Report from Teal (the Secretary was at Seawanaka YC!)
The forecast was for ok wind but dying later so RO Shane Rankin was faced with the usual difficult decisions. In practice with the wind from the NW he didn’t have too much choice. The classic L1 course to D and back to the finish via the G mark off Gullybridge was the logical choice and not really much longer than the S course to D and back. And a single lap – if shortened – felt do-able.
Teal got away first at the heavily biased and favoured shore end of the line. Leading from Thalia and Circe. Thalia tacked off up on the loch while Circe stood on towards the Rosneath side of the loch. And Teal just covered both from the middle. In the end Teal found she had covered Thalia well enough but Circe managed to squeeze up underneath to reach the D mark first. She seemed to be pointing incredibly well (Teal couldn’t match it!). Better wind or skill? Or both! Teal followed, with Thalia in third.
Across to G, Circe was a little slow with the hoist and Teal tried to sail above her – taking the reach-y wind. She succeeded (eventually). But Thalia just executed a very fast slick spinnaker hoist and sailed under both! Again, better wind or skill? Or both! She certainly made the most of it and arrived at G with a good lead for the run back to what – with winds lightening as forecast – was almost certainly going to be the finish.
Teal and Circe had some close quarters shenanigans (not aided by Teal’s skipper having a ‘moment’ when, showing his crew how to do a spinnaker gybe and looking backwards, he got port and starboard wrong! Doh.). Circe prospered inshore and Teal realised that – given the biased line – was the place to be, so gybed back left behind Circe to nab second place.
Thalia crossed the line for a good clear win. Her second Tuesday in a row nonetheless! (Congratulations Thalia!). When the leading boats looked back they now realised that some behind were still at D – trapped in a hole! Athene escaped it sufficiently well to finish and take 4th but Ceres and Thia needed a tow back to the moorings in what was now a glassy calm Gareloch.
1 Thalia, 2 Teal, 3 Circe, 4 Athene, DNF Ceres, Thia.