes, 6 Athene, RAF Thalia,.
Pipers, 1 Suilven, 2 Pompous, 3 Curlew.
Tuesday 29th June
Thia has joined us to make 11 Garelochs afloat. Iris was not out, her skipper was Race Officer, so that Catriona was keen to take first place so as to keep the pressure on.
The fixed starting line had strong pin end bias. Teal was a bit early. Catriona was just behind and just to windward of Zoe, heading for the pin. Remembering Zoe’s pace in previous races, Catriona deliberately delayed her tack to as to push Zoe past the pin. It was not Zoe’s night. As she tried to start on port, Ceres caught her on starboard.
Thalia, with Roger Kinns at the helm had Ted Warren as guest crew and it made a difference. She got the best start and was very reluctant to drop back on the beat up the Shandon shore. Athene was on the pace, too.
Thalia failed to tack on top of Catriona, which let the light blue boat away. She kept her second place, though, despite Athene’s best efforts.
Teal and Zoe were fighting it out. Zoe got in front on the second beat up the Shandon shore but lost out to Teal’s slicker spinnaker work going down wind.
Hermes had a port/starboard contretemps with Thia. There was no protest and no penalty turns but Hermes (the starboard boat) had the satisfaction of winning the place.
1 Catriona, 2 Thalia, 3 Athene, 4 Teal, 5 Zoe, 6 Hermes, 7 Thia, 8 Ceres.
Pipers, 1 Pompous, 2 Curlew.
Saturday 3rd July
4 of us went out to the East Patch to race in the Club Regatta but it was too windy and choppy, so we came back. NP4, therefore, has not been raced.
Tuesday 6th July
For the past few races, there has been much bias on the starting line. A problem of starting from a shore battery with fixed marks. This night it was not possible to lay the shore end from the pin. Iris, as usual, went in first with Catriona close behind. Catriona concentrated on boatspeed, which paid. Always to leeward, she kept her overlap on the fetch to A and was inside at the mark. Zoe and Thalia were showing strongly too, but had been too far back at the start to make an early challenge.
Catriona did well under spinnaker for the run up the loch to D, towards Rahane. She rounded with a comfortable lead for the beat back. Foolishly, she allowed Iris to get closer to the Shandon shore, where wind seemed better, and lost her place.
On the second round, she was close enough downwind to take a little of Iris’s wind and insinuated herself back to the front. The two approached D overlapped. Iris turned wider and made the better rounding to come out to windward on the beat. Zoe was now in contention because the first two had slowed themselves with tactics on the previous leg. Iris went close to the Shandon shore before she tacked, Catriona stood on a little longer. With the variability of Gareloch wind, Catriona benefited from a lift along the shore which eluded Iris. Zoe too went along the shore and, for a little while, looked like she might be second.
Thalia and Athene had been fighting all the way round. Close to the line, Athene found a lull and Thalia beat her by a second.
1 Catriona, 2 Iris, 3 Zoe, 4 Thalia, 5 Athene, 6 Hermes.
Pipers, 1 Suilven, 2 Pompous, 3 Curlew.
Tuesday 13th July
The wind was generally strong this evening with the (frequent) gusts stronger. This is Iris’s type of wind. Her hull has distorted over the years so that she is pulled up at the chain plates. She is less attractive in profile on account of it but stiffer when the wind blows. She dips her lee deck in just a little later, which makes her just a little faster. It was unfortunate, then, that her skipper had another engagement and she stayed on her mooring.
The starting line was unavoidably biased towards the shore end but the first leg was a fetch to A, anyway. Position on the line was a compromise. Too far in and there was less wind. Too far out and there was a risk of being blanketed. Zoe, Hermes and Catriona were in contention. Hermes went towards the shore end, Zoe initially luffed then fell away in disturbed air. Catriona inserted herself between the two and was soon on top of Zoe.
Off wind to D, no one set a spinnaker. In the lulls, with the wind behind, it would have paid but there were strong gusts from forward of the mast. Catriona rounded first and tacked at once. Zoe stood on a little. Thalia put herself into irons and handed the advantage to Hermes.
On the beat back to the line, Zoe benefited from the lifts and her spirits were raised. She could not quite catch Catriona, who held her lead to A for the second round.
