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There was an early start for the boats heading to Westray on Saturday 28th July for the Westray Regatta.

Westray (the Queen of the Isles) lies about 20 miles North of Kirkwall, the local sailing is mainly based on the Westray Skiff a traditional design, but there are also a couple of elderly Merlin Rockets, very graceful wooden boats from the 1960s.

The Earl Sigurd does a special trip for the Regatta leaving Kirkwall at 7.30 to arrive at Pierowall at 9.30. The various boats were lifted off and there was a flurry of activity as crews started rigging & setting up the boats.

The first race was held in glorious conditions, the light and shifty South Easterly propelled the boats round a large triangular course. Six Snipes took part, with Neil Foubister's No Fear finishing first. Three Lasers took part, Ian Rushbrook's Solitaire got off to a good start and led all the way round. Of the three Merlin Rockets Brian Kent's Rural Girl won beating Ella by a full second.

The second race was held after a magnificent spread of sandwiches, scones, pizza, quiche, savouries and fancy cakes. By the start of the Allcomers Race the wind had died significantly and hopes of a second lap drifted off. What wind there was was very changeable, at times vanishing altogether. The flood tide had set in and was quite strong at the outer part of the course. David Clouston's Temeraire (505) finished the Allcomers race well ahead of the fleet but was beaten on handicap by Harcus Hutchison in Ella (Merlin Rocket). David Sabiston's Aegir (Alto) finished the race 2nd with Ella coming in 3rd.

In addition to the Laser and Snipe classes the regatta had a healthy fleet of Westray Skiffs and also attracted a good fleet of yachts (some of which came South from Shetland) and a few yoles. The whole fleet made a great spectacle in Pierowall bay. After the Allcomers race there was a prize giving followed by another grand feast at the Pierowall Hotel. After suitable lubrication, some of the competitors stumbled back to the ferry for the cruise to Kirkwall & the Orkney Mainland. The food & hospitality at Westray regatta is always something special & this year was no exception

Snipe class:
1st No Fear Neil and Glen Foubister
2nd Hassfang Chris Moore and Harvey Dunnet
3rd Go Quickly Red Malcolm Tipler and Paula Hemsley

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