Category Archives: Race Reports ’16

Sunday 12th June

American airline Pilot Thad Burr visited.  He has arranged his airline’s schedule to coincide with several of the Gareloch’s races.  Today, he took the helm of Catriona.

On The Water Race Officer Roger Kinns selected a long course, zig zagging across the Gareloch to the northernmost mark on the Clynder shore.  Wind was from the east shore so that we started offwind.  Thad thought he was late, crossing the line 10 seconds after the gun.  All the rest were at least a minute later, for a moment he questioned his timing.  Boats were close to maximum speed, those in the chasing pack who did not set spinnakers lost little.
Thad’s lead varied a little in the changeable air which characterises the Gareloch, especially when it is from the east, but the position was never in doubt.
On long beat to the end of the first round, Thalia began in second place with Halcyone not so close as to cause concern.  She made an injudicious tack towards the Shandon shore, into more variable wind with headers on the tack down the loch.  Halcyone moved to second with a large margin, having not had to make any special effort.
There was time for a short second round.  Downwind to B, off Silvers, a reach up the Clynder shore and home.  Thalia alone set a spinnaker going to B which helped a little.  She was overoptimistic gybing it for the reach.  After some hair raising moments with the pole not properly attached, she dropped it.  Halcyone laughing all the way to the bank.  Ceres was just a little too far behind to make a pass.  Thalia tried to avoid following the others on the final beat.  To no avail.  Halcyone was not making mistakes.
1 Catriona, 2 Halcyone, 3 Thalia, 4 Ceres, 5 Thia.

Tuesday 7th June

There was little wind.  What there was was changeable. A short course, to Clynder and back was set.  We all struggled.  Changes of place depended on localised variation in pressure.  In the end, we were about 10 minutes away from finishing at the time limit.  No race.

Tuesday 31st May

Wind was light as boats left the moorings.  There was concern about getting a worthwhile race.  Especially as it was blowing from the east shore, which is seldom to the good.

Teal started best on her way across the loch to Clynder.  Her first place was always secure.  Thalia was close to begin with but the gap widened as time went on.  Hermes had it in mind she was going to the mark further up the loch, which compromised her challenge.  Athene, Miriam Sutter at the helm, was on the pace and was overlapped inside Ceres at the mark to start the windward leg to Shandon in third place.  Downwind to Silvers, however, Athene suffered spinnaker trouble.  The disadvantage was compounded as she hardened up for the beat to the end of the round with things still not sorted out.

There was time and sufficient breeze for a second round, which took Ceres past Hermes.

1 Teal, 2 Thalia, 3 Ceres, 4 Hermes.  Athene DNF.

Tuesday 24th May

Wind was from the south east so that it was not possible to start with a leg to windward. We began with a fine reach to A, off the club.

From force of habit, many approached the line on port tack. Teal and Catriona approached the pin from the loch, on starboard tack, intending to tack at the line. As on Sunday, Teal got an overlap to leeward and pushed Catriona out of the way. She was a little early, though, so that Catriona was able to tuck in behind and tack at the right moment.

The reach to A offered little opportunity to change places.  Athene was strong in third.

The second leg downwind to Clynder. Catriona stretched her lead.  The last leg of the round appeared to be a fetch as boats rounded C but turned out to be a challenging beat to windward.  Wind variable in strength and direction required concentration. Teal closed the gap. Athene and Ceres began to pull away from the pack.

The second round was similar, Teal looking dangerous at the start of the third round.

On the downwind leg, Teal and Catriona indulged in some tactical gybing but the order did not change. Keen spinnaker handling by crew Rona Prentice on Thia kept her in the hunt.

On previous rounds the middle of the loch was favoured.  By this time, the tide had changed and removed the advantage.  This was of no account to the two leaders, who indulged in a tacking duel.  They were too far ahead to be caught.  Athene allowed Ceres and Thia to break away to the Shandon shore. Having been third for all of the race, this lapse cost her.

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

Sunday 22nd May

Eight Garelochs came to the start, Teal newly afloat having repaired damage to her mast which had been discovered late.

On the water Race Officer Peter Proctor set a course beginning with a leg to windward to B, off Silvers.  Teal had the bit between her teeth and made by far the best start, hitting the line promptly and with speed.  Squeezing out Catriona in the process.

Perhaps because she was light as a result of going afloat on Friday, Teal was untouchable on the wind.  The worry for the rest is that her form might not dip as she acclimatises to the water.  Catriona followed some way behind, Zephyrus close by.  Some of the others ventured across the loch early.  Headers in the wind and adverse tide did for them. Athene lost places when she was knocked over by a gust.

The downwind leg was a long one and here Catriona had the edge.   Teal got her place back on the next beat though.

The last leg of the round was a little fine for spinnakers, the leaders were not deterred. Teal kept high to prevent a pass.  She increased her lead on the next windward leg and protected it on the two reaches to the finish.

1 Teal, 2 Zephyrus, 3 Hermes, 4 Thalia, 5 Athene, 6 Ceres.  Catriona RET on account of a port/starboard incident with Thalia, Catriona distracted by the spinnaker hoist as Thalia was approaching B.  Thia DNF.

