Freak winds and earth­quakes fail to spoil the party at West Ard­na­mur­chan re­gatta

The Oban Times - - Leisure -

Even strong freak winds and earth­quakes were un­able to spoil the fun at this year’s West Ard­na­mur­chan an­nual re­gatta.

It was early on the Fri­day morn­ing, the sec­ond day of the races, that saw freak winds dam­age the mar­quee which housed the bar, burger counter and stalls, and it re­quired a Her­culean ef­fort at six in the morn­ing to re- erect it and tidy the mess.

Then, as spec­ta­tors watched the early af­ter­noon races, two of the strong­est earth­quakes in 30 years rocked the area.

Re­gatta chair­man Alas­tair MacColl com­mented: ‘ We’re used to this sort of thing. One year the mar­quee blew away dur­ing the races but ev­ery­one car­ried on.

‘The im­por­tant thing was that both spec­ta­tors and com­peti­tors thor­oughly en­joyed them­selves, with 25 races com­peted in front of an en­thu­si­as­tic crowd.

‘The high­light of the first day was the par­tic­i­pa­tion of round-Bri­tain ca­noeist Colin Skeath who, with his wife Ka­t­rina, rigged two sails on their boat and gave the more con­ven­tional yachts a good run for their money.

‘As a re­sult, Ka­t­rina and Colin came third in the El­lan Van­nin Hand­i­cap Se­ries and sec­ond in both the Portu- airk Quaich and the Chal­lenge Cup – a con­sid­er­able achieve­ment.

‘In recog­ni­tion of his feat in com­plet­ing the cir­cum­nav­i­ga­tion, the re­gatta com­mit­tee pre­sented Colin with one of our top awards, the Car­raig Plate for Out­stand­ing Achieve­ment in Sail­ing.’

There was also plenty of ex­cite­ment in the in­shore racing. The hard­est­fought race was the ca­noe men’s doubles, in which Ge­off Camp­bell and Alex Hester hauled them­selves up from third place to win in a thrilling fi­nal few me­tres.

The men’s ca­noe sin­gles of­fered the strong­est field, with nine com­pet­ing in a race won by Fraser Glas­gow, who was Bri­tish re­serve in the un­der-18 sin­gle ca­noe slalom­ing. Added ex­cite­ment came from Tim White’s two cap­sizes, from each of which he quickly re­cov­ered with text­book Eskimo rolls.

There were other no­table mo­ments, with com­peti­tors col­lid­ing, a rower los­ing an oar and a com­peti­tor in the yacht races over­turn­ing when he was hit by a sud­den gust of wind.

The youngest com­peti­tor was Allan Cur­tis, aged six, who won both the Ju­nior Mixed Doubles’ Row­ing with his cousin Emma Ma­cLach­lan and the Boys’ Doubles Row­ing with his cousin Stuart Ma­cLach­lan.

De­spite some rain, the usual crowds of spec­ta­tors at­tended and were able to browse the stalls which in­cluded a bi­cy­cle-pow­ered smoothie maker, a ‘guess the weight of the lob­ster’, and a raf­fle for a large ham­per of gen­er­ously do­nated goods. Mr MacColl added: ‘We had two thor­oughly en­joy­able days crowned by a great evening’s danc­ing at the an­nual re­gatta dance, but none of this would have been pos­si­ble with­out the hard work of the com­mit­tee and many oth­ers, all of whom I sin­cerely thank.’

Once in­ci­den­tal ex­penses are cov­ered, the money raised goes to the RNLI, the Red Cross, and to the West Ard­na­mur­chan Jetty As­so­ci­a­tion, which main­tains the Kil­choan jetty and the moor­ings avail­able for vis­it­ing boats.

Next year’s re­gatta is on Thurs­day and Fri­day, Au­gust 2 and 3.

Colin Skeath and his wife, Ka­tri­ona, centre, are pre­sented with the Car­raig Plate by Elaine Shaw.

Se­nior mixed doubles win­ners Rachael Haylett and Tim White cross the fin­ish­ing line.

Youngest com­peti­tor Allan Cur­tis and Emma Ma­cLach­lan show plenty of de­ter­mi­na­tion in their race.

The men’s ca­noe event gets un­der way.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.