The last race of the year. As the light faded, the Gareloch was delightfully atmospheric.
On the Water Race Officer Michael Knox avoided the shortest possible course (a temptation given the limited time) and sent us upwind to A, off the club, then downwind to Clynder.
Catriona got away best at the favoured shore end of the starting line with Dione and Thalia in pursuit. As we rounded the windward mark, it was necessary to head up the Shandon shore so as not to impede a frigate on her way to Faslane. It did not interfere with the racing. Dione tried to pass Catriona to windward, but helm Lucy Forrester responded to protect her position. Ceres, meanwhile, was affected by underwater growth and not on the pace.
Back at the line, Catriona would have been happy to finish but there was time for another round and Dione pressed on. It was a good sail, wind was steady, no places changed.
1 Catriona, 2 Dione, 3 Thalia, 4 Thia, Ceres Rtd.
(Guest report from Teal.)
The forecast was for steady wind from the SE and rain. One of these was, with the benefit of hindsight, accurate. But let’s go back to the beginning.
Teal, Thalia (with Peter and a guest-starring crew) and Hermes (helmed by Mike Lidwell since Carole was on holiday) turned up to race. A good few other helms were on a jolly – sorry, at a regatta – to Seawanhaka YC near New York. The series was all to play for with Teal and Hermes on level points. Teal offered to act as the on-the-water Race Officer and so with the SE wind, and a preference from others for avoiding a downwind start, selected course H4 which would take us from Z on a fine reach to A, then a long run to D (N of Clynder), then – with good luck – a good beat back from D to the start line. At Z. Remember this. Z.
Thalia and Teal both hit the line well but with Thalia just upwind and ahead but with Teal possibly having the advantage of the inside if she could maintain the overlap. In the end Thalia’s position paid off and she broke clear to reach A with Teal following. Hermes following. Teal however rounded wide and got on top of Thalia and hoisted early to pass to windward. At this point however the steady wind seemed to abandon us and perhaps swing to the S. Difficult to be certain however as it became almost non-existent and D started to look very far away indeed. Teal gybed – thinking to perhaps get better wind and tide and headed across towards Clynder. Thalia then managed to get some good wind and looked very good and clearly ahead although a long way to the right. Hermes continuing to follow. At this point the wind decided to completely forget the forecast. Perhaps due to the rain front and a very cold mass of wet air approaching from the west? In any event the wind swung to the SW and Teal was clear on a fine reach to D. The wind shift was enough that Thalia had to eventually take down her kite early just to get there. She still rounded just ahead of Hermes.
It looked as if the excitement was over and a slow, long, wet reach in procession back to the finish was in order. However there were two further developments before we were finished: one natural and one man-made! The first (natural one) was that the wind kept swinging slowly S and eventually re-established back from the SE. Teal however still had the others covered and kept herself between them and the finish. No issues. You’d have thought. The second (man-made) development however was that Teal checked the finish and read that it was Y. Which made sense since that gave a fairly square finish line. At some point well past Z on the way to Y, Teal’s skipper decided to double-check and spotted that it was not Y but Z! (The confusion coming from the unique situation that the Light-wind course which went to C then finished at Y but the High-wind course – which we were on – went from D to Z.) After a sharp bear away and now reaching, Teal and Thalia were both going to get to Z at the same time. Teal had in the end realised her error just in time to make it inside of Thalia (with mark-room rights if necessary) and a sharp turn took her over the line ahead. So close to snatching defeat from the jaws of victory (of both the race and the Sunday series!).
1 Teal, 2, Thalia, 3 Hermes
The forecast was for very little wind but as it turned out there was enough for a good race. Finding the best of it was key.
On the water Race Officer Roger Kinns set a course up and down the Shandon shore. As is so often the case, there was a compromise between being far enough out to get good wind and close enough in to get the best of the back eddy as the tide ebbed. This is usually a speciality of Hermes, This time, she ventured too far out and let Dione have it all her own way. Teal went out with the intention of covering Hermes. To no avail. Halcyone looked strong initially but found a hole close inshore which let Hermes into an unassailable second place.
Halcyone and Teal had a torrid time rounding the windward mark, fighting the tide as the wind died away. Halcyone made it round first but Teal took the place with slicker spinnaker handling downwind.
The leaders crossed the start/finish line with time for a second round. Thalia got in front of Halcyone by omitting the start/finish line and staying in better air out in the loch.
1 Dione, 2 Hermes, 3 Teal, 4 Halcyone. Thalia RTD.
A wet night, but there was good wind. On the water Race Officer Iain MacGillivray selected a course to B, off Silvers, and back. It was a good leg to windward.
Catriona set out to cover Teal at the start and got the best of it at the favoured pin end. Others who were earlier were obliged to bear away down the line. Teal was blanketed by Halcyone and suffered badly, she never fully recovered.
As Catriona set off across the loch in response to Teal, Dione prospered on the Shandon shore. It was soon clear Dione was leading with Catriona chasing. As the pair crossed tacks, Catriona ducked twice but on the third occasion she had had the best of a lift was able to cross ahead with starboard advantage and tack into a covering position.
There was time for a second round, although some were not enthusiastic. Athene strayed too far to the Clynder shore too early and lost her third place to boats which approached the shore close to the layline for the mark. Downwind, she had a crack at Hermes. She slowed her opponent by getting on her air but tried to pass too close to windward. Hermes’s luff did for her.
1 Catriona, 2 Dione, 3 Teal, 4 Halcyone, 5 Thalia, 6 Hermes, 7 Athene, 8 Thia, 9 Ceres
Wind again from the Clynder shore, this time more of the south in it compared with the previous Tuesday. On the water Race Officer Iain MacGillivray chose a course zig-zagging across the loch, beginning with a leg to windward to B, off Silvers. The south end of the starting line was the place to be. Teal benefitted from a lull in the wind which caught out the others and got the best start. She was not to be caught thereafter.
