Tue 8th Aug

Report from the Secretary.

Race officer Shane Rankin, having good wind to work with, selected one of the longer courses starting with a beat to E, the northernmost mark on the Clynder shore. The starting line heavily biassed towards the shore end.  A situation exacerbated by the mark at the outer end of the line being out of position, too close to the shore.

Teal was first to beat along the line to the shore end so as to secure pole.  The rest were undistinguished. At the start of the beat Teal was leading comfortably. No room for relaxation though. The wind varied in strength and direction (although less so than it sometimes does) and there were light patches. The fleet split. Some going up the middle, some on the Shandon side and Circe going earliest for the Clynder shore.  Catriona managed to sail out from under Teal but nearly lost it again as she was headed and Teal and Dione lifted. She tacked and had them on starboard.  She tacked back to cover and it began to look bad for her again as she found light air. Teal and Dione took each other high, overstanding cost them.

Circe was a little below the mark and in the light air of the Clynder shore. The rest got close to her. The peloton was sufficiently compact for skill and effort to be needed offwind to keep air clear.  A broad reach to F, off Shandon Church. A potentially awkward gybe at F from reach to reach with the mark close to the shore.  Thence to the finish. There was more luffing with attempts to overtake.  Teal gybed inshore, away from the melee and into second place.  Catriona gave hope to the rest by hooking a buoy with her main sheet and coming to a stop. She disentangled herself in time.

1 Catriona, (& the next five so close as to require full attention from RO Shane), 2 Teal, 3 Dione, 4 Circe, 5 Thalia, 6 Ceres, 7 (needing more scrubbing) Thia

Sun 6th Aug – revised finishing order

Report from the Secretary.

On the water Race Officer Iain MacGillivray selected a course beginning with a true windward leg to C, off Clynder and thence zig-zagging across the loch.  Spinnaker legs and beats.  He was faced with the complication of the starting mark Z being so submerged as to be unusable.  For a few weeks now, the other starting mark, Y, has been too close to the shore.  With two unintended consequences.  That line (whether as a start or a finish) is more usually more biased than it was and the small pontoon moored off Blairvadach is on the line.  Calling for room to tack as the fleet approaches the (usually favoured) shore end has the potential for drama.  Anyway, we all got away cleanly this time, Teal and Thalia with the best starts.

Teal was not to be caught.  Thalia and Catriona fought each other in the variable wind.  Places swapped with Thalia finding the better air on the approach to C.  The gap closed a little off wind and Catriona had the upper hand approaching D, the second windward mark.  Thalia got it back with the better choice of route approaching the finish.

Meanwhile, Ceres and Circe had pulled ahead of the rest.  Both were efficient with spinnaker.  The gap between Athene and Luna varied.   Luna on terms at D.  On the final leg Athene used her spinnaker to good effect over white sail Luna.

1 Teal, 2 Thalia, 3 Catriona, 4 Ceres, 5 Circe, 6 Zephyrus, 7 Dione, 8 Thia, 9 Athene, 10 Luna. (Corrected)

Tue 1st Aug

Report from the Secretary.

Race Officer Stewart Gibb was unable to select a course beginning with a true leg to windward, there was some easterly in the changeable wind.  We started with a fetch to A, off the club.  The shore end of the line was to windward but air was lighter here and A could be fetched from the pin end.  Circe got it right.  Teal was severely headed on her approach and well below the line in a patch of light air at the gun.

Catriona and Circe were overlapped on the leg to A with Circe on the inside.  There was a tussle to achieve mark room.  Downwind to C, off Clynder, Circe (single handed) had trouble with her spinnaker and let Teal past.  Catriona incompetently hit the C mark.  Her penalty turn brought Teal into contention but not ahead.  The fleet battled with the fickle wind on the beat back to the starting area.  From being heeled with the side deck wet to upright with sails flapping in an instant.

The leaders were approaching the line at the end of the round (a different one to the starting line) half an hour from the start.  They were surprised to find the course shortened to finish there.  Catriona was at the pin end because she was wary of tacking in early and finding light air.  Teal was late noticing the shortened course and failed to cover Halcyone who took the short route to the line, nearer the shore.  Teal was unlucky with the variable wind and let Circe through too.

Thia, extremely slow in the last couple of races, had been thoroughly scrubbed and regained her pace.

1 Catriona, 2 Halcyone, 3 Circe, 4 Teal, 5 Hermes, 6 Thia, 7 Thalia, Athene DNF.

Sun 30th Jul

Report from Shane Rankin (Halcyone).

An afternoon of frustration and surprise.

There was good wind and sunshine. The gusts were prolonged and brought big shifts.

Teal acted as onwater race officer. Course H7 was chosen, a complex of zig zags starting at Y mark and finishing at Z.

