Gareloch Team Racing, 30th August and 1st September
The Gareloch class was host to visitors from the Howth 17 Footers (the oldest one design keelboat) and the Freundeskreis Klassische Yachten. The plan was for nine races so that each team raced each other team three times.
Saturday morning started with a brisk wind in the Clyde so that Race Officer Jean Mackay, aboard Jim Findlay’s Full Circle, moved racing from the East patch (off Helensburgh pier) to the more sheltered Gareloch. Conditions were benign as our two visiting teams left the moorings for the first race. Soon after the start a wind from the north funnelled down the loch with a strength far too great for meaningful team racing. At the end of the first round, Jean finished them and sent the boats back to their moorings. Crews lunched in the clubhouse with a view to assessing things in the afternoon. There was a flat patch in Camsail bay but the Gareloch was still lively so that racing was called off for the day. It was planned to get two quick races on Sunday Morning before the Irish visitors had to leave. Meanwhile, there was a cruise around the sugar boat in Jamie Grant’s Kelana (which was our hotel boat), John Hammond’s Clearwater and Ufo and Miriam Sutter’s Tiffany Aching. There was space for anyone who wanted to be on the water.
Wind on Sunday morning was kinder. The Gareloch class raced each of the visiting teams in true air. The downwind legs in particular provided opportunity for team race tactics as boats from behind took the wind of those in front. Helms balanced the need to luff to keep their air clear against making progress towards the finish. The Garelochs won both to retain the David Ryder-Turner trophy for the match against the FKY. We won back the trophy for the match against the Howth 17s which we had lost last year racing the 17s in their home waters.