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Tiree Agricultural Show 2012

Clydesdale horsesSunshine and shimmering blue sea welcomed a record crowd to the Annual Show on the Isle of Tiree. Many mainland and neighbouring island visitors joined the islanders to enjoy a day at Tiree Show.

There was a warm welcome to Clydesdale judging at the Show after a gap of 50 years. A large influx of horses and ponies to the island during the past year included Mary Flora MacDonald and Sandra Brown’s Clydesdale geldings. Donald MacIntyre, Tiree’s veteran Clydesdale enthusiast, had the task of judging and selected Major from Mary Flora MacDonald, Roadside as his winner. This gelding went on to lift the Champion of Champions awards.

Travelling across the water by rib from Islay, the group of Ileach farmers included Cattle judge Eion Brown, Aoradh. His overall winner in the Crossbred Cattle came from the highly competitive suckled calf classes with an April born Charolais cross heifer calf from Archie John MacLean, Heylipol. Reserve was from Alasdair MacLean, Heylipol with his Limousin cross heifer calf. The champion in the breeding cattle was last year’s overall winner from Colin MacKinnon, Kilkenneth. Colin went on to lift the trophy for most points and the Crofter’s Shield. The Supreme Cattle champion came from the Purebred Section, a British Blue heifer calf, Ruaig Hettie from Alastair and Iain MacInnes, Ruaig.

A good turnout of Crossbred sheep went before judge Angus MacFadyen, Bragleenmore, Oban. Champion in the Prime lambs came from Alastair and Iain MacInnes, Ruaig with a pen of 3 Beltex cross lambs. Blackface Champion was a ewe from Mary Flora MacDonald, Roadside. Sandra Brown, Balevullin lifted the Crossbred championship with a Texel cross ewe and went on to win the trophy for most points and the Crofter’s Shield. Reserve in this section was a Texel cross ewe lamb from Ewan MacKinnon, Hillcrest.

Donald McCormick, Blackrock, another Islay rib passenger, had the task of judging in the Pure bred sheep ring. Brothers Alasdair and Fraser MacLean, Heylipol were champion and reserve respectively with the Supreme Sheep award going to Alasdair’s Beltex gimmer on her first show outing. Reserve overall was Fraser’s homebred Suffolk shearling ram.

In the Ridden Horse and Pony Section, it was the Highland gelding Achnalarig Struan from Janis MacArthur which once again lifted the champion award. Reserve was winner of the horse classes Jan Paterson’s Friesian, Tallina FanT’Sudein. A good turnout of Tiree’s new Pony Club members enjoyed their day at the Show winning many rosettes.

Once again the Pet Show drew a large crowd with many island and visiting dogs on parade before judge Rev Elspeth MacLean. Champion was a black poodle from Rhona McGoogan with the Golden Oldie Quaich going to Skye from Barbara Brown.

The line up of vintage tractors drew lots of admirers with the winner of the pre 1975 class from Donald Archie Brown and the champion rosette awarded to Duncan Cameron’s MF135 from the post 1975 class. Home Industries exhibits were down on the year but the judges commentated on the high standard of exhibits forward. Monica Smith swept the board winning all trophies in this section with Jo Vale winning the Horticulture Cup and John Fletcher‘s basket of mixed vegetables lifting the best exhibit. A magnificent display of crowns, plate gardens and decorated cup cakes from all age groups were entered in the Children’s Section. Andy with his Chainsaw Craft created wonderful carvings of which two were auctioned and can be spotted in gardens on the island. Other great crowd attractions were the Tiree YFC’s sheep racing, Tiree Pipeband and the Clydesdale Single Horse Turnouts in the main ring. Drawing the day to a close, Nan MacLean presented the cups to the day’s winners.

The committee wish to thank all the sponsors and donors of prizes to the Livestock Sections, the Grand Raffle and the Dance Raffle. To all our helpers on the day, a big THANK YOU. To everyone who took part in the listed competition classes, congratulations and thank you for your support. Finally, to everyone who came to the Show and helped make it such an enjoyable day, your attendance was greatly appreciated.

