Category Archives: Race Reports ’16

Sunday 17th July

On the Water Race Officer Peter Proctor selected a course with two windward legs from the Shandon Shore to the Clynder Shore.

As is usual with wind blowing across the loch, it was lighter and more variable near to the shores.  Roger Kinns on Thalia used this to advantage.  Thalia started on Starboard tack, discomfiting the rest of us on Port, and reached the better wind first.  She never looked back.  The rest of us changed places in the variable air.  Looking strong in second place were, at different times, Catriona, Teal, Hermes and Halcyone.  As it was, the second windward leg to D did for some and kept others in the game.  Catriona saw Hermes pass close behind with speed on an approach to the Clynder shore.  She decided not to follow, but to cover Teal, who was to leeward on a tack up the loch.  Both of them beat her to the mark.  Hermes rounded second but was passed by Teal under spinnaker to the finish. The wind had it in for Halcyone, Zephyrus and Athene

1 Thalia, 2 Teal, 3 Hermes, 4 Catriona, 5 Halcyone, 6 Zephyrus, 7 Athene.

Tuesday 12th July

Breezy from the west to begin with,  Race officer Neil Ross decided on the longest course but sensibly changed his mind and sent us on, in effect, a sausage course on the east shore.

Teal and Thalia opted for the Shandon shore from the start. To begin with this looked like the best option as they were pointing much higher than boats further out led by Zoe. There was a very nice wind out in the loch where, to get clear air, Hermes was forced as she was pushed down the course at the start by Catriona sailed by Penny singled handedly in the absence of her usual skipper.  A lot of the boats closer to the shore suffered seriously from less wind  and  soon became relatively becalmed and watched semi-helplessly as the leading boats raced towards the G mark, now some considerable distance ahead.

Zoe led Hermes  to the windward mark but she lost out due to the tide but retrieved her position on the downwind leg, where effective luffing enabled her to round the mark ahead and enabled Teal to make inroads on the substantial distance between the boats, so much so that on the beat further luffing from Zoe reduced substantially the lead.  At the G mark Hermes approached from the further out windier loch with Zoe struggling further inshore with the ebb tide. After rounding the windward mark the order did not change and after the A mark Zoe was threatened by Teal.  Meanwhile further back Thalia was slow in
getting her spinnaker up from G allowing Ceres to pass.  Thereafter with Thia Catriona and Athene bringing up the rear, Ceres and Thalia battled it out for fourth and fifth places over the remaining lap and a half, with Ceres just taking the edge by virtue of gaining water rights at A, the penultimate mark prior to finishing. Athene suffered very badly from the ebb tide at the windward mark

Congratualtions are due to Penny for attempting to fly the spinnaker.

1 Hermes,  2 Zoe,  3 Teal,  4 Ceres,  5 Thalia,  6 Thia,  7 Catriona, (but retired after finishing) 8 Athene

Sunday 10th July

Only four boats turned out, mostly because of competition with Andy Murray’s Wimbledon singles final which was on at the same time as the Gareloch race. Charles Darley (Catriona) was away in the USA for the Seawanhaka/RNCYC team racing series. However, participating crews were supplemented by two guests; Cara from the Royal Yorkshire YC on Hermes and Gordon staying over from New Zealand with Tom and Tricia Stewart on Thalia.

Race Officer Peter Proctor set course L6 in view of the prevailing south-westerlies F 2/3/4 variable (as ever).

Halcyone and Hermes got off to a good start while Thalia spent time avoiding the start-line Z mark in a strong flood tide. The two leading yachts took better early advantage of the changeable wind direction and put distance between them and Thalia and Athene who never really manged to catch up throughout the race.
Hermes and Halcyone enjoyed close competition in first and second places while Athene from time to time got close to Thalia without ever actually overtaking.

The first lap was completed in just under one hour. Hermes put up her spinnaker on a reach from B to C during the second lap but ran into difficulties when jibing with it at C. This allowed Halcyone to move into first place which she held on to until finishing at Y.

Result: 1) Halcyone 2) Hermes 3) Thalia 4) Athene.

Tuesday 5th July

An evening of light air, although the race was completely devoid of wind only briefly. Race Officer Neill Ross set a short course up and down the Shandon shore.

Thalia and Catriona were on the line at the start, the others just a little back.

