Sun 28th May

Race report from John Campbell on Circe.

We all have questions to answer and there were a few that sprang to mind this afternoon.

There was a grand collection of boats today, a lovely sunny day but a wind from the south east that had moments when it almost disappeared, followed by moments which at least filled the sails. RO Circe debated whether to have a shorter course up to A and back (conscious of the strength of the tide), but then the wind filled in a bit more and instead decided to set H4 (ZADZ).

At the start, there was a bit of argy bargy at the pin end, allowing Ceres to gain an early lead from Catriona, both who started further down the line. The wind held fairly constant for the beat up to A, and the majority of the fleet tacked out into the loch, but Circe clung on to the Rhu shore and it paid off as she was first at A. The first questions then came to mind, what does a country mile mean? And where did it originate from? Itwas only a short distance from Z to A, but a country mile it was. All boats set there spinnakers for the long run down to D, and with the wind filling in, in gusts, the fleet bunched up a bit. Halcyone took the windward position and gained ground, along with Ceres and Thalia, then Luna, Zephyrus and Athene.

All rounded D and headed back to Z, which was still a decent beat against the incoming tide. Circe decided to head straight over to the Shandon shore, Catriona tacked up the middle of the loch. The wind just dropped a bit as the fleet came up to the line but it was Circe who crossed first, still by a country mile. Catriona finished second. Then of course there were more questions…like, how shallow is it just north of Blairvadach? This one had an answer and not just once, but twice as first Thalia went aground whilst trying to sneak a lift up to the line (she managed to refloat with a bit of heavy paddling) and then once Thalia was clear, Thia followed onto the soft ground (needing the club rib to assist her off). These incidents allowed a few boats to improve their finishing positions, and it finished with

1 Circe, 2 Catriona, 3 Halcyone, 4 Hermes, 5 Luna, 6 Ceres, 7 Athene, 8 Thalia, 9 Zephyrus (with Thia retiring.)

(As to the unanswered questions, there remains the meaning of a country mile, but the most important one is….How? That remains a secret of the Gareloch.)