Thursday, 3 August 2017

Regatta - Day 1

Day 1 of the West Ardnamurchan Regatta always starts with the morning briefing for the sailors conducted by Regatta Chairman Alastair MacColl. Today's first problem related to light winds - it was almost calm at time of briefing - so a decision was made to shorten the course for the morning race.

Five boats took part in the first race - they're seen here jockeying for position moments before the start flag dropped. By this time the wind had begun to pick up so....

....Geoff Campbell (right) and his crew Alex Hester were quickly away in the Topper Omega.

The other competitors were Paul Bentley with his partner Kathryn crewing in a Caledonian yawl....

....Tom Colville in a Drascombe Coaster....

....and Dave Syme in a Drascombe Dabber. All these are regular competitors but this year Regatta welcomed....

....a very special guest, Colin Skeath and his wife Katrina in a Swift Temagami Canadian canoe. Colin, from Strontian, along with Davis Gould-Duff, from Limerick, last week completed the first round-Britain voyage in an open Canadian canoe. Chairman Alastair MacColl commented that this presented him with another problem: he had to work out a handicap for a canoe, and this canoe really travels. It was soon well ahead of all the boats except the Topper.

The race took place in crowded waters. In the distance can be seen the yachts taking part in the West Highland Regatta, based in Tobermory today, while in the foreground it looked for a short time as if this large yacht, which dwarfed Dave Syme's boat, was joining the West Ardnamurchan Regatta - but the skipper had obviously failed to attend the briefing so was going the wrong way.

Many thanks to Chris Gane in the safety boat for taking me out this morning.

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