Speedboat cup returned after 40-year gap
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.