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Scotland Sailing
Insights into Sailing in Scotland
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A trip on the Waverley (Part One): Dunoon to Rothesay

July 31st, 2009 alison

Waverley Glasgow

Its the Glasgow Fair, our day begins at Dunoon. We’ve left the sailing boat tied up and taken to the paddles.

Who's at the helm?

Who’s driving? It’s OK, the captain is steering from upstairs. The big black drum seems to be a steam-driven winch.

Some passengers

It’s Glasgow holiday season, which might explain why the Waverley was full of passengers in fancy dress, as cavemen.  These two seem almost normal.

Toward lighthouse

Toward lighthouse, now unmanned, with the disused foghorn in the foreground.

All dressed up

Waverley had dressed up for the holidays.

Rothesay Bay - a fine sight

Rothesay Bay - a fine sight!

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West Highland Yachting Week 2009

July 28th, 2009 alison
Spinnakers heading from Tobermory to Oban

Some yachts taking part in West Highland Week 2008

West Highland Yachting Week starts on Friday for those boats in the Clyde ready to make their way west. With a 9am start from outside Kip Marina the competitors will head down round Garroch Head and make their way up to Ardrishaig, ready to go through the Crinan Canal on the Saturday an dmake thier way to Craobh. Those already on the west coast may take part in a feeder race from Gigha (after some live music the night before in the Gigha Hotel) or Oban to Craobh Marina, where an evening of entertainment awaits them in the Lord of the Isles Bar and Restaurant.

On the Sunday the fleet splits into 10 classes and races to Oban. Passing Shuna,going through the Sound of Luing, leaving Easdale and Seil behind them they finish in the Sound of Kerrera and split for the night. At Oban there is a number of places where the fleet will choose to berth. Some may moor outside Oban Sailing Club, while others will tie up at Oban Marina, Kerrera, or Dunstaffnage Marina. One or two boats may even tie up alongside the North Pier, in the very centre of Oban.

The Monday and Tuesday are spent racing out of Oban, with the whole fleet racing round Lismore in an anticlockwise direction on the Monday. On the Tuesday the fleet splits in two with those yachts flying kites going round the cans in the Firth of Lorn, and those who are in the restricted sail classes sailing a set course away from any out of control spinnaker poles! The late starts will allow for a full appreciation of the social programme, with the Kerrera barn dance on the Sunday evening, a skipper’s reception, Oban Sailing Club barbecue, and “Skerryvore” in the Skipinnish celidh house on the Monday, and the Wide Mouthed Frog at Dunstaffnage getting in on the action on the Tuesday afternoon and evening with entertainment and live music.

Wednesday sees the fleet come together once more for the race to Tobermory. The 1130 start means there’s no excuse for being late to the start line, and after passing Lismore Light, the entrance of Loch Aline, Green Island and Calve Island the fleet will settle in Tobermory Bay for the night. On the Thursday the fleet again splits into two groups for the Round the cans racing in the Sound of Mull. Entertainment in Tobermory will be the usual selection of live music and celidhs. Macgochans Pub has both “Trail West” and “Gunna Sound” playing live, and it would be a surprise if there was not some sort of live music in the Mishnish also.

On the Friday there’s the earliest race start of the week with the race from Tobermory, back down the Sound of Mull, to Oban starting at 08.30am. Hopefully this will give everyone a bit of time to get cleaned up and presentable for the final prizegiving in the Corran Halls on Friday evening.

Best of luck to everyone who’s competing in West Highland Week this year, let’s hope for fair weather and good winds! Anyone who’s interested in seeing more of the sailing instructions will find them here, and there’s lots of additional information in the West Highland Week website.

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Some good links to photographs of the Mylne Classic Regatta 2009

July 26th, 2009 alison

The Mylne Classic Regatta took place over the 12th to 16th July and it was great to see all the boats sailing about the Clyde - reminiscent of the Fyfe Regatta of last year, only with better weather!

