Sunday, August 23, 2009



Many thanks to Tiree Regatta Club for providing this detailed report of this month's Regatta and the photograph.

Fri 31st July it blew up to 40 k from the south, and the forecast for Saturday's Regatta, did not look good. Sat morning was grey, wet and windy with no improvement in the forecast till late afternoon. Postponement was inevitable, but till when ???. The 10 day forecast indicated the following Sat to have glorious conditions. Decision made. Regatta postponed a week to Sat 8th. Mid week the forecast indicated a continuum of Tiree's BBQ summer, the one that England was promised, but hasn't had.

Sat 8th Aug Reality ??? … grey, wet and windy. However with an improving forecast for mid-day the Regatta was ON. Reality ?? At 2pm ,with the boats leaving for the start line, the sky darkened, and the rain came down. Irrespective, with winds gusting 22-25 K, the fleet crossed the start line….
..Racing was ON.

This year TRC had adopted the Old Gaffers Association Handicap System. This meant TRC could unify the fleets, and race all the boats against one another ,in the same race. Classic Tiree Dipping Lugs were competing with modern boats, including a catamaran!!!
The sea conditions were unkind. The brisk southerly had kicked up a big chop. In one of the gusts, Catadh Mara crested a wave, momentarily 'took- off" to land in the trough taking water in over the gunwhale. The lugs battled it out, exchanging typical Tiree pleasantries, as they keenly contested the marks. Similarly the Drascombes were in close contest.

And who won??..…a Tiree Dipping Lug, Catadh Mara, with Angus MacLean at the helm and Duncan MacLean as crew.

The shore events started with the pillow fight which proved to be a slug-fest in the rain. However the rain passed through, the weather showed some improvement, and the shore events continued with a record entry Raft Race. The Airport Crew brought a hi-tech raft which was in stark contrast to the more traditional rafts which included a floating bedstead complete with fluffy head board. Inevitably there was some equipment failure, assisted by some very aggressive sabotage. The winning crew at one stage, abandoned their raft to attack, and de-power the Airport crew by dragging their power-rower, Andy Philips, into the water. Mission accomplished, they re-manned their own raft, to finish just ahead of the Airport Crew, who had fired up a 9 hp outboard, which they had somehow smuggled onto to their raft!!

As the raft race finished, the racing fleet, lead in by the victorious Catadh Mara returned to harbour, to the start of the swimming race. In a running start, 26 bodies of all ages hurtled into the water, and in a flurry of spray swam the 50 m to the turn. This proved somewhat illusory, as the mark was a crewed kayak which constantly moved station. Some very tired swimmers returned, collapsing exhausted on the finish line… 100 m had stretched to 150m!!

The regatta concluded with the traditional fishing Boat Race. Willy Grafton's Silver Spray, fully dressed, looked stunning.

The prizes were presented by Wendy Jupe outside, a by now heaving pub. The wind had died off, the sun had come out. Sailors, spectators, and Scarinish harbour, basked in an aura of calm contentment.

Thanks to all our helpers, teas and exotic cake providers, also thanks to all participants.

TRC thanks its sponsors and supporters :- Tiree Services, Agrimarine, Andy Cameron, Ross MacLennen, Macleod Builders, Argyll Estates , Tiree Kayaks, David Kerr, Mackinnon Builders, Bernie Smith, Skipinnish Sea Tours, PaperWorks, Nan Maclean, and the CO-OP.

TRC looks forward to seeing you all @ Regatta 2010

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