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Scotland Sailing
Insights into Sailing in Scotland
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The great “Dileas” adventure…

September 10th, 2009 alison

Departure day of the great “Dileas” adventure dawned with rainy weather on the horizon, and we hoped it would improve. We loaded all our kit and food onto the boat between the showers and eventually left Kip (3 hours later than planned!). Thankfully by that time the rain had stopped and we headed for Portavadie. With the wind on the nose and our late departure we decided we would break ourselves gently into our holiday and just motor towards the Kyles of Bute. We passed Toward and Rothesay and headed towards the East Kyle. As we passed Ardmaleish Cardinal the wind was at a better angle for sailing but it was quite light and, as we had to be at Portavadie before the entrance shut at 9pm, we kept motoring. We waved as we passed the Maids of Bute to make sure they would see us safely on the rest of our journey, and we took note of their apparel to forecast the weather for the rest of our holiday. With one dressed in a polka-dot sundress and the other in a macintosh and sowester hat it appeared that they were hedging their bets. Little did we know they were actually deadly accurate and for the rest of our trip it rained every second day. Thankfully on the other days there was usually glorious sunshine which gave us the chance to dry out!

We continued our journey passing Tighnabruaich and Kames before rounding Ardlamont Point and heading for Sgat Mor. The island never seemed to get any closer, but eventually we passed it and made it into Portavadie with 10 minutes to go before the entrance closed. After a late dinner on board we settled for the night in preparation for our canal trip the next day.

Friday began with some sunshine. We left our berth in Portavadie after making use of the showers, hairdryers and hairstraighteners!!, and headed for the Crinan Canal. The wind was from the south so we pulled out the headsail and surfed our way up Loch Fyne to Ardrishaig, and made it into the sealock two hours later. The forecast weather which had stopped us going round the Mull of Kintyre was starting to make an appearance, and as the sealock rose we measured 40kts of wind frequently gusting. Some of the boats in the West Highland Week feeder race from Inverkip to Ardrishaig were surfing their way up the loch as we entered the canal, and we were glad we had made it in before them when we saw how overpowered some of them looked, and some of the extreme berthing manouevres which were going on at the pontoon before the lock.

We managed to work our way through the whole canal, past Cairnbaan, Oakfield Bridge and Bellanoch before arriving at Crinan about 7pm and tying up before the lock which led into the basin. Unfortunately the rain had come on just as we arrived at the canal and it stayed on for the rest of the day. We had never been quite so wet and decided that as the forecast for the next day was still quite windy and wet we would possibly stay in the canal for a day and watch all the boats going through.

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Scottish Series Photos

June 3rd, 2009 alison

Some photos from the Brewin Dolphin Scottish Series 2009 are now on up our photo album page.

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Brewin Dolphin Scottish Series Tarbert 2009

June 2nd, 2009 alison

Heading back to Tarbert        Over the May holiday weekend the Brewin Dolphin Scottish Series was again hosted at Tarbert. The largest UK regatta outside of Cowes, and organised by the Clyde Cruising Club this event has had close to 200 boats in the past, with many coming over from Ireland, and further afield, to participate. This year there were 160 entries and 14 classes.

The weekend brought mixed weather, with sunshine on the Friday, wind and rain on the Saturday and wind with no rain on the Sunday. On the Monday, if you were up the top of Loch Fyne with the CYCA classes there were light, variable winds, that made setting a course difficult for the committee. Further down the loch with the sportsboats, Sigmas, and IRC classes there was more wind, and an element of disbelief that there had been postponements for the start of some of the races.

You’ll find some pictures from the series on our photo album page shortly. They show the two extremes of the weather with the glorious sunshine on the Friday, and the wind on the Monday. For pictures from some of the other days the Clyde Cruising Club webpage has some photos too including some of spectaular broaches!

The southerly winds over the weekend gave some exciting racing with four masts being lost over two days. On the Saturday in particular there was a large swell to contend with for some of the smaller boats heading back to Tarbert from the north end of the Loch.

The Brewin Dolphin Scottish Series Trophy was won by Christie Cancer Care, a J109. Click here to see the winners of the other trophies. More detailed results for each class can be foundĀ here.

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