The Gareloch Championship (The Gareloch “Europeans”) 2020

The Championship was held over the weekend 29th and 30th August.  It had been postponed from early in the month.
Nine boats took part, Athene going afloat in the week before.  It was a truly magnificent weekend of racing and socialising.  Perhaps more so because of the contrast with the present austere times.
Our Committee Boat, under the command of Race Officer Peter Proctor, was Jamie Grant’s ‘Kelana’.  As yachting historian Iain McAllister remarked, there couldn’t be a more appropriate committee vessel for the event than Kelana.  A veritable McGruer-fest.
Conditions on Saturday could only be described as Champagne wind.  A phrase coined by Thilo Durach of the Deutscher Touring Yacht-Club where the Garelochs had a weekend of team racing in 2018.
Peter was able to set courses with true beats to windward, taking Kelana from the Shandon shore in the morning to Rosneath in the afternoon so as to suit the direction of wind.  Blowing predominantly from the north, we were spared the large changes of direction and lulls which so often happen when it is from one of the shores.  There were, though, patches of stronger air and headers worth tacking on.Those who got it right were rewarded but they were not necessarily consistent.  Halcyone, Hermes, Catriona and Teal each had a second place in the four races.
At the barbecue on Saturday evening, hosted by John and Clair Campbell, Barrie and Arlene Choules, the sailors were able to tell anyone who would listen of good starts, luffing and mark room.  The race officer had a sheet of results, which he did not divulge, tantalisingly visible in his pocket.  In the best Gareloch tradition, there were three dogs present.  It was a lovely evening, not diminished even by those desperate to talk of conquests on the water.
The forecast for Sunday morning was for next to no wind.  We had to wait a little while for a breeze to fill in from the north.  Again Peter set true beats to windward for the two races.  The second notably won by Lucy Forrester on the helm of Catriona.  
In recognition of people sailing alone on account of the current restrictions, spinnakers were not used in the regatta.  Achieving the optimum Velocity Made Good downwind required extra care.  Some boats prospered by goose-winging their headsails, for others it was slow.  If an unseemly gybing duel was to be avoided, it paid to have a comfortable gap at the windward mark.
1 Catriona 2 Teal 3= Halcyone 3= Athene 5 Circe 6= Hermes 6= Luna 8 Zephyrus (*did not race Sunday) 9 Ceres
(Halcyone and Athene had equal overall points for third place, but Halcyone had higher best position.
Hermes and Luna had equal overall points for sixth place, but Hermes had higher best position.)