Category Archives: Race Reports ’13

Sunday 11th August

Race report by Carol Rowe.

Strong wind after disappointing weather on Tuesday. The first leg, a very long beat north west to E, near the Peaton Road began with a starting line where the shore end was the forward place to be. Catriona and Iris were there and quickly tacked out into the loch. Most of the rest of the fleet followed but sticking to the Shandon side of the loch was the place to be as was proved in the second round.
Other contenders crossed in front of each other, depending on the wind in the part of the Gareloch where they had sailed. At the E mark Catriona, Zephyrus and Teal were out in front and away, Iris was just ahead of Hermes who had profited by sticking to the Shandon side. Thus the order remained at the front.
What should have been a spinnaker run to Shandon changed as the wind veered to the north and then there was a spinnaker run to the ‘not’ finishing line as there was time for a second round.
Lessons in the first round were lost on some and learnt by others. The tide was due to ebb which had a bearing on the decision of some if not others. The leading boats all chose to cross the loch and were followed by others – misfortune struck and substantial changes appeared in the order.
Thia from the rear appeared having followed the Shandon side and tacked across to the D mark just north of Clynder in second place. From there places changed not.

1 Catriona, 2 Thia, 3 Teal, 4 Zephyrus, 5 Iris, 6 Ceres, 7 Hermes, 8 Thalia.

Tuesday 6th August

Insufficient wind, there was no race.

Sunday 4th August

Race report by John Blackie

With a sparkling sunny afternoon, a fair south-west wind and a course to the B mark the pin end of the starting line was highly congested.
Catriona moved over to port when faced with Zephyrus necessitating Teal to move in turn. Iris came across. Thia inserted herself by the mark and was punished by an unseen power in the failure of a runner, which hampered her for the remainder of the afternoon . Hermes and Thalia had a quieter time.
All bar Teal and Thia continued down the shore, later tacking across at different times. Catriona out front after a while did this to advantage. Teal already had the benefit of better wind and tide in the middle of the loch and having tacked onto starboard was met by Iris on port who could not cross, the seed of her not thereafter being among the leaders.
At the B mark it was Catriona, followed by Teal followed by Zephyrus, which remained as the order at the front for the rest of the race.
It was the first leg of the second round where changes began in earnest among the other boats. Thalia clawed her way up as did Hermes. In a generally lessening wind nothing could be done on the final leg. Most favoured spinnakers on that, the wind having veered a bit. Two did not, and did not feel the lack thereof.

1. Catriona, 2. Teal, 3. Zephyrus, 4. Thalia, 5. Hermes, 6. Iris, 7. Thia

Tuesday 30th July

Good wind after disappointing weather at the weekend. The first leg, a beat to B, off Silvers, began with a starting line where the pin end was the only place to be. Catriona was a little early, so that she lacked speed at the gun. Iris bore away and had that speed. Teal arrived a little later and passed to windward at full tilt. Zoe and Ceres were in the mix too.
Catriona fell out of the back of sandwich between Teal and Iris, tacked away and struggled. Iris kept a convincing lead, the other contenders crossed in front of each other, depending on the wind in the part of the Gareloch where they had sailed.
From B was a leg downwind to G, off the Shandon shore. There was little change of order, although a stushie (if not a stramash) between Hermes and Thalia near the end of the leg.
Places did not change on the beat to C, at Clynder. A spinnaker leg to the finish followed. Catriona had managed to stay within range of Iris. When the leader’s spinnaker hoist was imperfect, Catriona took advantage. The flaw was not sufficient for Zoe to do the same.

