The Gareloch class was not put off by blustery wind and rain. Unseasonal as it might have been. Eight boats turned out.
With wind from the Shandon shore, a start to windward was not possible. We began with a fine reach to A, off the club. It was not necessary to be at a particular point on the starting line, although the shore end was to be avoided because of lighter, more variable air. In these circumstances, there was no excuse for Halcyone and Catriona being over early. Returning set them both back. Zephyrus, Thalia, Thia and Hermes were in the first group to round A for the downwind leg across the loch to Clynder. Zoe and Athene had suffered by keeping too close to the shore. Halcyone and Catriona were taking their medicine.
Downwind, it was about spinnakers. Hermes did not deploy hers and Thia took her time. Those who got the best from their third sails saw the water run up their counters, thus increasing the waterline length. Garelochs do not go much faster.
Catriona had taken two places on the run downwind. She turned inside Thalia for the windward leg back to the starting area and was able to make progress in clear air. She edged into the lead.
There was time for a second, similar round. Spinnakers were needed downwind with the air heavy enough to expose small errors. Zephyrus is set up to look traditional. She has a mitre cut jib and honey coloured sheets. She has Tufnol cam cleats which look the part, but do not feature in the Harken or Ronstan catalogues for a reason. More than once, her spinnaker landed in the water when the halyard let go. Thalia’s spinnaker, on occasion, took its inspiration from an hourglass. Zoe’s crew was visiting from New Zealand and, so she said in the bar afterwards, was confused about which way was up.
1 Catriona, 2 Zephyrus, 3 Zoe, 4 Thalia, 5 Halcyone, 6 Athene, 7 Hermes, 8 Thia.