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”.
Article from the FKY on the team racing: http://www.fky.org/news/fky-teamracing-2018.htm
“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!
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.
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.
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.
It was a windy evening, at least to start with. A couple of crews went out to rig but thought better of it. That left Teal, Hermes and Catriona. Some of the others cannot make the earlier start in the September series, necessary on account of fading light.
On the water Race officer Iain MacGillivray was able to choose a course zig zagging across the loch and giving two true windward legs. As ever with wind blowing from the Clynder shore, it was fluky on the approaches to the two windward marks. Tacking on the headers but not on those transient, heading gusts which often precede a lift was key. And a matter of some luck. Wind was kind to Catriona.
1 Catriona, 2 Teal, 3 Hermes.
Edit – corrected results (Hermes not Thalia!)
Wind was gusting strongly enough to discourage some. Thia and Ceres went out to rig but did not leave their moorings.
On the water Race Officer Iain MacGillivray was able to set a course zig zagging across the loch, giving two true windward legs and taking us to the northern most mark on the Clynder shore.
Catriona started reasonably well at the favoured shore end of the line. Her tack to cross the line was not as snappy as it should have been so that she was only just in front of Dione. On the way across the loch, Dione had better speed and pulled ahead. Teal, a few boat lengths back, in third place.
Wind blowing from the shore is often variable. Dione failed to tack on a big header which set her back a couple of places. Teal ventured in shore and took the lead at the first windward mark. When Dione tried the same, she had a torrid time of it.
Downwind to the Shandon side of the loch no places changed and Teal increased her lead. She hardened up at the mark. Catriona, thinking to do something different, tacked and saw the gap increase dramatically. She concentrated on covering Dione.
The final leg to the finish had the wind on the beam. In the gusting conditions, spinnakers led to a high risk of broaching. Both Teal and Catriona succumbed. In the second of her broaches, Catriona’s helm lost control, the boat tacked and dropped him into the water. It is said total immersion is the quickest way to learn. Anyway, he was recovered but with all the messing about Dione moved into second place.
1 Teal, 2 Dione, 3 Catriona, 4 Hermes.
No wind*. No race.
*No wind until we finally gave up and, as Teal’s crew literally picked up the mooring, the wind filled in.
There was a good strength of wind and it was possible to set a course which incorporated two true windward legs. Its direction, however, was more than a little changeable. Especially near to the Clynder shore.
Catriona got away well on the first windward leg to B, off Silvers. Those who had sought to stay out of the flood tide and benefit from a back eddy on the Shandon shore suffered from a lighter wind. Teal soon made her way over and from being behind, she found a streak of very good but local wind and rounded the mark first. Her lead increased as Catriona was badly headed on the approach and had to make a couple of tacks. Wind on the run to F, off Shandon Church, brought the two leaders close again, The chasing group had a torrid time getting to B, by the time they rounded, they could not read the leader’s sail numbers.
Catriona got around the mark smartly, tacked and set off down the shore on the windward leg to C, off Clynder. Teal covered and was to windward but a little behind. In a series of headers, Catriona was on the look out for a chance to tack and cross so as to make her way to C. That opportunity passes when an untidy spinnaker sheet caught a mooring and brought her to a standstill. It seemed the race was over but such was the nature of the wind that Catrtiona found a line of pressure which eluded Teal and she looked comfortable. Until the tables turned again. Teal tacked to cover and found herself turning through 180 degrees. Getting to C was trying. Some of the wind visible on the water was blowing straight downwards. Sails and the racing flag told different stories. Teal was round first and had her spinnaker drawing strongly whilst Catriona sat with sails flapping. The order changed again on the approach to the finish, Catriona passing to windward on localised air. A moored boat was in the way of the favoured course. Catriona went to windward of it, which should have been better but wasn’t. Teal passed to leeward and took the finish by a whisker.
The pack, meanwhile, had an even less pleasant time at C. Many of them arrived together. Thia came out on top. She had been strong throughout the race and Hermes, chasing hard, was able only to achieve fickle leads. Dione got stuck to leeward of others at the start and never recovered.
1 Teal, 2 Catriona, 3 Thia, 4 Hermes, 5 Dione, 6 Thalia, 7 Athene, 8 Ceres.
Race Officer Alan Yendell, conscious of lack of light and the risk of a drop in wind, set one of the shorter courses. A true windward leg to B, off Silvers, and back. As it was, there was time for two rounds.
The pin end of the line was the only place to start and Teal got that spot. A gaggle of boats to leeward or behind followed her down the Shandon Shore. Catriona, who had been trapped below Zephyrus, and Athene tacked out into the loch early and prospered. Zephyrus soon came to join them. Zephyrus was ahead on the approach to the windward mark but Catriona had an inside overlap and rounded first.
Downwind, these two indulged in a little match racing so that Teal, who had not been far behind and was slick with her spinnaker, took the lead.
Back in the fleet, Thalia, Athene and Thia approached the leeward mark close together, Athene with mark room. An injudicious gybe onto port tack by Thalia resulted in a foul on Athene. Thalia was set back by the penalty turns. Soon after, Athene suffered a gear failure and so did not capitalise. Hermes had watched with interest from behind, avoided the stramash and gained three places.
1 Teal, 2 Catriona, 3 Halcyone, 4 Zephyrus, 5 Hermes, 6 Thia, 7 Thalia, 8 Athene, 9 Ceres.