Offwind, it had moderated enough to risk spinnakers. They demanded full attention, though. Thalia tried hers to get back at Hermes. To no avail.
Catriona had not learned from the first round and Zoe looked much stronger on the second beat back to the line. She found a streak of good air which lifted her well. When Catriona tacked for the line, her shout of Starboard had meaning. Zoe tacked below and tried to luff, but it was no use.
1 Catriona, 2 Zoe, 3 Hermes, 4 Thalia.
Pipers, 1 Suilven, 2 Pompous, 3 Curlew.
Garloch Worlds 16th to 18th July
A weekend of socialising and intense racing. The key players tried hard not to hurt themselves at the lift off cocktail party on Friday evening.
Wind was changeable in the Gareloch but the more dire meteorological predictions did not come to pass. There were to be five races with no discards. In the first, Iris and Catriona were fighting hard and finished close together in that order. Catriona led the second but, as she crossed the finishing line, there was silence. She had been over early at the start. For challenges to Iris’s usual domination of the event, that was that. Iris took the win by a whisker from Thalia.
Catriona compounded her misery, throwing away her lead in the third race by going the wrong way round a mark. Iris took that with Zoe second.
The fleet assembled on Sunday morning, fortified by the excellent barbecue the night before but a little dispirited by the weather. That kind of mist which is very wet. It took some time to find Race Officer Luke Dicken’s committee boat, Tegwynt. The clouds lifted but left changeable air. A trial for Luke trying to set a square starting line. Iris found a streak of pressure off the line which eluded the rest and took an early lead. She soon stamped her authority on the race, the rest of us needed binoculars to see her round the windward mark. Teal, with Iain MacGillivray at the helm, had kept a low profile but had finished consistently well in the first three races. She was the best of the rest on the beat and did not lose her place in the trying conditions downwind.
For the final race the wind became more consistent, or at least less inconsistent. Catriona was again over early, having foolishly gone to windward of Circe on the line. She rounded the committee boat so as to get a good view of the fleet beginning the beat. Curiosities of the Gareloch again played a part. Iris led, of course. Zoe was strong for a while and well placed to windward. A patch of light air did for her, though. On the offwind leg, Iris was closely chased by Teal, who was getting the flavour of success. She tried to get past to windward, though. An extremely determined luff by Iris put paid to that.
There was keen competition between rivals further down the fleet. Hermes usually has Thalia in her sights but her aim was unsteady this weekend.
The Gareloch Class benefits from academic prowess. Two of our number are professors. Ceres (chemistry) had been in close competition with Athene (law) all weekend and just got the better of it.
1 Iris (with an empatic five first places), 2 Teal, 3 Zoe, 4 Catriona, 5 Thalia, 6 Circe, 7 Hermes, 8 Ceres, 9 Athene, 10 Thia.
Sunday 25th July
On the water Race Officer Charles Darley set a course beginning with a beat to D, between Clynder and Rahane. Concentration on the starting sequence meant that Catriona’s own start was relaxed. She fell in behind Thalia who pointed high to avoid being passed. A couple of tacks to find clear air set Catriona further back. As Thalia and Hermes tacked out from the Clynder shore, both crossed. Athene, meanwhile, had gone up the Shandon shore and was well in front on the approach to D. Thalia went too close to the Clynder shore, which set her back. Hermes hit the D mark and let Ceres through.
Offwind to Shandon, wind was slightly ahead of the beam. Only Catriona set a spinnaker which brought her much closer to Athene. A gybe at G, to return to the line.
Spinnakers could be held as boats hardend up for the first leg of the second round. Athene inexplicably slipped off to leeward and let Catriona through. Ceres was winning the fight with Hermes and beat her to A.
Next was a beat back to D. Catriona headed across the loch so as to cover Athene, who followed. She should have remembered the first round when the Shandon shore paid. Hermes had not forgotten. When the two leaders finally tacked, they were going up the middle, against the tide. Catriona kept her lead but Athene was had by Hermes. Ceres went the wrong way too.