Tiree Agricultural Society

Scottish Beef Calf Scheme Payments Begin


More than 7,900 Scottish producers will receive their share of £22 million of European funding in the next few weeks.

Payments for the 2011 Scottish Beef Calf Scheme (SBCS) will start to arrive in bank accounts, with 95 per cent of recipients expected to receive their payment by the end of April, subject to necessary validation checks. Payment information is available to view on Rural Payments Online.

Claims were received from 7,902 producers for around 434,000 animals, an increase of 10,000 from last year. Rural Affairs Secretary Richard Lochhead said:

“These payments will provide timely support to the rural economy and deliver great benefit for our livestock sector. They form part of an important support framework which is always vital, and never more so than in the current economic climate.
“I am also pleased to confirm that the Scottish Government has been successful in ensuring this funding continues at current levels through the introduction of the Scottish Beef Scheme in January 2012, which replaces the SBCS. This will provide much needed ongoing support to Scotland’s livestock farmers until new CAP regulations come into force.”

This year’s payment rate is set at £102.44 for each of the first ten eligible animals, and £51.22 for the remainder. The payments are entirely EU funded. The Scottish Beef Calf Scheme is a direct support scheme aimed at specialist beef producers breeding beef calves from suckler cows. Suckler herds form the backbone of quality beef production in Scotland and provide environmental benefits in fragile areas. The new Scottish Beef Scheme was introduced in January 2012 following discussions held as part of the CAP review. It replaces the SBCS and allows funding to be targeted towards smaller herds through reweighted payment levels where the first ten eligible animals will receive three times the rate of any subsequent eligible animal. There is no limit to the number of claims which can be made.

Fun At Tiree Agricultural Show

There was a real island welcome of sunshine and a spectacular glistening sea awaiting the many mainland visitors, who joined the islanders to view the island’s quality stock at the annual Tiree Show.

They were highly entertained by Mark Wyllie from Luss with his collie dogs and ducks, the Drakes of Hazard, in the main ring along with a large turnout of dogs and other pets for the Pet Show.

Cattle Show winner

A regular buyer at the island’s cattle sales, Donald Patullo, Millhaugh, Methven had the task of judging in the cattle ring. His supreme cattle champion came from the pure-bred section, a British Blue in-calf heifer, Ruaig Dotti from Iain MacInnes, Ruaig. She went on to be crowned Champion of Champions.

Earlier, Mr Patullo had given the crossbred championship to Candy, an April 2010 Limousin cross heifer from Colin MacKinnon, Kilkenneth. She stood reserve as a calf in this section last year.

Reserve was the leader from the great show of spring sucked calves, a March born Limousin cross bullock calf from Archie John MacLean, Heylipol. After exhibiting some quality young calves, Donald MacKinnon, Vaul and Gilleasbuig Campbell, Garaphail then shared the Crofter’s Shield for most points in the Cattle Section.

Sheep judge Willie Smith, Balliemore, Lochgilphead had a great show of Prime lambs to judge before moving into the crossbred sheep ring. Champion pen from Pat Boyd, Drumaglea was with three Beltex cross lambs.

Crossbred sheep champion and reserve came from Ruaig respectively with a Texel cross gimmer and cross ewe. Winner of most points in the Sheep section and the Crofter’s Shield was Sandra Brown, Balevullin.

Billy Neilson from Taynuilt and Argyll’s QMS assessor had the task of judging in the purebred ring. Brothers Alasdair and Fraser MacLean, Heylipol were champion and reserve respectively with the supreme award going to Alasdair’s Beltex ewe lamb, Tiree Rich Spice and reserve was Fraser’s homebred Suffolk shearling ram.

