Category Archives: Race Reports ’18

Tue 15th May

After a pleasantly sunny day with light breeze, the sky became angrier for our evening race.  Low cloud over the hills and the sort of strong, cold wind that makes you nervous as you walk along the jetty.

Teal stayed on her mooring, her skipper was Race Officer.  Five boats went out but Thia thought better of it and did not race.  Iain MacGillivray set a course beginning with a leg to windward up the Shandon shore.  Catriona set herself up for a good start but confusion over timing of the starting sequence led to her starting last, in a wind shadow from Hermes.  Dione was away first closely followed by Thalia.
Dione eroded her advantage by sailing for a mark too far up the Gareloch and hence overstood the windward mark.  She still had a comfortable lead though. Catriona had fought back to be overlapped outside Thalia as they rounded the mark.  Next was a reach to the north end of Clynder where Thalia fell back in wind shadow and the gap to Dione closed a little.  The third leg was downwind to mark A, off the club.  Dione played the angles, broad reaching down the Clynder shore before gybing for another broad reach to A.  In the strength of wind, boats were close to maximum speed anyway so that the direct route was fastest. Catriona could not quite make the pass but was close to Dione at the leeward mark.  A tighter rounding gave her the place on the windward leg back to the starting area.
There was a second round, Hermes had had enough, no places changed.
1 Catriona, 2 Dione, 3 Thalia, Hermes DNF, Thia DNS.

Sun 13th May

What a superb afternoon.  There was sunshine and wind.  Weather forecasts on the television had been a little pessimistic, but that must have been for the south east of England.

On the water Race Officer Roger Kinns set one of the longer courses, back and forth across the loch.  The same one as last Sunday.

No one made a good start.  Teal and Catriona were early at the line, Dione (the other boat fancying her chances) was late.  Teal luffed and slowed, Catriona bore away down the line but managed to start with pace.  For a while, Catriona could not have tacked to cross ahead of Teal and the two stayed on starboard tack going down the Shandon Shore and trying to make to windward to B, off Silvers.  Eventually, Catriona picked her moment and tacked into a clear first place.  There was tacking and covering on the way to B but Catriona had enough of a lead at the mark to avoid having to deal with a wind shadow from Teal on the next leg.  Downwind to Shandon Church..  The rest, meanwhile, were blanketing each other.  Dione in particular found herself in Halcyone’s shadow and suffered on account of it.  Hermes did not set a spinnaker on this leg and lost 200 yards or more to Thalia.  Which she made up on the next windward leg.
That leg was to C, off the north end of Clynder.  Thence a reach back to the starting area.  There were thoughts of déjà vu all over again on Catriona.  On the previous Sunday, she was leading at this point and there was just enough time for a second round.  She lost her place in variable wind at B.  Again there was a second round.  This time wind was constant (by the standards of the Gareloch) and there were no mishaps.  A rash launching of the spinnaker on a blowy reach almost cost a place.  Teal set her spinnaker at the end.  It was not enough.

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

Tue 8th May

Race report to follow (having been delegated by Charles to the winner Zephyrus) once it is written! You think they’d be keen since it was their first race win – congratulations skipper Eric Boinard!

1 Zephyrus, 2 …

Sun 6th May

A lovely afternoon for a sail.  There was cloud over The Cobbler and the wind was steady for a lot of the time.

On the water Race Officer Barrie Choules chose a long course, visiting many of the marks in the loch, beginning with a leg to windward to B, off Silvers.

Teal was early at the starting line and obliged to circle.  Catriona got the best of it with Dione and Halcyone to leeward.  Teal quickly recovered from her start and took the lead with starboard tack advantage.  Wind was variable, however, and she was a close second at the mark with Dione chasing hard.  Teal was super slick launching her spinnaker for the offwind leg to F, off Shandon Church and took back the lead.  Dione had trouble with her third sail, which compromised her challenge.

