The Gareloch was at its most attractive. Scenically at least, a little more wind would have been perfect.
On the water Race Officer Peter Proctor was faced with a direction of wind which made it difficult to find a leg to windward. He selected a course which began with a fetch to A, off the club. Catriona chose the shore end of the starting line. Teal chose the pin end which was to leeward, thinking to benefit from slightly better wind and advantageous tide. She was right and rounded first with Thalia, who had followed her, second.
Catriona drew level with Thalia offwind to C but could make no impression on Teal. Thalia was caught by the fleet following a penalty arising from not giving Mark room to Catriona. This group suffered from dying wind on the Clynder shore and dropped back.
On the fetch back to the starting area, lightening air at the front gave encouragement to Catriona, but it was not to be. At the beginning of the second round, Gareloch air reverted to form. It was possible to do well or badly by sailing inshore or by staying out. At the start of the second round, Thalia lost several places on the leg to A for no particular reason. Zephyrus and Ceres prospered in the loch, Hermes on the shore. We finished at A.
1 Teal, 2 Catriona, 3 Zephyrus, 4 Ceres, 5 Halcyone, 6 Hermes, 7 Thalia, 8 Thia
Report kindly provided by Jens Sutter
The first race of the season had come with a discouraging wind reducing numbers to two hardy souls who then saw their persistence betrayed with the wind to die away. The second race in turn had been granted a bit much of a breeze leaving two boats helping with the start and then swiftly retiring.
Time for something nice!
A stiff easterly had failed yet to build up any chop; the sun was out – what more to ask for. Well, more boats would have been nice but then the season has just started and after all six turned out. The early season showed: the start was more on-the-minute than on-the-second but everyone got across with Catriona establishing a lead a bit down the line, Hermes and Teal, helmed in the absence of her skipper by Miriam Sutter, crossing a bit later but close to the mark. Thalia swiftly worked herself into second rounding A just behind Catriona with Thia and Hermes fighting for third place. Hoisting of Spinnakers was fittingly slow so early in the season. But then the wind seemed fresh enough to make good speed under two sails so Hermes and Teal omitted Spinnakers. That was most certainly a questionable decision as Ceres did catch up rounding C not far behind Teal.
On the way back to Y Thia suffered badly for an error of judgement when on port tack deciding late to duck Teal only to find herself now having to go behind Ceres as well. She did have to sail catch-up all afterwards. Weaving the gusts Teal meanwhile did slowly but surely work herself to windward of Ceres. There was time for a second round with Catriona in the lead, Thalia keeping her interested, Hermes defending third and Teal leading Ceres in a tight race. Thia was busy catching up.
With Ceres in hot pursuit there was no question of omitting the kite this time on Teal. Hermes left the third sail packed allowing her two pursuers to gain. That proved costly as a small hiccup with the jib on Hermes allowed Teal to get past on the way to the finish. Ceres hoped to benefit as well but tried in vain to snatch fourth. Finding a favourable streak of wind further towards the Shandon shore Teal did catch up but the leaders were too far in front for it to matter. Thia worked hard but Ceres proved elusive.
1. Catriona 2. Thalia 3. Teal 4. Hermes 5. Ceres 6. Thia
It was a blustery afternoon. The Qualifier for the British Keelboat League, sailed in Sonars on the east patch, had been canned at lunch time because of high wind.
Three boats turned out, Halcyone, Teal and Catriona. One of the longer courses was set, zig-zagging across the loch to E, near Rahane. With wind from the Shandon shore, the start was downwind. Lack of practice and very changeable wind led to no one starting well. Teal was the best of the bunch. Catriona tried all she knew to get a favourable inside overlap at the next mark, ready for the beat back across the loch. None of it was fruitful but she did make a fair rounding and steadily worked to windward of Teal thereafter. By the windward mark both Halcyone and Teal had had enough and retired. Catriona, benefiting from a crew of three, carried on and finished the round.
1 Catriona, Teal and Halcyone DNF
An evening when events conspired against us. At the key moment when people wanted to get out to the boats, it was low water of a large spring tide so that we had to wait before the launch could come in to the jetty. Meanwhile, the rowing dinghy used to get to the launch had been swamped in the large waves being blown down the Gareloch. The upshot, everyone was late. Hermes, Thalia and Zoe all suffered from those teething problems which characterise the start of the season and did not race. That left Halcyone and Catriona with guest helm Thad Burr.
Catriona rushed to get to the delayed start but overdue, giving Halcyone a significant advantage. The course was a short one, up and down the Shandon shore. Wind, which had been strong all day, was now dying so that the sun was below the horizon by the time boats were on the second leg. Catriona found the best of the air to get past Halcyone. They finished at the second mark, A which is off the club.
1 Catriona, 2 Halcyone.