Big breeze sail­ing makes for yacht­ing week’s 70th suc­cess

The Oban Times - - Sport -

A WEEK of good breezes for the 91-strong West High­land Yacht­ing Week (WHYW) was the ic­ing on the cake for the re­gatta’s 70th an­niver­sary cel­e­bra­tion.

And Ir­ish vis­i­tor, the ken­speckle Ni­chol­son 43 Mag­da­leyne, rev­elled in the con­di­tions to lift the best per­for­mance of the fleet over­all tak­ing home the Peter Cocks Tro­phy. With a run of firsts and two sec­onds, Michael Pet­ti­crew’s clas­sic showed the rest of the highly com­pet­i­tive class five a clean pair of heels through­out the week.

It was fit­ting that the event’s ma­jor spon­sor, Boyd Tun­nock, with his Moody 38 Le­merac, pushed Mag­da­leyne into sec­ond place on the Tober­mory to Oban race spon­sored, ap­pro­pri­ately, by Thomas Tun­nock Ltd. Boyd’s team pulled out all the stops to take an ex­cel­lent win.

Scott and Ni­cola Chalmers on Sun­rise pushed the en­ve­lope fur­ther in class two in the Ar­gyll white sail fleet with a straight run of firsts and one sec­ond to dis­card in the Points Se­ries with their Sigma 400 Sun­rise. They won the class on four points, but were shy of the elu­sive over­all tro­phy once again.

Close also were for­mer over­all event ti­tle win­ners Allan Jef­frey and Paul Scutt with Car­men II in class zero. And fin­ish­ing on eight points over­all it was an­other class win for Malindi of Lorne in the Ar­gyll fleet class nine, with Seon­aid Reid and her all-girl team sail­ing the fam­ily wooden McGruer clas­sic. The West High­land Week Fam­ily Tro­phy went to Grand Cru.

For the first time, WHYW 70 ran two races off Craobh for the Tun­nock’s-spon­sored spin­naker fleet while the Ar­gyll fleet sailed round Shuna and into Loch Melfort. And this year tides were favourable to run an ex­cel­lent round Lis­more race.

Prin­ci­pal race of­fi­cer Mal­colm MacGre­gor said: ‘ The ex­per­i­men­tal Craobh races worked well and proved pop­u­lar. The re­gatta was a great suc­cess. The winds were good which gave great racing for all.’

Lo­cal boats had a good show­ing at the re­gatta, with Lochaber yacht Pop­corn tak­ing an­other con­vinc­ing win in class eight. Raced by An­gus Fyfe and fam­ily, Pop­corn won the Oban Bi­cen­te­nary Tro­phy for the best cor­rected time for the Craobh to Oban race spon­sored by Owen Sails. Beppo Buchanan- Smith recorded some ex­cel­lent re­sults in class one with two firsts, one on the Oban to Tober­mory race spon­sored by Gael Force Ma­rine Equip­ment, over the week to fin­ish sec­ond on points in class. Lucy Gir­ling of Oban with her all-girl team on the GK 24 Zebedee fin­ished sec­ond over­all to Pop­corn.

Tay­val­lich’s Dar­ren Tay­lor and Bluefin had some good per­for­mances, as did Mar­ian Austin’s team on Scin­tilla of the Sea from Lochaber and Hot Toddy from Oban, all racing in class eight. Michael John­ston with his Free­dom 35 Ar­ran Com­rades, a reg­u­lar sailor in Ar­gyll, stormed through on Fri­day from Tober­mory to Oban to win the Bri­tish Water­ways Tro­phy for the best in fleet.

For­mer class and over­all ti­tle win­ner Oban’s Steven Forteith and team on Shad­ow­fax had to be con­tent with a fourth over­all in a highly com­pet­i­tive class five. Lochgilp­head’s Brian Robert­son with Celtic Spirit was sev­en­thth over­all in this class, Oban sailor Gra­ham An­der­son and Lucky Ned Pep­per eighth, Eric and Irena Chap­man’s Am­ber Haze fin­ished ninth, while Adrian Lay­cock’s Prime Cut fin­ished 13th. David Cooper’s Dehler 34 Suil­ven from Glen­coe was sixth in white sail class six. Oban’s Colin Craw­ford with Nim­rod was eighth in class seven. Malindi of Lorne, the McGruer clas­sic based at Tar­bert, won class nine, with Judy Orr’s Eureka from Camp­bel­town fin­ish­ing fourth in this class.

The WHYW fleet’s ar­rival in Oban on Mon­day co­in­cided with the open­ing of Oban’s long-awaited tran­sit ma­rina. The North Pier pon­toons filled with yachts from the fleet that also berthed at Oban Ma­rina on Ker­rera and Dun­staffnage Ma­rina and used the moor­ings of Oban Com­mu­nity Berthing As­so­ci­a­tion.

Elaine Robert­son, who is chair­woman of Oban, Lorn and the Isles Area Com­mit­tee, said: ‘The tran­sit ma­rina fa­cil­i­ties will be a huge boost to the econ­omy and de­vel­op­ment of Oban and the whole area.

‘I am de­lighted that the pon­toons opened in time for the 70th an­niver­sary of West High­land Yacht­ing Week.’

From the launch party at the Lord of the Isles to the clos­ing prize-giv­ing bar­be­cue and dance hosted by Ran­ulph McLauch­lan and team at Dun­staffnage Ma­rina, the WHYW 70 so­cial pro­gramme was out­stand­ing.

A spe­cial 70th an­niver­sary re­cep­tion and dance in the Ar­gyll­shire Gath­er­ing Halls in Oban was well at­tended with danc­ing to the 70s mu­sic of lo­cal Still­wa­ter band.

Andy Knox, chair­man of the

Sail­ing

Joint Re­gatta Com­mit­tee, said: ‘This has been an ex­cep­tional re­gatta cel­e­brat­ing 70 years of racing in Ar­gyll be­tween the venues of Craobh, Oban and Tober­mory.

‘Not only does it pro­vide great racing and en­ter­tain­ment for com­peti­tors but a sig­nif­i­cant boost to the econ­omy of the area. We are grate­ful to all the teams that work be­hind the scenes to run the re­gatta, not least our spon­sors, with­out whom the event would not be pos­si­ble.’

WHYW is spon­sored by Tun­nock’s, Ar­gyll and Bute Coun­cil, Tober­mory Har­bour As­so­ci­a­tion, Malin Wa­ters, Owen Sails, Gael Force Ma­rine Equip­ment and Dun­staffnage Ma­rina with sup­port from West Coast Mo­tors, We­bcraft UK Ltd and Scot­tish Canals.

Pho­tos: www. yachtingim­ages.co.uk

Pop­corn raced by Lochaber’s An­gus Fyfe and fam­ily won class eight and the Bi­cen­te­nary Tro­phy for the best cor­rected time for the Craobh to Oban race.

Oban’s Lucy Gir­ling and her all- girl crew had a suc­cess­ful week.

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