We began with rain and little wind. At least it was not cold. On the water Race Officer Shane Rankin chose a course up and down the Shandon Shore so as to avoid the Clynder side of the loch which had detained us for so long on the previous Thursday.
Catriona made the best start, played the shifts in the wind and reached the windward mark with a good lead. It ought to have been downwind to A, off the club, but somehow it wasn’t. Leeward side decks were now getting wet in the gusts.
Wind in the Gareloch is often unpredictable but this day was an extreme example. There were holes of course but also instantaneous changes in direction of more than 90 degrees. Light air around the A mark allowed Ceres to catch the leader. Just after the end of the round (there was time for a second) she found a streak of pressure and began passing Catriona only a little further out in the loch. She was pointing in the same direction but on the opposite tack. Hermes was now in a line of wind next to the shore and passing on the other side. Catriona was able to get going again and leave Ceres. She was overlapped to leeward of Hermes all the way to the mark. The variable wind meant that Hermes was never quite able to blanket Catriona so that she was obliged to give mark room.
It was another reach to A. This time wind was steadier. There were no extreme changes of direction although sails required constant trimming.
1 Catriona, 2 Hermes, 3 Ceres, 4 Halcyone, 5 Thia.