After a downwind leg to the Shandon Shore, there was a second leg to windward to Clynder. Hermes and Dione went the right way and left Catriona behind.
On a day when there was wind, the Gareloch could not have produced more variable conditions. We seemed to be going to windward to reach the Clynder shore and to windward again to get away from it. When the wind went aft, only Hermes avoided drama by eschewing the spinnaker. The rest had spectacular broaches and, in Catriona’s case, an unintended gybe.
1 Teal, 2 Hermes, 3 Catriona, 4 Dione.
REVISED REPORT (& CORRECTED RESULTS)
The first of the Series of the Ancient Mariner. Named after Douglas Young, who passed away in 2013. He was latterly the owner of Galatea and a great friend of the class over many years.
Wind was blowing from the Clynder Shore and especially changeable. Thalia, Hermes and Dione set off up the Shandon Shore and it paid handsomely. Most of the rest ventured out into the loch early, On the approach to D, the windward mark, the second bunch could not read the sail numbers of the first. Two legs offwind to the finish were not enough to make up the difference. Halcyone had gone up the middle of the loch between the the two groups. She rounded the D mark in first position just ahead of Thalia, but slick spinnaker handling on Thalia allowed her to take back the lead. Halcyone was unable to hoist her spinnaker and Hermes overtook as well. Halcyone held her position over the next two legs having escaped D and the rest of the Fleet.
1 Thalia, 2 Hermes, 3. Halcyone, 4 Teal, 5 Catriona, 6 Athene, 7 Ceres, 8 Thia.
Wind had an easterly element so that Race Officer Roger Kinns was unable to set a course starting with a leg to windward. On a wet afternoon, we set off for A, off the club. The shore end of the starting line was favoured, Catriona got the best of it with Teal and Zephyrus well placed. Zephyrus had the favoured inside position at the mark. Teal used her spinnaker to move into second on the run to D, north of Clynder. An inefficiently wide mark rounding by Catriona let Teal in. At the start of the windward leg to the finishing area, Catriona luffed and Teal tacked away. Which made her the give way boat against the rest of the fleet approaching he mark.
There were incidents galore. On account of Teal, Hermes passed the wrong side of the mark which put her close to Dione, hardening up having just rounded. Athene and Zephyrus had a stooshie about mark room. Athene, on the inside, could not avoid contact with both Zephyrus and the mark.
There was time for a second round, as the forecast sunshine did not appear. The order at the front was established. Dione damaged her chances by being on the wrong end of a port/starboard incident with Halcyone on the downwind leg.
1 Catriona, 2 Teal, 3 Zephyrus, 4 Thalia, 5 Halcyone, 6 Hermes, 7 Athene, 8 Dione.
The Clyde Keel Boats Association (http://clydekeelboats.org) “is a registered charity, dedicated to restoring the graceful, elegant old yachts that are lying in fields, gardens and boatyards – and getting them sailing again!
Inspired by the collective enterprise of the owners of the Gareloch One Design, the owners of the Scottish Islands One Design have got together and formed this Association.
Please join us and help to restore the magnificence of the Clyde!”
So, an association for sailors and admirers of all Clyde-based classic keelboats and an immediate aim to save some beautiful Mylne-designed Scottish Islands ODs.
The last race of the summer series. Race Officer Neil Isaacs set a course beginning with a leg to windward to D, north of Clynder. The shore end of the starting line was favoured, Thalia started in the best place with Athene well placed.
Each boat had a decision to make. Wind seemed better out in the loch but the adverse tide was stronger out there too. Further to complicate things, there were holes in the wind and big changes of direction. Hermes is always fond of the Shandon shore and stuck to it until it was clearly not working. She tacked out but still stayed to the right. Zoe too began on the right side. Most of the rest did their best with the tide and capricious wind in the middle. Dione looking strong. A substantial backing and steadying of wind favoured those nearer the Clynder shore. Catriona got the best of it. Dione was second but fell back a couple of places after penalty turns arising from a run in with Zoe. She got the place back from Thalia downwind.
There was a reach to the finish, a point of sailing on which overtaking is unlikely. Dione was not able to get back at Zoe.
1 Catriona, 2 Zoe, 3 Dione, 4 Thalia, 5 Hermes, 6 Thia, 7 Halcyone, 8 Athene, 9 Zephyrus, 10 Ceres.
Guest report from Hermes
On-the-water Race Officer Peter Proctor selected an upwind downwind course to Silvers with the variant of a start line between the Y and Z buoys giving a better start line (Editor: a Boinard Start after its inventor?). As it was a long start line helms could select a position clear of other boats. The promised fair wind failed to materialise and in the flukey winds eddies were cruel. Thalia eventually took a course across the loch which took her up the loch and away from the windward mark but benefited on tacking to arrive first at the mark. Teal had suffered in a hole at the start but eventually started and tacked and tacked as winds shifted. Thia and Ceres had appeared at the start to be making good progress but on tacking across the loch found themselves behind the others. Hermes had found a hole on the start line but recovered sooner than Teal.
Spinnakers were flown on the return with Thalia and Hermes reaching the down wind course together. Thalia having had an overlap Hermes had warning to give her mark room but was rounding the mark to find Thalia tacking across her bows. It did not pay and on striking the mark Thalia then had to pay the penalty which not only let Hermes pass but also Teal.
Thereafter the next round saw the combatants stretched out across the loch and while Teal attempted to make inroads on Hermes’ lead the order did not change (although Ceres, having had enough of the changeable winds, retired at B).
1 Hermes, 2 Teal, 3 Thalia, 4 Thia, DNF Ceres.