1 Catriona, 2 Hermes, 3 Athene, 4 Thalia, 5 Ceres.
Tuesday 27th July
Race Officer Luke Dicken set a good course, beginning with a beat across the loch to C, off Clynder. We suffered the usual problem of a biased start line. At first, it was not possible to lay the pin (on starboard) from the shore end of the line. With a little while to go, wind backed so that a starboard tack start was possible. There was confusion, with some starting on port. At the pin end, Thalia reached in on port, tacked and came close to tangling with Teal and Catriona. Further down the line, Zoe on port went for a gap which closed and was in collision with Hermes. Both boats retired damaged.
Teal and Catriona followed each other towards the Clynder shore. Thalia remembered that the Shandon shore had paid on Sunday and was in third place at C.
Back and forth across the loch, there was a fine reach (not all set spinnakers) and a fetch. On the final leg, offwind to the finish, Thia set her kite to keep Ceres at bay.
1 Catriona, 2 Teal, 3 Thalia, 4 Thia, 5 Ceres.
Pipers, 1 Pompous, 2 Suilven, 3 Curlew.
Sunday 1st August
A good steady wind, sufficient for a long beat to E at Rahane and a second round.
There were guest helms on Iris and Thia. Catriona got the best start and, from force of habit, covered Iris. Iris aimed to tempt Catriona onto the Clynder shore, out of the favourable flood tide and out of the wind. It did not work. Thia, though, was on the pace. She had gone right up the beat and crossed Catriona comfortably going in to E. Thalia had followed Thia and was ahead of Iris at the mark.
Offwind to F, at Shandon, it was a little fine for spinnakers given the strength of wind. If anyone had set one, the others would have but no one did.
Downwind to the line, Catriona slowly overhauled Thia. Her helm, unfamiliar with the boat, decided against luffing.
For the second beat, to D this time, less far up the loch, Thia was well covered by Catriona. Thalia had a problem with her spinnaker equipment as she hardened up and let Iris past. Iris learned from the first round and kept well to the right. She crossed Thia by virtue of being on starboard but had to tack for the mark. Thia played the tactics well, controlled the tack and rounded ahead. There was then a little nervousness with spinnakers. Wind was well aft but it was strong. Iris did not set her spinnaker, fearing a luff. Thia, it turned out, had lost her halyard. By the time the two had separated and Iris launched her kite, it was too late.
1 Catriona, 2 Thia, 3 Iris, 4 Thalia, 5 Ceres.
Tuesday 3rd August
Only four Garelochs at the start, Hermes and Zoe are still recuperating. Race Officer Neil Isaacs set an ideal course with a beat to D, north of Clynder. He held his nerve when the wind died away. Enough of it remained for us to get round.
Catriona was in pole at the start with Teal close behind. Teal broke through to leeward and sailed the better beat. Despite some curious winds, she was first at D. Thia, with Carol Rowe at the helm, was close behind Catriona. Thalia had stuck to the Shandon shore on the beat and it had not paid.
Offwind across the loch to G, we all set spinnakers. Thia went a little too high and fell back. At G, the Pipers all dropped their spinnakers as they hardened up for the fine reach to the finish. Teal was moved by example. Catriona reasoned that in light air, the kite could be carried quite fine. She had to try something, anyway. It gave her an edge. She caught Teal a couple of times and was set back by luffing. The third time, wind was aft of the beam and she had the speed to make the pass.
Thia, meanwhile, was being caught by Thalia. She went for the wrong end of the line and was just pipped.
1 Catriona, 2 Teal, 3 Thalia, 4 Thia.
Pipers, 1 Suilven, 2 Pompous, 3 Curlew.
Crews Race – 5th August
Clearly a lack of enthusiasm. Only two Garelochs turned out. No Pipers. No Sonars.
Race officer Carol Rowe found a good beat across the loch to D. Catriona crossed the starting line shortly after the gun. Ceres had allowed herself to get too far downwind and started some time later. That was that. A finish after one round. It seemed a short race but Carol had read the wind correctly. It was almost gone as Ceres ghosted to her mooring.
1 Catriona, Jennifer Darley; 2 Ceres, Margaret Isaacs.
Sunday 10th August
Catriona’s skipper was on the water race officer. That distracted him so that he was squeezed out at the start by Iris. Ceres was prompt at the starting line, Athene less so although she was still in front of Catriona.
