Author Archives: Iain MacGillivray

Sun 12th May

Hatasoo Basket – race 2 – report from Barrie Choules (Dione)

A lovely day  with light winds,  6 Garelochs ventured to the start line with Dione taking the role of  on-the-water  race officer.  Light southwesterly wind indicated a first mark on the far shore.  Catriona was a little  early to the start and in losing speed allowed Halcyone  the best start, Dione boxed somewhat behind Catriona. Luna and Hermes had good starts inshore. Getting to the B-mark meant crossing the tide by Rhu narrows. Complicated by the revised placement of the buoy further north this year. The places were revised as some got it right, Hermes benefitted by staying inshore through the moorings, others less so. Suffice to say that Dione went from 2nd to 6th. The run to G off Shandon did for Luna who opted not to fly her spinnaker.

The beat to the C-mark looked straight-forward but the Gareloch wind gods had other ideas; crossing the tide line, the wind became very shifty and light, dispersing the fleet and leaving some making little progress in the tide. Dione, bringing up the rear, had the opportunity to  see what was happening and decided to try for a back-eddy inshore; this was very effective bringing the placings close to the start positions with Dione back in second, behind Catriona with Halcyone pushing at her stern. These positions continued to the finish despite further wind shifts and variations.

1 Catriona, 2 Dione, 3 Halcyone, 4 Hermes, 5 Thalia, 6 Luna.

Tue 7th May

There was little wind as we left the moorings so that a very short course (to the mark off the club and back) was set.  Wind strengthened by the time of the start and was on the beam for both legs.

The shore end of the starting line was to windward but air was lighter there and tide more favourable at the pin.  Dione got her start just right, getting the better of both the boats further in and those further out.  Halcyone was with her all the way but there was no opportunity to pass.  Teal lost a place to Thalia after tactical luffing from Catriona and fought hard to get it back.

1 Dione, 2 Halcyone, 3 Catriona, 4 Teal, 5 Thalia, 6 Thia

Sun 5th May

The first race we had this year.  The first scheduled race is the last Tuesday evening of April.  For that, there was rain but no wind.

Today, five of the nine Garelochs afloat turned out.  The breeze was blowing down the loch, creating an uncomfortable swell on the moorings.  It was strong enough that carelessness  could lead to water coming over the cockpit coaming.  It caused Thia to retire, after a cross tree broke.

A longer course was selected, beginning with a windward leg to E, near Rahane on the Clynder shore.  The shore end of the starting line was favoured and Catriona misjudged things to let Teal pass to leeward and get the best start.  Dione had trouble with her main sheet at a crucial time and was late.  Teal and Catriona set off towards the Clynder shore with Teal comfortably to windward.  Continuing headers on the way across gave Catriona an advantage and she took the lead.  Halcyone was in the fray.  Dione had elected to go up the Shandon shore and was nowhere.

Catriona got to E first, from Teal and Halcyone, and began the two offwind legs back to the starting area.  Spinnakers were perfectly feasible for these two legs but with start of season nervousness, none was set.

There was time for a second round.  Downwind to A, off the club then another windward leg to the Clynder shore.  Somehow, Teal and Halcyone pointed much higher having rounded A and by the time Catriona tacked to cover, she had lost her place.  She compounded the error by staying on the Shandon shore for a while.  A tactic which had done for Dione on the first round.  By the time she tacked across the loch, Teal and Halcyone were ahead by a margin.  In the curious air of the Clynder shore, Halcyone passed Teal for the lead and increased it by sticking to the shore.  Out of adverse tide and with a good lift in the wind.  Catriona saw this and copied.  Conditions further out in the loch were unkind to Teal who dropped to third.

Downwind to the finish, Catriona set her spinnaker.  Teal and Dione followed.  The want of a third sail slowed Halcyone.

1 Catriona, 2 Halcyone, 3 Teal, 4 Dione.  Thia DNS.

Tue 30th Apr

No race.

Louring and overcast with no wind and a strong tide. Supposedly the first race of the season. The only race was – for those foolish enough to cast off – only about how fast they could make it back to their moorings. Thalia set off earliest and managed to use the last zephyr to actually make it OUT of the mooring field. The rest simply went backwards on the tide until given a tow by Jacob, our new bosun.

“Local sailors win team racing in Bavaria”

As reported in last week’s Helensburgh Advertiser:

A team of Gareloch One Design sailors from the RNCYC raced against a German team on Lake Starnberg, Bavaria, near Munich over the weekend of the 29/30 September.

There were near perfect conditions, force 3 gusting 4 and warm sunshine. International Dragons, a former Olympic class, had been loaned by local owners for the event. These beautiful and agile boats made for keen racing.

This regular exchange race with FKY (the German Classic Yacht Club) was first raced at Rhu in 1999.

The first race set the tone for the series. The Gareloch crew in the oldest Dragon were squeezed at the start and took an instant penalty. The Germans’ crack helmsman made off to finish first, but left his team behind to be harried by the Garelochs. With the best combination of places the Garelochs won this and the subsequent races  –  7-nil at the end.

The German Touring Yacht Club at Tutzing ran the event with great professionalism and sponsorship from Budweiser. The FKY sailors had come from all over Germany and were as always warm and hospitable.

