Un­der starters or­ders for the 2015 West High­land Yacht­ing Week!

The Oban Times - - 14 Leisure -

The 68th West High­land Yacht­ing Week (WHYW) starts this Satur­day (Au­gust 1) at Craobh Ma­rina and the re­gatta this year wel­comes over 80 boats to en­joy not only great sail­ing but a ca­ma­raderie that is quite spe­cial to this event.

Tun­nock’s is the ma­jor spon­sor of WHYW and there is sup­port from Ar­gyll and Bute Coun­cil, Malin Wa­ters, Tober­mory Har­bour As­so­ci­a­tion, Gaelforce Marine and help from West Coast Mo­tors, Cale­do­nian MacBrayne and Flit Self Drive.

With ori­gins dat­ing back as far as 1882, this unique ‘mov­ing’ re­gatta takes in Oban and Tober­mory as well as Craobh as the three ports of call. Pas­sage races move the fleet from port to port with rac­ing tak­ing place off each venue.

Feeder races planned for 2015 are from Oban, Gigha and Ban­gor, North­ern Ire­land. These bring the fleet to en­joy the hos­pi­tal­ity at Craobh Ma­rina over the first two days of the re­gatta. The Lord of the Isles hosts the grand open­ing party on Satur­day which sets the so­cial scene for the week ahead.

For WHW is as much about the so­cial side of sail­ing as the com­pet­i­tive rac­ing. For many peo­ple it’s a chance to catch up on old friends, many they only see at this event, as well as make new ac­quain­tances.

Of­ten the event has up to three gen­er­a­tions tak­ing part - chil­dren who com­peted as young­sters are now skip­per­ing their own boats with their own fam­i­lies.

It is truly an event for ev­ery­one – from fam­i­lies or those short handed on crew who want to take part in the white sail classes to the high­est level of com­pet­i­tive sailors in the spin­naker classes.

WHYW chair­man Andy Knox said: ‘Ap­proach­ing the 68th an­niver­sary of this unique event in sail­ing, we look for­ward to con­tin­u­ing to pro­vide an en­joy­able week of sport and so­cial ac­tiv­i­ties. Not only is this type of event nowhere else to be found but it brings much needed rev­enue to lo­cal com­mu­ni­ties in this area.’ A mix of rac­ing With a mix of pas­sage and Olympic style rac­ing through­out the week, WHYW also of­fers great flex­i­bil­ity to do only a few days or com­pete in the en­tire se­ries.

Back in 1882 there were only two classes – one for yachts over 40 tons and one for those un­der this weight! 133 years later there up to ten rac­ing classes sep­a­rated by hand­i­cap with the spin­naker classes known as The Tun­nock’s Fleet and the Ar­gyll Fleet for the white sail classes when the fleets race sep­a­rately. This re­flects the spon­sor­ship of the event from both Tun­nock’s and from Ar­gyll and Bute Coun­cil.

Re­turn­ing for another year to run the rac­ing is Prin­ci­pal Race Of­fi­cer Mal­colm MacGre­gor who is hugely ex­pe­ri­enced in the field. David Wilkie from Kilmelford and Ge­orge Seaton from Oban work along­side Mal­colm as Race Of­fi­cers for the feeder races and white sail classes.

Mal­colm said: ‘We are very much look­ing for­ward to this year’s event. WHYW of­fers such a va­ri­ety of rac­ing there is some­thing for ev­ery­one and we hope the mix of races of­fered in both pas­sage and ‘round the cans’ will give all the com­peti­tors an en­joy­able week.’

Feeder races con­verge on Craobh Ma­rina on Satur­day Au­gust 1 for the launch of the event. Ma­rina man­ager Alastair Spence said: ‘Craobh is look­ing for­ward to host­ing the start of the week, par­tic­u­larly with the fleet stay­ing two nights. We al­ways en­deav­our to make sure ev­ery­one has a great time at the ma­rina. Half price berthing is of­fered for all WHYW com­peti­tors and our all fa­cil­i­ties build­ing at Craobh will ser­vice the fleet.’ Fa­cil­i­ties for yachts are also avail­able at nearby Kilmelford, Cri­nan and Ard­fern.

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