1 Catriona, 2 Iris, 3 Zoe, 4 Teal, 5 Hermes, 6 Thalia, 7 Ceres.

Gareloch World Championships 27-28th July

The weekend began with a superb lift off party thrown by Michael and Jo Knox. A special ginger based cocktail refreshing on a warm evening. Whilst not occuous, the proportion of vodka was sufficient to make sure it wasn’t innocuous. If only the weather could have been as good.
Race officer Dick Taylor, aboard the Dicken family’s Tegwynt, had a trying time. Four races were scheduled for Saturday, two for Sunday morning. Dick was able to start two races on Saturday. Both ended with boats ghosting to the finish.
In the first, there was a running start from the club to Blairvadach. The pin end of the line was favoured because it was nearer the strongest of the flood tide. Thalia and Zoe in particular started well and pushed some of the other contenders out of the best of the tide. Boats were close together approaching the rounding mark at Blairvadach. There was confusion on Zoe who had forgotten the mark was to be left to port. It led to a contretemps with Thalia, who had mark room. Zoe lost concentration for a while so that Catriona was able to sneak round into second place. Iris was on the outside of a bunch which set her back.
On the beat back to the starting area, most elected to punch the tide in the loch, where wind seemed less feeble. Iris took to the shore and looked out of it for a while. She was leading as she came out from the shore towards the windward mark but tacked close to it which let Catriona in.
Pressure was reducing all the while. The choice of route to and from Blairvadach a matter of guesswork more than judgement. Juno made the best of an inside overlap she obtained near the end of the downwind leg to make a good mark rounding and stay in contention. Catriona kept her lead, Juno second and Zoe third. Iris, this time, did not prosper inshore. After an agonizingly slow tack out, she was fourth. Thalia fifth.
Sufficient ripples appeared to give Dick the confidence to send us to C, off Clynder, for the second race. Most of us chose to go out for the favourable tide. There seemed to be wind as well. Juno in particular showed pace. Again we were afflicted with very light air. Juno fell back and Zoe insinuated herself past Iris. The few who had taken to the Shandon shore, Thia in particular, began to look good. Catriona rounded first and set a spinnaker, which she soon had to take down. Progress back to the line was meaningful to start with but became ever more marginal. Catriona kept her lead, Zoe second. Thia made the most of her advantageous trip up the Shandon shore and was third.
We waited, but there was to be no more wind.
At the barbecue, hosted by Peter and Francoise Proctor, there was optimistic talk of having three races on Sunday morning if time allowed. As it was, it rained and there was never enough wind to start a race. The overall results:-

1 Catriona, 2 Zoe, 3 Juno, 4 Thia, 5 Iris, 6 Thalia, 7 Ceres, 8 Hermes. Retaining the Tourist Trophy (a fine silver rowlock) for a second year, 9 Athene.

Tuesday 23rd July

The good weather was supposed to have been coming to an end. It rained but still warm. There appeared to be little breeze. Certainly there were still patches but small ripples on the water were accompanied by significant pressure.
Race Officer Neil Isaacs did the best he could with the direction of wind and sent us on a fetch to A, off the club. The pin end of the line was strongly favoured, for direction and strength of wind and for tide.
Iris, concerned about staying close to the line when there are light patches, was early. She was obliged to bear away down into lighter air which did for her. There was outrageous barging at the pin. So much so that those boats with right of way could not persuade the raft to move up and had to bear away to avoid contact.
Ceres was closest to the pin and took the lead. Catriona tried hard but could not catch her before the A mark. Nor on the reach to C, at Clynder. A rapid spinnaker hoist for the leg back to the start/finish area gave Catriona the place. Luffing by Ceres of Zoe and Thalia slowed the chasing pack.
As Catriona approached the line at the end of the first round, we had been racing for a little over half an hour. Too soon to shorten course. Wind, however, was dying. The last of it brought up the fleet and the drift to A was a matter of luck. Ceres got back her lead, Hermes got into second and Iris showed her skill at reading the Gareloch in these trying conditions.
On the way to C, forward momentum was assessed by checking transits of moored boats against the shore. Zoe ghosted into the lead but it was ever more clear we should not finish before the time limit. Results, taken at the end of the first round, were:-

1 Catriona, 2 Zoe, 3 Ceres, 4 Thalia, 5 Hermes, 6 Juno, 7 Iris, 8 Thia, 9 Teal.

Sunday 21st July

Another day of shirtsleeves and sun. There was plenty of wind, too, although it was not evenly distributed over the Gareloch.
On the Water Race Officer Carol Rowe was unable to start us with a leg to windward and so sent us on a run to D, north of Clynder. She made the best start in Hermes although found one of the many holes soon after and tarried too long on the Shandon shore. The rest of us were by no means sharp, but managed to get away into the loch where wind was less inconsistent. Nevertheless, the direction varied from dead run to as fine as the spinnaker wanted.
Catriona and Teal were first at D. Thalia next although she was having trouble dropping her spinnaker and in the confusion rounded the mark the wrong way. Returning to get it right promoted Hermes.
There was a beat to the Shandon shore, which spread the fleet, followed by another offwind leg to E, the most northerly mark on the Clynder shore. The first three maintained their order. After E, a beat back to the finish. In the variable wind, the corners of the racecourse were especially dangerous. Some stayed too long on the Clynder shore and discovered that to their cost.
When there is no race officer on shore, the instructions say the race is shortened if the leading boat crosses the line at the end of a round more than 1 hour from the start. Catriona crossed after 1 hour and 30 seconds. Teal close by. Thalia made ground on Hermes but could not get the place back. Ceres had been ahead of Thia but was caught on port tack near to the line so that Thia, on starboard, made up a place.

