Tuesday 20th May

With wind blowing from the Shandon shore, Race officer Jim Findlay was obliged to set a course with a running start. In these condtions, being away promptly is essential so as to avoid being blanketed by the boats behind. Iris and Teal did that. Zoe and Catriona delayed each other. Thia, not long in the water, did not set a spinnaker and appeared to be on the pace with the rest. At the leeward mark, C, Iris appeared to have cemented her first place but had a problem with her main halyard on the beat back across the loch and let Teal past. Catriona insinuated herself inside Zoe at C and made the pass stick. There were two more legs in this round. On the beat from B, off Silvers, back to the starting area, Iris retook her first place.

There was time for a second round. Shorter this time and beginning with a reach up the Shandon shore. The leading three seemed to have their order set and pulled away from the rest. Next a slightly broader reach to B again. This time spinnakers were set and all looked well until the Gareloch lived up to its reputation regarding variable wind. On the approach to B, there was little pressure and no set direction. Catriona ghosted past Teal. Places changed further back too. It was a similar story for the beat back to the finish. Thalia in particular suffered. Iris could be seen almost stationary in a large patch of smooth water. Catriona became ambitious and shaped a course to try and sail round the hole in which Iris found herself, rather than cover Teal. By the time she realised Iris was not to be caught Teal had found wind. She had the momentum to retake her second place.

Approaching the finish, Catriona was behind and just a little to windward of Teal. Somehow she found air which illuded Teal and took second by a whisker. Thia did the same to Zoe but with more aplomb.

1 Iris, 2 Catriona, 3 Teal, 4 Thia, 5 Zoe, 6 Zephyrus, 7 Hermes, 8 Ceres, 9 Thalia.