Winning Pony Tiree Agricultural Show

In the Pony ring, Niall and Susan MacDonald selected Achnalarig Struan, a Highland gelding from Janis MacArthur as champion with reserve going to Janet Bowler’s Whiskey. Young pony exhibitors, Jenna MacArthur and Emily Armstrong had a great day out winning many rosettes.

winning tractor Tiree Agricultural Show

A well known character, retired salesman Hughie MacLean had the task of judging the line up of tractors with the winner the Massey Ferguson 135 from Duncan Cameron, Scarinish. Congratulations and special thanks to all who joined the Saturday tractor run with a great display of decorated trailers.

Once again the Home Industries marquee had tables laden with baking, knitting, drawings, models and decorated welly boots. The judges were all impressed at the array of exhibits before them, from both locals and visitors. Congratulations to all cup winners.

Another regular visitor, retired SAC agricultural advisor Donald Harrison, had a great spread of garden produce before him in the Horticulture section, with Bill Campbell’s basket of mixed vegetables winning the best exhibit and John Fletcher, Balemartine most points. Donald and his wife Janice later presented the cups to the day’s winners.

Annual Cattle Sale


United Auctions held their Annual February Sale of 326 head of Cattle at Tiree Auction Mart.

The 184 Bullocks averaged £676 or 180pence per kilo, recording a drop of £46.47 on last year’s high values. The 142 Heifers averaged £526 or 172pence per kilo, recording a drop of £32.49 on last year’s values. Bullocks sold to a top price per head of £940 for rising one year old Charolais from Heylipol Farm whilst Heifers sold to £820 for Limousin Crosses from the same home.
Prices per kilo were led by Ruaig for Limousin Bullocks at 219pence and Heylipol Farm at 204pence for Charolais Heifers. Breeding Cattle sold to £1020 for In-calf Heifers from Ruaig and Cast Cows sold to £860 from Ardmay and 125pence per Kilo from No1 Kilkenneth.

A feature of the sale was the consignment of 72 rising one year Bullocks & Heifers from Heylipol Farm which sold to average £809 per head.

AAx: £798 – Hillcrest : £722 (2) – 13 Moss :
£685 – 13 Moss : £680 & £652(5) – Hillcrest :
£528 & £505 – Benview.
BBx: £548 – Ruaig
CHARx: £940, £932, £912, £888(3), £878(2), £868,
£855(2), £840(5), £822 (5) – Heylipol Farm : £815 –
Hillcrest : £812(2), £808 & £800 – Heylipol Farm :
£755 – Ardmay : £668(4), £648(3) & £628(4) – Hillcrest
: £558 – Ardmay.
LIMx: £890 & £880(2) – Heylipol Farm : £872,
£853(3) & £842 – 3 Kenovay : £832(3), £830(2),
£822(4) – Heylipol Farm : £822 (2) – 3 Kenovay :
£812 (2), £802 (3) & £792 (3) – Heylipol Farm :
£792 – 7 Kilkenneth : £788 (3) & £782 – 3 Kenovay
: £698 – Skipinnis : £698, £685 & £682 – 3 Kenovay
: £655 – Ruaig : £628 (2) – 6 Crossapol : £628 (2) –
Ruaig : £625 – Middleton Farm : £618 – Skipinnis :
£608 – 13 Moss : £598 – Ruaig : £595 – Middleton
Farm : £582 – 1 Kenovay : £578 – Druimfhraoich :
£572 – 15 Crossapol.
SALx: £745, £635 & £622 – Lochphuil :
£622 – 5 Balevullin : £608 & £582 – Lochphuil :
£550 – Middleton Farm.
SIMx: £868, £828(4), £778 & £745 – Heylipol Farm
: £718 & £692 – 3 Kenovay : £585 – Lochphuil.
AAx: £612 & £585 – Hillcrest : £515 – Benview.
CHARx: £790, £738 (4), £728 (6) – Heylipol Farm :
£688 & £642 (3) – Hillcrest : £618(2) – Heylipol
Farm : £598 – Ardmay : £578 (3) – Hillcrest.
LIMx: £820, £705 & £692 – Heylipol Farm : £682 –
1 Kenovay : £655 – Heylipol Farm :
£648 – Druimfhraoich : £638 – Heylipol Farm :
£608 – 7 Kilkenneth : £588 – 1 Kenovay : £582 – 7
Kilkenneth : £578 – Druimfhraoich & 7 Kilkenneth.
SALx: £595 – Middleton Farm
SIMx: £578, £568(3) – Lochphuil.

