Excellent conditions and good entry for the round Mull race
EXCELLENT sailing conditions and a near-record entry made for one of the best Owen Sails and Ardfern Yacht Centre sponsored round Mull races to date.
Organised by Oban Sailing Club, the event is a circumnavigation of the island of Mull over three legs – Oban to Tobermory, Tobermory to Bunessan and Bunessan to Oban.
And for the first time in many years the strong winds on Sunday ensured the 40-yacht fleet raced the last leg to finish in Oban Bay.
It was to be a Class 3 slow handicap winner that swept the boards taking overall honours for the weekend.
Murray Caldwell from the Clyde in his Trapper 500
Oystercatcher won the Jolanta Trophy for the slow handicap class and the Royal Bank of Scotland Trophy for the best overall points for amalgamated classes for the weekend.
Oystercatcher lifted the Mishnish Bucket for the best performance from Oban to Tobermory and the Glencoe Trophy for best corrected time from Bunessan to Oban.
Caldwell also won the fastest circumnavigation on corrected time on Clyde, lifting the Torran Rock and, sailing two up, the Bilgewater Shield for the double-handed class.
Class 1 was taken by Major David Walter in his Arcona 430 Requiem lifting the Antique Schweppes Trophy and the Mull Plaque for the fastest circumnavigation on elapsed time. Ionara, the Dufour 44 of Damon Lyndsay, sailed well on the second leg to win the Bunessan Hall Trophy for best performance from Tobermory and lifted the restricted sail class overall. The one- off yacht
Elusive Lady was second overall in this class.
Class 2 on medium handicap was won by the Forteiths of Oban with Shadowfax. Although Brian Wiseman’s
Sorr of Appin took the wins in this class on day one and two in style, Shadowfax halted their hat trick and overall class win on the final day with the Sorr team finishing second overall. Similarly, Marian Austin’s
Scintilla of the Sea was a strong second in Class 3 to Oystercatcher. The fleet saw good winds for the 100-mile race with the first leg to Tobermory taking just over three hours for the fast yachts, a mix of fetching and beating in a sometimes stiff breeze.
Saturday’s start off Tobermory proved initially frustrating with a light breeze and besetting tide seeing positions change within all classes in the fleet just out of the bay. The faster boats caught the edge of the breeze on the outside first and were off to Bunessan in grand style, again with a mix of beating initially to Caliach Point and then a fetch in lumpy seas to Bunessan.
Competitors enjoyed a buffet and ceilidh in Bunessan Village Hall in aid of the Ross of Mull Historical Society.
The wind was up on Sunday. Boats started on a beat to the Sound of Iona and through to the Torran Rocks before kites were set on the downwind leg to the finish. In the event of light winds, the 41-mile race is normally finished off at Frank Lockwood’s Island but there was no issue this time with the wind gusting up to 20 knots with a following sea. It made for an impressive sight sailing up the Sound of Kerrera under spinnaker to the finish off Oban Sailing Club.
Race officer David Preston and organiser Billy Forteith were delighted at the success of the event.
Billy said: ‘You can only plan everything and then hope you get good sailing conditions. This year we had a near-record entry with some late arrivals. The breeze was strong and consistent and there was tremendous camaraderie among the fleet. It is a fantastic event and I think everyone enjoyed themselves. We look forward to welcoming even more boats next year.’
Billy thanked Dave Sturrock whose boat Unity acted as committee vessel as well as the headline sponsors Owen Sails and Ardfern Yacht Centre. He also praised Forteith Food Service Oban for the reception and seafood buffet evening preceding the start of the race, T Barbour Fuels for help with fuel for the committee boat, Dimension Polyant for supplying race T-shirts and Forteith Refrigeration and Heat Pump Solutions.
Results: Class 1 – 1 Requiem; 2 Sunrise; 3 Moonstruck 2. Class 2 – 1 Shadowfax; 2 Sorr of Appin; 3 Amber Haze. Class 3 – 1 Oystercatcher; 2 Scintilla of the Sea; 3 Hot Toddy. Restricted Sail – 1 Ionara; 2 Elusive Lady; 3 Rosie Keeping.
Special trophies: Mishnish Bucket – Oystercatcher. Bunessan Hall Trophy – Ionara. Glencoe Trophy – Oystercatcher. Mull Plaque – Requiem. The Antique Schweppes Trophy – Requiem. Royal Bank of Scotland Cup - Shadowfax. The Jolanta Trophy – Oystercatcher. Brian Shellcock Memorial Trophy – Ionara. The Torran Rock, the Bilgewater Shield and The Royal Bank of Scotland Trophy – Oystercatcher.
Ian Gibson’s Nicholson32 Tegumai on the leg to Bunessan.
Moonstruck Too takes part in the Round Mull Race,
Sarah before the start at Bunessan.