On the water Race Officer Iain MacGillivray selected a course beginning with a leg to windward across the loch to D, north of Clynder. Wind was light and changeable. Catriona and Teal covered each other and changed places as wind favoured one then the other. Meanwhile, Halcyone and Hermes headed straight across the loch, found wind on the west shore and rounded well in front. Thalia, Teal and Catriona approached the mark together in next to no wind. For a while it seemed Thalia had a decisive inside overlap but Catriona found a breath which took her clear. Teal cut inside Thalia to make a better rounding. Offwind, across the loch she overtook Catriona by dint of superior spinnaker handling.
The leg down the Shandon shore to the finish was curious. Teal and Catriona gybed their spinnakers at the mark but ahead, Halcyone and Hermes were close hauled on opposite tacks. Further down the leg, Teal and Catriona dropped their spinnakers and tacked with little change in direction. There was more tacking of a similar nature. As the pair were wondering how close to the shore they could go, it became apparent that Halcyone, closer in, was not moving. She prodded herself clear using the spinnaker pole but soon found the land again and paddled away from her first place to retire.
Catriona, meanwhile, found herself to windward of Teal after one of those curious tacks and failed to keep clear. Teal went on to win with Catriona taking penalty turns in next to no wind. Hermes (who had not set a spinnaker) and Thalia were battling each other but failed to capitalise on the penalty turns. In the end Hermes came out the better of that pair but Thia had found some pressure. She just managed to touch the finishing line before losing momentum. Hermes passed with comparative speed but just too late.
Athene was looking strong near the shore but losing way in light air and was obliged to paddle so as to avoid doing what Halcyone had done. Galatea was in the hunt for a while but failed to catch Thalia.
1 Teal, 2 Catriona, 3 Thia, 4 Hermes, 5 Thalia, 6 Galatea. Halcyone and Athene RTD.
We drifted to the starting area and after Race Officer Iain MacGillivray abandoned, we drifted back again.
On the water Race Officer Charles Darley set a course beginning with a windward leg to Clynder, thence zigzagging back and forth across the loch.
Catriona, with guest helm Gordon Mucklow, started at the favoured shore end. Just an arms reach from the shore before she tacked. The good start paid and she gently made ground to windward against Teal, who was characteristically on the pace. Wind towards the Clynder shore was unkind to the light blue boat. Wind backing favoured the boats to leeward. Zephyrus, benefiting from crew Felix Taylor, crossed in front of the fleet having sailed close to the Clynder shore. Meanwhile, those who had delayed their trip across the loch had a favoured streak of wind into the mark. It was Hermes who led the downwind leg to G, off Shandon. She, however, rounded G on the wrong side and failed to correct the error. The rest of her race was purely for practice.
Unusually, tacking was only needed at marks for the rest of the race. Which included a second round. Those who could make their spinnakers work with the wind well forward of the mast did well. On the fine reach from G, back across the loch to Silvers, there was luffing between Thalia and Halcyone. To the benefit of Catriona. Athene too was going well and gained a place on each subsequent leg.
Catriona made Teal concentrate so as to keep her first place. Which she did by dint of superior handling of the spinnaker.
1 Teal, 2 Catriona, 3 Halcyone, 4 Athene, 5 Thalia, 6 Zephyrus, 7 Thia. Hermes RTD. Galatea DNF.
Wind was not exceptional, but there was enough for Race Officer Carol Rowe to send us on a beat across the loch to D, north of Clynder. Teal got the best start at the favoured shore end of the line and was not to be caught. There was a choice to be made of going up the Shandon shore or Clynder shore to begin with. Zoe stayed right longer than the other contenders. She was close to rounding in second place and was able to luff Catriona on the downwind leg across the loch. The luff prevented passing to windward but Catriona set a spinnaker, which Zoe did not, and made progress to leeward. All this, though, let Thalia into second place.
Fearing the wind would die (as was forecast) Carol finished us after one round. Teal was enjoying the sail and carried on, some of us followed for a second round. Just for pleasure, of course.
1 Teal, 2 Thalia, 3 Catriona, 4 Zoe, 5 Ceres, 6 Thia, 7 Galatea
Race Officer Michael Knox was faced with the usual problem when wind has an easterly component. It is not possible to start with a beat to windward. He sent us on a fetch to A, off the club, thence downwind to Clynder and a good beat back.
The starting line was similarly and unavoidably compromised. It was not possible to sail along the line from the outer end. Catriona made the best of the starts. She was able to tack onto port to begin the journey to A and cross ahead of the starboard tack Thalia.
It may be that Thalia had growth below the water line. She had lost some of her usual dash. Her cause was hindered by the photogenic hour glass which characterised her spinnaker for far too long going downwind.
Ceres took the best course on the beat back across the loch and briefly led. By now, rain had stopped tell tales from working so that making the best of the fluky wind coming from the Shandon shore was difficult.
There was time for a second round, when Hermes promoted herself to second.
