Rain just before the start of the race was remarkably wet. Spirits of Michael Lidwell on Hermes, Richard Reeve on Ceres, Lena Sutter on Catriona and Iain Macfarlane on Thalia were only slightly dampened. It brightened up although wind remained light.
On the Water Race Officer Peter Proctor sent us on what should have beat a beat to B, off Silvers. A late wind shift made it a fetch. Wind lightening just before the start made all boats late, Thalia was the least tardy and got into the better air in the loch whilst the rest were struggling against tide to reach the starting line.
The B mark was surrounded by glassy water. Thalia had crept round (and touched the mark) well before the rest, led by Catriona, arrived. Even with a penalty turn, Thalia was well ahead. Catriona, meanwhile, realised she could not tack onto port to round the mark because of Ceres ghosting along; who had the same problem with Hermes. All this took some time. Catriona managed to tack behind the other two, bear away and get her spinnaker to draw so as to chase after Thalia. Ceres and Hermes went high, which did for them.
After the run across the loch, there was a true beat to C, at Clynder. Thalia, still with a good lead, ventured into lighter air on the Clynder shore. Catriona tacked down the middle of the loch, against the tide but in good wind. Her helm, Lena, concentrating hard on the many changes in strength and direction of wind. It was Iain Macfarlane’s first time on the helm of a Gareloch and he was not advised to cover. Which was a mistake on the part of his more experienced crew. Catriona tacked on a header, crossed in front and made sure of covering thereafter.
1 Catriona, Lena Sutter. 2 Thalia, Iain Macfarlane. 3 Ceres, Richard Reeve. Hermes, Michael Lidwell DNF.