Garelochs at the RNCYC Regatta, 11th August

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Five Sonars and five Garelochs took part. The first start was scheduled for noon but Race officer Simon Pender, aboard David Whitham’s Evolene, could find no wind. We waited and when breeze filled in from the south west, Simon’s team already had the course laid. Thalia, with Simon Jackson on the helm, started best at the pin end of the line. Athene was next and battled hard with Thalia going to windward on the first leg. Catriona had started badly, below Athene. Dione and Hermes were behind her, at the Committee Boat end where breeze was less. Thalia led all the way round two laps. Catriona was chasing hard and had moved into second from Athene going downwind. On the windward leg to the finish, Thalia took a tack to reach the better wind which had brought the chasing pack closer. This was associated with a shift in direction. The new air reached Catriona as she rounded and it was now possible to lay the line from the leeward mark. Catriona was able to sneak in. Athene kept Dione at bay. The course was re-set for the second race and this time, Catriona started better. She was leading from Thalia at the first mark but paid insufficient attention when gybing onto port tack to go downwind and fouled Thalia who remained on starboard. The penalty turn let Thalia away, constantly lightening air caused the gap to increase. She was almost at the finishing line by the time the others had rounded the leeward mark. By now, air was barely moving enough to affect the racing flags. With steerage way lost, Thalia was unable to cross the finishing line. The rest were brought up, more on currents of water than air. Catriona got close at the pin end of the line with both boats being swept to the left to the left. There was enough air to stem the tide on port but as soon as boats tacked to finish, they were taken the wrong side of the mark. Thalia tacked first and Catriona had to pass astern. Thalia was taken the wrong side so Catriona stood on a bit, tacked onto starboard and might have made it. Thalia now on port left it too late to keep clear. The penalty turn set her back irrevocably. Dione, meanwhile, had caught up, avoided all this and took the gun. Result for the regatta, 1 Catriona, 2 Dione, 3 Thalia, 4 Athene, 5 Hermes.

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