Plockton’s Regatta fortnight came to a close last Saturday with a colourful and well supported Ragamuffin Race for the younger members of Plockton Small Boat Sailing Club (PSBSC). In bright sunshine and perfect conditions, five local boats joined the race, each dressed with a colourful, themed home-made sail and with a young crew aged between 5 and 14yrs. At the end of three short races, it was the Delight team that won the Ragamuffin Cup this year, but prizes were also awarded to teams from the Nan, SeaRanger, Scorrybreac and Eala Bhan for the creativity of their sails, all of which won over the large crowd of spectators.
The race came at the end of another successful week’s races as part of the Regatta. Weather conditions, although not ideal, were certainly better than the previous week. So in dull but dry weather, the week’s races began last Monday with the Ladies centreboard race, the Achivurin Rose Bowl. With next to no wind, the course was shortened and in the end it was Lauren Glasgow in Fantasmagorical that won, with Alison French in a Laser in second place.
Later that day, 13 local boats ventured out for the 3rd race in the Plockton Trophy series. Rod MacLeod won in Talisker with Malcolm MacKenzie coming second in Eala Bhan and Ian Hay third in Seolta.
Run simultaneously, four centerboards made it out for the 4th Ulluva Cup race and 1st Sgeir Bhuide race. James Smith won in his Laser with Ian Taylor second in his Wayfarer Bata Gorm, and Lauren Glasgow third in Fantasmagorical with her crew Tommy Moore who came over from Canada for the Regatta.
On Tuesday evening in fresh winds, nine local boats sailed in the Ex-Commodores Race. Following up his race successes of the previous week and pre-regatta, it was Michael Hay in Nan that took the prize, with Alan Burrell second in the Taeping, and Neil MacRae third in the Rona.
Five centerboards entered into the 5th Ulluva Cup and 2nd Sgeir Bhuide Cup race held at the same time. Once again, James Smith was first (Laser) with Ian Taylor second (Wayfarer, Bata Gorm) and Lauren Glasgow third (Fantasmagorical).
The following day brought an end to the Plockton Trophy series with the fourth and final race. It was during this race last year that the Regatta competitors were hit with a sudden and overwhelming squall that caused 11 boats to capsize. Thankfully, conditions were perfectly normal this year! With five boats in with a chance of winning the overall trophy, it was touted to be a competitive race but in the end it was Ian Hay in Seolta who led the race from start to finish, crossing the line 15 minutes ahead of the next boat. Second in the race was Alan Burrell in Taeping, and third Colin McAndrew in Sirius.
As a result, Ian Hay won the Plockton Trophy with Seolta, as he did four years ago. Placed second and therefore winner of the Fred Allen Galleon for the third year in a row was Colin McAndrew on Sirius. Third equal were Fionnlagh Byrne (Scorrybreac) and Rod MacLeod (Talisker).
The race also brought completed the Ulluva Cup series and Sgeir Bhuidhe Cup series for centerboards. James Smith from Hexham, Northumberland, won the race with Lauren Glasgow coming second (Fantasmagorical) and Ian Taylor third (Wayfarer, Bata Gorm). Having won the previous series races, James Smith therefore won the Ulluva Cup with Tristan Southall (Laser 2000) in second place and Ian Taylor (Wayfarer, Bata Gorm) in third place. James Smith also won the Sgeir Bhuidhe Cup, with Ian Taylor in second place and Lauren Glasgow placed third.
On Thursday evening, all boats raced together, in aid of the RNLI, for the RNLI Trophy. Typically this is an opportunity for a little bit of fun with skippers and their crews swapping boats, but it was Ian Hay in his own Seolta that won the race, with Terry Kitching in the SeaRanger (owned by Joy MacKenna) in second place and Rod MacLeod in Scorrybreac (owned by Johnda Byrne) in third place.
With the formal races out of the way, it was up to the fishermen to see what they could manage. Due to the lack of fish, just six boats entered the Fishing Competition on Friday. Winner of the Cup with the heaviest catch (103lbs) and the most fish (84 mackerel) was Ewen Cameron, his son Douglas and Thomas MacLennan. Winner of the heaviest fish was Gavin McGhie with an impressive 8lb skate.
On Friday evening, the annual Regatta Concert and Ceilidh were both extremely well attended in Plockton Village Hall. Over 140 guests came along to the Concert which showcased local talent amongst both the younger and more mature members of the local community. David McGhie presented each of the acts, and 81 yr old Seonaid MacKenzie, aunt of this year’s Commodore Alaisdair MacKenzie, presented all the trophies.
The Junior Endeavour Trophy was won by Christopher Townend from Duirinish and the Starminx Starters Cup was won by Colin McAndrew (sailing Sirius). The Dolan MacKenzie Perch Rowing Trophy was won by Kenneth MacRae, Tristan Southhall, Gordon MacKenzie, Will Bliss and cox Jennifer Ferguson with a time of 19 mins 45 seconds, narrowly missing out on beating the course record.