Two stories from Scotland

Mercenary (Mark Bradshaw) showed Olympian qualities when they took second place in the highly competitive IRC 3 Class at Scottish Series finishing behind the outstanding class leader, Jaywalker, a J97. With Olympic medallist Luke Patience in the Class (finishing 4th), competition was fierce and Mark and his crew sailed tenaciously Read more…

West Highland Week

Murray Caldwell writes: ‘After my little mishap with very inexpensive antifouling “Revelry” was lifted out and washed down. We had known that the bottom had a fair amount of antifouling but had not expected lumps to be falling off! But with no time for any fairing she was quickly antifouled and launched in time for us leaving on the Thursday night. All my crew were meeting us at Crinan so with a 8 hour sail and trip through the canal when Sheena (our local sailing club secretory) said she would like to do the delivery trip, her offer was accepted!!.

We left cove sailing club on Thursday evening with the intent of getting to the “Wreck bay” in the Kyles of Bute. There was a little wind but it was on the nose so we motored having dinner on route. When we got to wreck bay our minimum weight anchor chain and rope were brought out and deployed (at this point I was glad I had brought a heavier second anchor as this would not be suitable for a windy night in tobermory). About ½ an hour later our friends on Leaky roof 2 (a sigma 33) had arrived and it was time for a g and t before a early night as we had decided to head off at 5am so we could get to the canal for 9am.

So next morning we duly set off at 5 am in lovely sunshine and light breeze but with a tight schedule to make sure we got through the canal today we had to press on under engine. The Crinan Canal is great fun to go through and we had plenty of bodies as all leakys family came up to help. The canal turned out to be pretty uneventful apart from the weather!! And we made good time and were parked at Crinan by 4.30. Earlier we had passed my father, sister and nephews on their return from a fortnights cruise on the west coast. Later that night they came back to crinan to hand me our outboard etc incase we needed it. Also the rest of the crew arrived and the all important boom tent was deployed. This is my mark1 version, instead of using an acrylic I used a lighter weight cloth with a waterproof coating (the same cloth sail bags are made of) this proved very useful when 6 are sleeping on board!

By this time Sheena had decided that she would stay till Oban but, at this point we all knew she was going to stay the week!! With a late start the next day the crew enjoyed the boom tent to the full being able to sit outside with typically Scottish weather. We even got to try some polish vodka! So the next day we headed to Crobh for the start of west highland week. On the way the floorboards started floating and after a bit of investigation it was found to be fresh water so it could only be the 1978 water tank which was later put in a skip.

West highland week is a great fun event with a mixture of passage and round the cans racing, It is a travelling event starting at Crobh then going to Oban and eventually mid week going to Tobermory on the Isle of Mull

That evening we never even made it ashore to the opening party instead we ate onboard and started on the wine as the gin had “evaporated” by now .The rig was also adjusted (thanks for the advice Kevin).

The next morning was the passage race to Oban, this started off well but being in a class with a lot of larger boats and a dying breeze we only managed 9th which we were quite disappointed with.

That evening we went to Dunstaffnage marina for the night and a few more shandys!!

The next day was a race round Lismore Island which started with a running start! For us “Covies” this is a normal event for us, Where our clubhouse is situated we do this weekly! We had a good start being in contention at the bottom of Lismore before going on to the beat and ended up 4th

That evening was the skipper’s reception at the Calmac ferry terminal which is always a good evening being slightly marred by the amount of people who had seen me nearly IVT at the finishing line (Race officer included).

Tuesday was the day for two windward/leeward and after feeling the effect of being rolled by a moody 336 we got the first few shifts right we managed to squeeze in on port tack at the weather mark, this small lead was kept over the next 2 rounds and we managed to be first across the line so getting our first win in our new boat.

Unfortunately the second race never started so it was back to the marina to be invaded by the crew of “Spirit” they even brought some Stiffy’s Jaffa vodka, something which will be one of those bottles that stays on the boat for years (more…)

Scottish Series 2012

Mercenary, Bambi and Revelry competed in a breezy Brewin Dolphin Scottish Series over the Jubilee Weekend. Mark Bradshaw’s Mercenary finished 2nd Overall, with Peter Doig’s Bambi 8th overall and Murray Caldwell’s Revelry in 12th. Well done to all! We want your race reports, photos and tall stories from around the Read more…

Autumn Madness

Murray Caldwell writes: ‘When I overhead my wife talking to one of her friends about me always going on about Impalas and that she had come to terms with fact that we were probably going to end up with one. I knew it was time to start looking seriously. I Read more…

Poetry in motion…

Ah, sailing. We all get that dewy-eyed moment after the perfect sail – but is this the first time that sailing on an Impala has inspired poetry? News, then from north of the border. ‘Jack Pullan is a published poet and came out on an Impala (Lammergeyer) for the very Read more…