Craobh Muster and Shuna Race

The magnificent weather held for the annual Craobh gathering and the photo shows generations of Serpents in the evening sunshine and with an unmistakable boatyard backdrop.  

The absence of a band did not seem to dampen spirits and Steve Pickles and his team delivered their usual high standard of barbequeing with no apparent dangers.

I don't think it's known as a regular Serpent activity but the weather was such that some of the BBQ team opted to cool off even before the fire was lit.

 Despite there being no band, Stewart Toy provided recorded music and dancing continued until late although the present writer, having been designated Race Office for the next day, retired to his bunk. Similar sunshine and light fickle breezes were once again the feature of Sunday morning. Out of The Blue with a crowd of novices on board appeared late from the marina and took what they regarded as a cautious start although there was suspicion that fishing was their priority. Here the Troikka sheep mascot gives a knowing leer as OOTB goes past with the appearance of no hand on the wheel.

On Troikka we were quite pleased to be able to offer both flag and sound signals then gybe round and cross second boat over the line. Alas the sub 10kt breeze did not suit Camus Bosta but at least they were not fishing intentionally.
It was an easy fetch to the South end of Shuna and Troikka had to work quite hard to fend off Ataraxia.

Although the southbound leg was a very pleasant sail, at least for those of us who were not hopelessly undercanvassed, the wind began to fail as the front runners reached the downwind turning island. It became apparent that the slower boats were becoming becalmed and the course was then shortened at the north end of Shuna. Unfortunately, by this time the wind had failed altogether and there was at least a 30 minute delay before Ataraxia drifted over the line. Camus Bosta exhibited one of the disadvantages of having two rudders by hooking a lobster pot line on one of them but despite this delay managed to beat OOTB by 30 secs on corrected time. As far as the preliminary calculations go, and assuming Troikka is a legitimate finisher the placings are 1. Troikka, 2. Ataraxia, 3 Camus Bosta, 4. Out of the Blue.  The times however will be passed on to the Club Race Secretary for the proper calculations to be made using checked handicap figures.
Once all had finished, Troikka rafted on to Ataraxia, anchored in the middle of the Shuna Sound, to join in their lavish lunch activities. Serpent days out do not get much better.

As a footnote, much missed were the cheery figures of Iain and Pamela Sinclair who as Craobh berthholders were always a sure presence and usual high scorers in the race. It transpires however that their boat 'Black Pepper' has been left to Don Gillies and should he continue to turn it out in Serpent events as we hope he will, there could be no better tribute. 


Croabh Muster and Shuna Race

The annual muster at Croabh Marina followed by the Round Shuna race is on Sat 20th/Sun 21st July.  With club masterchef Steve Pickles at the barbeque, ably assisted by Susan, the standard of catering is high and a convial evening in and around the Croabh boatshed is expected. For catering numbers please let Steve know by 12th July if you intend to come.  (07981443362  steveDOTpicklesATbtinternetDOTcom)

There will undoubtedly be spaces on various yachts so if your boat is still on the Clyde and you would like a weekend in Argyll, get in touch and come and make up the numbers. Hopefully the weather for the Shuna race will be back to normal form and not like it was last year.   

Iain Sinclair

The club mourns the unexpected and untimely loss of Iain Sinclair, a much loved member and former Commodore.  His final illness was disclosed only a few weeks before his death - he had just been to Switzerland to visit his sister for his 70th birthday -and comes only a year after the loss of his dear wife Pamela, also a true friend of the Club.  It was said that his only complaint was that he had hoped that he might have a little longer.  Those who met him only through the club would recognise him as a welcoming, kindly and thoughtful man with a keen sense of fun. He was also a telented artist and had numerous other interests besides.  He was a first class Commodore and his wise advice continued to be valued by the present Committee. He will be greatly missed.

Portavadie Pursuit Race and Muster

Out of the Blue, Camus Bosta and Exody all turned up expectantly to take part in the club's pursuit race to Colintraive. 

Off Kip it was blowing  27+knots and on Out of the Blue it became apparent that with the skipper recovering from a hernia operation and not being able to winch or steer, his crew of Catherine, Margaret and Lilias were a little light weight to control her in the gusts. So OOTB duly retired and headed back to Kip leaving Camus Bosta and Exody competing for honours. 

On Exody  with a  crew of 5,  including founder member Sheila Jennet, two 50 something lady day skippers and a 20 something dinghy sailor, the conditions were such that they also had trouble reefing down and a late start followed by two gear mishaps, (a bucket jammed in the genoa sheet turning block and the topping lift fouling on the new backstay insulators, then getting itself fully entwined in the wind generator) led them to put the engine on and retire while they sorted things out .  

Meanwhile on Camus Bosta Neil, Chris Garrigan and Don Gillies sailed on unaware of the carnage behind them and as the only boat to complete the race they were declared the winners.

Once inside the marina at Kip and after an empire biscuit or two the crew of OOTB rallied and as the wind had dropped, took heart and headed out to try again and under slightly better wind conditions,  managed to motor to Portavadie. 

Seamus  and Nick on Emma Louise had intended cruising up from Ardrossan but couldn't get out of the marina due to the high winds.  However they eventually sailed in later in the afternoon when the winds had moderated. 

Despite all these mishaps, four boats arrived safely at Portavadie, fully appreciating the warm showers and the drying room and 15 sat down to a truly enjoyable meal in the restaurant.

Sunday was by contrast light winds and wall to wall sunshine which was a sunbather's delight. We all motored home and Saturday's horrible weather was quickly forgotten.

No photographs regrettably.