Tiree Centenary Regatta 2011

The dawn of Tiree Centenary Regatta Day, a was a stunner, cloudless, sunny with a brisk S.SE. The forecast for the day was to cloud over, and the wind to drop, but at 2 o’clock, on the start line, the sun still shone, the brisk SSE had eased, and a glorious day enfolded.

The start line was impressive, with 16 boats jostling for position. The boats included 7 classic Tiree dipping lugs, a number which the Tiree Regatta had not seen for many a year, and possibly a Scottish Record for the class.

Duckwall Pooley and Morag AnneIn addition to the mixed dinghy fleet the Tiree Regatta also welcomed Sebastian Horinkouck, a regular visiting wind-sports fanatic to Tiree , in his Beneteau 42 “Duckwall Pooley” . Sebastian had sailed her up from his native Brittany, to take part in the regatta . Prior to Sebastian ‘s purchase of Duckwall Pooley she was regularly raced on the Clyde.

To those not experienced in sailing dipping lugs, these boats were not built to be raced, but built to be worked. So when racing, they row out to the start line and hold their position on the line using their oars. On the ‘start gun’ the dipping lug sails are rapidly raised, by their yards, and the boats are OFF .

The start was impressive, with most of the boats making a perfect start, joined by the mixed racing startdinghy fleet, all racing to the Old Gaffers Association Handicap. In the 2 hard fought rounds of the course, Finn MacDonald aged 10, helming his own Pico made a very strong statement as to his being a contender for Regatta glory in future years, and Mark Beese in the Morag Anne , a traditional Tiree lug, bravely took on the Duckwall Pooley, in contesting a mark. The Tiree Regatta, in its Centernary Year is still very competitive, with Angus MacKinnon’s “Mary Ann “sweeping the field, winning both the lug class, and the overall handicap.

Angus MacKinnon victorious skipperBeing the Centenary Regatta, the Centenary Cup, the original Skippinish Cup, was awarded the winner of the lug class, the ‘Mary Anne’. With this award went a presentation scroll of the earliest record of a Tiree Regatta in the Oban Times April 1911, in a profound Gaelic poem “Oran Do Reis A’Chuain ’Bha ’N Eilean Thirodh”.

Two new events to the Regatta , Stand-up Paddle Boarding and Jet Ski racing were eagerly contested.

The Tobermory Lifeboat arrived and tied up in Scarinish Harbour, allowing many spectators to go aboard an find out the detail of the important work the RNLI does around our coasts

The Centenary Regatta drew to a close with the traditional Trawler race being fought out in its unique colourful way, after which the event adjourned to the Marquee for an evening of revelry, which lasted well into the wee sma’ hours of a memorable day.

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