Teal and Catriona have got into the habit of covering each other. Catriona, on starboard tack, was following Teal out into the loch when she was obliged to change tack so as to avoid colliding with give way boat Thalia. At first irritated by having her tactic spoiled, Catriona found good wind and a lift near to the shore and prospered. It was Hermes who followed her round the windward mark for the run down the loch towards the club.

There was time for a second round. All currents of air left the windward mark just as the leader was approaching. She had just enough momentum to get round clear of the pack. In which there was some confusion. Hermes found herself approaching on port tack (at least with the boom on her starboard side), her helm distracted by the loss of an imposing red hat. Unfortunately Teal, with right of way, had to take avoiding action. That left a gap for Thalia. Downwind, try as she might, Teal could not get the place back. Towards the leeward mark, she came under threat from Zoe and narrowly avoided having to give mark room.

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

Sunday 3rd July – RNCYC Regatta

Club Regatta 2016 – Gareloch class race report

The club regatta consists of three races (with starts for each class) in a classic windward-leeward (‘sausage’) course. Today we were in the hands of Neill Ross as RO who, ably assisted by Howard Morrison and good wind (if almost a little too much at times), treated us to a cracking afternoon’s racing. Neill set up the start line in a perfect spot between the club mooring and Blairvadach with a start line which worked well in the, as we were to find out, veering westerly wind and allowed him to select a range of windward marks as appropriate.

Race 1 (and counting as Nyassa Plate race 1)
With the Sonars sorting their boats and crewing arrangements out, Neill sensibly got the Garelochs underway with a race to the H mark off the south end of the Clynder shore. Not a much used mark in anything other than a true westerly – which we have less than you might think – and hard to spot buried amongst some yachts and moorings. Slight but significant pin end bias. Catriona led in on starboard towards the pin – early as is her wont. And as predicted by Teal who followed in with good speed to chase her. Hopefully over the line or past the pin. Catriona eventually overlapped but, arguably, just keeping clear once the overlap was established. However Teal used her momentum to continue to luff and squeeze inside the pin. Catriona was not paying attention and keeping clear, and acquiesced to a second protest from Teal and the resultant penalty turns.

Now on the beat, Zoe and Thalia going well and Teal had to duck at least one of them as she tacked and headed up the loch on port. With hindsight it became clear that the wind was veering and Teal’s positioning on the right of the fleet paid dividends. Catriona though was busy limiting the damage and sailed a superb beat to climb back in to second by the windward mark.

Little changed on the run but then, rounding the leeward mark for the second beat, ominous dark clouds started to make their presence felt with strong wind and gusts. Good force 6 and borderline conditions but thankfully with little fetch in the Gareloch to build too much chop. Hermes had already bowed out of this race due to the conditions. Teal now covering Catriona and both headed towards the peninsula shore and some shelter before considering tacking. Catriona going very well in the strong conditions. Teal protected her lead round the mark and back down to the finish (once she had sorted her confusion about whether this was two or three laps and whether a shorten course signal was therefore required!).

1 Teal 2 Catriona 3 Zoe 4 Thalia 5 Ceres (Hermes DNS/DNF?)
(also as noted as Nyassa Plate 1)

Race 2
The RO now changed the course to the C mark to reflect the veering wind. Teal thought the pin end of the line was still just favoured and made a superb start on the line on the gun, with Hermes close and pushing. To no avail, as it became clear that a continued wind shift – veering to the NW – had given the committee boat end a substantial advantage. Zoe and Catriona called it right and were there. Zoe squeezing Catriona but both now clearly to windward of the fleet. Teal tacked across on to starboard – clearing Thalia and Hermes but had to duck Zoe (just) and Catriona (by a long way). Zoe tacked to cover Teal. Catriona tacked to cover both. Teal took this as the cue to tack again and get out from under Zoe.

The approaches to the C mark were ‘interesting’. Catriona leading but veering around ‘like a drunk on Sauchiehall Street on a Friday night’. Nothing to do with her (ginger beer-loving) skipper and everything to do with the shifty wind by the shore. Teal, followed by Thalia, suffered a continual lift that spiralled them around the mark. And then suffered the indignity of watching Ceres and Hermes screaming up to the mark from the inside – on the same tack but sailing 20 degrees higher! So, Catriona round first, followed by Zoe, Ceres, Teal, Thalia and Hermes.

