Contrasting conditions for Round Mull yacht race

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Contrasting conditions saw this year’s Ardfern Yacht Centre and Owen Sails- sponsored Round Mull Race Round Mull fleet tackle a mix of all weathers, from strong winds to moderate, as well as zephyrs to no wind at stages.

And it was to be the Westerly Storm, Sorr of Appin, sailed by Brian Wiseman and team that lifted first place in class on all three stages and the overall honours for the event.

Mastering the mix of light and strong conditions, Sorr lifted the prized Mishnish Bucket on the first leg and the Bunessan Hall Trophy on the second, winning the class on the third leg to complete the hat trick.

Run by Oban Sailing Club, the circumnavigation of Mull is a 100-mile race over three stages – Oban to Tobermory, Tobermory to Bunessan and Bunessan to Oban.

The first leg of the circumnavigation from Oban to Tobermory saw the fleet enjoy champagne sailing conditions, with tropical sunshine and a light south easterly breeze which gradually built over the course of the day.

Spinnakers were shot early and flown to the finish with Sorr of Appin storming though to take the Class 2 victory and overall best performance of fleet.

Second to Sorr was the Nicholson 43 Sarah, with Colin Crawford’s Dehler 34 Nimrod, third. In Class 1 Nick Marshall’s J92 Satisfaction won from Graham Anderson’s Lucky Ned Pepper and Calum Matheson’s Roxanne. Murray Caldwell’s Oyster Catcher was the convincing winner in Class 3, with Hot Toddy second and John and Mandy Peden’s Hecla third.

In the restricted sail class Anne Campbell’s X34 Ajax won from Brian Robertson on Celtic Spirit and the Johnson/Williams partnership Oceanis 40 Mystic Sun was third.

Tobermory to Bunessan
With no wind in Tobermory Bay on Saturday morning, race officers David Preston and Jim Tolmie took the four-class fleet out of Tobermory to a position off Rubha nan Ghall Lighthouse.

Light and variable winds had been forecast and light and variable they indeed were, making for frustrating sailing, with the tail end of the fleet racing for nearly 11 hours.

A shortened course was set off Gometra and the last boat finished just within the time limit, with the tide helping to stem the dying breeze. A pod of dophins provided entertainment among the finishing fleet.

Satisfaction sealed another victory in Class 1 from Scott Chalmers and team on Sunrise and Robin Young’s J109 Jings.

Sorr of Appin again took the class win and the overall to lift The Bunessan Hall trophy, with Eric and Irena Chapman’s Elixir of Lorn second and Billy Forteith’s Shadowfax third.

With Oystercatcher and Fumarole retiring in Class 3, Hot Toddy took the win from the Peden’s in Hecla, and Mikara third. Celtic Spirit won restricted sail class, with Mystic Sun second.

Bunessan to Oban
The final leg from Bunessan to Oban was a roller coaster with strong gusting winds and big seas. Mastering these conditions Brian Wiseman and team on Sorr of Appin completed the hat trick to win once again and seal an overall victory for the event, despite their spinnaker blowing out at the entrance to Kerrera sound. Chasing his heels with a second in Class 2 was Shadowfax with John MacKenzie’s Stoirm Mhor third.

Satisfaction won Class 1 from Sunrise and Roxanne and in Class 3 it was Oystercatcher who pulled out all the stops to win not only this leg but the best overall time in the fleet for Bunessan to Oban and lift the Glencoe Trophy. Second was Hot Toddy, and Hecla third. Celtic Spirit won again in Class 4, with Mystic Sun second.

Steven Forteith one of the Round Mull Race committee said: ‘What a great weekend and fantastic sailing overall. We have to say a huge thanks to sponsors Ardfern Yacht Centre and Owen Sails, T.Barbour Ltd, Dimension- Polyant and Forteith Refrigeration, and Heat Pump Solutions Ltd, as well as race team Dave Preston and Jim Tolmie.

Also a massive thank you to Dave Sturrock who provided his time and his boat Unity once again to be committee vessel. Last but not least, thanks to the main organiser Billy Forteith for an amazing event all round.’

Race officer Preston and Tolmie echoed thanks to Dave Sturrock, saying: ‘Lying at anchor all day and into the evening to wait for the fleet to finish on Saturday was a big effort, not only for Dave but his faithful dog Jenny who had to keep legs crossed till getting ashore!’

Prizes will be awarded at Oban Sailing Club’s prizegiving event on November 9