On Iris, they were several boat lengths ahead and feeling very pleased. Iris tacked out in to the loch for the beat to B, off Silvers. Now Catriona has been beaten many times by Iris taking advantage of a lift along the Rhu shore, into the club moorings. Catriona stood on and returned the favour. She had a comfortable lead at B and was not to be caught. Iris was firmly second. The battle was between Ceres and Athene. Athene was single handed and so eschewed her spinnaker. She lost out downwind but almost got in front of Ceres in the fickle winds around C, at the end of the second beat. On the second round, she mistakenly thought people were going home and so did not finish. She must pay attention.
1 Catriona, 2 Iris, 3 Ceres. Athene DNF.
Tuesday 10th August
Race Officer Michael Knox set an ambitious course with a beat to E at Rahane, the furthest away mark. Wind was not especially strong but was steady. Uncharacteristic for the Gareloch. We got a second round as well.
Catriona got the best of the starts with the shore end of the line favoured. Teal and Thalia not far behind. Iris out of sorts.
The first three set off across the loch. Thalia was in Teal’s wind shadow and tacked away. That posed a problem for Catriona. Which to cover? Thalia, not liking the look of the Shandon shore, removed the dilemma by tacking back.
At the windward mark, Catriona and Teal were firmly first and second and so it remained. Carol Rowe on Thia had sailed the beat well and was third. Thalia and Iris had gone too far in shore too early and were afflicted by light and changeable air.
Thia held her third place offwind and sailed another good beat. Thalia, though, was keener with the spinnaker and had her downwind. Iris, meanwhile, was having difficulties with the spinnaker gear. Her foredeck crew worked around the temperamental fitting at a pole end which would not detach from the mast. His chagrin was plain to see after the clip on the halyard failed to close properly, causing it to be lost up the mast.
1 Catriona, 2 Teal, 3 Thalia, 4 Thia, 5 Iris.
Pipers, 1 Pompous, 2 Suilven, 3 Curlew.
Sunday 15th August
There was rippled water in the Clyde, but just the merest breath in the Gareloch. We drifted with the tide from the moorings to the starting area and wondered if it was worth trying to race. The shortest course possible, to the club and back, was chosen. On the water Race Officer Peter Proctor compromised his start, concentrating on his other duty. He was on the course side of the line at the gun and took time to get back. Catriona, reaching along the line on port also had to go back. There could have been trouble with Iris and Athene, approaching on starboard. They were too far back, though and moving too slowly.
By the time Catriona had tacked, Iris was away well. She went in shore. Better tide but hardly a breath. A few knots of wind filled in from the narrows. Thalia got it first and was first round the windward mark. Catriona second. Iris had dwelt too long on the Rhu shore and was third round.
Offwind, Catriona was slicker with the spinnaker and insinuated herself past Thalia. Back at the starting area, there was time for a second round. Iris got an inside overlap on Thalia at the mark but she established it too late. No mark room and she was now too far overlapped to drop behind. In returning to round, she let Hermes (newly back in the water after repairs) through.
No places changed on the second upwind leg. Off wind again, Athene, sailed single handed, set her spinnaker and challenged Iris for fourth place. She didn’t make it, but her skipper was pleased to have been able to set the kite on his own.
1 Catriona, 2 Thalia, 3 Hermes, 4 Iris, 5 Athene.
Tuesday 17th August
Race Officer Roger Kinns sent us on a beat to D, between Clynder and Rahane. Ideal. There was the usual bias on the fixed starting line. The shore end was favoured. Catriona went for the pole position, reaching in on port and intending to tack late. Teal threatened to get an overlap and push her over the line but it was not to be. Hermes and Thalia also started strongly. Ceres was not prompt at the line and never got back in touch.
Most of us headed towards the Clynder shore for the long beat. Thalia briefly tried the Shandon shore but came to join the rest. Catriona and Teal began to pull clear with a safe gap between them. The fight was between Hermes and Thalia. The Race Officer, who was watching with interest, thought Thalia’s spinnaker was pulled in a little tightly to the forestay whereas Hermes was more voluptuous.