IN–CALF HEIFERS £1020, £1000 & £940 – Ruaig.
BULLING HEIFERS £800(3) & £850 – 4 East Baugh.
IN-CALF COWS £785 – 3 Middleton.
OTM COWS £860 – Ardmay : £805 – 1 Kilkenneth :
£768 – Whitehouse : £702 – Heylipol Farm :
£700(2) – Druimfhraoich
AAx: 190p – 13 Moss : 187p(5) – Hillcrest.
BBx: 182p – Ruaig
CHARx: 214p(4) & 205p – Hillcrest :
203p – Heylipol Farm : 200p – Ardmay : 199p(2) –
Hillcrest : 197p (5) & 196p (2) – Heylipol Farm :
195p – Ardmay : 194p – Heylipol Farm (5) &
Hillcrest (4) : 193p (2) – Hillcrest : 192p – Heylipol
LIMx: 219p – Ruaig : 214p – Cnoc Gorm : 212p – 6
Crossapol : 204p (2) – Heylipol Farm : 203p(2) –
Ruaig : 202p – 8 Barrapol : 198p – Skipinnis & 15
Crossapol : 196p – 5 Barrapol.
CHARx: 204p & 192p (4) – Heylipol Farm : 189p
(2) – Ardmay.
LIMx: 202p & 194p – 9 Barrapol :
188p – 5 Barrapol.
SIMx: 187p – 17 Balevullin.
125p – 1 Kilkenneth : 124p – Hillcrest :
118p – Ardmay : 111p – Druimfhraoich :
109p – Whitehouse : 105p – Druimfhraoich.

Tiree’s Fun Filled Weekend

Tiree Show Pipe BandWas there ever a weekend like it? The fun started on Friday when, with the sun shining, locals and visitors reaped the benefits of the months of hard work put in by the committee to enjoy Tiree’s annual Agricultural Show.

The spectators were entertained watching the serious business of the judging of livestock,  but the largest crowd gathered to watch the Dog Agility team performing their routine through tunnels, along wobbly planks and over hurdles

Dog Agility Team– many comments were heard about there being “no way my dog could do that”.

Deciding on the winners in the pet and home produce sections was a difficult time for the judges and the effort put in by all entrants was apparent with the standards of entries once again being very high.

By the middle of the afternoon the sun had retreated behind the clouds and the wind turned cooler but still the children played on the bouncy castles and the queues at the refreshment stands continued.

The day was marked with a tinge of sadness as Alex MacArthur who has been announcing livestock results and prize winners for many years is hanging up his microphone and retiring from being the voice of the Show.

All the tickets for the Show Dance at An Talla were sold out and once again locals and visitors of all ages danced until the early hours.

The weather on Saturday was decidedly grim with the sort of misty rain that soaks you as soon as you go out, unfortunately this meant that the Sports day was cancelled and didn’t take place till Tuesday. By 6pm the rain had more or less stopped and the first ever Tiree Music Festival Kicked off with a procession to An Talla led by Tiree Pipe Band.

On Sunday at 11am the place to be was down at the Reef Pitch to either watch or take part in Tiree 5 A-side Tournament. Details of this competition will be in the next issue.

Without exception the opinions of all who joined in the events of the weekend were, that it had been a huge success, tiring for both organisers and participants, but something to talk about for many weeks and a highlight to look forward to next year.

