Tag Archives: sailing

Tiree Regatta 2019

The day of the 2019 Tiree Regatta dawned overcast with light winds, however this didn’t deter a group of sailors determined to pit their skills against each other and the elements.

In the Dinghy race Tim and Ann Esson in their Foxer class dinghy beat Jonathon Marks single handing his laser with Dorinda Johnson and crew leading the way for the club Topaz fleet. Special mention should also go to Kris and Aidan Hynes competing in their first Regatta having only started sailing this year through Tiree Maritime Trusts Community Sailing Programme.

In the Lug Boat race the pace and slick tacking of the Cathadh Mara skippered by Dr John Holliday and crewed by Bruce Kemp and Jack Lockhart managed to narrowly beat Tony Batchelor, Sandy McIntosh and Tim Esson in the Maritime Trust boat the Daisy to win the Traditional Lug Sail Boat class.

The smaller sailed boats; Maritime Trust boat the Morag-Ann sailed by Martin Finnigan and William-Angus Maclean and the standing lug-sailed skaffie Malin sailed John Patience and Jeremy Armitage put in a creditable show in spite of being hampered by the light conditions.

The day also saw a little bit of Tiree history made with Tiree first Skiff race. With three skiff crews racing each other using only one boat the Gille-Brìghde. A time trial was set up with the teams being timed over a course parallel to the beach. Robert Trythall acted as impartial timekeeper – until he was called away to star in the last and winning crew. This was Emma the medical student in bow, Niall MacDonald, Robert Trythall and Dorinda Johnson in stroke, ably orchestrated into a team by Alasdair MacLachlan.

On the shore there was plenty to keep the crowds entertained with a very competitive paddle board race, some truly inventive sandcastles and sand art as well as tests for strength and skill in throwing wellies and creels. The cake stall and raffle also proved very popular and helped raise much needed funds. The day concluded in the traditional prizegiving including a new trophy this year awarded to the junior sailor of the year, Eddie Maclean. This specially commissioned award was donated in memory of long time Tiree Regatta supporter Roger Jarvis.

The Tiree Regatta relies on the kind and generous support of the community, without whose help the event simply would not be able to take place. We therefore have quite a long list of people to thank: Louise Reid, Willie MacKinnon, Rhoda Meek, Catriona Smyth, Clare Jones and David Vale without whose efforts on the day we could not have run the Regatta.

Thank you too, to the businesses that kindly donated prizes for the raffle including Tyree Gin, Dot Sim Jewelry, MacLennan Motors, the Farmhouse Café, The Cobbled Cow and Tiree Chocolates. Thanks also to the Lodge Hotel for their generous support for the Regatta. Special thanks to the Wild Diamond Watersports crew for organizing the SUP racing and keeping the sailors safe out on the water alongside Lochlan Morris and Steph Tanner.

Finally, a big thanks to everyone competitors, spectators and volunteers who all contributed to making the 2019 Tiree Regatta such a great success. For full results and to find out more about the work of Tiree Maritime Trust please visit: www.tireemaritimetrust.org.uk

Construction of Tiree’s Community Boathouse Complete

noustThe final phase of the Noust, Tiree’s community boathouse, was opened in Scarinish on 14th June 2014.This marked the end of a two-year project by Tiree Maritime Trust and Tog Studio, who have worked together to deliver this special building in a unique way.

The first phase of the building was completed last summer and has become a hub for sailing and boat maintenance on the island; the Daisy and Morag Anne were restored during the popular ‘Noust Nights’. The finished building – which is 16m long and 6m wide – is large enough to store up to five traditional dipping lug sail boats and promises to allow even bigger and better work to take place. Sandy MacIntosh, explained “This project is just the start of what the Maritime Trust hope to do. We want to use the building as a place to restore our fleet of clinker-built dipping lugs and to teach young people on the island about sailing.”

The second phase of the boathouse was built during a week-long ‘summer school’ in June 2014. This event was mostly attended by architects and architecture students who wanted to learn practical construction skills. Participants came from all over the UK (and as far as New York) to build structural frames, attach cladding and make doors. This involved learning a mixture of traditional woodworking skills alongside more unusual activities. Tog Studio, were responsible for the design and running the opening event.

