Great sail­ing at West Highla

The Oban Times - - SPORT - Re­port: Ali­son Chad­wick Pho­tos: Ron Cowan

A mix of all weath­ers made for a va­ri­ety of ex­cit­ing sail­ing for this year’s West High­land Yacht­ing Week (WHYW). And storm­ing through to take not only a class win but the over­all Peter Cocks me­mo­rial tro­phy was a new ‘out the box’ Elan GT5 Re­flec­tion.

Rev­el­ling in a va­ri­ety of con­di­tions to take five first places over the course of the week, owner Jim Dick said: ‘Clearly, we are ab­so­lutely de­lighted with this per­for­mance – the first re­gatta the boat has com­peted in and I am re­ally pleased for the boys who sailed her.’

Jim was un­able to race his boat for the re­gatta due to in­jury so Re­flec­tion was crewed by Great Har­bour Yachts and helmed by Peter Cameron, who runs the com­pany.

Jim said: ‘She’s just a lovely boat and sailed bril­liantly by the team aboard.

‘I bought her for ex­tended per­for­mance cruis­ing on the west coast and to see her per­for­mance at WHYW, she doesn’t dis­ap­point in that depart­ment.

‘This is the third time com­pet­ing at WHYW and the team and boat have per­formed su­perbly. I am thrilled with the boat, which not only sails su­perbly but is re­ally com­fort­able be­low. And to win the over­all at WHYW is the ic­ing on the cake.’

Although the ma­jor prizes went south, there was no short­age of good per­for­mances from lo­cal boats. Joey Gough’s Tan­gle o’ the Isles from Oban Sail­ing Club took a good class win and An­gus Fyfe and team on the Contessa 25 Pop­corn from Lochaber and Glen­coe Boat Club also se­cured another win in Class 8. Other lo­cal boats took sec­onds and thirds in class with wins on in­di­vid­ual days. De­spite chal­leng­ing weather con­di­tions, John­nie Read­man in his first year as prin­ci­pal race of­fi­cer set com­pet­i­tive race cour­ses and saw many class bat­tles go­ing down to the wire. He said he had en­joyed run­ning the rac­ing and would re­turn to be­ing race of­fi­cer next year. Malcolm MacGre­gor, pre­vi­ous PRO, was in charge of the Ar­gyll Fleet this year and told com­peti­tors at the prize-giv­ing this was his last year on the race com­mit­tee. How­ever, he added every­one needed to look out, since he would be back for 2019, on the wa­ter in his own boat – and al­ready has his crew booked.

Mixed con­di­tions for feeder races

Prior to the Points Se­ries of the re­gatta feeder races from Oban saw the fleet con­tend­ing a south-east­erly breeze af­ter start­ing at the en­trance to the Sound of Ker­rera.

It was to be Alis­tair Pugh’s day on his Contessa 32 Marisca who won in just un­der a minute on cor­rected time from James Hardie’s Taz and fel­low Oban boat, the Fortei­ths’ Shad­ow­fax third.

Sail­ing his first WHYW with his Hunter 707, Autism on the Wa­ter, Mur­ray MacDonald, for­merly of Oban, had an ex­cel­lent race fin­ish­ing in fifth over­all.

Mean­while, the Gigha fleet en­joyed great down­wind sail­ing with Ruar­idh Camp­bell win­ning on his Oys­ter 26 Ban­shee with John Mac­tag­gart from Camp­bel­town and Stargazer sec­ond and Jim Shield’s Sigma 33 Meka II third.

Light airs for Points Se­ries off Craobh

Rac­ing off Craobh, the fleet split into the Tun­nock’s Fleet rac­ing with spin­nakers on a wind­ward lee­ward round the cans course while with the white sail Ar­gyll Fleet sailed a course round Shuna and into Loch Melfort. De­spite the light con­di­tions, two races were man­aged and Class 1 was dom­i­nated by Rod Stu­art’s Corby 37 Aurora win­ning both.

