The Gareloch Championship, 19-20th July

The usual superb lift off party, this time at Peter and Francoise Proctor’s. Canapes were especially good.

On Saturday, Race Officer Gordon Mucklow, aboard Tim Henderson’s Blue Iris, set a starting line at Clynder. 15 Garelochs were there. Only Dione, being rebuilt, was absent.

The Gareloch gave us plenty of wind, but it was at its most fluky. Large and sudden changes in direction (downwind, the racing flag could be seen to flick through 30 degrees or more) and deep holes caught out the unwary and the wary alike. Luna won the first race but then her rudder stock broke in the second so she was, thereafter, unable to take part. Boats which like to be near to the front (Iris and Catriona) were 6th and 3rd, Thalia was second, which gives an indication of the conditions.

Normal service was resumed in the second race, Catriona first with Iris second. Hermes a strong third, her arch rival Thalia seventh. Zephyrus strong in fourth. With a minute and a half to the start, Teal found the allure of the Clynder shore stronger than the water was deep. She finished last.

The third race did for Catriona’s chances. She was chasing Iris and ventured into a part of the Loch which seemed to have paid in the previous race. There was no wind of any significance and what there was was so variable in direction as to preclude meaningful progress. She finished 8th with Iris winning. Teal made herself feel better with a second place.

The last race of the day was closely fought between Iris and Catriona. Wind at the finish favoured Iris. Thalia, showing some form, was third.

A barbecue at Jimmy and Carol Rowe’s on Saturday evening. The Gareloch Hon Barbecuer, Don Maclean, was in his element. His home made relish unique. His wife Elspeth there to prevent disaster. There was a protest arising from one of the races which a very conscientious
committee of Shane Rankin, Ian Nicolson and John Blackie resolved on the night. To the detriment of their dinner.

When crews arrived on Sunday morning, most were bright eyed and bushy tailed with cold wet nose. The glassy surface of the loch depressed us at first but a good breeze got up. Gordon sent us on a true beat across the loch in steady air. Catriona took the win from Iris, with Galatea second and Thalia fourth. There was a large shift of direction of wind for the sixth and final race. This time, the beat was up the Shandon shore. Catriona struggled after a poor start, Iris led. Zephyrus, in a strong position, thought she could luff to squeeze round the windward mark. It might have worked but much of the fleet, sailing a little more free, took her wind. She lost all momentum in a most inopportune place. To cap it all, she drifted into the mark.

The results after six races:

1 Iris, 2 Catriona, 3 Thalia, 4 Galatea, 5 Teal, 6 Zephyrus, 7 Juno, 8 Hermes, 9 Circe, 10 Halcyone, 11 Athene, 12 Zoe, 13 Thia, 14 Luna, 15 Ceres.

There was a sail past Blue Iris of high standard. Alan Reid MP took the salute. He later presented the fine 50th Anniversary trophy to John Mucklow and Simon Jackson, crew of Iris.