The veering wind just allowed a port run without the need to gybe. Teal past Ceres. Wind strengthening again. Teal looking to limit loss to Catriona concentrated on Zoe ahead and climbed slowly to windward. Catriona ahead cannily tacking to protect herself against a header later in the beat. Catriona rounding C followed by Teal then Zoe. And in that order to the finish with some strong gusts blowing down the track. (And which caused Zoe to retire with her crew – perhaps understandably – not enjoying the rolling.)

1 Catriona 2 Teal 3 Zoe 4 Ceres 5 Thalia 6 Hermes

Race 3
To the C mark again with the wind now more clearly favouring the committee boat end. With Teal and Catriona both recording a win and a second (and with Zoe retired), it was now between the two blue boats. So it was surprising that Catriona approached on a reach and allowed Teal to easily shut the door at the start. Catriona having to follow over the line in her wake. Catriona tacked to head up the Shandon shore (perhaps staying out of the building ebb tide?). Teal covered and the wind did Catriona no favours. Teal had better wind – stronger and perhaps lifted. And that was largely that, with Teal making no mistakes on the maths and covering Catriona. Ignoring Thalia who had gone left and who now charged strongly up the loch (with her round-the-world-cruising Filipina guest – Cara – enjoying her day out). It was a bonus then that, despite ducking Thalia, Teal then managed to play some shifts and shortly emerge on top to lead in to the mark. Thalia going well though, followed by Ceres, then Hermes and Catriona.

Back to the start. Teal stayed on starboard to allow a gybe and port approach to the port rounding. Hermes defending well against Catriona and luffing strongly. With a clear race order and regatta result, and the risk of building winds, the RO blew for a shorten course which Teal happily took.

1 Teal 2 Thalia 3 Ceres 4 Hermes 5 Catriona (Zoe DNS)

Final results
1st Teal 1 2 1 = 4 points
2nd Catriona 2 1 5 = 8
3rd Thalia 4 5 2 = 11
4th Ceres 5 4 3 = 12
5th Zoe 3 3 7 (DNS) = 13
6th Hermes 7 (DNS/DNF?) 6 4 = 17

Many thanks to our race officer Neill and assistant Howard, for a grand day. Sitting in a rib for hours in strong wind and occasional squally rain is very much appreciated. Spot on job from our race committee and not taken for granted.

Tuesday 28th June

Light air, some of us were towed to the starting area.  Race Officer Roger Kinns took note and set the shortest course, windward to A, off the club, and back.

The Pipers gave us a clue that progress was better nearer the shore although there were more ripples further out.  Most stuck to the shore, with Thalia establishing an early lead.  Teal went out and suffered, she was last at the windward mark.  Ceres was close to Teal but such are the nuances of the Gareloch that she did better.

Most of the fleet was seduced away from the shore, Thalia resisted and increased her lead.  Downwind, back to the starting area, Catriona played the angles and kept her spinnaker fuller for longer.  She edged in front and got further away on the second round.

Thalia’s route was less favoured the second time around.  Ceres was in front at A and Teal back in the hunt.  Ceres lost out under spinnaker on the final leg.

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

Sunday 26th June

The weather was a little dull and the wind from the south west F 1/2.  Race Officer Peter Proctor set L6, a longish light wind course on the basis that the forecast promised the fleet would not be becalmed.

Hermes and Teal started well but positions changed several times during the beat to B mark.  The order of rounding there was Thalia, Hermes, Teal, Ceres, Thia and Catriona.  James Clarke was helming Catriona assisted by Penny Davidson in the absence of owner Charles Darley who was otherwise engaged umpiring Sonar match racing.  From B, there was a long spinnaker run to G followed by a second beat to C.  At C, Thalia and Hermes maintained first and second places but Ceres had managed to pass Teal.   There were no further positon changes before race completion at Z, the complete lap taking just over the hour.  Catriona was the only boat to try using its spinnaker on the last leg but the wind was too far for’d of the beam for this to give a significant advantage.
On returning to the Club bar, the Gareloch sailors celebrated Hermes crew Donald’s 50th birthday with chocolate cake and candles.

Final placings: 1) Thalia 2) Hermes 3) Ceres 4) Teal 5) Thia 6) Catriona.

Saturday 18th June – Rothesay Race

Pictures of this race can be viewed on our Facebook page.