Class 3 saw Graham An­der­son’s team on Lucky Ned Pep­per from Oban take a first and a third place and in Class 5 Eric and Irena Chap­man’s Am­ber Haze won the first race, se­cur­ing another good re­sult for Oban Sail­ing Club.

In the Ar­gyll Fleet, the Oban-based Ajax of Anne and An­drew Camp­bell won Class 4 and, in Class 6, Joey Gough’s Tan­gle o’ the Isles took the sil­ver­ware.

The Hunter 707 Ram­mie mas­tered the light airs to take the win in the first race in Class 7 from fel­low Hunter 707 Par­tial Pres­sure and the Laser 28 Farr Out. In the sec­ond race Par­tial Pres­sure pulled through to take the sil­ver­ware from Cool Ban­dit 2 and Ka­te­rina.

Pop­corn raced by the Fyfe fam­ily from Lochaber and Glen­coe Boat Club dom­i­nated Class 8, de­spite Mar­ian Austin’s Scin­tilla from Lochaber Yacht Club mak­ing a bril­liant start in the first race and great gains on the first beat. They were pipped in the first race to Pop­corn with the lovely Scot­tish Is­lands Class Gigha of Scott Rae­burn in third. Pop­corn won by 14 min­utes on cor­rected time from Lady Ex and Hot Toddy in the sec­ond race. On the Ar­gyll course Or­well Lass won re­stricted sail Class 9 from Layla and Can­tata II.

Breeze and sun­shine make a roller coaster sail to Oban

The Craobh to Oban pas­sage race spon­sored by Owen Sails saw the breeze up and boats reefed for a beat to the turn­ing mark south of Lu­ing. There­after the hori­zon be­came a blaze of colour as spin­nakers were set in the Tun­nock’s Fleet for the run to Oban in bril­liant sun­shine.

An­gus Wright’s Aunt Jessie stormed through in Class 1 to take a strong first from the J92s Jam­min of Ally Pa­ton and Sat­is­fac­tion of Nick Mar­shall. Jim Dick’s Elan GT5 Re­flec­tion won Class 3 from Graham An­der­son’s Lucky Ned Pep­per and Car­men II.

Scott Chalmers and fam­ily on Sun­rise took a first in Class 4 from Grand Cru and Syn­ergie. The beau­ti­ful Ni­chol­son 43 Mag­da­leyne from Ire­land edged out the Fortei­ths’ Shad­ow­fax win­ning the day in Class 5 with Boyd Tun­nock’s Le­marac tak­ing a strong third. Class 6 in the Ar­gyll white sail fleet was won by Peter Bloch’s Sun Odyssey 33i Skye from Ian Ni­col­son’s St Brid­get and Oban Sail­ing Club’s Joey Gough in Tan­gle o’ the Isles.

Craig Cor­son and team on Sala­man­der XXII were back in win­ning form strik­ing a first from Piece­maker and Cool Ban­dit in Class 7 while in Class 8 Oban boat Hot Toddy took the win from Marisca and Pop­corn. Ke­lana won Class 9 with Can­tata II in sec­ond place and Judy Orr’s Eureka from Camp­bel­town third.

Firth of Lorn races

With another stiff southerly breeze on Tues­day, the Tun­nock’s fleet raced a wind­ward lee­ward course off Lis­more made all the more in­ter­est­ing with two an­chored tankers to nav­i­gate around. In­creas­ingly un­com­fort­able con­di­tions forced PRO Read­man to can­cel the sec­ond race for the spin­naker fleet so re­sults stood for just the one race.

The Irish Sigma 400 Thalia of Michael Finn and team and the J109 Jam­min sailed an ex­cel­lent race fin­ish­ing on ex­actly the same cor­rected time to take joint first in Class 1 while Re­flec­tion racked up another first in Class 3 from Alan Jef­freys and Paul Scutt’s Car­men II. Graham An­der­son’s team on Lucky Ned Pep­per con­tin­ued their good form plac­ing third.

Mag­da­leyne with three gen­er­a­tions of Pet­ti­crews aboard, won from the fa­mous and well sailed Sigma 33 Leaky Roof II of Harper and Robert­son with Boyd Tun­nock and team on Le­marac third.