There are now some photos up on the Mylne Regatta website and they only emphasise how attractive these yachts are. Some of them are also quite imposing, and with so many different sails and sheets sailing some of the larger Mylnes must be quite a challenge.

While browsing for photos of the regatta I came across some links to a few sites which I think are worth a look.

Andy Walters Yachting Shots

Pbase link 1

Pbase link 2

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How to tell when you need new waterproofs..

July 24th, 2009 alison
Time for new waterproofs!

Time for new waterproofs!

Need I say more? The damp trousers are usually a sure sign that new waterproofs are required (honest!!). A shiny new set was purchased the next day!!

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The VIC 32

July 20th, 2009 alison

A photo of VIC 32 - the last seagoing coal fired steam ‘Clyde puffer’ - heading up the West Kyle.

Vic 32

VIC 32 puffing up the West Kyle

The Save the Puffer website has lots of information about the VIC 32. Why not have a read, find out about its history and how you can help it to continue puffing around the west coast.

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Sunny weather and summer holidays

July 15th, 2009 alison

The recent spell of gloriously sunny weather looked set to end this week on the Clyde, but so far at Kip the rain has not managed to make a lasting appearance. Good news for the two sailing courses out! One course was out over the weekend and arrived back in this afternoon having had some rain, but also enough time to dry out before having to pack away their things and head home. The second course departed yesterday after some berthing practise. The weather forecast showed numerous low pressure systems heading their way and it seemed like they were doomed to a damp week, but it turns out that if the weather holds as it has done the last couple of days they may only get rained on in the mornings!

Looking out at Kip Marina at the moment the sun is beating down on the boats, but many of the berths are empty as people have gone on their summer cruises. This weekend the Clyde Cruising Club holds its annual Tobermory Race, a race popular with members who want to go sailing around the west coast for their holidays.  With options to sail Round the Mull to Crinan on the 17th July, or to go from Rothesay to Ardrishaig on the 18th, heading west through the Crinan Canal, to join up with the boats which have gone Round the Mull for the second part of the race from Loch Craignish to Tobermory on the 19th July. This year the tides appear to have been kind to the competitors with a 9am start rather than the 4am start it often can be.

The last Fairlie Yacht Club event was the Holy Loch Race on the 4th July. Light winds meant the racing took most of the day, but the fleet managed to avoid most of the rain showers which were gracing our shores that day. The next Fairlie event is not until the 15th August with a crew race from Largs to Ardlamont, and a muster at Portavadie marina that evening.

With so many boats away, or about to head off on their cruising adventures, the marina is quite quiet, but there was some excitment as the marina’s resident swans hatched their eggs and 4 new signets are now learning to swim in the peaceful waters of Kip.

Proud parents

Proud parents with the new additions to the Kip family

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Vote for Able2Sail! - Last chance to vote

July 9th, 2009 alison

Voting closes tomorrow for this round of the National Lottery Good Causes. If you’ve not already cast your vote for Able2Sail, the only Scottish charity through to this stage of the awards process, then why not? Vote for it now by clicking on the link on the right hand side of this page!

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Mylne Classic Regatta 2009

July 6th, 2009 alison
Fyfe 18

Some Fyfe Yachts racing during the 2008 Fyfe Regatta

Starting on Sunday 12th July is the Mylne Classic Regatta. In an event that may be reminiscent to some of the Fyfe Regatta last summer, these Alfred Mylne designed yachts will compete in numerous races, from Helensburgh to Rothesay, Round Bute, To Cumbrae and back from Rothesay to Rhu, meaning there will be plenty to see over the week. Let’s hope the good weather we’ve been having holds so we can see some of these yachts in their full glory! There will also be opportunities for the public to visit the yachts at each stopover.

Sure to be a sight from the land, why not get out and look at them from the water? With daysail spaces available from Kip on Saturday 18th July 2009 take the opportunity to sail the Firth of Clyde, enjoy the scenery and wildlife, and perhaps see some of these yachts as they make their way home from the regatta.

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