Tuesday 17th May

There was light rain and sufficient wind as we went out to the moorings.  Optimistically, we were putting our boats head to wind before the start so as to judge direction.  Race Officer Jean Mackay set a course down, then up the Shandon shore.

The forecast was for wind to die and so it did.  Those who began their final approach to the starting line with three minutes to go were late.  Thalia approached with the benefit of tide behind her and was well on the way to A, off the club, before the others had started.  Hermes and Catriona fought for second place in the very light and changeable air.  Every so often, a shower of rain put paid to any meaningful current of air.  Zoe, meanwhile, was unable to escape from the starting area.

For no discernible reason, Hermes and Catriona caught up to Thalia.  As the boats gybed with no change in direction, Catriona insinuated herself to the front.  Thalia took Hermes’s counter in a determined attempt to achieve an inside overlap at the mark.  What with the changeable air and the Pipers, one of whom showed little desire to keep clear of the right of way Thalia on her leeward side, Thalia rounded comfortably in front of Hermes.  By now, Zoe had given up and the rain was more persistent.  The Sonars and Pipers lacked enthusiasm and, being close to their moorings, went home.

Despite the rain, wind was now more steady and the three determined Garelochs got to the finish.

1 Catriona, 2 Thalia, 3 Hermes.  Zoe DNF.

Sunday 15th May

The Gareloch class hosted visitors John and Dale Golding of the Royal Canadian Yacht Club.  John sailed on Catriona, his wife Dale on Thalia.

On the water Race Officer Roger Kinns set a course beginning with a long leg to windward to E, near Rahane.  Catriona got a good start and led almost all the way to E until Thalia found a patch of better wind near the Clynder shore and took the place. The rest of the fleet had not done well on the beat and were well back.

Thalia kept her place on the reach across the loch to Shandon Church. Helped by inept spinnaker work on Catriona.  The kite was of slight benefit once it was working.  Thalia had elected to leave hers stowed until the run back to the starting area.  After the F mark, the two leaders were close. Catriona managed to pull ahead from a leeward position and thence protected her place.

On the windward leg of the second round, some of the others were finding form. Especially Hermes who got an inside overlap on Thalia at the mark and began the run to the finish in second place. She declined to set her spinnaker, however, and so dropped back to third. Wind was now strong enough to cause some rocking and rolling on this dead downwind leg.  As Dave Perry says, in his excellent ‘Winning in One Designs’: “If your rig is rocking and rolling, a bit dangerously, overtrim your main, put more weight to leeward, move aft and head up a bit.  If you want to go faster, reverse all the above.”

Athene, in her first race of the season, set a kite and just failed to make the pass on Hermes.

1 Catriona, 2 Thalia, 3 Hermes, 4 Athene, 5 Zephyrus, 6 Thia.

Tuesday 10th May

Wind was blowing from the east shore and was remarkably variable.  Both in strength and direction.  Race Officer Stewart Gibb sent us across the loch to D with wind sometimes behind, sometimes on the beam and occasionally in front.  Overlaps at the mark were key to starting well on the beat back across the loch to G.  Thence back to the starting area.

Zoe had been in a solid second place for most of the round but wind near the Shandon shore was especially trying.  Boats well heeled next to patches of still air.  The rest were all close for the beginning of the second round.  This should have been a dead run to B, off Silvers.  The gusty and wildly shifting wind dissuaded all but Thalia from setting a spinnaker.  She had designs on Zoe and appeared strong until her spinnaker pole parted.

The area of the finish was no less frustrating this time around.  Ceres spent the minimum time there and so secured third.

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

Sunday 8th May

There was a stiff breeze. Enough to dip the side decks under water. The air was warm, though, which is always more pleasant.

With wind from the west, on the water Race Officer Roger Kinns was unable to set a course beginning with a leg to windward.  There was a reach to mark A, off the club.  A good start was key to being at the mark first, the four competitors having similar boat speed.  Downwind to D, north of Clynder, there was luffing as those behind tried to take wind from the leader. Zephyrus put on a spurt towards the mark but could not avoid Catriona having an inside overlap.  Hermes, who had kept clear of all the luffing, had rounded first.

Zephyrus was pinned outside Catriona at the beginning of the beat back to the starting area.  She misjudged her tack to escape which led to minor contact. The penalty turns set her back. By the end of the first round, the gaps had increased so that there were no challenges for places on the second.

1 Catriona, 2 Hermes, 3 Thalia, 4 Zephyrus.

Tuesday 3rd May

Only three Garelochs turned out. Two of the regular competitors discovered damage to their masts late in the fitting out which has delayed their launch. Excuses for the others are not recorded.

Catriona, Thalia and Hermes were at the starting line for a course beginning with a beat across the loch to D, north of Clynder. Thalia spent more time than she should have trying to make headway against adverse tide. Hermes was on the pace but took time to round D, which was surrounded by unrippled water.  Delay setting her spinnaker did for her challenge. She has new sails and the eyelets were not a good fit for the clips on sheets and guy.

Wind on the broad reach to the finish was kind to Thalia and brought her nearer to Hermes.  The deficit, however, was too great to be made up.

1 Catriona, 2 Hermes, 3 Thalia.