Sun 10 Jul

Report from Teal.

When the Secretary isn’t racing (umpiring at the Two Boat Team Racing?) then the winner often writes the report. But the winner was too far ahead to see much of the race behind! So it falls to one of those that suffered the slings and arrows of the wind…

The usual roster had further changes on this perfect summer day. Teal was missing regular crew Ufo Sutter – down with a good old fashioned (non-Covid) virus – but had the pleasure of Roger Kinns while Thalia is being repaired. Hermes being helmed by Carole’s nephew Donald – who always makes her go well – accompanied by his wife. There were light-hearted mutterings about whether the marriage would survive the race.

Teal took on RO duty – in Roger’s capable hands – and selected a classic NW course: L8. Beat to D. Reach to G off Gullybridge, the down-wind to A via Y. Then a classic long second round beat to D and back to Y. Teal started well at the favoured shore end. Well clear of other boats. But became quite headed. Zephyrus who had started well to leeward suffering the same. Halcyone started slightly late at the favoured shore end – confusion about the start – but didn’t seem to run in to the same header and climbed slightly. And that skilful helming took in her to a persistently better lane of wind higher up the loch. She pulled up and ahead. And mostly never looked back. Behind now, Teal tacked to try and get up into the good wind and it worked to some extent. Zephyrus did the same further down. Those who did not – and stood on into the Clynder shore – did not have a good afternoon. More on them later.

Halcyone rounded the D mark. Teal not far behind but then headed as Halcyone escaped. Further misery followed after rounding as she found a hole. And then watched both Halcyone disappear and Zephyrus round and catch up on her own personal wind. Zephyrus however merely joined in to the going-nowhere-gang. Both then watched Hermes and Luna sail over them 50 meters to windward on their own wind. The ignominy exacerbated since the becalmed boats had raised spinnakers and the overtaking boats cruised past with white sails only. Teal eventually managed to work to windward and get some of the wind. Followed by Zephyrus. Both started to chase down and eventually pass Luna on the run to Y. Hermes still too far ahead, and Halcyone unthinkable! The only thing easing their pain was schadenfreude: Dione and Ceres – the boats that had stayed left in to the Clynder shore on the beat – were STILL stuck in a worse hole at the D mark. Both – perhaps understandably – retired after the first round. Perhaps concluding that, on such a beautiful sunny afternoon, they could be drinking cold beer in their gardens?

The long final beat to D. Halcyone majestically far ahead. Daughter of Aeolus – god of the wind – indeed. Hermes too made no mistakes. Teal had to keep an eye on and cover Zephyrus who had chased doggedly on the run. Until the wind shifted back to the SW and suddenly she also had to keep any eye on Luna who, having gone left, was roaring back in to contention. 

On the final run Halcyone was so far ahead she had time to mistakenly add in the G mark without it mattering a jot. Teal hoped her spinnaker might allow her to catch Hermes. She did for a while but in the end she found another partial hole and watched both Hermes pull ahead and Zephyrus catch up (again). The wind steadied; no places changed hands. Halcyone took a fantastic win in the sun followed by a good second from Hermes (with much smiling and marriage intact!).

1 Halcyone, 2 Hermes, 3 Teal, 4 Zephyrus, 5 Luna. DNF Dione, Ceres