Sun 7th Aug

Report from Circe.

Excellent! For the first time this season Gareth joined me as crew, my first adult crew that can sail and knows their way round a Gareloch and quite happy to spend time cleaning the hull prior to the race, after comments in the last race report!

Not a bad breeze from the west, down to the line, borrow Charles’ whistle to be RO, course H7, just about to start and the port jib fairlead block parts company! Quick…lash it up but the starboard tack will be compromised. How many boats? Athene and Thalia will still be quick with their smooth hulls, Catriona plus Fergus [Fergus? It’s unclear whether Fergus is a misspelt/autocorrected Gareloch boat name or a person or a dog – a clarification to follow! Yes, it’s a dog!], Dione and Halcyone…should be a good race.

Ok, start the sequence, not a bad start, but all the boats have a good start and, from the off, the field are competitive. The whole of the first beat up to C is spent criss crossing, many shouts of STARBOARD, round C and Catriona is just ahead, we’re second but only just, Dione close behind, Thalia and Halcyone, followed by Athene.

A run to G, I make a bad call and fail to get the spinnaker up as I thought to gybe onto starboard tack but every time I tried to get the boom over the wind seemed to veer northwards and I ended up far too close to Barrie, he did look a little worried, but with his spinnaker up he was soon clear ahead of me and the others were close behind. Back onto the beat and over to E, and everyone tacked to head across towards Clynder side. Nothing to lose then by trying something different, so we tacked up the loch and Thalia joined us. It appeared to be the better place, and then we almost got Charles on starboard! That was exciting and Circe had a bit more go about her despite the compromised jib. Dione had a moment thinking she was on L7 not H7, so Barrie said, and lost out… and this is the point of the race where I wish that Charles would nominate someone to write a race report BEFORE the race rather than after…it would make me pay more attention.

Round E, and in 2nd, from Thalia and Halcyone, then I think Dione and Athene. Across to G, and the wind was a bit beamy, no one else felt the need for a spinnaker, but Gareth thought to give it a go as Charles wasn’t that far away…it was bit hairy in the gusts, and only added a bit, but not enough so round E and back to C. Maybe keep the spinnaker up to catch Charles? Round the mark…even more beamy and gusty so no, get it down…QUICK!

Across to C Catriona still ahead, Thalia behind, but all still pretty close…round C and back to the finish. Spinnakers up…hang on, that feels like an easy hoist, oh no, the shackle wasn’t on the head properly so it was up by the spreaders without a sail, so we could only sit back and watch Thalia cruise past, and then worry as Halcyone bore down on us with full sail towards the finish line…but we just scraped 3rd, with the others close behind. Well done Gareth though, he retrieved the spinnaker halyard…excellent racing this evening…these are great boats!

1 Catriona, 2 Thalia, 3 Circe, 4 Halcyone, 5 Dione, 6 Athene.