Autumn Muster 7th September

It's been a long wait but Stewart Toy has finally produced a report:

The day dawned. Shafts of light peeked through the curtains. The dulcet tones of the Commodore drifted mistily through the snug and safe place I was in---Get Up –you know we are the start boat!
Kip beckoned; the tension of the start line had both of us on edge.  What if we had to recall a mischievous participant sneaking over the line too early, what if we had to recall the entire fleet—was there a hint of panic in the air? If there was then that was the only thing in the air, as there was hardly any wind for a nail biting, boat-banging drift for the line. The forecast North 5 – 7, did not materialise but fortunately did fill in a bit, later in the race.
Camus Bosta had perfect start although they themselves couldn’t believe it and sought verbal reassurance that they had not inadvertently crossed the line before the gun/hooter. Close on their tail was Aquaholic followed by Exody with Pondskater, back from the Med, completing the fleet.

A thrilling start from Kip
Course 1 had been chosen to take the fleet around Cumbrae and back up into Rothesay Bay. Aquaholic, in his normal manner, pressed into the lead which he held till the end. So impressive was Tom’s lead that binoculars were used from the committee boat to ensure there was no hint of water dribbling from his exhaust.
A sight seen just north of the Largs Channel was hard to believe. A committee member renowned for his cutting racing prowess appeared to be cruising in what looked like a conservatory! Smiling from ear to ear, Marie by his side, he was caught cruising Emma Louise with his mainsail stowed and a pristine cockpit canopy fully erected. Should there be a fine – I ask?

Emma Louise with conservatory erected - and Pondskater
The wind filled in and then disappeared, the sun shone for a bit (I’ll not mention the r—n) but all crews appeared to enjoy the race, culminating with aperitifs on the Commodore’s boat prior to dinner. We were joined by Kelpie D, then Bertie the bus shuttled the party to Mount Stuart Visitor Centre for a sumptuous meal. With the help of Tom Hutchison the results were calculated. 
In Class 2, Aquaholic took 1st place with Exody second and in Class 3, Camus Bosna won followed by Pondskater.
Out of the Blue was noticeable by its absence in the results but felt that, this year, by cruising , they had given the rest of the fleet a fighting chance of winning. 

Dinner at Mount Stuart
Sunday welcomed the fleet of five with a lovely Force 3 – 4 for the start of the Pursuit Race. Everybody watched the clock, though confusion reigned as they positioned themselves for the start across a new starting line. 

Aquaholic, Pondskater and Camus Bosta, the first three finishers prepare to start.(you can click on these photos by Seamus for a bigger view)
Exody prepares to start off Rothesay. No prizes but certainly the best looking boat

Out Of The Blue gets going
No cheating was reported. Sun and wind, with a broad, close and sometimes very close reach, saw the fleet make record times back to Kip. Camus Bosna crossed the finish line first with pursuing Aquaholic second and Pondskater third.
Well done everybody.         photos by Stewart Toy and Seamus Lalor

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