Category Archives: Race Reports ’23

Sun 24th Sep – final race of the season & combined Dog Race! (corrected results)

Report from the Secretary.

We were all back on moorings before wind built.  It was wet.  There was little wind and lots of tide on the Clynder shore.

1 Teal, 2 Catriona, 3 Zephyrus, 4 Halcyone, 5 Dione, 6 Athene


The event was run in parallel with the Gareloch Dog Race.  Catriona (Fergus), Zephyrus (Jasper) and Athene (Archie) had dogs.  Although Athene’s dog may have been a grandson.

The complicated rules regarding handicaps and dogs (2 seconds of time for every cm of dog, The Dougal Docking Correction was not applied) did not change the canine finishing order.

Dog Race 1 Catriona, 2 Zephyrus, 3 Athene (possibly!)

Sun 17th Sep – updated (report and final positions)

Report from Teal.

September continued to be a poor month and the wet easterly allowed only for a downwind start so Teal – as on-the-water RO – selected the standard but rarely sailed Easterly course: H3 – yDgeY. Which would give two good true downwind legs y-D and g-e as well as two good beats back firstly back from D to g and then a long haul back down the loch from e to the end of the first round (or finish) at Y.

Catriona made the best start but close in shore in lighter wind. Teal and Halcyone started further out at the Y mark. Teal a little late as she concentrated on RO duty as well as starting and spinnaker hoisting. Halcyone luffed up to follow Catriona. Teal gybed to get further away from the shore reckoning on better wind. And it paid. Gybing back they were ahead of Catriona. Crossing gained the inside for the mark. But then the wind – forecast to be good if gusty – died. When it re-appeared it was now southerly and Catriona had the best of it! Catriona ahead at D, with Teal following and then Halcyone still. In light winds however and with the wind back behind from the east. As we were rounding however the wind went back S again and Teal managed to gybe quickly and used it to round wide around Catriona and in to pole position for the beat across the loch to the G mark. And leading out in to better wind which had reverted to the prevailing easterly.

Catriona, following in Teal’s dirty air, tacked off down the Clynder shore. It did not pay and at G she had given up another place to Halycone. On the beat up to E however Catriona kept low and left – protecting the inside – and another shift to south gave her the edge over Halcyone.

Back from E to the finish and the wind strengthened – good sailing. Catriona went high across to the Shandon shore – hoping to pick up a good shore lift and gained some ground back on Teal but it wasn’t enough. Behind Hermes was charging and challenging Halcyone and only a very well judged tack for the line put Halcyone in the clear. Meanwhile others weren’t enjoying the wet shifty gusty conditions. Circe’s skipper decided he might need new sails…

1 Teal, 2 Catriona, 3 Halcyone, 4 Hermes, 5 Circe, 6 Dione, 7 Athene

Tue 5th Sep – corrected results

Report from the Secretary.

An evening of changeable wind.  As we sailed to the starting area, we commented on how wind had dropped from the afternoon.  We need not have worried.

Race Officer Barrie Choules selected what is listed in the sailing instructions as a short course.  It took us to D, north of Clynder, and back.  A good long leg.  With wind from the Shandon shore, it was a running start.  There were the usual strong patches of wind with lighter air between them.  Teal and Circe found good wind at the start.

Catriona had been overlapped to leeward of Circe for much of the first leg.  She was unable to pull ahead and so was outside boat at D, giving mark room to Circe.  The upshot, she was below both Circe and Teal at the start of the windward, return leg.  She tacked away to travel down the loch nearer the Clynder side and it did not pay.  At the end of the first round, after half an hour of sailing, Teal and Circe had established themselves first and second.

The second downwind leg was a workout for the spinnaker handlers on the leading three. The others left their spinnakers below deck.  Gusts were strong enough to cause broaches.  A cleat on Circe failed under load so that she dropped her spinnaker early, allowing Catriona to catch up.  Still overlapped outside at the mark though.  This time Circe tacked away, delighting Catriona.  Circe found the Clynder shore had not improved since the first round.

Luna and Halcyone had a close race.  Luna leading by 9 seconds at the end of the first round.  Losing by 4 at the finish.

1 Teal, 2 Catriona, 3 Circe, 4 Luna, 5 Thia.  Hermes and Halcyone RTD

Sun 3rd Sep – corrected results

Report from the Secretary.

A day for sailing.  Sun, Goldilocks wind.  It was sometimes light on the Clynder shore with direction variable but to complain about that would be churlish.

The Garelochs have discovered a taste for courses intended for Sonars.  They prefer windward/leeward legs and dislike reaching.  So it seems do we.  With wind from the west, on the water Race Officer John Campbell selected a Sonar course zig zagging across the loch.  A further refinement was a Boinard start, after Eric Boinard who first thought of a starting line parallel with the shore,  between the two outer starting marks.

