On the water Race Officer Peter Proctor was undone by the weather forecast, which was for wind. There was cause for optimism as we sailed to the starting area but pressure lessened soon after the starting sequence began. We were all caught out and late at the favoured shore end of the start line. Catriona made a poor start but the rest were worse. Halcyone and Thalia, further down the line, began with boatspeed to leeward. The rest were struggling to find forward motion in the light air.
Sometimes the Shandon shore is the place to be when beating up the loch against the tide. Teal, Dione, Hermes and Luna found this was not one of those times.
It took the leader an hour to reach what ought to have been the windward mark. Wind had veered to the extent that it became downwind. Pressure built so that the back markers set spinnakers. Teal recovered to take fourth place at the mark but could not improve on that.
A fetch across the loch and a beat to the finish held no drama.
1 Catriona, 2 Halcyone, 3 Thalia, 4 Teal, 5 Hermes, 6 Dione, 7 Luna.
Guest report from Julian Forrester on Luna.
Lovely summer winds blow up and down the Gareloch except on Tuesday evenings and Sunday afternoons. Then they waft away after the start to return only once the boats are back on their moorings. Where is Zephyrus on these occasions?
Nine boats started on L6 in sunshine and, with a fine but traitorous breeze, set off for B. All returned, the last of them just within the time limit – with those four at the back of the fleet suffering worst from the windless black hole that is C – Athene compounding her difficulties by an unsuccessful try-out of new system for her spinnaker. All four were towed home just as a lovely evening breeze set in across a darkening loch.
Of the leaders on the last leg, glimpsed by your correspondent in the gathering dusk, reports indicate that Teal found a vacuum across the middle of the loch, with Halcyone and Thalia doing better on either side, on opposite tacks. Thalia emerged victor among the three of them but looking, as ever, at Catriona’s stern as she crossed the line ahead of them.
Result: Catriona, Thalia, Halycone, Teal, Ceres, Hermes, Luna, Athene, Thia.
Weather was overcast with a north-westerly light – gentle breeze. The race officer opted for course H8, taking the form of a triangle north of the start line.
Most seemed to have a decent start, before beating across to the first mark (E) off the east shore of the Rosneath peninsula, with Catriona leading. Dione emerged to take second position on the approach to the first mark; however, by the time this was rounded, Catriona had improved her lead under white sails only, on the reach back across the Gareloch, towards the second mark (F).
Dione, still in second, rounded the first mark, with Ceres, Thalia and others not far behind, rounding the mark shortly after. Dione was first to raise the spinnaker for a tight reach across the loch, with Ceres following shortly after. However, Dione managed to increase the gap by the second mark. Catriona was first to cross the finish line, where a shortened course was signalled. Next Dione, and then Thalia and Ceres.
Results: 1 Catriona, 2 Dione, 3 Thalia, 4 Ceres, 5 Hermes, 6 Luna, 7 Thia
Brief guest report from Thalia
Wind ran out before the start – hence the short course S6 – yDY.
Took an hour to get to D with Halcyone holding a good lead whilst the other five Garelochs varied their positions. However, wind returned for the second and final leg back to Y.
Result: 1 Halcyone, 2 Thalia, 3 Hermes, 4 Dione, 5 Ceres, 6 Thia.
A truly perfect day and a lifetime memory.
Luckily, with favourable conditions, along with such a wonderful welcoming from the Gareloch One Design owners, I crewed ( of sorts) in Dione on Sunday afternoon. My husband sailed in Athene enjoying some photographing of the race in addition to the informative commentary/history from John Blackie.
Enormous thanks to John Blackie for organising our visit and to Barrie Choules for kindly volunteering Dione in his absence. John Campbell certainly didn’t know he would be risking evading the potential of first position in this race by agreeing to allow me this experience. To race in a boat our family used to own ( over 50 years ago) was a huge honour and privilege.
For anyone who may have remembered our family between 1969-1971 we consisted of Pat and Dick Connock, plus three sisters – myself, Sandra and Sally (all of whom attended St Bride’s School). Dione was moored outside our house (Aikenshaw, Rahane) and was very much a family focused boat – sailing/racing (members at RNCYC), fishing trips etc. Even the dogs accompanied us (occasionally Dione even acted as a rescue boat in order to retrieve one!)
All I can add to the technical part of the race is that John’s expertise, in the beautifully restored Dione, allowed us first position at the start, much to our joint satisfaction. Little did John know my teenage skills and agility had somewhat lapsed in over 50 years and weren’t quite what a second crew member could be relied upon to contribute! Once the spinnakers were hoisted our lead prevailed, however unfortunately not for long. (I’m afraid I’d already explained to John I didn’t have the confidence to master our spinnaker adeptly enough). We proceeded without a spinnaker and watched as the ever hungry Catriona (Charles/Lucy) engineered winds from somewhere else to proudly take the lead for the second half of the first course. Following this Halcyone, Thalia and Dione took varying options on the second course to vie for a worthy place. The results of this exhilarating race were as follows:
1 Catriona, 2 Halcyone, 3 Thalia, 4 Dione ( with semi novice Jenny Stevens), 5 Teal, 6 Zephyrus, 7 Ceres, Luna DNF, Athene DNS ( with novice Paul Stevens on board)
Report from Wendy Jones on Hermes
With age comes wisdom. It would be churlish and might involve major feats of arithmetic to compute the total or even average age of the crews on this beautiful summer evening. Even using a rough estimate it may be recorded that the boat with the greatest years of wisdom used this to advantage from the start and proceeded up the Shandon shore while the rest of the fleet battled the receding tide to head across the loch and thence northwards to the rarely visited E mark. This strategy paid off, and Hermes (for so it was) rounded the mark first, followed by Catriona and then Luna. Thalia followed from Ceres and Halcyone. (Catriona and Halcyone both being sailed singlehandedly it should be noted).