1 Catriona, 2 Hermes, 3 Ceres, 4 Thalia.
There was to have been 5 of us racing but Galatea suffered failure in a piece of iron from 1924 and returned to her mooring.
On the water Race Officer Eric Boinard chose a course zig-zagging across the Gareloch which gave good beats to windward. There was variable pressure, especially close to the Clynder shore so that it was important to sail in a favoured part of the loch.
Catriona was early for the start and obliged to bear away along the line. As a result she had to tack to clear a moored boat, all of which put Hermes in the lead. Ceres, meanwhile, found an area of light and changeable air on the Clynder shore.
Catriona managed to be in front at the windward mark but was surprised not to pull away from Hermes, who did not set a spinnaker downwind.
1 Catriona, 2 Hermes, 3 Zephyrus, 4 Ceres
The trees had been moving all afternoon but persistent rain eventually drew the life from the wind. Many were disheartened. Especially after the highlight of the World Championship at the weekend. Only three turned out to race. Athene had been making repairs to the track on her mast which caused her to be late for the start.
Race Officer Alan Armstrong chose the shortest course, to the A mark off the club and back. The first leg a good beat. Catriona, with Penny Davisdon at the helm, maintained momentum better in the light air and established a lead which only increased. Hermes was suffering from poor acceleration. Athene’s late start did for her. She tried going inshore, but was not favoured by lack of wind and less helpful tide.
The Pipers were given a second round. As even larger patches of smoothness appeared on the water, Neil finished the Garelochs after one.
1 Catriona, 2 Hermes, 3 Athene.
The annual Gareloch Championship was held over the weekend. The event began on Friday evening with a cocktail party thrown by Iain and Ali MacGillivray and their family. The Gareloch ODd, a cocktail unique to the class, was especially enjoyed.
On Saturday morning, all eleven Garelochs which are afloat gathered. Jon Reid on Galatea racing for the first time. Race Officer Jean Mackay, aboard Tim and Elizabeth Henderson’s Blue Iris, was challenged by light air. She sent us on a short sausage course and finished us after one round as wind lightened further. Zoe won from a charging Hermes.
The second race was a longer affair. Wind had strengthened but there were light patches and large changes of direction to catch out those not paying full attention. Contenders for the title, Teal and Zoe left rival Catriona struggling at the starting line and then hampered by other boats. A pattern which was to be repeated. She was second last at the windward mark. A good spinnaker leg brought her back into contention. Luck with wind and tide on a windward leg made up for the bad start and she crept past Thalia under spinnaker to scrape a win.
It was now clear that conservative sailing was required. With the comparatively large fleet and the variable air, it was all too easy to collect a large score. There are no discards in this event.
Catriona managed to sneak the third race, passing Halcyone downwind to the finish. In the fourth and last race of the day, Zoe reasserted herself to win but could only take one point from Catriona. Rounding of the windward mark had been trying. Teal had lost out here and finished third.
A wonderful barbecue in the evening. Hosted by Richard and Frances Reeve with Don Maclean, hon barbecuer to the class, hard at work.
We gathered in the car park on Sunday morning to find little wind and a smooth Gareloch. Fearing there would be no racing, we went out anyway and insinuated ourselves towards Blue Iris. There was sufficient pressure to start a race. Halcyone found the best part of the Gareloch in which to make progress to windward and established a lead. Catriona was happy to keep Zoe and Teal behind her.
In the light and unreliable air, the final race was just a windward leg to a finish off the club. Teal made a good start, sailed in favourable wind and tide and took the win from Hermes. Zephyrus, who had improved her form from Saturday, was third. Catriona avoided the disaster which might have followed from yet another poor start and finished fourth but importantly ahead of Zoe.
1 Catriona, 2 Zoe, 3 Teal, 4 Hermes, 5 Halcyone, 6 Thalia, 7 Zephyrus, 8 Athene, 9 Ceres, 10 Thia, 11 Galatea.
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With no race officer on shore, Thalia’s helm selected a beginning with a downwind leg to D, north of Clynder. Thalia set off with elan followed by the Zoe and the rest. Wind lightened as we approached D and we all came close, Thalia still ahead.
After the mark, wind lightened so that direction was indeterminate and progress was measured against flecks of debris on the water. Catriona was unpleasant to Teal, to windward. She luffed to a collision course and as the gap closed Teal, with limited manoeuvrability, left it too late to respond.
Ceres was in the fray, Zoe further up the loch looking for wind. Catriona set her sights on Thalia. She set a spinnaker, which did no good, but managed to draw level. The two battled for some time, tacking and gybing with little change of direction, their racing flags seldom pointing in the same direction. Eventually, Catriona managed to pass ahead on port tack, Thalia with right of way on starboard was unable to reach her.
By this time, wind was filling in on the Shandon shore in which direction Catriona was pointing. Thalia stayed too long in the light air and was passed by Ceres and Zoe. The best wind of the evening took us to the finish.
1 Catriona, 2 Ceres, 3 Zoe, 4 Thalia. Teal and Hermes DNF