As we enter 2019 we are delighted to announce the plans for West Highland Yachting Week 2019 and have posted the Notice of Race with an added price advantage to those boats that commit early.
2019 will make the 72nd year the event has been running and plans to be a wonderful week both on the water and ashore. As before the week starts at Croabh Haven and moves north to Oban where it sees another year with of the Firth of Lorn races on the Tuesday and then heads out to the west to Tobermory before returning to Oban.
We are delighted that Johnnie Readman has volunteered to lead the Race Team as the Principle Race Officer and as a long term participant and experienced sailor he promises us all a hectic, competitive but above all fun and enjoyable week on the water.
In a slight change there will be two midweek prize givings each with more social events the first will take place at Dunstaffanage on the Tuesday and the second will see the return of a Tobermory prize giving and dance on the Thursday Evening – leaving the final prize giving to be on Friday Afternoon at Oban Sailing Club before the fleet disperses.
The Joint Committee has arranged with Ron and Graeme Cowan of www.yachtingimages.co.uk that jpegs of the photographs taken during WHYW18 can be downloaded free of charge for personal use by WHYW officials, helpers and participating yacht owners and crews until 28th. September 2018.
The copyright of all images remains with Yachting Images but owners and crews may download images of their own yachts and general views for their own personal, non commercial, use. A ‘Restricted Use’ licence will be included with the download and this will allow each file to be posted on the downloader’s own personal social media site(s). The images must not be shared with any other person, commercial firm or organisation, or used on the internet except as mentioned above.
As usual high quality prints can be ordered through www.yachtingimages.co.uk and any enquiries regarding any commercial use, including yacht sales & brokerage, press, publication in print and on the internet , etc. should be addressed to email@example.com . A charge may be made for such use.
For access to the link to download your own files please contact – firstname.lastname@example.org
This link may be privately shared with those who crewed with you during WHYW18 but must not be shared with others, or published anywhere.
Joint Regatta Committee
West Highland Yachting Week
View from the back – first time sailing West Highland Week (first time racing) as a family.
After a great time crabbing and playing cards and looking for Lego Men in Tobermory with some of the other kids we woke up thinking that maybe we won’t come last today, we were wrong. Unfortunately at the start we were just over the line because we were distracted by a passing seal. We turned and back over the line we went, which put us last already.
We were the first class to set off. We thought of this as an advantage, we were wrong. Slowly as the race progressed, every boat passed us with spinnakers of all colours cracking like thunder as the wind came and went until we were at the back, again. There was singing on the rail, sandwiches sat on, Grannies baking and Tunnocks tea cakes – yum.
As the second last boat crossed the finish line, they were only a dot on the horizon. Once we had finished we cheered and were grateful for the cheering too from the committee boat. We thanked the committee for being so patient waiting for us and started to motor to Dunstaffnage where we are looking forward to a BBQ and the rest of our holiday.
Having arrived in Tobermory for lunch time on Wednesday, a good rest was had before races resumed on the Thursday morning.
With around 5 knots of breeze, classes 1-5 were able to set off around the course before we were becalmed on the start line meaning both class 7 and 8 weren’t able to hone their starting routines. Mr Tunnocks had obviously seen this coming as he waited alongside Chico for them to recall the fleet.
A well managed light spell by the race committee saw a restart of race 1 for the Tunnocks fleet. This new batch of wind was steadier and allowed for a good race in light to moderate conditions. A special mention to Gigha being single handedly sailed around the course without a hitch.
The second race saw a 90 degree windshift and Lodestar altered the buoys accordingly. The sail changes became slicker and the shouts from the helm became calmer as winds eased off towards the end of the race. Lady Ex impressively sailed her spinakker through the line to end the days racing with a flourish.
The real race then commenced to grab the last spaces on the Tobermory pontoons. Class 8, however, know when a battle is lost so enjoyed the sail across the channel all in time for the annual class party. Many thanks to Scintilla and Marisca for hosting!
Day 4 of West Highland Yacht Week for Blue Jay, Class 1:
An early start for all classes led to an interesting mix of conditions with wind speeds building and dropping off throughout the day with a building tide against the passage through the Sound of Mull. All onboard shook off the clutches of sleep and put on a happy face ready for racing!
Racing started on time for all classes, bar class 7 who seemed almost too keen to get their pontoon berth in Tobermory… All competitors had passed through Lady’s Rock by around 8:45, after this the pace really began to snowball. With wind just aft of the beam many of the fleet hoisted reaching kites with these being exchanged or peeled for their larger running equivalents as the wind continued to track back. At this stage class 1 began to separate with many of the class heading high to get the early benefit of fresh wind whilst others sailed a straighter course risking the effects of the tide.
The sail through the sound, past Salen, really took the biscuit with a gradual bear away and the first signs of Tobermory appearing off the bow. Most of the fleet chose a shoreline route, sticking to the wafer thin shallows with several gybing battles ensuing. Although the wind looked favourable in the main channel, many yachts stuck to this tactic as they likely feared the deeper water would be like sailing through pure caramel with no hope of rolling across the competition. A few yachts ventured out into the channel and it paid dividends as the wind swung forwards and filled in strongly, giving the boost they needed to pull away from those behind to close the gap to the front runners. After this it was only a short round up outside the bay at Tobermory and across the finish line.
Racing finished in high spirits with all competitors happy with their performance and ready for a well deserved pint in the Mishnish (other brands of Tobermory hospitality are available).
A special mention to Wildwood, with the youngest helm barely able to see over the wheel! They prove that West Highland Yacht Week is still truly a family business. And also to our great friend and crew member Fiona Rae who celebrates her birthday today!