There was time for a second round. Another beat to D. Catriona, feeling smug and in touch with the Pipers was sailing the last downwind leg. Concentrating on her spinnaker, she never noticed Thia beating up to the D mark. There was no incident but there could so easily have been.
1 Catriona, 2 Teal, 3 Hermes, 4 Thalia, 5 Thia, Ceres DNF.
Pipers, 1 Pompous, 2 Suilven, 3 Curlew.
Ladies Race – Thursday 19th August
Just three ladies. Miriam Sutter in Iris, Elizabeth Henderson in Teal, and Margaret Isaacs in Ceres. Gordon Mucklow set an optimistically long course with a beat to B, off Silvers, then off wind to G, at Shandon Church. It might have been alright but the wind was forecast to die away and so it did.
Ceres was scruffy below the water line. It was clear from the beginning that she was slow because of it. Teal was in the right place for the start as the wind lightened and spoiled the others’ estimates. Iris sailed over the top of Ceres. It was not worth luffing.
Ceres tried hard to get the best of wind and tide amongst the club moorings. To no avail. By B, she could not read the sail numbers on Teal and Iris.
The run to G began slowly and got slower. As the boats approached Shandon Church, every particle on the water could be examined as it crept past. There was no question of completing the third leg. Broadley finish at G (Ian Broadley invented the system wherby a finish can be taken at a rounding mark), boats towed home in the dusk.
1 Teal, Elizabeth Henderson; 2 Iris, Miriam Sutter; 3 Ceres, Margaret Isaacs.
Sunday 22nd August
A spot of rain, which might have been enough to deter you going for a cruise but not an issue when its a race.
On the water Race Officer Peter Proctor sent us on a beat to B. The pin end of the line was the only place to be. Thalia was so early, she had to tack away and, now on port, encountered Hermes approaching to start on starboard. Thalia took the two penalty turns.
Catriona was a little premature too. She had to bear away down the line. Athene got the best of it with Iris just behind. Sadly, that was the last of Athene. She is scruffy below the water line and way off the pace on account of it.
By the windward mark, Catriona had pulled out a lead which was not to be challenged. Hermes was going well and rounded second. She did not set a spinnaker, though, so Iris was soon past. The battle now was between Thalia and Hermes. For the beat to B on the second round, Thalia was on top. Her helm has been reading Perry’s Winning in One Designs. Essential for any serious racer. Every time Hermes tacked away, she was covered. If Hermes was in clear air, Thalia made a point of sailing down so as to prevent her getting out from under. It was an error from Thalia, perhaps coupled with fluky Gareloch wind, which freed Hermes. From being ahead and to windward, Thalia sailed to leeward. At B, Hermes had enough of a lead to look safe for the fine reach along the Clynder shore to C. The only possible way past was for Thalia to set her spinnaker. It was so fine that none of the others had. There were some spectacular broaches but in those lighter patches which characterise that shore, it was a clear advantage. Thalia had the place back at C. There was nothing Hermes could do on the reach to the finish.
1 Catriona, 2 Iris, 3 Thalia, 4 Hermes, 5 Athene.
Tuesday 24th August
A good breeze. All those boats less clean than they should be below the water line had the chance to see how bad it was.
Iris had been carefully cleaned. She had benefited from the use of a back scrubber, like a giant version of something bought from The Body Shop. She was back on form, too. Although she let Catriona get the best starting position at the shore end of the line.
For the beat across the loch to D, Teal, Catriona and Iris were the early contenders. There was little to choose between the first two. Teal was to windward, so that Catriona could not tack. Iris took the opportunity to break cover and tacked for the Shandon shore. Catriona took a little while to fail in getting above Teal, drop back and go to chase Iris. Iris crossed several boat lengths in front. She failed to cover, though. Catriona had the lead for the approach to the mark.
Reaching across the loch to G, the leaders did not set spinnakers and held station. Next, a run to the line. Catriona kept up a little so that she could avoid blanketing by Iris and be in the best position for rounding the pin at the end of the line to begin the second round. She was committed to that tactic when the shortened course was signalled. Only 35 minutes of racing but it does go dark early just now. Iris was overlapped on the shore side to get the best of the bias on the line.
