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Scotland Sailing
Insights into Sailing in Scotland
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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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Scotland Sailing Update

May 19th, 2009 alison
The East Kyle from Rothesay Bay

The East Kyle from Rothesay Bay

Some pictures from the Fairlie Yacht Club opening muster have been added to the photo page - the weather, which was forecast to be wet and windy, stayed dry and windy instead and allowed a good race from Kip to Wreck Bay. The course was from Kip to Toward Point, round Mountstuart buoy, back to Bogany Point near Rothesay and finally up the East Kyle, finishing just at Colintraive in time for the muster in Wreck Bay.

There was a good breeze and many started with reefs in the main and small headsails. The fleet tacked towards Toward and after rounding Toward Buoy headed downwind to the Mountstuart safewater mark. After that it was back to beating to make the mark at Bogany Point and, for some, a sail change was called for as the winds lightened. With all reefs shaken out the fleet headed up the East Kyle, with the winds flukey, but most managing to make it to the finish in one tack. Those towards the back of the fleet found themselves waiting for wind to fill in to make it to the finish, but it seems that it was just the hills of the Kyles providing shelter from the wind as coming up to the finish the wind filled in again properly and the yachts were able to sail through the narrows at the Burnt Isles, drop the sails and prepare to drop anchor in Wreck Bay for the evenings muster.

The rain stayed away, except for the odd shower which was quickly blown away by the wind, and everyone ventured onto the beach for the evenings festivities. Wreck Bay stayed calm until everyone returned to their yachts - chased by a downpouring of rain, but better weather could not have been asked for as the breeze kept away the midges which always seem to find where the party is.

The rain disappeared by the next morning which allowed a leisurely start, and despite the odd shower throughout the day, the fantastic sailing weather continued. Those who made an early departure from Wreck Bay got to enjoy a downwind sail towards Rothesay and as long as you were on a port tack the sun was shining! The breeze meant that Rothesay was a good stop for a long lunch and a seat in the sun, with the entertainment provided by the local yacht club racing a variety of dinghys. The Rothesay Jazz Festival provided entertainment for those who went ashore, as did the usual array of pubs, and Zavaroni’s fish and chips!

After lunch a brisk sail back to Kip was had. The 20 - 25kts of breeze allowed for a speedy sail under headsail alone, and some record breaking journey times were recorded. Those who stayed out for the Monday holiday were not so fortunate with their weather for returning home. The winds stayed, but unfortunately the rain closed in and Monday proved to be a blustery day. We hope the weather for the next May weekend and the Scottish Series Racing stays a bit drier for all 3 days!

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Sunshine and Spinnakers

April 29th, 2009 alison

Last Wednesday’s Fairlie Yacht Club race was the first with a decent number of participants which got the competitive juices flowing for all involved. There was also a decent wind which tested the stamina and persistence of those trying to get to the windward mark.

Tonight, it looks like it’s going to be windy, and from the wind direction the windward mark’s going to be a long way away again. It’s also looking like waterproofs will be required, but it should be a fun night anyway, with an exciting spinnaker leg should any of the crews be brave enough.

The weekend just passed started off bright and sunny for the Clyde Cruising Club’s first race meet and the Round Bute Race. The course took the participants from the downwind start outside Inverkip, with spinnakers hoisted after the start line, and dropped approaching Toward Point. The next turn took them into the Kyles of Bute. Passing Rothesay and heading to the Burnt Isles on a broad reach, with the spinnakers made another appearance at Colintraive and were carried through the Burnt Isles, past the Maids of Bute, and down to Tighnabruaich. The rest of the legs were sailed under genoa as the fleet went round the west side of Inchmarnock, rounded Garroch Head and headed back to the top of Great Cumbrae Island where the spinnakers made a final appearance for the leg down to the finish line at Largs.

Meanwhile, those of us not racing were enjoying the weather in the marina, where the shelter of the breakwater meant that it was t-shirt weather. Lots of people were making use of the weather to put the finishing touches to their season preparation in time for the Mayday holiday this coming weekend. I’m sure all the members of the Clyde Cruising Club and Fairlie Yacht Club will be hoping for the weather to hold for the opening musters this weekend. Being held at Rhu and Wreck Bay they will herald the start of the sailing season for those members who cruise rather than race and we hope that they go off with a bang!

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Sailing action update…

April 22nd, 2009 alison

Check out our photo album page to find some photos from the Wednesday racing at Kip both from the start of this season and some from previous seasons. The first races have gone by with no disasters - probably mainly due to the early start to the season and there only being a few boats out.

The courses which have already been and gone  also went successfully. Week 1 got plenty wind, and not a little rain. Week 2 had more sun, but also had plenty wind to test the skills of everyone on board (including the instructors). Lets hope the season continues as it has begun having got off to a great start.

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Clyde sailing action starts soon!

April 7th, 2009 alison

Oban to Mull ferry departing the Sound of Kerrera

We’ve made some changes to our Photo Album page so have a look to find more images from our recent trip up the Clyde, and some photos from last summer when the sun was shining!

The season is now off to a proper start, with the first charter over and the first courses leaving yesterday. We hope that the sun will shine for at least some of their week and that they return having had a great week with some excellent sailing conditions. (Let’s hope the instructors’ can remember how to sail after having the winter off!)

The Clyde yacht clubs will all be shortly starting their muster and race calendars too. The Fairlie Yacht Club evening race series should make for some interesting viewing while the crews get used to being back on the water and working together again. We’ll know after tomorrow, when the first races start outside of Kip, whether or not the front of the boat can remember what the back’s doing and vice versa! The races at Largs on Tuesday nights aren’t due to start for another week which means they will be able to take note of any serious errors made at Kip and make sure that they don’t do the same! Check back after Wednesday to find out if it all went alright on the night!

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