Royal Highland Show – Double Triumph For Tiree

A large number of Islanders travelled to Edinburgh to attend this year’s Royal Highland Show, both as exhibitors and spectators.

Beating some very stiff competition two locals were awarded prizes in the classes they entered.

Iain MacInnes

Iain MacInnes, with British Blue Heifer Ruaig Dotti Et, who was placed 2nd in her class to the eventual reserve female leader. Iain was also 3rd in class to the overall reserve champion with British Blue Bluebell Conor.

Alasdair Maclean

A fantastic win for 15 year old Alasdair with his homebred shearling tup. Placed 1st out of a class of 40, Nutcracker went on to win Male Champion then won the Supreme Beltex Champion from 245 entrants, the largest sheep section at the Show.

Annual Cattle Sale

All Stock Sold

mart front

Saturday morning was damp and grey but that didn’t seem to deter the buyers who had travelled over from the mainland for the first Tiree Cattle Sale of 2010.

Three hundred and seventeen animals had been put up for sale, trading was brisk and all stock was cleared at very satisfactory rates.

Following are the principle lot prices

Charolais Bullock Calves from Heylipol Farm sold to £935. Limousin Bullocks from No2
Kenovay sold to £945 and Limousin Heifers from the same home sold to £885. Leading
the prices per kilo for Bullocks was No8 Barrapol when their Limousins sold to 262pence
and No9 Barrapol led the way for Heifers per kilo at 232pence, also Limousin Crosses.
£780 – Hillcrest : £775(4) & £765(4) – 13 Moss : £730, £720, £715 & £700 – Hillcrest.
£935, £905(2), £895(4), £860, £855(4), £850(6), £845(2), £840(2), £825(5) & £820(5) –
Heylipol Farm : £800 – Hillcrest : £775(2), £745 & £715 – Heylipol Farm : £710, £695 &
£675 – Hillcrest : £635 – Ardmay & Hillcrest(2).
£945 – 2 Kenovay : £905 & £895 – 3 Kenovay : £850 – Heylipol Farm : £820(4), £805,
£795(2) & £780 – 3 Kenovay : £775(2) – Heylipol Farm : £770 – 3 Kenovay :
£750 – Heylipol Farm(3) & Hillcrest : £730 & £725(2) – Heylipol Farm : £715 – 3 Kenovay :
£710 – Middleton Farm : £700(2) – Hillcrest : £685 – Hillcrest(3) & Heylipol Farm :
£675 – Middleton Farm : £655 – 3 Kenovay : £650, £615 & £610(2) – Middleton Farm.