The start was a scrappy affair. Y is probably too far inshore so there isn’t much room for 7 boats. The line wasn’t quite square to the wind with a bathing platform half wayalong. All boats came charging in for the start in the fresh breeze, running the line, waiting for the gun. Most boats were close to the shore when the gun went and then tacked out. Catriona made the cleanest start, although slightly down wind of most of the others, but in clear air. Thalia had barged in at Y and was heading straight for the bathing platform, when she spotted the obstruction she tacked and forced Halcyone to tack.

The first leg was across to C at Clynder. Catriona made the mark first, she had kept her clear air and pointed higher than the others. Closing the mark Teal and Halcyone looked like they weren’t far behind. They tacked to make the mark, they were too early and were headed. Thalia and Hermes had anticipated the wind shift close to the shore and held on well past the mark. They tacked, Thalia rounded in second, Teal followed and Hermes closed on Halcyone.

Teal caught Thalia at the next mark. After that a procession set in. On the last legfrom D to Z final positions looked set until the Offshore Supply Vessel, Kingdom of Fife decided to leave Faslane and come down the loch. Teal was forced to round up and drop her spinnaker to let this 60m vessel past. Meantime Thalia slipped astern of the ship and left Teal waiting to follow.

Teal had been carried down the loch waiting for the ship to pass. When she was able to make for the line she forgot the start line wasn’t the finish line. By the time she realised Halcyone was closing on the line.

Meantime the rest of the fleet had been caught on the Clynder shore when the wind dropped, they had a slow sail home.  

A frustrating afternoon for some, surprising final positions for others.

Catriona, 2 Thalia, 3 Halcyone, 4 Teal, 5 Hermes, 6 Athene, 7 Thia.

Sun 23rd Jul

Report from the Secretary.

A sunny afternoon with good wind, except that it was at the more variable end of the spectrum.  On the water Race Officer Barrie Choules was faced with the problem of wind having an easterly component so that a windward leg to start was not feasible.  He set one of the longer courses beginning with a spinnaker leg to D, north of Clynder, then zig-zagging across the loch.

Some elected to start at the pin end of the line, some at the shore end.  Either could be made to work.  Circe, Teal and Halcyone from the pin end were first to D, Thalia from the shore end next.  Catriona found herself pinned on starboard tack from the shore end when she would have liked to sail across the loch.  Ceres and Athene blanketing her.

There were errors at D.  Athene hit the mark which irritated her helm,  the penalty turn set her back.  Ceres had to sail round the outside of all that.  Circe, who rounded first, mistook the course and sailed further up the loch towards E whereas the rest hardened up to G on the Clynder shore.  On this windward leg, wind frustrated.  There were holes, gusts and, especially, large changes of direction.  Close to G, Teal was in prime position to round first but was thwarted by a huge header and was fourth around.

A broad reach next to E, the northernmost mark on the Clynder shore.  Catriona had insinuated herself around G first, from Thalia, Circe and Teal.  Wind had become more consistent so that it was hard to pass on this leg and the next a fetch to the finish.

1 Catriona, 2 Thalia, 3 Circe, 4 Halcyone, 5 Teal, 6 Ceres, 7 Athene.

Tue 18th July

Summer Points 2 – Report from Peter Proctor (Athene).
This was the second series of Tuesday evening Summer races for Garelochs. Little racing however was expected according to wind forecasts and virtually no race seemed possible minutes before the start of race preparations at around 6 pm when the Gareloch water was utterly calm. Miraculously, a mild blow happened minutes later so the race could take place after all and, furthermore,wind strength improved during the event. This meant that Race Officer Charles Darley, assisted by Jean Mackay, was able to extend racing duration to two laps of S2 – start line to mark C and back – instead of the anticipated one lap.
Seven Garelochs raced, a slightly lesser number than normally because of crew Summer holidays. The start was well achieved by six vessels but Hermes crossed the line a little early. This was exacerbated by a failed assumption that the vessel would achieve a law- abiding start even at the second attempt which wasn’t the case.
Beating up to the C mark across the Gareloch was via an ideal course adopted by Circe and Dione which put them considerably ahead of the rest of the fleet. Hermes also chose a similarly successful run after their seriously delayed start so that they impressively closed in on the rest of the competitors. Spinnakers got all back to the start line with time differences overall of some five minutes and then a welcome second lap. Gareloch positions varied for all except the first three finishers throughout and total times were of around one hour for completion.
Equally unexpectedly, wind strength vanished after completion of racing and the returns to yacht moorings. Almost as if there existed a devine wind beneficiary!
1 Circe, 2 Dione, 3 Thalia, 4 Hermes, 5 Athene, 6 Thia, 7 Luna (RO duty – Catriona)

