Second St Kilda yacht challenge is confirmed
A SECOND St Kilda Challenge yacht race is being planned following excellent feedback from competitors and visitors who enjoyed the first event.
The inaugural event was launched in 2015 by organisers Comann Na Mara and race managers Clyde Cruising Club, with the first regatta taking place the following year.
The regatta and its associated shoreside festival has the support of Holyrood’s cross-party marine tourism committee and chairman Stuart McMillan MSP was present at the launch to underline the group’s backing.
Last year’s event was a welcome economic boost for North Uist, with 30 yachts bringing dozens of crews ashore, while the festivities on land attracted visitors to Lochmaddy.
Accommodation, local services and attractions, as well as food, drink and craft producers, all reported a significant rise in trade.
The 2018 St Kilda Challenge will build on the strong foundations of 2016’s event, with the addition of a third fleet.
Indications are there will be a substantial increase in participants for the event from June 14 to 16 next year.
In addition to the racing fleet, which uses the islands of St Kilda as turning marks on a 100-nautical-mile course, there is also a cruise-in- company fleet which leaves the start line at the same time but has the ability to anchor in Village Bay at Hirta on St Kilda to go ashore.
‘We have had exceptional encouragement and support from the community, participants and those who were sorry to have missed the first event,’ said Comann Na Mara chairman Gus MacAulay. ‘I was overwhelmed at the end of the first event to hear so much positive feedback, so for me and the other organisers there was only ever going to be one outcome – another St Kilda Challenge. We are excited about making the event bigger and better for 2018 and look forward to welcoming many more people to North Uist before sending them on their way to the great adventure of the St Kilda archipelago.’
Gus MacAulay announced the St Kilda Challenge aboard the tall ship Glenlee in Glasgow.