From Joost who just sailed his GIS in Scotland…
…Raid Caledonia is a “race” from the salt water in the West to the salt water in the East across Scotland on the Great Glen waterway which consists of 3 lakes (called lochs in Scotland) and some canal stretches between the lochs adding up to a total of some 96 km.
Having sailed GISwerk only five times prior to our departure from the Netherlands for Scotland 2 weeks ago, the Scottish lochs and canals have truly shown us what a capable boat the GIS is.
On Loch Ness we were confronted with fairly strong winds (with gusts above 20 knots and a short steep 4 ft swell) which GISwerk handled beautifully and without much problem under full sail downwind. Probably not a very sensible thing but it definitely made for a most exciting and fast surf and gained us a first place in the leg!
In the rowing legs we ended a constant third, in the sailing legs we got in 1st – 5th. The winds are very unpredictable on the Scottish lochs: a force 2 can easily become a force 6 but might over a few minutes time dwindle to force naught. Some experience in “reading” the Scottish weather would be very helpful (one day in particular we had difficulties forecasting the winds resulting in tying in an unnecessary reef causing a big delay in finishing) as would be a few more days sailing the boat before entering an event such as Raid Caledonia.
We ended a tied second (out of five boats) in class 2 and overall ended a shared third place out of 9 competing boats.
What matters most however is that we had a blast, got to know the boat fairly well sailing and rowing the boat in a lot of different conditions, met some lovely people during the event and enjoyed the fine music, food and drinks the organisation had arranged for.