Speed­boat cup re­turned af­ter 40-year gap

The Oban Times - - News -

A MAG­NIF­I­CENT speed­boat trophy last awarded more than 40 years ago be­fore a speed limit was im­posed in Oban Bay is look­ing for a new sport­ing home.

Don­nie McLeod, an 83-year- old re­tired TV en­gi­neer from Oban who re­cently moved to Glas­gow, was the last win­ner of the MacDon­ald Cup be­fore the speed­boat race was can­celled. The trophy, Don­nie said, was do­nated by The

Oban Times and passed from win­ner to win­ner each year, be­fore it was left in fi­nally in his hands – and he’s now hop­ing it can live again in an­other com­pe­ti­tion.

The sil­ver cup, sport­ing two fish-shaped han­dles and an en­grav­ing of two rac­ing yachts, was first awarded to Frank Lawrence in 1962 and 1963, and then to Dun­can MacKen­zie in 1965, ac­cord­ing to the in­scribed roll of hon­our.

Boat­man Don­nie, who won his speed­boat in a Lon­don com­pe­ti­tion and was taught how to han­dle it by an Oban Dis­tillery man­ager, be­came the next win­ner.

‘But there was never an­other win­ner,’ he ex­plained. ‘They put a speed re­stric­tion in Oban Bay, in­clud­ing for the CalMac steam­ers. So there was no point in hav­ing a speed­boat race with a speed limit. It was sen­si­ble: you have to think about safety. I thought I should re­turn it and The Oban Times may use it.’

The Oban Times has since spo­ken to Oban Sail­ing Club to of­fer it the trophy. The sail­ing club’s Billy Forteith said it would be de­lighted to award the trophy in con­nec­tion with the an­nual Round Mull Race.

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