The final Skye Sailing Club keelboat event of 2017, the Round Raasay Pursuit, saw Sandy Rankine bring Calum Matheson’s ‘Roxanne’ home ahead of a competitive local fleet. This win maintains Roxanne’s 100% win record for races entered in 2017.
With handicaps worked out in advance, each boat left Portree to circumnavigate Raasay at specified intervals with the aim of catching those in front and staying ahead of those behind and it was Hugh MacDonald’s ‘6X’ that left first, as the hare, shortly after 10.00am followed by Pacer (Jamie Shaw) and Finesse (Cameron MacFayden). And all went very well for MacDonald and crew until the final minutes of the eight hour event, when the fleet closed up and began jockeying for best wind angles at the southern end of Raasay and in the last ten seconds 6X was passed by Roxanne.
A little behind, Stoirm Mhor were ruing the decision to cut inshore early skirting Raasay’s eastern coast and lingered an arm’s length from a beach for some time leaving Indigo (Eric Clubley) and Alchemist (Cristien McLaren) to close up all the Bodach’s earlier gains.
Hugh MacDonald’s second on 6X meant that he takes the season-long West Highland Offshore Series Sonas Hospitality Trophy by one point from Cristien McLaren on Alchemist.
In winning Skye Sailing Club’s magnificent Lord MacDonald Bowl (with Talisker to fill it!), Roxanne had passed every boat in the fleet making up over two hours on 6X. Calum Matheson paid tribute to his crew of ages with the mighty experience of Sandy Rankine steering and the hefty, youthful, enthusiasm of Finlay Turner and Taylor Matheson, both around seventy years younger than the helm, in the crew. Rankine was heard to claim that, like Usain Bolt, 2017 would be his last year – unlike Bolt though, he took home gold.
Round Raasay 2017: 1. Roxanne (C. Matheson); 2. 6X (H. MacDonald); 3. Stoim Mhor (J. MacKenzie); 4. Indigo (E. Clubley); 5. Alchemist (C. McLaren); 6. Pacer (J. Shaw); 7. Finesse (C. MacFayden).
Sonas Hospitality West Highland Offshore Series 2017: 1. 6X (H. MacDonald); 2. Alchemist (C. McLaren); 3. Roxanne (C. Matheson); full results are HERE.
Ardfern Yacht Centre Esprit de Parcours 2017: 1. Stoirm Mhor (J. MacKenzie); 2. Roxanne (C. Matheson); 3. 6X (H MacDonald); full results are HERE.
Thaks to Alexander MacDonald for the use of his images.