1 Catriona, 2 Teal, 3 Hermes, 4 Thalia, 5 Thia, 6 Ceres.

Tuesday 16th July

Time flies, this was the first race of the last of the three points series for Tuesday evenings.
Sailing in shirt sleeves is becoming a habit. There was good wind in places, but even there its direction varied. We were sent on a beat across the loch to D, north of Clynder. The shore end of the starting line was favoured but, as often happens, there was little wind close in. Early contenders were Juno, Thalia, Iris (sailed single handed by Simon Jackson) and Catriona.
Iris got herself into clear air and was able to sail as she wanted in the variable conditions. Catriona edged past Thalia on the windward side. That meant both sailed closer to the wind than they otherwise might have. To the benefit of Iris. In similar wind on Sunday, the Shandon shore had paid. Juno tried that, but it was not the same this evening.
Iris, Thalia and Catriona swapped places as they made their way to D. For a long time, Iris was well ahead. For the leaders, the area around D had no noticeable wind. Iris was there for some time. Catriona got herself back into contention. Hermes found a line of pressure and was able to call for mark room from several boats struggling to approach the mark.
Spinnaker legs to the finish. There was not going to be a second round. Unaccountably, Catriona passed Iris to leeward on a line of air that defied physics.
The final leg was straight downwind for much of the time. Bias on the finishing line caused the shore end to be favoured, where there was no wind. Catriona became nervous as a suggestion of a breeze filled in behind and brought up Iris and Thalia. Luffing to keep her air clear of the shadow from Iris took her further from the shore and thus from the line. Thalia, meanwhile, bet on going close inshore and became another threat. As it turned out:-

1 Catriona, 2 Iris, 3 Thalia, the race officer could not sepparate Hermes and Zephyrus who were 4th equal, 6 Juno, 7 Thia, 8 Ceres.

Sunday 14th July

Another magnificent day. Sunshine and wind. Race officer Peter Proctor took advantage and sent us on a long course beginning with a beat to E, near Rahane on the Clynder shore. We were joined by Juno who had sailed across from Clynder.
Now the tide was flooding and it seemed obvious to head out towards Clynder. Zephyrus found a hole behind the starting line so that when she started (at the favoured shore end), most of the fleet was well across the loch. Juno got away especially well. Catriona tacked back towards the Shandon shore and was surprised to see Zephyrus, on Starboard, cross well ahead. It was in Zephyrus’s mind to cross the fleet on starboard after they had tacked. She failed to register the huge advantage of being near the Shandon shore. A lesson not lost on Juno or Catriona. When these two finally had to commit to sailing across the loch, the problem of light and changeable wind on the Clynder shore became obvious. Juno rounded first by a margin to begin the fineish reach back across the loch to F at Shandon Church. She was not prompt with the spinnaker and, unsure of the direction, bore away too much. Catriona made her kite pay. On account of the bear away, Juno was sailing a little higher than was comfortable and lost the lead.
Ceres was on the pace and was third for a long time until Hermes overtook on the approach to E. Athene was leading the rest.
There was time for a second round. Catriona found better air first and stretched her lead. Some thought to try the Clynder shore again. It might have seemed OK for a while but wind was filling in from Garelochhead. Those who stayed on the Shandon shore got to it first and the gaps widened. Athene kept Thalia at bay for a long time but was had on the approach to the windward mark. Trying conditions near the Clynder shore.

1 Catriona, 2 Juno, 3 Hermes, 4 Ceres, 5 Thalia, 6 Thia, 7 Athene, 8 Zephyrus.

Tuesday 9th July

If all evenings were like this one, there would be no need to sail anywhere else. Good steady wind and sunshine.
Race Officer Andrew Nicholson set us off on a beat up the Shandon Shore.
Catriona has been starting badly of late. Her final approach was way too early so that she was almost stopped and pinching hard at the pin end. Zephyrus started on the gun with boat speed. Zoe was in there too.
On the first beat, it was not clear whether the Shandon shore or the loch were favoured. Less adverse tide at the shore, more wind in the loch. Sometimes. Zephyrus and Zoe, then Thalia and Teal rounded the windward mark for the reach to Clynder. Catriona and Hermes found themselves overlapped and hurting each others chances of making a good rounding.
Thalia had her spinnaker halyard tangled with the forestay so that her journey to Clynder was not as fast as it should have been. She held up Teal. Catriona took advantage.
Downwind to A, off the club, Zephyrus and Zoe kept their leading positions. A beat back to the line and time for a second round.
Teal was undone. Sonars sail only two rounds and some were finishing as she crossed the line. Mistaking the gun for her own finish, she stopped racing. By the time she realised, it was far too late. Catriona got the best of the wind and tide upwind to take the lead. Zephyrus and Zoe had a race on. Zephyrus beat Zoe to A, at the end of the run from Clynder. She chose to go inshore for the beat to the finish. Zoe stayed further out, which was better.

1 Catriona, 2 Zoe, 3 Zephyrus, 4 Thalia, 5 Ceres, 6 Hermes, 7 Teal.