Having successfully finished the build Lynne Cox commented “We were very pleased with the quality of the finished building and the experience which the participants took away from the island. Many were visiting Tiree for the first time and all commented on how welcome they had been made to feel by the community. The highlight was probably dancing an Orcadian Strip the Willow down the length of the finished building at the opening party!”

The Noust was generously funded by Tiree Windfall Fund with support from the Glasgow Institute of Architects and a number of Architecture and Engineering Departments from Scottish Universities.

Details of future ‘Noust Nights’ will follow in An Tirisdeach.

Michael Holliday

A Trip To Lunga

puffin on the isle of lungaOn Saturday morning the sky was blue, the sea like glass… an ideal day for a sail.

A huddle of Tirisdich and members of the Oban & Lorne Strathspey and Reel Society clambered onto the good ship Islander (a catamaran actually) for a jaunt to the bonny Isle of Lunga. As we motored along at a not insubstantial pace, we were joined by a pod of around 100 dolphins. These curious and friendly creatures played beside our boat whilst cameras clicked, though they weren’t easy to photograph as they were so quick in the water!

Not to be outdone, a minky whale swam silently past, but was unmoved by the commotion and disappeared as quickly as it had arrived.

On arrival at Lunga we picked our way across the boulders on the shore and made for higher ground. It was a beautiful day for a picnic and having found a sunny spot amongst the bluebells we sat down to eat…. However the lure of sandwiches lost its appeal when puffins congregated around us. These brightly painted birds are so tame and charismatic, and seemed quite happy to strike a pose for the camera! Two hours seemed to pass so quickly and then we were back on our boat and homeward bound……..

Tiree Boathouse Shortlisted For GIA Design award

boathouseTiree Maritime Trust’s new boathouse ‘The Noust’ has been short-listed for a prestigious GIA Design Award run by the Glasgow Institute of Architects.

The Noust provides an invaluable building for the Maritime Trust to maintain Tiree’s traditional dipping lug sail boats.

Tiree Maritime Trust would like to say a very big thank you to all who helped with the boathouse build: TOG Studio team and students, Andrew Montgomery and Argyll Estates, Iain Mackinnon Haulage, Lachie Brown, Nancy MacKechnie, the commercial sponsors (Russwood, MAKLab, Marley Eternit, Spax, Coburn, Hilti, James Latham, GAGael), the many people who have made donations to the Maritime Trust since its formation in 2005, and of course the Windfall Fund.

The opening of ‘The Noust’ is just the beginning… volunteers will be working on the lug boats over the winter, with the hope of sailing them regularly next spring, then in June 2014 the second half of the boathouse will be built as an architecture live build project with Tog Studio.

Tiree Maritime Trust are always looking for support so if you are interested in the work of Tiree Maritime Trust or would like to become actively involved please get in touch via our website www.tireemaritimetrust.org.uk.

Tiree Regatta 2012

regatta_2012By Robert Trythall

The forecast for the start of Tiree’s 2012 Regatta, was dreich with showers, and a gusty offshore WNW wind freshening by late afternoon to 20-25 knots. Not the best of forecasts, but at the skippers’ meeting it was decided the forecast was not one that would cause a postponement of the 2 o’clock start.

At the start the wind still had to freshen, but the sun had come out, there were no showers, and a glorious race was in prospect. The forecast had put off a few boats, but among the fleet were 4 of the classic Tiree dipping lugs, which are now a rare sight on the Scottish Regatta scene. The lugs and mixed dinghy fleet made a perfect start but as they rounded the first mark the wind freshened and what ensued was one of the toughest Tiree Regattas for many years.

The dinghies finished the 2 laps of the course in record time, but dipping lugs have a huge problem going upwind and this was causing difficulties. Reefing was essential, but in the freshening conditions proved difficult to execute as wind and tide were building a considerable chop. The pressure on the mast foot of one of the lugs, the Daisy, skippered by Iain Macdonald, caused the mast to snap its securing thwart. It had to withdraw.

From the shore, conditions looked benign but were deteriorating sharply as the fleet attempted to round the last mark to the finish line. This proved problematic, with all bar one of the boats failing to round the mark. Donnie MacInnes, skipper of the Mary was the sole finisher. At the prize giving, supping from the winner’s Quaich, he revealed local knowledge passed on from his father – ‘with the mark in the position it was, then in a very fresh NW, the best tactic to adopt is to head inshore to nearly beach the boat, tack ,and come down around the mark’. This, Donnie had executed to perfection!