For the Gareloch OD 90th Anniversary in 2014, a race to Rothesay from Rhu Narrows was included in the celebration programme; ten Garelochs took part.  The event was a success and Carol Rowe suggested we do it again this year.  A date as close to mid-Summer as possible was chosen and eight Garelochs entered.
After briefing at the Club at 0900, the boats were rigged and charged with plenty of lunch for a long sail.  Zoe (Reay Mackay) was obliged to wait on her Gareloch mooring for crew member Penny Davidson returning that morning from Spain; Penny’s late return prevented Zoe from joining the Gareloch fleet for the race though Zoe did eventually get to Rothesay towed by Kiri.  Unfortunately the weather forecast predicted little or no wind for the day so Race Officer Neil Isaacs in Committee vessel Blue Iris (Tim and Elizabeth Henderson) decided some towing down river would be appropriate.  For towing purposes, the fleet included motorised escort yachts La Cavale (David and Fiona Duboulay), St Bridget (Ian Nicolson) and Kiri (Reay and Jean MacKay) as well as Blue Iris; the Class really appreciated their support.
Off Dunoon on a lovely morning a southerly wind did fill in and a start line was established at about noon between Blue Iris and a Clyde red and white navigation mark.  In fact wind strength increased unexpectedly to Force 3/4 to give a good beat for some six or seven miles to Toward.  Athene crossed the start line early and had to go back.  Teal and Thalia got themselves out into mid-stream whilst the other five yachts headed for the Cowal Peninsula shore looking for lifts.  High tide was at 1130 but appeared to have little positive effect.  And possibly a better wind mid-stream was giving an advantage so Thalia quickly established a lead followed by Teal.  There was some changing of places during an hour and a half of beating and at one stage Zephyrus was in first place, though Thalia subseqently managed to re-establish pole position. At Toward, all were able to ease sails on the port tack and sail westwards towards the finish line in Rothesay Bay set up between Blue Iris and  yellow admiralty buoy SM1.  At one point, Catriona, Zephyrus and Teal tried using spinnakers to catch Thalia who remained first boat but were soon headed, forcing them to drop the big sail.
Finishing order  1.  Thalia (2 hours 5 minutes 16 seconds) 2. Zephyrus 3. Catriona 4. Hermes 5. Teal. 6. Halcyone 7. Athene (2 hours 18 minutes 54 seconds) 8. Zoe DNC
Zephyrus was some three minutes behind Thalia but less than one minute separated second, third, fourth and fifth finishers.

On completion of the race, Catriona, Teal and Halcyone took themselves off down the Kyles of Bute for fun sailing getting as far as the Burnt Islands before returning to Rothesay.  The remaining boats sailed/paddled into Rothesay Marina for the overnight stay.  They were met there by Don MacLean who had pre-arranged berth bookings and who acted as an excellent harbour master.
Dinner for 33 and prize-giving was held in Harry Haws restaurant close to the sea front.  Keepers prizes included some sticks of Rothesay rock.

On Sunday morning, the entire fleet set sail for home at 10 am expecting strongish southerly winds and spinnaker runs. Once again the forecast was inaccurate.  Instead, we experienced northerlies and a beat back to Toward where the wind died completely.  The eight Garelochs were taken in tow for the remaining ten miles passage home in light rain and low, for the time of year, temperatures.A great weekend.
Report by the Convenor (and race winner)  Peter Proctor

Pictures of this race can be viewed on our Facebook page.



Tuesday 21st June

It was not quite the longest day but had the potential to be a very long race.  There was good pressure as we left the moorings, strong enough for those who care for their sails to leave the mooring as soon as they were hoisted.  Race Officer Neill Ross set one of the longer courses and was nearly undone as large glassy patches formed on the water.  Carefully planned approaches to the line did not work out.

The first leg, windward to A off the club, depended on luck.  A streak of ripples developed in the loch.  Thalia, who was there to begin with, prospered.  For others, it was a matter of trying to keep their sails full so as to reach it.
Thalia rounded A well in front.  Zoe’s port tack approach was spoiled by a belligerent Catriona who held her starboard tack rather than round the mark.  Teal had been unlucky and was well back.
The second leg a long fetch across the loch to D, north of Clynder.  Thalia, making good progress in improved wind, felt secure.  Catriona deployed her spinnaker in wind which was well forward of the beam.  The leg was long enough for Thalia, who did not respond, to be caught.  Teal and Zoe were moved by example and  made it pay.
Wind had veered from when Neill set the course so that what would have been a leg directly to windward, from D back to the starting area, was now a fetch.  The water became glassy again as we finished, some paddled, some were towed home.
1 Catriona, 2 Thalia, 3 Teal, 4 Ceres, 5 Hermes, 6 Zoe, 7 Thia.

