There had been no wind all day. International Judge Nigel Vick was at the club as chief umpire for the event in the British Keelboat League and had been whiling away the time but was enthused by the thought of a race in a Gareloch. Julian Forrester was short of crew so they sailed together on Luna.
To begin with, it looked as if we should be lucky to get a race. We ghosted to the starting area and on the water Race Officer Barrie Choules set a short course up and down the Shandon shore. Thia made by far the best start and set of in the zephyr which seemed to cling to the shore. Catriona caught up and tried to pass to windward, which was a mistake. During the penalty turns, Luna caught up and established a good lead. Thalia, meanwhile, had ventured further into the loch and was brought up on a new streak of pressure. She ignored Dione, who had gone further out still and could be heard approaching at speed. Catriona thought to tack out and caught enough of the new air to pass first Thia, then Thalia, who was irritated by Dione.
At the mark, Luna approached from the shore on right of way starboard tack but she had not benefitted from the new breeze. Dione and Catriona approached with enough boatspeed to sneak round in front of Luna, further robbing her of air.
The next leg was now a fine reach, such were the curiosities of Gareloch air. Little changed. We gybed around the A mark, off the club, and set off on another reach to the end of the round. Dione crossed the line within an hour of the start, so that there was a second round. Wind now filling in. In the tacking duel up the shore, Dione did not appreciate the changing direction of wind and overstood, letting Catriona into the lead. Back down the loch, it was now just possible to carry a spinnaker which Dione did best. Thalia moved into third place, Luna and Thia did not set their kites.
1 Catriona, 2 Dione, 3 Thalia, 4 Luna, 5 Thia.=