Tue 4th Jul

Report from Paul Blackburn (Ceres).
Tonight, eight eager Garelochs decided to race and even arrived early, spurred on by the decent breeze and lack of rain – some choosing to take a little time to scrub before letting go, with some evidence or marine life taking hold already.  Race officer Neill Ross decided the 8kn of gusty wind blowing from North was decent enough to set course H8.  A good decision to alter the start line (to use a well placed mooring buoy) was made – given that Y mark had decided to take a swim towards the Blairvadach shore.
In the minute before the start horn, the boats impatiently wiggled along towards to flag end on Port, led by Teal, Catriona and Ceres – with only Luna deciding to come in on Starboard to cross the line with momentum.  After crossing, the aforementioned 4 boats decided better progress could be made towards the middle.  The rest went up the Shandon shore.  It was difficult to call who was right until we got towards the E mark – with only Circe managing to make the shore side work well.  E was rounded by Catriona, Teal, Circe, Luna, then Ceres, Hermes, Thia, Halcyone.  After that Catriona pulled away and was only one to fly spinnaker until Halycone and Thia raised theirs.
Hermes overtook Ceres but then didn’t fly her kite from F to Y then A so lost out – then, fuelled by jelly babies and fizzy coke, Ceres stormed passed Luna and Circe between A and D before enjoying an unusual but very well deserved 3rd.
1 Catriona, 2 Teal, 3 Ceres, 4 Luna, 5 Circe, 6 Halcyone, 7 Hermes, 8 Thia.

Sun 2nd July – no race

It was a bit windy.  Several went out to check the boats and three of us decided we might race.  A gear failure on one and a hefty, wet, squall from the head of the loch put paid to that.  It was a struggle to stow the sails.  No race.

Tue 27th Jun

Report from Julian Forrester (Luna).

No Sonars were in play, so the GODS had the loch to themselves as Race Commander Commander Peter Proctor RN (ret.) ably assisted by Roger Kinns sent ten of us on Course L6 in a gentle SW breeze on a grey but dry evening.

On the first leg some went left, some went right and met again at B, the field still quite tight.  The run to G began to separate the fleet and, as your correspondent was as ever near the back somewhere was able to enjoy Dione doing a penalty turn for doing something unpleasant and Hermes veering off to the north west on her own private race.

The spinnaker jibe to reach G produced some heroics from the single-handed (Circe) and then it was off to C and, as ever on the Clynder shore, the wind did some funny things, though not funny if you are still snuggled up to C’s  shiny backside watching the others vanish in the gloom.  

1 Catriona, 2 Circe, 3 Teal, 4 Ceres, 5 Halycone, 6 Dione, 7 Luna, 8 Hermes, 9 Thia, 10 Athene. (RO Thalia)

Some Notes:

1) Halycone’s skipper was just visible in the cockpit. Often this is not the case.

2) Half the fleet made it home in just under one hour, the other half in just over.

3) Circe and Ceres were both in the top four which is perhaps a first?  

Tue 20th Jun

Report from Shane Rankin (Halcyone).

Earlier that afternoon had been wet and windless in Helensburgh. On the Gareloch the sun shone, a light breeze blew from the south.

There was a good chance of a decent race, the abrupt ending was unexpected.

Race Officer Paul Blackburn set course L4, from Blarvadach to the A mark amongst the moorings, across to the C mark at Clynder and back to the start.

It was a small fleet of five boats and two guests helming Catriona, Lucy Forester, and Reay McKay on Thia.

The pin end was favoured at the start, and congested, even with only five boats. Catriona and Circe were early for the gun. Catriona sailed along the line to avoid crossing too early. Circe eased her sails to slow down, stalled, got squeezed by Luna to leeward and covered by Halcyone to windward.

Catriona and Halcyone stood on inshore, the wind was lighter but there was some lift. The others tacked off for clear air.

Beating towards A Thia made good ground and Circe had got her momentum back. Halcyone was caught on port tack between them and had to tack away. Circe and Thia followed Catriona closely round the mark for the long reach to C. Catriona and Circe dualled across the loch. Circe flew her spinnaker for a while with little benefit. Halcyone chased Thia, established an overlap before C, and rounded in third. Thia made a wide rounding in the hope of maintaining momentum and squeezing Halcyone on the next leg. Luna kept coming, losing a little ground at times, gaining at others.

At the end of the first lap Catriona led Circe, Halcyone, Thia and Luna. There was time and enough wind for another lap. At A Thia had caught Halcyone. By C Halcyone had overtaken again.

Crossing back to the finish line at Blaivadach, a Police launch bore down on the leading boats Catriona and Circe and asked if they hadn’t noticed the Frigate Northumberland waiting to come down from Faslane. I guess we hadn’t, it wasn’t in front of us and we were racing. After brief negotiations the boats stopped and made way for the Frigate. The race was abandoned and the positions at the end of the first lap were taken as the results. A good race despite the abrupt end.

 1 Catriona, 2 Circe, 3 Halcyone, 4 Thia, 5 Luna (RO Ceres)