Several new trophies will be presented at this year’s West Highland Yachting Week in recognition of sponsor support.
The Thomas Tunnock Trophy will be awarded on Friday for the passage race from Tobermory to Oban for IRC Class 3, with the passage race also being sponsored by Tunnock’s. The winner of Class 3 for Thursday’s spinnaker fleet racing off Mull will lift The Lemarac Cup, named after the Moody 38 Lemarac owned by company head Boyd Tunnock CBE and appropriately ‘Caramel’ spelt backwards.
Caledonian MacBrayne is to sponsor the opening passage race of the Regatta from Craobh to Oban and a new trophy for Class 3 in this race will be known as The Caledonian MacBrayne Trophy. Another new trophy is The Eriska Bowl donated by the Buchanan-Smith family of Eriska Hotel for Class 3 racing on Tuesday, and the Tirefuir Trophy will be for Monday’s winner of IRC 3.
The Oban Bicentenary Trophy is being presented by the Joint Regatta Committee in recognition of Oban’s 200 years as a burgh in 2011 and will be for the best corrected time for the Craobh to Oban race.
The passage to Tobermory on Wednesday is sponsored by Tobermory Whisky where the whole regatta fleet comes together. Thursday offers two races for the Tunnock’s fleet, again Olympic style, while the Argyll Fleet follows a varied course taking the fleet to the north of Mull.
Malcolm MacGregor, principal race officer of WHYW said: “We are offering a wide mix of race courses to give variety and interest for the whole fleet. Combining this with the popular passage races will provide an excellent race platform for this year’s regatta.”
Meanwhile the popular social programme is being finalised with a range of off the water activities to keep competitors entertained after racing. For those entering the Gigha race there will be food and entertainment at the Gigha Hotel on Friday night before the start at 9am on Saturday. The other feeders are from Oban to Craobh and Inverkip to Ardrishaig.
All feeder races lead to Craobh where The Lord of the Isles once again hosts the famous opening party with all day food available followed by special West Highland Week dinners before dancing the night away. The pipes and drums of the Mid Argyll Pipe Band will welcome sailors to the party courtesy of Craobh Marina. Sunday’s Skippers Reception hosted by Caledonian MacBrayne is to be held in the glass departure terminal with wine and canapés and the prizes for the feeder races and the first passage race will be presented. There will be open air entertainment at the Waypoint Grill at Oban Marina on Kerrera following this.
Monday sees the headline event at the Skipinnish Ceilidh House with a ceilidh followed by the ever popular WHYW Beach Party on Tuesday. For those at Dunstaffnage on Tuesday, the Wide Mouthed Frog is laying on a raft of food at lunchtime and in the evening, with a spit roast and ceilidh entertainment.
The fleet’s arrival in Tobermory on Wednesday with its variety of shops, restaurants and bars is one of the highlights of West Highland Yachting Week. Tobermory Harbour Association and businesses are already planning for the big event. McGochans will again host the fleet with bands and a special Tobermory whisky tasting while Tobermory Distillery hosts the mid-week prize-giving on Thursday night. Watch out also for the Tunnock’s T-Cake eating competition – one guaranteed not to be missed!
The return to Oban on Friday rounds off the regatta week and the prize-giving dance is at the town’s Corran Halls where the award of the final trophies and the overall Peter Cocks for the best performance of the week is followed by dancing to Craigendarloch – anything from celtic rock to traditional ceilidh.
Julia Heap, secretary of the Joint Regatta Committee said the JRC hoped for a big turnout since there were no competing events this year. “We have had a good expression of interest so far so we are looking forward to another great week both on and off the water’”