Thanks to all racers, organisers and sponsors for what has been a brilliant week so far with more yet to come!
Day 3 of West Highland Week for Autism on the Water and the rest of the fleet in the Tunnocks fleet saw very strong winds and big seas as well as a return of the rain!
All spinnaker classes had a epic race with the strong winds and big seas making for difficult steering for skippers. For Autism on the Water with Matthew Thomas coach of Team New Zealand Sailing team calling tactics, we had a SUPERB race flying the spinnaker on each leg touching at least 20kts boat speed with the crew sitting well back of the boat and the skippers heart rate 50 times faster!!!
However Salamander along with Cool Bandit and Piecemaker took deserved first three placings with the conditions suiting the boats perfectally. We had a fantastic 4th place which was a very good result for us! We also shout out to our friends on Shadowfax who were leading Class 5 and and entertained the committee boat with a spectacular broach which cost them places! We’ve offered coaching sessions for a decent price! But are impressed with a slick recovery!
For me personally it’s so special for me to have my own boat here. I am so passionate about raising awareness of autism through sailing, it’s a sport that requires serious confidence and problem solving skills. For me that was tested big time and honestly sailing that fast was mind blowing. I want to thank my crew for all their efforts in tough conditions and for helping me embrace the difference as we sail and also our thanks to our sponsors Octopi Engineering for making it possible to be here. Having competed for so many years as crew I never thought I’d see the day I’d have my own boat here racing competively in tough conditions. I’m autistic myself and I certainly have made some dreams come true this week.
The regatta clothing is being seen on many of those attending WHYW. There are still a few items available and these can be purchased/collected at the prize giving tonight from 8pm at the Argyllshire Gathering Halls in Oban.
If you would like to reserve please let us know item and boat and we can put it aside.
Hoodies 1 2xl. 1l. 1m. 2s
Polo 1 2xl. 1xl. 1l. 2m. 2s. 1xs.
Rugby 1 2xl. 1 l. 5m. 1s.
T shirt 1xl. 1s.
Wind proof 1 2xl. 2m. 2s.
Windproof 2 xl 16.
Gillet 1 2xl 18. 2 xl 16. 1 l 14.
T 1 2xl 18. 3 2xl 18.
Polo 2 2xl 16. 3 l 14. 1 m 12
This was the first time that I’ve taken part in West Highland Yachting Week. We did not race on Sunday from Craobh so instead we went snorkelling just outside the Marina. My Brother and I saw lots of fish , sea urchin and starfish but the water remained very cold. During the feeder race from Gigha to Craobh there was every different type of wind possible- (I have never seen so many sails being put up and taken down in three hours as we did then.) As we got closer to Craobh the wind picked up and I got the boats best top speed- 15Knots- just as we passed Corryvreckan. This was good preparation for today’s Craobh to Oban Race.
I was steering today and at the start all of the boats were like huge elephants charging at our tiny boat as we crossed the line of the 20 mile race to Oban- we were close to being over but just on the right side so that might be beginners luck!
As we got closer to the windward mark all of the spinnakers were like a giant rainbow filling the horizon with colour. As we passed through the sound of Luing we some some violent whirlpools but passed without incident. It then became windy during the race to Oban and we broached four or five times- but after the first one who’s counting!
The closer and closer we got to Oban the more we could make out and we started to see the castles appearing from the green and hilly sourroundings.
When the big white and brown committee boat came into view we were welcomed by three porpoises to celebrate our success and guide us across the finish line. Throughout my time so far we have seen plenty of porpoises and last night saw an otter in the Marina so far I have had a great time and am sure it will get even better in Tobermory
On Monday 30th, Oban Marina is also running a shuttle between Oban Sailing Club (the community pontoon) and Kerrera at the following times:
Kerrera to Community Pontoons 1830, 1930, 2030, 2230
Community Pontoons to Kerrera as above +10 mins (i.e. 1840, 1940, 2040 and 2240)
Oban to Craobh passage race as seen from Shadowfax (First 31.7).
West highland yachting week 2018 started in Oban today on a warm grey (very early) morning. With very little wind in Oban bay the race team took the fleet down the sound of Kerrera for a start just south of cutter rock.
WIth the breeze filling from the south east, the race team got us away without to much delay.
At the pin end of the line Prime cut and Murray MacDonalds Autism on water battled it out with Shadowfax just to leeward. As the gun went the fleet were away with no recalls. On Shadowfax the spinnaker was set early and pulled us out to an early lead soon to be overhauled by the quicker boats of Taz, Warrior and Moonstruck 2.
The race progressed through the inside of Insh island with not much place changing and all the spinnakers set.
As the big boats rounded Easdale island the breeze built for a short period to Fladda where it became to tight to continue with spinnakers, and the fleet changed onto headsails. We were then duly reminded it was West highland yachting week as the heavens opened, and rain, yes rain like you have never seen before killed the breeze and morale! It was still warm though.
A short beat in light breeze took us to the orange turning mark where kites were once again set and a gentle run up to the finish line off Craobh rounded off a fine days sailing. With the tide under the keels all the way the fleet was quite close right throughout the finishing order.
Results just in and Marisca took a fine win in just under a minute on corrected from James Hardies Taz , with Shadowfax a close third. Warrior was fourth and rounding out the top five was Murray MacDonald’s Autism on water. A fine achievement for his first West Highland yachting week with the 707.
Thanks to all the organiser and sponsors and roll on tomorrow when the serious business starts for the points series.