£805(2) – 3 Kenovay : £615 – Lochphuil House.
£650 & £610(5) – Middleton Farm.
£890 – Heylipol Farm : £860(2) – 3 Kenovay : £850(2) – Heylipol Farm : £835 – 3 Kenovay :
£825(2), £820(4), £805, £745 & £740(3) – Heylipol Farm : £635(2) & £615(2) – Lochphuil.
£570 – Ardmay
£835, £815, £785(3), £775 & £685(2) – Heylipol Farm : £685(3) – Hillcrest :
£675 & £655(2) – Heylipol Farm : £640(2) & £600(2) – Hillcrest.
£885 – 2 Kenovay : £675(3), £650(2) & £645(3) – Hillcrest : £565 – 1 Kenovay :
£545(4) – Middleton Farm.
£580 & £570 – Lochphuil.
£675 – Heylipol Farm : £555(4) – Lochphuil.
£755 – Heylipol Farm : £715 – Lochphuil : £655 – Heylipol Farm.
£840 – Lochphuil : £790 – Heylipol Farm : £780 – Lochphuil : £750 – Croish & Lochphuil.
205p(2), 202p & 196p – Hillcrest : 196p(4) & 195p(4) – 13 Moss.
237p – Ardmay : 233p(2), 221p & 218p – Hillcrest : 214p(5) – Heylipol Farm :
209p – Hillcrest : 206p – Ardmay : 204p, 203p(5) & 197p(2) – Heylipol Farm :
197p – Hillcrest : 195p(4) – Heylipol Farm.
262p – 8 Barrapol : 247p – Mainroad : 241p(2) – Hillcrest : 234p(2) & 228p – 8 Barrapol :
223p – 1 Kenovay : 222p – Middleton Farm : 221p(2) – 8 Barrapol : 214p – 1 Kenovay :
213p – Hillcrest(3) & Skipinnis : 208p – 1 Kenovay : 207p – Hillcrest : 206p – Middleton
Farm & Carnan : 205p – Carnan : 204p – 8 Barrapol : 203p(2) – Heylipol Farm :
202p & 201p(2) – 1 Kenovay : 201p – 3 Kenovay : 198p – Middleton Farm & 3 Kenovay :
197p – Middleton Farm & Carnan : 195p – Middleton Farm.
219p & 217p – Lochphuil
222p(5), 212p & 196p(2) – Middleton Farm.
226p – 17 Balevullin : 214p – Lochphuil : 211p – 17 Balevullin :
207p(2) & 204p(2)- Lochphuil : 198p(2) & 197p – Heylipol Farm : 197p(3) – 3 Kenovay.
215p – Ardmay : 212p(2) & 202p(5) – Hillcrest : 195p & 185p(4) – Heylipol Farm.
232p(2) – 9 Barrapol : 231p – Mainroad : 227p, 222p(3) & 221p – 9 Barrapol : 220p(3) –
Hillcrest : 219p(2), 217p(2) & 213p(2) – 9 Barrapol : 211p – 9 Barrapol : 208p(4) – Middleton
Farm : 207p – 1 Kenovay : 201p – Hillcrest (3) & 1 Kenovay : 198p – Skipinnis : 197p,
196p & 195p – 1 Kenovay : 193p(2) – Skipinnis : 192p(2) – Hillcrest.
195p(2), 193p & 192p – Lochphuil.
203p(4) – Lochphuil : 202p(2) & 200p – 17 Balevullin : 194p – Lochphuil.