1 Iris, 2 Catriona, 3 Teal, 4 Thalia, 5 Thia, 6 Hermes, who had trouble with her spinnaker.
Pipers, 1 Suilven, 2 Pompous.
Dog Race – Saturday 28th August
The Dog Race was initiated by David Ryder-Turner. Various rules have been tried over the years. The constant is that yachts with a dog as crew get a 5 sec time allowance for each inch of dog. Borrowed dogs count for only half allowance.
The Convener took on the most important office of Official Measurer. Milton (Hermes) took grave exception to his tail being measured. The digits 40 written against his allowance were based partly on estimation. The Official Measurer wished to take care of his own digits.
Harris (Thalia) showed the class which comes with experience. This was his fourth Dog Race. You would not have known he was there.
Race Officer David Du Boulay, assisted by very personable spaniel Molly, sent us on a long beat to D. In the strong wind, some easing of the main sheet was needed.
Despite having no dog (Buster had declined to sail), or perhaps because of it, Iris started badly. Catriona had her covered all the way. Hermes showed strongly too. Thalia was a grave disappointment to Harris. Circe did not do justice to Hamish, either. Not a long dog but he qualified for full allowance. He could have been a contender if his skipper had been on the pace.
There followed a long leg almost directly down wind. Spinnakers were not set. We were close to maximum boatspeed anyway and the third sail would have induced alarming rocking and rolling.
Catriona was first at the finish line but Ziggy conceded 4 inches to Milton and, more important, she was borrowed. A fine victory to Hermes on corrected time.
Hermes’s Jimmy and Carol Rowe hosted the magnificent fancy dress (musicians) barbecue in the evening. The sailing instructions imposed a penalty for the wearing of a cummerbund. The Convener’s repertoire of fancy dress being effectively ruled out, he came in mufti. Former fancy dress competition winner Neil Isaacs (he won two years ago as a boxer) was out of training. The two paper plates hanging from his neck unconvincing as The Platters. His wife Margaret was better with thirty pounds (in tens) fixed to her costume. The run away winner, Elvis, was Peter Proctor. So authentic it took some time to recognise him. Francoise Proctor took the ladies prize as Cher.
Sunday 29th August
Iris stayed on her mooring. Perhaps Buster’s lack of enthusiasm was contagious. In wind every bit as strong as for yesterday’s Dog Race, on the water Race Officer Peter Proctor sent us on a beat up the loch to E at Rahane. Strong bias on the line meant a start at the shore end was required. Catriona got the best of it with Athene not far behind. Unaccountably, Hermes and Thalia started at the pin end.
By E, Catriona had a good lead from Athene, then Thalia. The second leg was a reach across the loch to F. Too fine for spinnakers in the strength of wind. Thalia was a little faster than Athene and got an inside overlap at the mark.
From F back to the line was ideal for the third sail. Wind sufficiently on the quarter to avoid the rolling characteristic of sailing dead downwind in strong air. Athene set hers but made no impression on Thalia, who contented herself with a goosewinged jib. Back on the wind for the second round, the gap increased. Hermes had trouble with her gear and went home.
1 Catriona, 2 Thalia, 3 Athene. Hermes DNF.
Tuesday 31st August
The last Tuesday evening race of the year. We race through September on Sundays, of course.
With a lack of wind, the evening series finished with a whimper. Race office Carol Rowe set the shortest possible course and we were able to complete only one round.
Catriona was late getting to the starting area, having taken time to replace some broken gear. She was paddling up to the last possible moment and just made it to the line for a timely start. The shore end was favoured, but there was no wind there. Iris was just a little way along the line from the pin and seemed to find the best combination of air and tide. She was first at the windward mark. Teal had found a similar line to be second, Catriona third.
At the mark, Iris was obliged to give mark room to a late running Piper. Disturbing each others air, they drifted away from the mark to allow Teal and Catriona to round inside. Iris found herself further in shore than she would have wanted and suffered. Out in the loch turned out to be better. Catriona was there because she had tried to keep away from Teal. Hermes saw what was happening and went that way. Thalia didn’t.
