A dry, sunny afternoon after the overnight rain. Wind was gentle, a pleasant change for those who competed the previous day in the Mudhook Regatta,
On the water race officer Barrie Choules was able to select one of the longer courses, beginning with a windward leg to A, off the club. The shore end of the starting line was favoured regarding direction of wind (changeable) but there was always the risk of light air near the shore. Catriona took the gamble and it paid. She was able to tack out and cross Halcyone, the leader of those who opted for congestion at the pin end of the line. Hermes tacked immediately after starting and did well out in the loch. She was second round A for the run to D, north of Clynder. She found herself blanketed by some of those chasing and dropped back. Teal went left and found better air (clear of the shadow of the hills above Rhu and perhaps better flood tide) so as to relegate Catriona and the rest of the fleet. Circe had kept lowest of the bunch heading right and eventually followed Teal left. Thalia tried the same but as the wind went forward of the mast nearer the Clynder shore her spinnaker, and thus her challenge, lost shape. Teal and Circe’s approach was good but then benefitted further from a stroke of luck: the wind swinging – completely against the forecast – to the SW.
It now looked like a fetch back to the starting area. Teal went high to protect her lead from Catriona and Circe so Catriona steered below both her and Circe. It should not have been possible to overtake on a fine reach, but the Gareloch is a funny place. As the leaders approached the line, wind was lightening to drift condition and Barrie signalled a finish after one round. Circe tried a spinnaker and Catriona was moved by example. It would not fill for either. Next, the wind (such as it was) changed from blowing up the loch to blowing down it. Catriona went from being in with a slim chance against a strongly placed Teal to comfortably ahead in the new conditions. Bad luck, but Teal had gained from some good luck earlier. What the Gareloch giveth, it frequently taketh away. Or vice versa.
1 Catriona, 2 Teal, 3 Circe, 4 Halcyone, 5 Thalia, 6 Hermes, 7 Dione, 8 Thia, Luna DNF.