The BP Sullom Voe and Northlink Scottish and European Albacore Dinghy Championships were hosted by the South Yell Boating Club at Burravoe on Yell last weekend.


There were five boats that travelled up from Scotland and England along with three visiting skippers who sailed local boats in with the local fleet, farthest traveller being current International Champion Barney Harris from Washington DC, in the USA and the National Albacore Association chair Mike Banner flew in the day before.


Saturday dawned bright with little wind but Race Officer Tony Dobson with race committee members Emma Manson, Gordon Johnson and Robert Odie set a course and launched the boats. The courses sailed over the two days were all Olympic style courses with an extra triangle to increase the distance sailed.

With much excitement to his followers, the local boat of Angus McNeil and Graham Forrest set off and rounded the top mark first and lead down the first reach until getting caught and passed by several boats at the gybe mark. Across on the second reach the wind became very fickle and direction changes tested the fleet and the Race Officer decided to shorten the race.

First over the finish line was Gran Turismo 8155 sailed by Matt Thompson and daughter Ellie from Tewkesbury. Second was Ptarmigan 6703 sailed by Crawford Reid and Graham Russel from Strathclyde Loch and third was Blue Mist 7994 sailed by Barney Harris and local boat owner Douglas Leask. All further racing was abandoned due to little or no wind, so all were towed in to go sightseeing or start the social night at the Burravoe Carnival where entertainment was by local musicians and the First Foot Soldiers, although the sheep race may have been the biggest highlight to some.

Sunday dawned bright with a nice breeze to blow away the cobwebs after Saturdays missed races and two more were added to the day's competition.

In a light/moderate breeze the boats set off with some good racing all through the fleet but first over the finish line was Tabula Rasa 8188 sailed by Charlie Frize from the Clyde with Brydon Leask "fae da toon". Second were Blue Mist, Barney and Douglas and third were Ptarmigan, Crawford and Graham.

Second race started in an increasing wind with Blue Mist getting her first bullet of the series, second was Tabula Rasa and third was Storm 8073 sailed by Jerry Rook from Lyme Regis and Frank Guthrie from Yell.

Third race was action packed with a second start due to a general recall of all the boats being over the start line and later in the race a slight coming together of three boats at the leeward mark added to the tensions, but the action went on with great reaching and place changing throughout the fleet with Blue Mist taking their second win. Second was Ptarmigan and third was Gran Turismo.

The last race saw the strongest wind with first going again to Blue Mist, second was Tabula Rasa and third was local boat Flamingo 7910 sailed by Graham Hughson and Johnny Wilson.

The SYBC commodore along with BP representative Graham Hughson presented the prizes to Barney Harris and Douglas Leask (when he turned up) for winning both the Scottish and European Championship trophies. Second were Charlie Frize and Brydon Leask and third were Crawford Reid and Graham Russel.

The European Team Trophy was presented to the boats Tabula Rasa and Moondancer 799 sailed by Scott Nicolson and Roger Goudie.

The perseverance bottle went to Hazel and Andrew Smith from Tewkesbury sailing Stab in the Dark 8154

The SYBC thanked the main sponsors BP Sullom Voe and Northlink for their assistance and the many locals who made the weekend work, the SYBC committee, the Burravoe Hall committee, the SWRI, the South Yell Development Company, the MYBC, local musicians, First Foot Soldiers, Cullivoe bar staff and any who provided accommodation, prizes, raffles and the sheep.

Steven Brown

Full Results


click images to enlarge

Photo Credits: Pauline Rook (sailing). Robert Odie (prize giving)