Tuesday 14th June

As events will make clear Catriona was, unusually, not well placed to observe the race and asked Teal’s skipper to report. Perhaps as a penance for inflicting the wounds.
And so, given Euro 2016 (a football championship for those wisely unaware of such things), it seems apt to invoke a football style commentator to suggest this was a race of many halves.

With the wind from the NE, the RO selected course H2, sending us on a close reach to C to start. Catriona led in to the line early with Teal following with good speed, but not quite close enough to force her over. The rest a little late, lower and closer to the Y mark end of the line. Catriona defended against Teal taking the inside overlap and sailed to near the layline. Teal only just avoiding having to gybe on to port to make C. Which was good since the rest of the pack were approaching on starboard. Zoe leading. Teal had to politely remind Zoe of the need for mark-room – perhaps due to her skipper’s penchant for sitting sideways and not looking at his blind spot to windward.

And so a beat to the F mark (closest to Faslane). Catriona tacked at the mark but soon tacked back to cover Teal and Zoe who stood on up Clynder shore. Teal however climbed out in front and high enough to tack and pass Catriona on port and then tacked to cover. Catriona in turn tacked to break cover and headed across the loch to the Shandon shore. Teal followed and covered her across. Despite fearing getting too close to the east shore and lighter wind. At this point the fortunes of our class split as the rest continued up the Clynder shore. Catriona eventually tacked and started to head up the shore to F. Teal tacked and covered. So well that Catriona tacked and headed back in to shore again. At this point Teal demurred, deciding that cover or not, that was not the way. She could also see the others, now crossing the loch. And how they had prospered! Zoe leading strongly, followed by Thalia, with Ceres, Thia and Athene all close. Teal could do nothing but duck and tack in behind them. At least close. Which was more than could be said for Catriona who had found a personalised hole near the Shandon shore.

And so round F and a long run – the longest in any of our courses – to B off Silvers. Zoe with a good lead followed by Thalia. Zoe followed the rhumb line and the rest followed. Teal raised her spinnaker fast and headed high in to the overtaking lane and soon rolled Athene and Thia and caught and slowly overtook Ceres. Thalia getting shadowed by the fleet and slowed. Catriona eventually tired of her hole and rounded F too. Teal was thinking ahead of the port rounding and, facilitating a late spinnaker drop (aided by not having to drop the pole to harden in for the beat), gybed on to port ahead of Ceres to round B just behind Thalia. Teal’s wide port rounding paid off against Thalia’s slow gybe and she instantly broke through on top to get back in to second. Now eyeing Zoe ahead.

And now we enter our third ‘half’ (!) on what turned out to be the final beat to Z. A wise decision to shorten course from the RO as the wind dropped. And become fickle. Zoe heading towards A and the moorings. Thalia tacked away to head up the loch. Teal decided to tack too – no point in following Zoe. The wind was not kind and Teal was headed. While also watching Thalia going along in good wind. Zoe too tacked to cover and her win was now secure. Other places were not. Thalia and Teal trading starboard advantage which neither could make stick. Further back Catriona made inroads to pass Thia and close on Athene. Nearing the line Teal tacked to head to the line and failed to see Thalia coming in for one last brilliantly timed starboard attack. Agonisingly close to being able to cross, a late duck did not look appealing for Teal, and she tacked hoping to lee bow Thalia. Light fickle wind did for Teal though and Thalia tacked off with greater speed and headed for the line. To add insult to injury Ceres also profited and squeezed in below them both with good speed. Zoe safely over. Thalia shot the wind to the line to beat Ceres and take a well deserved second. Both beating Teal who had snatched defeat from, if not victory, a very satisfying come-back. Catriona’s cannot quite be described as a come-back but her skipper never gives up and knows how to limit damage, and himself pointed head to wind to shoot the wind and snatch a place from Athene.

1 Zoe, 2 Thalia, 3 Ceres, 4 Teal, 5 Catriona, 6 Athene, 7 Thia