A strong friendship continues between the clubs. After the racing, the Garelochs didn’t think they had won all the races. Winning them all was perhaps undiplomatic, but in the words of the Gareloch’s inimitable team captain, Charles Darley, “winning isn’t everything but we didn’t come to lose”. Lars Münch, the FKY’s event organiser put it graciously, “races lost, friends won”.




On behalf of our Convenor, Prof. John Blackie:

In addition to Julian Forrester who recently took over as the new owner of Luna and has been racing with us this season (as has his daughter Lucy!), the Class is also pleased to welcome  John Campbell who has just bought Circe.

Welcome to the Gareloch One Design Class!

(PS. some of us met John at the Gareloch Worlds BBQ.)

“Wettfahrt verloren, Freunde gewonnen” (Race lost, friends won) – FKY team racing report – 29/30th Sep

Article from the FKY on the team racing: 

“Wettfahrt verloren, Freunde gewonnen” – Race lost, friends won.

Team racing at the Deutschen Touring Yacht Club on the Starnberger See (Lake Starnberg): the Scottish from the RNCYC have won it again! On Saturday 29th Sep they won the race and take the David Ryder-Turner Cup back to Helensburgh, Scotland.

In Scotland we race on the Gareloch One Designs (like a small Dragon), a fleet of boats that are already over ninety years and are still vigorously raced. In Germany we usually sail on the Baltic Sea, in recent years in Arnis on the Schlei. This year we went to the south, the first time ever. The German Touring Yacht Club (Tutzing) welcomed us and offered a friendly and open atmosphere for the event, professional regatta management, exciting races and, above all, fun! Thanks to the owners of the Dragons who provided their boats. And in addition, the Starnberger See was showing its very best side, full wind and sun!

Thanks to our sponsor, Budweiser Budvar brewery. As sailors you know how much you look forward to an excellent cool beer after long and hard races. That went down well!

Sun 23rd Sep

The last of the Sunday races this year.  Its not all miserable, though.  We are off next weekend to the Starnberger See in Bavaria to team race against the Freundeskreis Klassische Yachten.  The event is sponsored by Budweiser (not the American one) so that we are keen.

Anyway, we made our way out to the boats with an element of nervousness.  Firstly, it was the first time we had been out since the storm on Wednesday and there might have beed some damage. Secondly, whilst the forecast was benign, a strong wind was blowing straight down the loch and leading to an uncomfortable swell.

On the Water Race Officer Iain MacGillivray set a course beginning with a true windward leg to the northernmost mark on the Clynder shore.  The shore end of the starting line was favoured and Iain took Teal to the pole position.  Catriona started further out and was immediately in second place.  Teal dominated the first round with Halcyone in front of Dione.

In the strength of air, there was time for a second round.  Hardening up a little to A, off the club and thence to windward to D, a little less far up the Clynder shore.  At A, Teal hardened up to a beat whilst Catriona tacked straight away.  Slightly less ebb tide inshore must have been advantageous because when Catriona tacked again, she crossed ahead of Teal.  Teal thought to stand on a little, so as to return the favour.  She was undone by light air and heading wind near to Gully Bridge and the gap increased.

This, meanwhile, had a gear problem and went home.  Strength of wind was not reducing.  Halcyone’s crew were speaking of gale force gusts near to D.  It was certainly challenging.  Dione found an area of less adverse tide to make a pass on Hlacyone.  No spinnakers were set downwind to the finish.

1 Catriona, 2 Teal, 3 Dione, 4 Halcyone.  Thia DNF.

Tue 18th Sep

Some people cannot make the earlier starts on Tuesdays in September.  On this evening, Dione and Teal were absent.  The on the water Race Officer set a course which should have given a couple of legs to windward.  As often happens in the Gareloch, direction of wind changed after we set off which left a course characterised by fetches and reaches.  There was still a challenge to get to the marks on the Clynder shore, on account of variable strength and direction of air near to the side of the loch.  A couple of Royal Navy warships were very kind to us and were patient with our slow progress to and fro across the loch.

1 Catriona, 2 Halcyone, 3 Thia, 4 Athene, 5 Luna.

Sun 16th Sep

Gusty again as we made our way out to the boats.  The effect is heightened with sails flapping on the mooring.  That put off crews on Luna and Zephyrus, they missed a good race with wind moderating a little.  There were five of us at the start.  Iain MacGillivray sent us on the same course as the previous Sunday.  Again zig zagging across the loch and giving two true windward legs.

Unusually, the starting line was just about perpendicular to the wind.  Catriona thought she had started well but Teal was closer to the shore and found better air on the way across the loch.  When Catriona tired of the headers and tacked, she passed behind Teal.  Dione got in front of Halcyone and cemented her third place.

Once again, approaching the Clynder shore was trying.  Catriona found the better air and took the lead.

There was time for a second, shorter round.  A windward leg back across the loch then downwind on the Clynder shore to the southern most mark off Silvers.  At least it began downwind.  Teal’s crew wondered what on earth Catriona could be doing as she suddenly found herself head to wind with no change of course.  Teal was encouraged for a moment but then came to the same contrary air.

Thia and Halcyone, meanwhile, were battling to avoid fifth place.  Thia had boat speed, it is thought Halcyone had unwanted growth below the water line.

1 Catriona, 2 Teal, 3 Dione, 4 Thia, 5 Halcyone.