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Scottish Optimist Travellers at Loch Tummel Sailing Club

by Alec Logan, IOCA Scotland 22 Sep 2010 08:30 BST
Optimists at Loch Tummel © Max Blinkhorn /

In 1774, the Rev Nevil Maskelyne, Astronomer Royal, famously measured the mean density of the Earth with experiments near Schiehallion (The Fairy Mountain of the Caledonians). Schiehallion broods to the west of Loch Tummel where, this weekend, the Scottish Optimist Traveller Series concluded after nine weekends starting this spring. Schiehallion, a serene and beautiful transit.

And a record breaking event on finish the series! 53 Oppies from over 20 clubs across Scotland. Hail the mighty Aberdeen and Stonehaven YC who supplied 9 racers! And newbie Nairn, 2.

In the main fleet competition top 6 really close. Jamie Calder (Loch Tummel SC) having to work hard at times as top Scot junior and senior fleet sailors press him hard. Jack Gillespie, Alasdair Ireland, Alasdair Logan and Sophie Taylor sub 10 points after 4 races Day 1. That has been the story of the series. Jamie won races easily start of season. Now he has to work harder, and doesn’t win them all. Still, he’s very good indeed, and worthy Scottish Trav Champion 2010. For the second year on the trot. Hey Hoh! Second in the series overall and first winner of the new Bob Airlie Memorial Trophy (best non GBR squaddie in the Scottish Traveller Series), Jack Gillespie Largs SC, just pipping Alasdair Ireland (Toward SC). Fourth Alasdair Logan, Largs SC, fifth Rachel Mawer, CCC.

Meanwhile non Squaddies pressing hard, led by Ruaridh Mills (Glencoe) and endless Loch Lomond-ites, led by Rory Harper. Rory is 9. One to watch.

But it’s the Scottish Optimist regatta fleet that’s the star of the show! There were over 30 in the regatta fleet at Tummel. From everywhere in Scotland. Won by new Oppie convert, Cara Wilson, Helensburgh SC, an old Oppie club now with several new bones! Youngest racer Fergus Wilson, Loch Venacher SC, aged 6. Pics by Jessica Blinkhorn’s dad, new Oppie flotilla leader at Portobello Sailing and Kayak Club (another Scottish Oppie powerhouse in the making!).

Overall a clean sweep for Annandale SC in Trav series – 3rd Drew Mitchell, 2nd Sandy Simpson (age 8), 1st Finn Mitchell. A sharp reminder to clubs that coaching counts! In a big fleet series that’s brilliant, so well done to Richard Bryant, mastermind behind Annandale Redux!

Full results at

Next year, 2011:

  • Racing Oppies available in Scotland for borrowing and rental.
  • 50 boat events and some of the best Oppie race coaching in GBR. Our coached racing regatta fleet is ground-breaking.
  • Watch our calendar. Come and join us.
  • Inaugural Viking Clinic and Champs, Lerwick, Shetland, JUL 4-9, the must-do Northern Isles Event, 2011. Denmark 2012, Sweden 2013, Largs 2014.

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