Report from John Campbell (Circe).
It wasn’t until you got down to the club jetty that you realised that it was quite a windy night, and coming from the north west there was quite a chop on the water. some crews made their way to the boats but decided that an early dinner in the clubhouse was preferable. (Athene and Thalia: hope the chicken and mustard was good!). The other 6 boats went out, although Hermes was very late to the start and didn’t race the course. So then the remaining 5 fought on…course was set as YEFY and the flag end was the place to be. Teal was early and had to bail out (or run aground), Catriona was bravest, going incredibly close to the shore on a low tide followed by Circe, just inches behind. Dione and Thia started further down the line and started at a disadvantage.
The wind was gusting strongly but Catriona sailed well upwind and established the lead, Teal expertly overtook Circe…and then on the approach to E the wind simply disappeared. It paid to get in and out as quickly as possible.. Catriona and Teal did so…Circe and Dione did not, and both spent an age sitting on the Clynder shore longing for chicken and mustard.
The eagle eyed spotted a warship, the knowledgeable would know if it was a frigate or destroyer (Editor: or merely an offshore patrol vessel, a ‘corvette’… I think one of the early batch of River Class vessels… possibly HMS Mersey / P283?), but Circe was faced with the dilemma, to stop and give up the chase, or to brave it out and cross in front…given the ship was holding station the latter approach was chosen…only to receive 5 blasts from the captain as Circe passed her bow. Dione and Thia were still at Clynder so avoided the action.
Course shortened, and with no spinnakers allowed, Catriona sailed uninterrupted to the line, followed by Teal, then Circe, side by side with a police boat who was very nicely asking them how they were getting on in the race! (Editor again: tssk, the law is no laughing matter Mr Campbell!!)
1. Catriona, 2. Teal, 3.Circe, 4. Dione, 5. Thia.