There was wind but in the way of the Gareloch of an evening, its consistency could not be relied upon. Race Officer Craig MacDonald risked one of the longer courses, beginning with a true windward leg to E, the northernmost mark on the Clynder shore.
The shore end of the almost inevitably biassed fixed starting line was favoured. Teal and Catriona fought it out. Not for the first time, Teal won with Catriona forced over the line early. By the time she had returned and started, the fleet was away across the loch, Teal, Circe and Dione well away. A favourite tactic of Hermes when the course is a beat up the loch is to tack up the Shandon shore. With no point trying to gain ground in the disturbed air from the fleet, Catriona joined Hermes to good effect. The leaders covered and as boats crossed tacks it was clear the Shandon shore was better.
Approaching E, wind was variable and hard to predict. Circe had reached the shore first but still short of the mark and at risk of less pressure. Teal further out and further up the loch found a beneficial corridor.
A fine-ish reach across the loch to F, off Shandon Church. Wind from the north still fickle. Circe was in front, Teal went high. Catriona had no hope of getting above them and went low, hoping for the best. The constant changes in direction of wind gave her air not affected by Circe some of the time. Circumstances determined the lead at F. Teal found a good streak of wind which took her to the front, then died. Halcyone had come up behind Circe and disturbed her air. Catriona approached the mark sailing higher and so a little faster than Teal and was round first. Teal’s last chance was to be quicker with the spinnaker for the run to the finish but it went up in an hourglass.
1 Catriona, 2 Teal, 3 Dione, 4 Thalia, 5 Circe, 6 Halcyone, 7 Thia, 8 Hermes
(Race reports by the inimitable Class Secretary unless otherwise stated)