Bumper Lamb Sale

sheep_and_lambUnited Auctions held their Annual Lamb Sale on Tiree on 21st August. With over 60 crofters offering stock for sale and 10 buyers from the mainland purchasing on behalf of themselves and others trade was brisk.
An excellent offering of quality lambs were shown in good bloom. 4357 lambs were sold, 87 Store cattle and 19 Cows/Bulls. The general feeling at the sale was that the prices were much improved from last year and now more nearly reflect the true cost of producing quality stock.
The facilities at Tiree Rural Centre once again impressed both buyers and sellers enabling Tiree crofters the chance to present their stock to its best . The entry of lambs sold to £70 per head for Suffolk Crosses from 2/15 Balevullin and to 186 pence per kilo for Texel Crosses from 6 Balevullin. The overall average for the Lambs recorded a rise of £13.72 on the year.
Yearling Store Bullocks sold to £790 (192pence per kilo) for Bumper Lamb Sale Charolais Crosses from Garraphail whilst Aberdeen Angus Cross Heifers from Middleton Farm sold to £775 and Simmental Cross Heifers from 10 Crossapol sold to 199 pence per kilo. Cast Cows from Croish sold to £945.

Tiree’s Event Filled Summer

Tiree Show – 31st July
tiree_showThe Isle of Tiree glistened in the sun as the ferry brought the mainland judges and many visitors to the Annual Show. Crowds gathered to watch the island’s quality livestock being judged. Cattle judge, Donald Campbell, Camaghael, Fort William, was impressed with the standard of stock on the island.
The Cross Bred Champion was Bullseye, a Limousin X bullock calf from Iain MacInnes, Ruaig. This February born calf by Grahams Volvo was out of a pure Charolais cow, Thrunton Voucher. Reserve was the Limousin X autumn born heifer, Hilary, from Tearlach MacDonald, Main Road, sired by his own stock bull and out of a British Blue X cow.
Overall Cattle Champion was the Crossbred winner and Reserve was the Pure Bred leader, Ruaig Diago, a British Blue bull calf by Elogieux and was shown by Iain’s sister, Morven.
Sheep judges were both from North Connel. Archie Cameron brought forward a Suffolk X ewe from Sandra Brown as his Crossbred Champion. Reserve was Iain MacInnes, Ruaig with a Mule gimmer.
Champion of the Pure Bred Sheep Section, judged by Donald MacCorquodale, Achnaba, was Fraser MacLean, Heylipol’s Suffolk shearling, Westcarse Islander by Cairness First Glance. ComingReserve after some fierce brotherly competition, was Alasdair MacLean’s Beltex ewe lamb, Tiree Nellie by Beechtree Maxi Muscles. This ewe lamb was 4th in her class at the Highland Show. The Overall Sheep Champion at the Show was the Suffolk shearling tup from Fraser MacLean who was then delighted when his tup went on to win the Champion of Champions award.
The Pony Champion was won, once again, by Janis MacArthur, Balephuil with her Highland Gelding Struan. Standing Reserve was Janet Bowler with Achnalarig Whiskey.
The afternoon programme saw crowds gather to hear Tiree Pipe Band and the popular Pet Show and Dog Agility competition. Judge Gail Cameron, North Connel, chose a young Golden Retriever shown by Alastair Kennedy from Stirling as Champion.
A new feature was Tiree has Talent competition. A huge success! The crowds were entertained to singing, dancing and piping tunes before the three judges chose young Ashley Watson and Niamh Wilson as the winners. With the Fun Fair, Bucking Bronco, Craft stalls and a fantastic amount of entries in the Home Industries marquee, there was certainly plenty for everyone to see and do at Tiree Show.
Tiree Regatta – 8th August
tiree_regattaThe Tiree Regatta was originally scheduled for 1st August but the weather was having none of it. With very strong winds and driving rain the committee took the decision to postpone the event. The 7 day weather forecast promised the return of Tiree’s glorious BBQ summer, so it was agreed to try again the following week.
Saturday 8th came not with the promised weather, but with more wind and rain. However with the conditions improving during the morning the 2009 Tiree Regatta was on.
At 2pm with the sailing boats leaving the sanctuary of Scarinish harbour for the start line, the sky darkened and the rain came down. Undaunted the fleet and safety boats gathered at the start gate and the race was underway.
This year the Regatta Club had adopted the Old Gaffers Association Handicap System. This meant all of the sailing boats competing against one another, in the same race. Classic Tiree Dipping Lugs were competing with modern boats, including a catamaran!
The sea conditions were unkind to all. The brisk southerly wind had kicked up a big chop. In one of the gusts, the Tiree Lug Boat Catadh Mara crested a wave, momentarily ‘took- off’ to land in the trough, taking water in over the gunwhale. The lug boats battled it out, exchanging typical Tiree pleasantries, as they keenly contested the marks. Similarly the Drascombes were in close contest. With a display of excellent seamanship the Tiree Dipping Lug boat, Catadh Mara, with Angus MacLean at the helm and Duncan MacLean as crew won the day. Not only were they the quickest in their class but their handicapped time was enough to secure them overall victory.
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.
Tiree Regatta Club would like to thank everyone who contributed time, effort, cakes and bottles and all participants together making the day such as success. The Regatta could not happen without the support of its sponsors:- Tiree Services, Agrimarine, Andy Cameron, Ross MacLennan, Macleod Builders, Argyll Estates , Tiree Kayaks, David Kerr, MacKinnon Builders, Bernie Smith, Skipinnish Sea Tours, PaperWorks, Nan Maclean, and the CO-OP. Look forward to seeing you all at Tiree Regatta 2010.