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.
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