Gareloch World Championships 27-28th July

The weekend began with a superb lift off party thrown by Michael and Jo Knox. A special ginger based cocktail refreshing on a warm evening. Whilst not occuous, the proportion of vodka was sufficient to make sure it wasn’t innocuous. If only the weather could have been as good.
Race officer Dick Taylor, aboard the Dicken family’s Tegwynt, had a trying time. Four races were scheduled for Saturday, two for Sunday morning. Dick was able to start two races on Saturday. Both ended with boats ghosting to the finish.
In the first, there was a running start from the club to Blairvadach. The pin end of the line was favoured because it was nearer the strongest of the flood tide. Thalia and Zoe in particular started well and pushed some of the other contenders out of the best of the tide. Boats were close together approaching the rounding mark at Blairvadach. There was confusion on Zoe who had forgotten the mark was to be left to port. It led to a contretemps with Thalia, who had mark room. Zoe lost concentration for a while so that Catriona was able to sneak round into second place. Iris was on the outside of a bunch which set her back.
On the beat back to the starting area, most elected to punch the tide in the loch, where wind seemed less feeble. Iris took to the shore and looked out of it for a while. She was leading as she came out from the shore towards the windward mark but tacked close to it which let Catriona in.
Pressure was reducing all the while. The choice of route to and from Blairvadach a matter of guesswork more than judgement. Juno made the best of an inside overlap she obtained near the end of the downwind leg to make a good mark rounding and stay in contention. Catriona kept her lead, Juno second and Zoe third. Iris, this time, did not prosper inshore. After an agonizingly slow tack out, she was fourth. Thalia fifth.
Sufficient ripples appeared to give Dick the confidence to send us to C, off Clynder, for the second race. Most of us chose to go out for the favourable tide. There seemed to be wind as well. Juno in particular showed pace. Again we were afflicted with very light air. Juno fell back and Zoe insinuated herself past Iris. The few who had taken to the Shandon shore, Thia in particular, began to look good. Catriona rounded first and set a spinnaker, which she soon had to take down. Progress back to the line was meaningful to start with but became ever more marginal. Catriona kept her lead, Zoe second. Thia made the most of her advantageous trip up the Shandon shore and was third.
We waited, but there was to be no more wind.
At the barbecue, hosted by Peter and Francoise Proctor, there was optimistic talk of having three races on Sunday morning if time allowed. As it was, it rained and there was never enough wind to start a race. The overall results:-

1 Catriona, 2 Zoe, 3 Juno, 4 Thia, 5 Iris, 6 Thalia, 7 Ceres, 8 Hermes. Retaining the Tourist Trophy (a fine silver rowlock) for a second year, 9 Athene.