1 Catriona, 2 Teal, 3 Hermes, 4 Iris, 5 Thalia, 6 Thia, 7 Athene.
Sunday 5th September
With wind blowing from the south east, it was impossible to get a beat for the first leg. A fine reach to A. The starting line was curious too. A start at the pin end was essential. It was just possible to sail along the line from the shore end, but on port, which could only lead to trouble. The technique was to fine reach in from the loch on starboard and tack at the pin. Iris got it right. Catriona just behind.
That meant Iris was first at A for the run up the loch to D, between Clynder and Rahane. Inexplicably, she did not set her spinnaker. Wind was gusty, but from behind. There was no reachiness with its associated risk of broaching. Catriona set hers, got past easily and had a useful lead at D for the beat back.
Covering was not as close as it ought to have been. Nevertheless, Iris was still second for the start of the next round. Wind had dropped a little by now, so she fell back rather more for want of a spinnaker.
The close quarter fight was between Hermes and Thalia. They went down the Clynder shore on the final beat. On the tack across the loch to the finish, Thalia tried to pass to windward. Hermes felt she did not respond to luffing. Feeling badly done to, Hermes did not give her room at the finishing mark. There seemed to have been confusion on the two boats regarding the rule on this and the difference between a starting mark and a finishing mark. Anyway, there was no protest and Hermes kept her third place. Ceres’s hull has been designated a site of special scientific interest on account of the richness of flora and fauna. She was not quick.
1 Catriona, 2 Iris, 3 Hermes, 4 Thalia, 5 Ceres.
Visit of Freundeskreis Klassische Yachten
Sunday 12th September
The Gareloch class had the pleasure of a visit from Germany of a team from the Freundeskreis Klassische Yachten for team racing. Eight boats took part; the weather was good with steady winds of force 3. Douglas Young’s Eorsa was a very comfortable committee boat and provided a good starting line at Blairvadoch for windward/leeward courses across the loch. As the wind shifted so too did the beats, moving from Silvers north up the Clynder shore.
Five races were sailed on the Saturday, with the visitors being victorious – winning three of the five races and the David Ryder Turner memorial trophy. An excellent dinner was held that evening in the Royal Northern and Clyde Yacht Club.
The following day fleet racing took place around the loch with the Convener being Race Officer. Crews from the previous day’s team racing helmed, with skippers being crew. Catriona (Klaus Birkhoff) won by a margin, after a strong early showing by Iris faded after she rounded a wrong mark.
In the afternoon, there was racing round the sugar ship along with John Blackie’s Maid of Lorn. A strong and enthusiastic contingent of our guests was aboard The Maid, who is over 100 yrs old. Despite the heavier wind which she likes, she did not beat Catriona, this time with Ute Sendtner-Voelderndorff on the helm.
Sunday 19th September
There had been no wind during the day. Sufficient ripples appeared to enthuse the group of Garelochs in the car park so that they set out at about 3 o’clock. There was just enough movement in the air for them to ghost to the starting area, decide racing was not feasible and ghost back.
Sunday 26th September
The last race of the year. The season of mists, mellow fruitfulness and dinners is upon us. It does not make up for the racing.
The day was a little like the previous Sunday although the currents of air gave more cause for optimism. On the water Race Officer decided against the shortest of courses, which would have been a reach up and down the Shandon shore. He set a course with two good beats, firstly to B, off Silvers, and after a run up the loch from G to C at Clynder.
Iris was a premature at the favoured pin end of the starting line. She had to slow and bear away which let Catriona past to windward. Catriona maintained a good lead to B and then offwind to G. At which point she inexplicably failed to cover. Iris had a few boat lengths lead at C. It is not as if it is the first time that has happened.
Hermes, meanwhile, had the better of Thalia in their usual tussle. Athene’s hull below the waterline needed a loofah. She was not on the pace.
The surface of the Gareloch began to smooth as Iris and Catriona teased their spinnakers to keep them full on the way from C to the finish. The two made it to the line with a few minutes to spare before the time limit. No consolation to Hermes and Thalia, who had just rounded C, or to Athene who hadn’t.
1 Iris, 2 Catriona. Hermes, Thalia, Athene DNF.
Thats all folks, see you next season!