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Glenafton storms West Highland Yachting Week

27th August 2009
Glenafton storms West Highland Yachting Week
Helensburgh sailor Brian Young lifted the top prize at Tennents West Highland Yachting Week, taking home the Peter Cocks Memorial Trophy for the best overall performance of the 157-yacht regatta in Argyll Fleet Class 6.

Young’s well known Mylne ketch Glenafton revelled in the strong wind conditions to take five firsts in each race of the week in Class 6 in the Argyll restricted sail fleet.

He said he was delighted and very surprised at the win. ‘We enjoy sailing this week so much and are very pleased – winning is a bonus. The boat enjoys the west coast passage race conditions and this year’s course for the Argyll Fleet off Tobermory was very good.’ Brian has been competing at West Highland Yachting Week since 1957, initially in the Cruiser 8s Tinto, K7 and Debbie, K22. He bought Glenafton in 1976 and has raced the 42-year-old boat at West Highland Yachting Week ever since.

The increased entry this year marks the event as one of the only UK regattas to have shown a growth in numbers on previous years.

Murray Findlay and family on their X43 Abraxas from the Clyde were awarded the Tennent Caledonian Trophy for the best family yacht with Jus ‘Cos taking the Angus Meldrum Trophy for the best corrected time from Oban to Tobermory.

And eighty-four year old Bill Taylor of Oban was awarded the Endeavour Trophy for racing his Contessa 26 Allegro in the first weekend of the regatta. Bill also collected a third place for the feeder from Craobh to Oban.

hiflyer_oban_to_tob_09.jpgLeft: John Barnard in Hiflyer

The regatta fleet experienced excellent racing over five days with strong wind conditions. However, after the stiff breeze came the calm on the final day with every effort by race officer Malcolm MacGregor to start racing, thwarted.

Jonathan Anderson’s good run of firsts in Class 1 in the Tunnock’s Fleet with Playing FTSE won him the IRC silverware with 7 points overall, 13 points ahead of Chris Bonar’s Bateleur 97. Ken Grant’s Tigh Soluis II was third. Anderson also took the MacBrayne Centenary Challenge Cup for the fastest passage in the Craobh to Oban race. Bill Hogg’s Cruiser 7m Zaleda won the John G. Maxwell Trophy for the best performance in Class 8.

The Aikman’s Scanne, part of the Argyll Fleet, won Class 2 overall with the Robertson and Bolton duo’s Hops winning a strongly competitive Class 3. David Harcourt’s Sun Odyssey 45 An Doochalie II took the honours in Class 4 by just one point from Trilleachan with Craig Anderson’s Moody 336 Cool Bandit wining Class 5 by 9 points clear.

Brian Young’s Glenafton was in her element all week with the windy conditions and won Class 6. The Hustler SJ0 Misjif was also a one point winner from Liaison in Class 7. Andy Marjoribanks and team in the Northney 34 Streaker won Class 8 and Jennies Rival took Class 9.

The race from Oban to Tobermory on Wednesday proved one of the fastest ever with some of the Class 1 fleet taking just over 2 hours to complete the 24 mile course, those flying kites up the Sound of Mull benefitting most in the challenging conditions.

img_7594.jpg

Above: The fleet entering Oban after finish of Craobh to Oban passage race

On Thursday it was a first for the regatta as the race officer took the Argyll Fleet left out of Tobermory to marks on a new course off the top end of Mull. This proved popular while The Tunnock’s fleet enjoyed a blustery sail round the Olympic style round-the-cans set off Tobermory.

Dave Waltho, Joint Regatta Committee chairman said it had been an excellent event with memorable racing for the first five days. ‘Unfortunately the wind was just not there on the final day to give any good racing. However competitors have enjoyed the testing conditions and we are all now looking forward to the 2010 regatta.’

With Tennents bowing out after 30 years, this year Tunnock’s sponsored the spinnaker fleet classes and Argyll and Bute Council the Argyll Fleet. Support also came from Caledonian MacBrayne and the Crown Estate with EventScotland helping to market WHYW.

The week’s après sail social programme was enjoyed by all with the mix of headline events, tag rugby, football, barbecues and ceilidh dancing plus fireworks and fire-eaters providing a spectacular backdrop to what is for many, a regatta second to none.

Full results on the website

Published in Racing
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