There was a lively WNW breeze, and Hermes decided against a spinnaker launch. Catriona deployed her spinnaker on the run back to Blairvadach and sneaked past Hermes – and of course once past was not going to allow further interlopers on first position, although she was observed taking a scenic route to the A mark on the second round. Thalia tried an alternative orientation for the spinnaker on the first lap, but Luna failed to get mark room at the F mark and lost a place or two.
On the second lap, all except Luna followed the leaders up the east side of the loch before crossing over to the D mark against less tide than the previous lap and then back to the finish line in lessening wind. Halcyone dropped from 3rd to 5th on the second lap, swapping positions with Ceres, while Thalia maintained 4th place between them.
A well selected course, and thanks to the race officers who had the excitement of a collision on the start line among the Sonars but did not allow this to distract them.
Results: 1 Catriona, 2 Hermes, 3 Ceres, 4 Thalia, 5 Halcyone, 6 Luna, 7 Thia.
Report by John Mucklow
As Tuesday evening approached the GOD’s prepared for an invasion … of Mucklows! Despite his fine Captain’s hat Charles was unable to see them off. We were kindly offered Athene and a crewing spot on Teal. Boats assembled off Blairvadach in a rainbow of colours and the Gareloch didn’t disappoint. A wee breeze came along for the start and then faded too almost nothing.
Rosie (the dog), aboard Catriona, expressed her dislike at the second rounding of the D mark by barking to such an extent that Charles and Lucy fled that particular mark at speed with the best of the breeze. This left the rest of the fleet with the best of the chat, the best of the racing and a friendly porpoise for company. With a final flourish the wind filled in for a fabulous spinnaker leg to the finish. Catriona finished first and the remaining boats crossed the line in a bunch just before the time limit.
Thank you to the Gareloch class for making us so welcome and a great evening of racing. In particular thank you to John Blackie for the loan of Athene, to Iain MacGillivray for taking Kate sailing on Teal and Peter and Roger for the loan of a life jacket.
Results 1. Catriona, 2. Teal, 3. Athene, 4. Thalia, 5. Dione, 6. Halcyone, Luna and Hermes DNF.
Wishing you a great season of sailing.
Kate, Lucy and John Mucklow and Ben Homer
Torrential rain, then almost no wind wasn’t an auspicious start.
Negotiations over who would be race officer failed, Catriona gave in and set course YCY, across the loch to Clynder and back.
A Boinard Z-Y start line was adopted. In the glassy conditions the fleet were spread out along the line. Catriona picked the unfavoured end, planning to sight along the line. Dione and Halcyone favoured the Z end.
Halcyone pulled ahead by half way across, Dione and Catriona caught a breath from astern first, gathered momentum and overtook. Hermes and Thalia tussled to windward and looked like they would catch Halcyone before the C mark but they hadn’t an overlap. Athene was closing up from behind.
Catriona rounded first, closely followed by Dione. Halcyone next with Thalia and Hermes within touching distance. Athene and Ceres bunched up behind.
Having started as a beat to C, we were now beating back to Y. Catriona inched away from Dione, after a slow leg she crossed the line and blew the whistle for the finish. Dione had a loose cover on Halcyone, Halcyone on Thalia, and so on back through the fleet. Halcyone crept upwind into cleaner air and gradually pulled abeam then ahead of Dione. The wind filled in astern, Hermes pushed to catch Thalia, Ceres crept up on Athene and pipped her before the finish. In the slow conditions no one called for another round.
1 Catriona, 2 Halcyone, 3 Dione, 4 Thalia, 5 Hermes, 6 Ceres, 7 Athene, 8 Luna.
A superb evening. Warmth, sunshine and sufficient wind for good competition.
Race Officer Jean Mackay set what is categorised in the SIs as a short course. It was a true beat to D, north of Clynder, and back. Not as short as might be expected from the category.
The bias of the starting line left the shore end favoured. Catriona was the closest to getting it right and set off across the loch from the shore end. The fleet split with some tacking up the Shandon shore and others going further out into adverse ebb tide.
Dione, who took to the shore, did well. Catriona crossed her and tacked to head across the loch. The wind constantly heading helped to put Dione in front. Both were well below the mark. Dione sailed in the better wind to round with a good lead. Thalia avoided sailing in the light air of the Clynder shore and took second place from Catriona. Wind had not been kind to Teal, who faced a long tack up the shore in lighter air.
Downwind to the end of the round, Dione was not to be caught but Catriona got a place back. There was time for a second round. Dione’s lead looked unassailable. She failed to apply the experience of the first round and sailed too close to the Clynder shore whilst below the mark. A mistake not made by Catriona. Thalia still in the mix made Dione concentrate downwind to the finish.
Ceres and Thia both took places on the second round.
Brand new sails on their first outing on Ceres took getting used to. She started second from last after being pressed by Teal and lost momentum. She failed to take the Shandon shore and later was beating up to D in the light air near the shore. Learning from that, she passed Hermes approaching D for the second time.
1 Catriona, 2 Dione, 3 Thalia, 4 Teal, 5 Ceres, 6 Hermes, 7 Thia, 8 Luna