There was congestion at the favoured Z end of the line.  Those who started in clear air with speed, a little further towards Y, did well.  Zephyrus, who has not been a devotee of the scrubbing brush, bucked the trend and was a close second to Catriona at the windward mark.  (Thia and Luna have not been so fortunate).  Zephyrus’s crew has an aversion to the spinnaker, so that she dropped a couple of places downwind to Teal and Circe.

The Z mark has been a frustration.  It became almost submerged at high water and so its mooring line was extended.  For the same thing to happen again.  At the end of the round (there was time for a short second round) the leader could not see it and selected a mooring as alternative.  An eagle eyed crew in the peloton spotted the very top of Z, just breaking the surface.

Thia, off the pace no doubt as a result of growth, elected not to sail the second round.  The others had a frustrating time at the windward mark, off Clynder, where wid had become especially vague.  Out in the loch Teal looked strong.  She appeared to be laying the mark and about level with Catriona, well to windward, who seemed to have overstood.  It was not to be as Teal was obliged to tack in the illusive wind near the shore.

1 Catriona, 2 Teal, 3 Circe, 4 Zephyrus, 5 Dione, 6 Halcyone , 7 Luna, 8 Ceres.  Thia RTD

Crews Race (Thu 31st Aug)

1 Catriona, Niki Horn.  2 Thia, Peter Brown.

Tue 29th Aug

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.

Sun 27th Aug

Report from Barbara Boinard (Zephyrus).

It was a pleasant August afternoon, a nice consistent north north westerly wind down the loch with the sun trying to break through the clouds. Seven boats set out for the race, a sausage course set along the Shandon shore.

Across the start line first was Circe, followed by Teal. Catriona, too eager, jumped the start and had to restart. We were on a beat to F and as we headed towards F, Zephyrus managed to catch up on Circe, rounding the mark second, behind Teal. The decision not to fly a spinnaker on the run to A resulted in Circe and Catriona overtaking Zephyrus, with Hermes close behind.

Time allowed for a second round and Zephyrus managed to hold off Hermes on the beat to G though another position was dropped on the run to A. Luna and Athene were having their own battle with Luna holding Athene back, despite Athene’s efforts with their spinnaker.

Overall, a very pleasant afternoon with remarkably steady winds and dry conditions throughout.

1 Teal, 2 Catriona, 3 Circe, 4 Hermes, 5 Zephyrus, 6 Luna, 7nAthene.

Tue 22nd Aug

Report from John Campbell (Circe).

Mid August….Days of strong winds, days of rain and then Tuesday evening came along…the rain stopped (for a short period) and the wind disappeared. 6 boats started from their moorings, anticipating a drift, but the wind did pick up a bit from the south west and the boats managed a respectable pace, if somewhat patchy. Sympathise with the RO Michael Knox (Thia) who had to work out which direction and how far to go, but in the end settled on an S course, from Z to A.

Boats were split on the start position on the line, but the bulk of the fleet headed along the shore whilst a couple took an early tack to try and get some benefit from the falling tide. In the end, going out was the right way, and Circe benefitted most, getting to A first, followed by Catriona. There was then a bit of a gap to Dione and Hermes.

Spinnakers up for the short downwind run to Z, although Hermes elected not to hoist and did lose out ground as a result. At Z, Circe anticipated that Catriona would try and sneak inside as they rounded so maybe went a bit too close to the mark, just as the wind died a bit, and could only sit quietly as the tide brought her down onto the mark. So she had to do her turn, allowing Catriona past and into the lead.

The second round. Up to A again and back to Z, Circe all the time catching up with Catriona but failed to steal first place on the line, maybe a 3rd round would have worked but the RO shortened course and finished after 2.

1 Catriona, 2 Circe, 3 Dione, 4 Thalia, 5 Hermes, 6 Athene

Sun 20th Aug

Report from the Secretary.

On the water Race Officer Peter Proctor selected a course down and up the Shandon shore, beginning with a beat to A, off the club.  There was enough wind for one of the longer courses.  Off wind we went to F, off Shandon Church and there was time for a second round.  Just the occasional strong gust to concentrate minds.  Especially under spinnaker.

There was the usual choice to be made at the start.  The shore end favoured regarding direction of wind, with the pin end in better pressure.  Teal went for the pin, along with most of the rest, misjudged it and was over early.  The going back involved avoiding a queue of traffic.

Catriona and Thalia favoured the pin with the upshot that Catriona could not tack to join the others.  Eventually, counters ended up being taken.

Ceres was first at A, was prompt with her spinnaker and led on the way to F.  Offwind, Teal and Circe were close to each other, which did not help either.  Anyway, on the approach to F, Ceres had the inside slot to round first, Catriona next, Teal and Circe had stayed out in the Loch.  Ceres dropped her kite too early which allowed Catriona (with sufficient crew for a late drop) and Circe to pass.

Circe made the best rounding so that Catriona was initially unable to tack.  By the time the shore was close and she called for room to tack, it was not strictly necessary.  More by luck than judgement, Catriona found the best combination of air and tide on the way back.  The buoy at the pin end, partly submerged on the rising tide, was hard to find.  We all navigated with the help of a Blairvadach mark.  At the end of the second round, Z was not seen at all.