The next leg upwind to Clynder.  Again Teal dropped to second due to the variability of pressure in the Gareloch.  The leg back to the starting area a reach where overtaking is not usually possible.  We were just in time for another round.  Again Catriona and Teal swapped places.  Wind on the approach to B was outrageously variable and Teal was round first.  Dione, meanwhile, had made a poor rounding of the mark at the starting area and dropped a place to Halcyone.

There were no further changes of place at the front.  Unaccountably, Halcyone let Dione past again on the reach to the finish.

1 Teal, 2 Catriona, 3 Dione, 4 Halcyone, 5 Hermes, 6 Zephyrus.

Tue 1st May

Race report to follow (once it is written by the winner Dione!)

Sun 29th Apr

(Guest report from Teal – largely because a week later she was the only one who could vaguely remember what happened!)

It was a nice sunny afternoon and tempting to dress summery. This would have been and was a mistake. As we left the moorings ominous dark clouds threatened and as we sailed to the start a squally shower started and was soon spitting hailstones followed by mere soaking heavy rain. The wind swerved around bit too which didn’t help Teal (volunteer on-the-water RO) decide on a course. Given the wind, a tide, and a reported submarine (although it has perhaps happened) and various naval exercises afoot, it was decided to stick to Z-A-G course which kept us away from the narrows and main channel.

Various boats made a reasonable start including Dione slightly more inshore and to windward and with Catriona – helmed by Convenor Prof Blackie – and Zephyrus starting closer to the Z mark. Teal was concentrating on the start sequence as RO and sailed a little too far away in light air but followed behind Dione in the windward pack. The boats in the leeward pack however looked good since they would have the inside overlap at the starboard rounding at the A mark. A header shifted the balance however and now Dione was in a clear lead and reached A first. Zephyrus still made an overlap count with Teal following tightly round in third. Halcyone rounded fourth, with Hermes and Catriona suffering from their leeward position in the header.

Dione was away and never looked back in the race. Teal managed a quick spinnaker launch and broke through to windward of Zephyrus. Halcyone tried the same to Teal and was succeeding for a while before a lack of wind too far inshore stymied her. Hermes also managed to look too like she was also going to undertake Teal to leeward with a nice streak. Catriona now surfed her very own wind from the back to squeeze through between Hermes and Halycone and was threatening Teal. Teal however maintained a windward position and cover to the G mark to round in second. Halcyone suffered badly from her decision to go too far and rounded last.

It was now a case of covering back to the finish. Dione waltzing away. Teal covering Catriona home. Zephyrus covering Hermes. Halcyone trying to catch all.

1 Dione, 2 Teal, 3 Catriona, 4 Zephyrus, 5 Hermes, 6 Halcyone

Tue 24th Apr – the first race of the year

There is always excitement as paint brushes are cast aside and the Garelochs go afloat.  Eight are on the water Just now and there are more to come.  The Garelochs are looking well.  Dione, Thalia, Halcyone and Zephyrus all setting a high standard as they waited to be launched.
Weather was kind, the downpour as we gathered in the car park had passed by the time we were on the water.  Breeze was pleasantly light, just right for blowing away the winter cobwebs without drama.  Catriona’s young crew Lucy Forrester is always enthusiastic and brought along her schoolfriend Ruby, who crewed on Hermes.
Race Officer Jean Mackay set a short course across the loch to Silvers and back.  The pack was a little early at the line and was obliged to bear away from the favoured pin end.  Catriona thought she was going to be late but arrived at the pin just after the gun and did not look back for most of the windward leg.  Dione, newly afloat last year after a comprehensive rebuild, has a good turn of speed and arrived at the windward mark overlapped inside Catriona.  Her spinnaker handling let her down, though.  Her crew is new to Garelochs.  Catriona and Halcyone got past at the start of the downwind leg.
There was time for a second round.  By now, Halcyone was firmly established in second place and Catriona first.  Hermes was delayed at the leeward mark following a stuchie with Zephyrus regarding mark room.  She fought back to gain places on Thia and Thalia.

1 Catriona, 2 Halcyone, 3 Teal, 4 Dione, 5 Zephyrus, 6 Hermes, 7 Thia, 8 Thalia