Ten of us turned out. Luna was in her first race since 2014 under the new ownership of Julian Forrester. We were visited by Michael Scholl and Jörg Kadgiehn of the Freundeskreis Klassische Yachten. Both accomplished helms, they took charge of Dione and Athene.
The wind in the Gareloch is often unkind to Race Officers and so it was this evening to Barrie Choules. He set a course beginning with a windard leg to C, at Clynder, and zig zagging back and forth across the loch. The start for Garelochs is the third of the three classes. By that time it was not possible to sail along the starting line from the shore end to the pin. There was inevitable congestion as most tried a start on port tack at the pin. Teal was set back. Catriona timed her approach just right but thought she was over the line early. The recall was for Thalia who approached from the course side of the starting line and was easily able to duck it before tacking.
After all that, we set off across the loch with Luna and Dione leading. Gareloch air was lightening all the time and becoming more variable, especially near to the Clynder shore. Boats a few yards apart found themselves in different wind. Some of the fleet was brought up on a line of air so that several boats were trying to round the mark at once. Thia came out well. Luna went around the outside of all of them and was well placed for a run back across the loch but dropped back for want of a spinnaker. Thalia found herself headed as she approached the mark and struggled to avoid touching it.
Getting cleanly away from the Clynder shore was key. Thia did well. Teal would have done, but for Halcyone who was still to round. Catriona found the best of the air and, her spinnaker drawing, resisted a luff from Luna.
Time was now getting on and Barrie rightly thought we should struggle to finish if we had to visit the Clynder shore again. He set up a finishing line at the G mark, on the Shandon shore. A lamp post serving as one end of it. We were able to ghost back to our moorings before light began to fade.
1 Thia, 2 Catriona, 3 Thalia, 4 Athene, 5 Teal, 6 Dione, 7 Luna, 8 Halcyone. Ceres and Zephyrus DNF.
(Guest report from Teal)
Dione volunteered to be on-the-water race officer since she was three-up and, in the continuing absence of the G mark sent us on a good long race around course H6 (ZBfcY) – the F mark being the furthest up the Shandon shore. The line was biased to the Z mark end and, with a light patch before the start, Dione, Thalia and Halycone made the best of it with Teal following close behind. Teal followed for a bit but following wasn’t going to achieve much so despite the risk of a strong incoming tide in the middle of the loch she tacked away to what appeared to be a darker windier patch and towards a distinct dark cloud which she reasoned was causing it. When she tacked back to consolidate, Dione was only just ahead of Teal so it had paid. Dione tacked on top of Teal but Teal tacked herself to head back towards the Clynder shore. Heading back towards the better wind and out of the tide. And leaving Dione and others heading against the worst of the tide! When Teal tacked back again on a shift, she was so far ahead that the race was almost already won.
Teal rounded the B mark for the very long run to the F mark. In the following pack Halycone rounded first having played the tacks and shifts well, followed by Dione, Athene then Thalia. Thia too both going well and with the pack. Ceres trailing somewhat with spinnaker troubles? Thalia overtook Athene with slicker spinnaker handling but the order otherwise unchanged. Rounding F for the beat to C, Teal decided to immediately tack and head up the loch on the Shandon shore out of the tide and towards what appeared to be better wind back towards the mouth of the loch. When they rounded Halycone and Dione decided to stand on towards the Clynder shore which didn’t seem to pay with mediocre wind. And Dione exacerbated it by bearing off towards the E mark! Thalia meanwhile made a good decision and followed Teal up the Shandon shore in good wind and when she tacked to cross the loch she crossed ahead of both Halcyone and Dione. Sadly for her she didn’t cover to consolidate her position. Teal rounded C and watched the following pack wondering whether they had over stood the mark; perhaps all tying to get inside mark rights. Halcyone had Dione well covered and sure enough rounded second, followed by Dione then closely by Thalia.
Teal watched secure on her fine reach to the finish at Y. We thought Halcyone was secure too in second. Dione however kept attacking, hoisted her kite and went well to leeward of Halcyone. She was rewarded when the wind lifted half way across and she powered through well under Halycone to finish a good few boat-lengths ahead. Thalia too put up the kite but couldn’t quite replicate the gains.
1 Teal, 2 Dione, 3 Halcyone, 4 Thalia, 5 Athene, 6 Thia, 7 Ceres
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.