#fife – Classic Yachts will grace the waters of the Clyde in Scotland this summer between 28th June to 5th July.
This will be the fourth gathering of the much admired William Fife designed yachts. His work was acclaimed in his lifetime and continues to be so, celebrated this year by the The Fife Regatta 2013. During the golden age of the Victorian era through to 1938 when his yard at Fairlie, North Ayrshire built his last yacht Solway Maid, Wm. Fife was a master of his craft. Twenty of these Classic Yachts are set to return to the Clyde again.
The inaugural Fife Regatta was held in 1998, and thereafter in 2003 and 2008. A number of owners with a shared passion and enthusiasm for Fife yachts have made this pilgrimage back to their home waters. The Dragon and Wheatsheaf emblem engraved in the bow of Fife's yachts is symbolic of the level of craftsmanship in each creation. Fife yachts continue to attract attention worldwide with exacting restoration projects and the sheer pleasure of sailing them.
Two fabulous boats, Kentra and Astor, celebrate their 90th birthdays this year. Kentra, a 100ft Gaff- Ketch has been in storage for nearly seven years, is being re-launched for the regatta. Astor, an 86ft Schooner, will be coming all the way from California for the occasion. Hatasoo, the 19ft Gaff sloop build in 1894 will be the oldest yacht. She will be the local Clyde entrant from McGruers yard, Clynder on the Gareloch. The larger yachts will include Moonbeam III (105ft), Aventuress (100ft) along with Kentra. Seabird and Oblio are more recent builds from William Fife drawings and confirm how these yachts have a place in modern times.
For some of their Owners and Crew this will be their first visit on the Clyde. For Mignon, it will be her fourth Fife Regatta and she will be the only yacht to have competed in all of these special events.
To be enchanted by these fine creations under sail keep your diary free from the end of June. The yachts will begin in Largs and will have passage races to Rothesay, Tighnabruaich and Portavadie before returning to Largs.
The itinerary of the event is as follows:
Friday 28 June No racing Largs Yacht Haven
Saturday 29 June Round Cumbraes Race Largs Yacht Haven
Sunday 30 June Largs to Rothesay Race Rothesay
Monday 01 July Cruise Rothesay to Tighnabruaich Tighnabruaich
Tuesday 02 July Portavadie/Inchmarnock Race Portavadie Marina
Wednesday 03 July Lay Day Portavadie Marina
Thursday 04 July Portavadie to Largs Race Largs Yacht Haven
Friday 05 July Kings Course Race & Prize giving Largs Yacht Haven
In conjunction with the Year of Natural Scotland this event embraces our natural environment through water, wind and scenic surroundings. It is a show case of Scotland's heritage and the sport of Sailing. This will be a classic seven-day event and one to enjoyed from many of the beautiful vantage points on land or sea.
William Fife III (1857 – 1944) was from a family of boat builders and designers. His yard was in the small village of Fairlie on the Firth of Clyde. After his death the yard was run for a short period by his nephew before being sold. The yard then became Fairlie Yacht Slip Ltd., where fishing vessels were built and yachts repaired. The yard was demolished in 1985 and little remains of the yard. A commemorative sculpture was erected in 2011 on Bay Street.
Wm. Fife designed and built, Shamrock I, was the yacht skippered by Sir Thomas Lipton which challenged for the Americas cup in 1899. It is fitting that 2013 is also an Americas Cup challenge year and the Louis Vuitton Challenge series for the Americas Cup starts in the USA during the Fife Regatta. Compare these two events and see how sailing design has developed over the last century.