Shadowfax lifts top prize at Oban Regatta

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Billy Forteith’s First 31.7 Shadowfax took top honours at Oban Sailing Club’s annual town regatta.

With a string of firsts from Saturday and Sunday, Billy not only lifted the silverware in the fast handicap spinnaker class, but the team, including son Steven, was awarded the best performance of the weekend.

With fewer yachts competing this year than usual, it was a small regatta fleet that raced out of Oban Bay on Saturday to a mark off Ganavan, returning via the seal island off the west of Kerrera to the finish off the sailing club.

Race officer Joey Gough set a shorter course to ensure finishing and the wind held up to give an excellent sail.

Those flying spinnakers held them out of the bay, dropping to round Maiden Island, then hoisting them again for the run to the Ganavan mark. A beat back saw places closely contested with Eric and Irena Chapman’s newly acquired X333 Elixir of Lorn finishing second and Murray MacDonald’s Autism on the Water third.

Murray brought his Hunter 707 up especially for the event, fresh from competing in the Scottish Series. He races the boat to spread awareness of his charity Autism on the Water and will be competing at the Glencoe Regatta this weekend. Glencoe Boat Club member Max MacLean came to race with Murray for Oban weekend.

In the slow handicap spinnaker class, the battle was between Colin Currie’s Contessa 28 Elise and Alison Chadwick’s Hot Toddy. Elise crossed the finishing line first but on handicap it was a win for Hot Toddy.

In the restricted sail class, Kevin McGrath made an excellent job of sailing his Gladiator Calvador singlehanded and took the honours.
A mix of light and patchy winds on Sunday saw two races in Oban Bay for all classes.

Shadowfax again proved invincible with the Chapman’s Elixir second. Murray MacDonald was forced to retire with gear failure. Hot Toddy was the only entry in the spinnaker class, as was Calvador in restricted sail. Andrew Chapman, Oban Sailing Club secretary who organised the regatta, thanked Joey Gough for his commitment to the weekend and setting good courses and those who had helped with the catering.

‘Although the fleet was small, we had some good, competitive racing and it was a great weekend,’ he said.

Glencoe Boat Club’s annual regatta takes place this Saturday, June 15. The feeder race for the event starts at noon off Oban Sailing Club on Friday June 14.

This sees the fleet head out from Oban and sail up Loch Linnhe to the finish off Onich Pier before heading up into Loch Leven to moor off the boat club for the Saturday regatta.