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

The Gareloch Championship 2023 (12-13th August)

Report from John Campbell (Circe).

Given the summer that we have had it is unremarkable that last weekend was one with a fair amount of rain along with an equal helping of wind. What was also possibly unnoticed was that last weekend a band of some 25 sailors decided to go and sit in the rain and tangle with the wind…for fun! For the eagle eyed of locals, one of the plaques in Colquhoun Square is dedicated to a fleet of boats called the Gareloch One Design fleet. In 1924, 16 of these boats were built at Clynder and now, some 99 years later, they all survive and represent one of the few remaining fleets that are regularly sailed and raced on the Gareloch (let alone the Clyde, or even the country). Their history has seen many of the boats spread around the UK, but in the 1950s they were all brought back to the Gareloch where they now reside.

Every year the class hold a weekend event consisting of 6 races, a lift off party, barbeque and general social events and it was this occasion that was celebrated last weekend. It is rather grandly given the title of the Gareloch World Championships but, given all the boats are only on the Gareloch, you could argue that every race is a world event!

The owners are a lovely group of people, generally from the local Helensburgh area, but some come from as far afield as Glasgow. A number are retired, others fit the sailing around busy careers, and the youngest helm of the weekend has just had her Nat 5 results. They are united in a love for the boats and the competitive racing which, due to the one design class rules, mean that they can be sailed for relatively small amount of money (although they are wooden boats so sometimes require a fair amount of tender sanding and painting!).

The sailing on Saturday started with the first race at 10am in moderately heavy rain and a gusty westerly wind, blowing 18mph with gusts up to 25mph. Racing was officiated by race officers Jean and Reay Mackay on the committee boat “Aquarius”, kindly loaned (and manned) by David Parkins. The starting line was positioned just off Blairvadach Outdoor Centre, generally beating across the loch to the Clynder shore, followed by a run downwind with all spinnakers up. The short courses meant that a good start was required, and with 12 boats racing over the weekend, the start line was congested and the best positions hotly contested. Racing does give a certain competitiveness to the sailing and generally all the races were sailed cleanly although race 4 in the afternoon resulted in a protest. It should be added, that all the boats are named after Greek Goddesses, so names such as Ceres, Athene and Hermes are just a few of the fleet.

At the end of the first day, two boats emerged as contenders. Teal, helmed by Iain MacGillvray and crewed by Ufo Sutter, and Catriona, helmed by Charles Darley and crewed by Lucy Forrester and Niki Horn. Both boats were some 10 points clear of the 3rd place boat, Circe.

On the Sunday, in stark contrast to Saturday, there was very little wind, but still the same amount of rain so racing was delayed whist waiting for the wind to fill in. It did, and racing commenced, but the departure of a submarine from Faslane was a potential problem and its imminent arrival meant that the 6th race of the series was abandoned. Teal had done well on the single Sunday race and therefore confirmed her place as the Gareloch champion for 2023, a very well deserved victory.

Racing for the remainder of the season will now revert to the normal Tuesday evening and Sunday afternoon races and before long the end of the season will sadly arrive. Next year though, the fleet will celebrate their Centenary Celebrations so a full calendar of events is planned and all 16 boats will be afloat and racing.

The Gareloch Class are keen to expand and develop a new generation of crews, skippers and friends. There are opportunities to sail for anyone wanting to find out more, or experience these boats and you never know, if you really enjoy it there are opportunities for ownership, or joint ownership. So if you have an interest in sailing and want to get involved then you can just contact Wendy Jones on 0777 831 0146 and she will be able to get you out on the water, it really is that simple.


Race 1. Catriona, Teal, Circe, Halcyone, Dione, Ceres, Thalia, Hermes, Zephyrus, Athene, Thia

Race 2. Catriona, Teal, Zephyrus, Hermes, Circe, Halcyone, Dione, Thalia, Ceres, Athene, Thia.

Race 3. Catriona, Teal, Halcyone, Hermes, Ceres, Circe, Zephyrus. Athene, This, Dione.

Race 4. Teal, Circe, Hermes, Ceres, Catriona, Zephyrus (subsequently scored NSC), Halcyone, Dione, Athene, Thia.

Race 5. Thalia, Teal, Dione, Catriona, Circe, Halcyone, Ceres, Hermes, Luna, Thia, Zephyrus, Athene

Overall 1 Teal (2 2 2 1 2 = 9pts), 2 Catriona (1 1 1 5 4 = 12), 3 Circe (3 5 6 2 5 = 21), 4 Halcyone (4 6 3 6 6 = 25), 5 Hermes (8 4 4 3 8 = 27), 6 Ceres (6 9 5 4 7 = 31), 7 Dione (5 7 10 7 3 = 32), 8 Thalia, 9 Zephyrus, 10th Equal, Athene and Thia, 12 Luna.