There was next to no wind as we ghosted towards the starting area. Race Officer Carol Rowe postponed the start, partly so that competitors could get there and partly to allow the wind to make up its mind. In the end, she selected a short course to H and back.
The H mark is a relatively recent innovation, inspired by Reay Mackay. It is located off the Clynder shore between B (Silvers) and C (former McGruer yard). When the wind is directly across the loch it provides for a short course incorporating a true beat. There was some initial concern over flat patches in the loch but Carol had called it right.
The course is rarely used so there was confusion over the best way to start. The pin end, of course, favoured. The way to go was to (fine) reach along the line on starboard from the shore and harden up or tack at the gun. There were those who tried to approach from the course side and were shut out by the traffic near the pin. Others trying to beat up to the pin found the air so bad that oxygen masks dropped automatically from the boom. (Apologies to Dave Perry, Winning in One Designs)
Circe hardened to go down the loch, Teal tacked up it. Thalia had not dipped the line from the course side and was an obstacle until she went back. Catriona sought to follow Teal but was not clearing the fishing boat which has replaced the late Captain Michalis (with a deeper wind shadow). She tacked and saw that Circe was prospering so stuck with it. Wind was unkind to Circe, she found lighter air and faded after her tack to cross the loch. Catriona, seeing that she would pass behind Circe, tacked at the same time and after a while was close to Teal. Both were some way off laying the mark. Catriona was on top after they both tacked and pulled away to clear air and water for the mark rounding. There was congestion and shouting as the peloton rounded. Spinnakers to the finish with some sportiness regarding luffing/mark room near to the line.
1 Catriona, 2 Teal, 3 Thalia, 4 Circe, 5 Halcyone, 6 Ceres, by one second from 7 Dione, 8 Thia.