In the Ar­gyll Fleet rac­ing to the south of the ferry line in the Firth of Lorn, Scott Chalmers and fam­ily showed once again their win­ning form in their Sigma 400 Sun­rise. Ian Ni­col­son skip­pered St Brid­get to a win in Class 6 – all the more poignant as the fa­mous skip­per was ap­proach­ing nine decades young! Only two boats fin­ished in Class 9 with Robin Will’s Malo Can­tata II tak­ing the win from Ke­lana.

Class 7 saw the Moody 336s kick into ac­tion with Sala­man­der, Cool Ban­dit 2 and Piece­maker tak­ing the first three places.

And in Class 8 on the round the cans it was An­drew Wal­lace’s Ni­chol­son 35 Jane Wa­ter­man win­ning from Mar­ian Austin’s Scin­tilla with Pop­corn hav­ing to be con­tent with third place.

Ex­cit­ing run to Tobe­mory

Oban to Tober­mory, prob­a­bly the most pop­u­lar race of the week, once again saw a mix of wind con­di­tions. A strong breeze at the start saw most boats reef­ing for the beat to Lis­more Light but this quickly light­ened away as yachts en­tered the Sound of Mull on a close fetch. Those able to fly kites on the shy reach ben­e­fited most with patchy con­di­tions to Locha­line be­fore the breeze fi­nally fresh­ened. And freshen it did with a great run for all to the mark be­fore the beat to the fin­ish at Tober­mory. Jam­min raced away with Class 1 and An­gus Wright’s Aunt Jessie beat Sat­is­fac­tion into third place by only one sec­ond.

Re­flec­tion pow­ered through to take a win in Class 3 by over six min­utes on cor­rected time from Box­car and Car­men II

Class 4 saw Firestarter win by 28 sec­onds from Spirit of May and Sun­rise in third. Shad­ow­fax, helmed by Steven Forteith with crew mem­bers from Owen Sails, pow­ered away from the start to lead the fleet and take first place from Leaky Roof II and Sea-Pie of Cul­tra. Joey Gough’s Tan­gle o’ the Isles won Class 6.

In Class 7 Sala­man­der XXII took the win by only three sec­onds on cor­rected time from fel­low Moody 336 Craig An­der­son’s Cool Ban­dit 2 and Brian Wise­man’s Sorr of Ap­pin.

Hot Toddy pulled out all the stops in Class 8 win­ning from the beau­ti­fully re­stored Scot­tish Is­land Class Gigha of Scott Rae­burn who just pipped the Fyffe’s Pop­corn into third by seven sec­onds.

It was to be a win for Seon­aid Reid and her team on Malindi of Lorne in Class 9 from Alis­tair Gay’s Or­well Lass and Ke­lana.

Sound of Mull rac­ing

With light winds fore­cast, the race com­mit­tees had their work set out for them with the Tun­nock’s fleet wait­ing for the vari­able di­rec­tion to set­tle. Set­ting Class 1, 3 and 5 off, PRO Read­man opted to re­call these classes when the wind di­rec­tion changed. Af­ter re-set­ting marks, all classes had good sail­ing with wind fill­ing in. Aurora, Blue Jay and Jam­min worked their way to podium po­si­tions in Race 1 with Aurora win­ning race 2 and Jam­min edg­ing out Blue Jay for sec­ond.

Re­flec­tion con­tin­ued a win­ning streak from Car­men II and Lucky Ned Pep­per in Class 3 but was pushed out in the sec­ond race by ex­cel­lent sail­ing by the Car­men II team from Po­laris and Lucky Ned Pep­per.

It was ideal Sigma 33 con­di­tions and Jeremy Col­man’s Sea-Pie of Cul­tra took first from Leaky Roof II and Shad­ow­fax in the first race. Leaky Roof II took their re­venge in race 2 with the win over Sea-Pie of Cul­tra with Mag­da­leyne in third place.

Sun­rise also brought

Pop­corn.

Ajax.

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