The committee, having spent many hours deriving a new handicap system for the Tiree lugs, did not have to revert to a computer to work it all out. There was just one finisher, job done !! Finn MacDonald aged 11, helming his Pico with dad Karl as crew, followed his success in last year’s Centenery Regatta by winning the Dinghy class from Mamie Jean II, helmed by Martin Finnigan and crewed by John Macdonell, who had rushed from the Stramash course to make the start.

Ashore, events were in full swing, but also wind affected. As with the boat racing, there was only one finisher, in the traditional Tiree Raft race, with the crews of the other rafts forced to abandon ‘raft’ , so to speak, at the Harbour entrance, before the offshore wind threatened to blow them off to Mull. The Young Farmers’ raft arrived without paddles, confirmation of their land-lubber instincts!! The sandcastle competition was fierce, with many families putting together some amazing constructions. Some splendidly ‘engineered’ and stunning ‘art-designed‘ castles were on display. Winners were the Macintosh and Larg families respectively. The SUP race with 10 racers was a great success, ending with a 3 man–girl race off, with the Brimelow Family just nudging Helen Thompson into 3rd place. Meanwhile relieved skippers and crews, retired to the bar to reflect on one of the toughest Tiree Regattas in the last 20 years.

Young Finn Sails To Victory

by Ian Sharp

FinnEleven-year-old Finn Macdonald is believed to be the youngest skipper to win the Concise Cup after he sailed to victory at last week-end’s annual Tiree regatta.

Last year Finn was crewed in the race by his sailing instructor and although he came in third, he lost his place because of a mix up. This year young Finn, crewed by his dad, Karl Hughes, made up for his disappointment during last year’s centenary regatta, by winning the coveted sailing prize.

After the prize-giving as he proudly held the silver cup which will have his name inscribed on it his father, Karl, said:”He must be the happiest boy on Tiree tonight.”

Finn’s mum Lorna, of Balevullin, said:’‘We are all so proud of Finn’s achievment. He worked so hard to win the cup this year. I have been told that he is thought to be the youngest ever skipper to have won the Concise Cup.”

Tiree Regatta Celebrates 100 Years

Tiree Regatta

The dawn of Sat 30th July, Regatta Day, was a stunner. Cloudless, sunny with a brisk S.SE wind. The forecast for the day was to cloud over, and the wind to drop. At 2 o’clock, on the start line, the sun still shone, the brisk S.SE had eased, and a glorious day unfolded.

The start line was impressive, with 16 boats jostling for position. The boats included 7 classic Tiree dipping lugs, a number which Tiree Regatta has not seen for many a year, and possibly a Scottish Record for the class. Even more impressive was the actual start, with most of the boats making a perfect start into what was to develop into a very competitive race.

Tiree Regatta

After 2 hard fought rounds of the course, Angus MacKinnon’s “Mary Ann” swept the field winning both the lug class and the overall handicap. Being the Centenary regatta, the Centenary Cup, the original Skipinish Cup, was awarded to the ‘Mary Anne’ winner of the lug class. With this award went a presentation scroll of the earliest record of a Tiree Regatta found in the Oban Times April 1911, in a profound Gaelic poem “Oran do Reis a’Chuain bha an Eilean Thiriodh”.
Tiree Regatta prizegiving
Finn Macdonald aged 10, crewing his own Pico made a very strong statement as to his being a contender in future years.

The traditional shore events were well contested, with 2 new additions in the programme with the introduction of the new Hawaiian craze of stand up paddle boarding, and a Jet Ski race. The sand castle competition was the “ star “ shore event, with the judges having a very difficult time in their deliberations, having to make a separate award for “ Sand Art “.

The Tobermory lifeboat made a surprise visit, allowing many spectators to enjoy going aboard, to hear the life boat crew offer an insight into their very important work.

The 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.

TRC wishes to acknowledge the support of Argyll Estates, David Kerr, Andy Hayes and the Co-op, and many others who made the day such a success. TRC looks forward to seeing you all at Regatta 2012.

Looking Back At Tiree

Scarinish harbour

Continuing our series looking back at old photographs of people and places on Tiree. This week we have a photo of The ‘Mary Stuart’ beached in Scarinish harbour in 1938. The Scarinish Hotel is on the extreme left, with communication masts in the background to the right.

Image courtesy of An Iodhlann and Angus Maclean

Tiree Regatta 2010 Review

Tiree regatta 2010

The morning of Sat 7th Aug, Regatta Day, was no different from most days this summer;
damp, grey and windy. Not very promising, but by noon, the skies had cleared with the wind easing back to a brisk northerly, giving Regatta Day glorious conditions for both sailing and shore events.

The start line was impressive with 13 boats jostling for position, the most Tiree Regatta has had for some years. The boats included the Tiree renovated lugs, Daisy and Morag Anne, and a stunning 26 ft gaff ketch Freya, which had sailed in from Iona the previous evening. Even more impressive was the actual start, with most of the boats making a perfect start. To the non sailors on the shore it was obvious that a very competitive race had begun.

At the 1st mark, a gybe, there was some very aggressive tactical sailing with Angus Maclean’s Catadh Mara taking the perfect inside line forcing Magnus Laird’s Soa to the outside. Spark, the catamaran, was revelling in the brisk conditions, and notwithstanding having to make an additional round of the course, won the Concise Cup.

Tiree regatta Lug boats

The Lugs battled it out with Morag Anne taking the Skippinish Cup just nudging the “all-lady” crewed Passing Cloud on the line. Regrettably 2 of the lugs were forced to retire with jammed rudders which had been caught in creel lines.

Shore-side, Anna Macdonald and Christine Macarthur were having a marathon pillow fight contest. The referee had to call a time-out for everyone, including spectators, to get their breath back, after which Anna and Christine slugged it out to an epic conclusion.

For the Raft Race, the Airport Fire team entered the most radical raft design Tiree had seen for many a day. It was a light alloy monocoque hull with asymmetric outriggers. Alas the conditions on the day did not favour such advanced technology, as on the mark, the raft’s windage caused a capsize, upending the crew, who then had to battle to prevent their raft sailing off, unmanned, to Mull.

The Regatta drew to a close with the traditional Trawler race being fought out in its unique colourful way, viewed closely by many visitors, and Tirisdich, from Skippinish Tour’s Rib, on a high speed cruise around the bay in the warm afternoon sun.

For full results see www.tireeregatta.org.uk

Daisy & Morag Anne brought back to life

restoringdaisy and moragann

Three Tiree Maritime Boat Builder courses were successfully completed on Tiree during the winter of 2009/2010 and two traditional Tiree boats were renovated and a new boat was started.

The Maritime Trusts aims to preserve Tiree’s maritime heritage and part of this is to provide training in traditional boat building skills.
The recent courses were led by Adam Way of A R Way Boatbuilding in Lochgilphead and his cheerful assistants. The project was funded by the Heritage Lottery fund, Leader, Tiree Regatta Club and Tiree Maritime Trust. Each course ran for two weeks and took place in the auction ring area at the mart – many hours of hammering and sanding were to be heard throughout the Rural Centre and hard working participants turned up day after day to learn new skills and work on the boats.

The two boats which were worked on, Morag-Anne and Daisy, are now fully renovated and measurements have been taken from the two boats and a new copy of Morag-Anne has been started. The boats are currently being painted and the boat builders will return in the spring to attach all the fittings.

finished boats

These courses were just the beginning of recapturing these traditional skills on Tiree. It is intended to build upon the success of these first courses in order to keep skills and knowledge up-dated and to add new interest and maintain capacity. Tiree Maritime Trust is also working on a long-term project to build a Maritime Heritage Centre –‘The Boatshed’, at Gott Pier Head. Planning consent has been granted by Argyll & Bute Council and a funding application is being assessed by SRDP.

It is hoped that the new boat will be completed in the new Boat Shed next winter. On behalf of the Tiree Maritime Trust thank you to all of the community for supporting this project, to the participants for their hard work, to the Boat Builders for their expertise and encouragement, to TRD for a great venue and to Leader and Heritage Lottery Fund for the funds.

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