Please select your home edition
Product Feature

Sailability Scotland Challenger T6 Travellers at Lochaber Yacht Club, Fort William

by Duncan Greenhalgh 19 Sep 2018 09:10 BST 15-16 September 2018
Sailability Scotland Challenger T6 Travellers at Fort William © Dik Toulson

The final event of Sailability Scotland's Challenger Travellers took place in the very picturesque town of Fort William last weekend 15/16 September.

We have to say a big thank you to Tunnock's for sponsoring the Scottish Challenger Travellers Series, also the host Clubs, all volunteer helpers and Sailability Scotland SCIO Charity for facilitating the events that was supported and enjoyed by the largest numbers in many years.

An enthusiastic group of 9 boats arrived on Friday and Saturday morning to a welcoming reception by club volunteers helping build and rig the boats in good time for the launch time of the first race. With a good sailing forecast predicting fresh winds and occasional showers the competitors were keen to get going.

The wind built up to a respectable F3 for the start of Race 1 round a large triangle course which was to remain the very efficient Race Officers preferred course for all the races. The fleet became strung out with Jessica and Duncan pulling away from the rest of the fleet perhaps mastering the difficult conditions of chop and tide stopping any forward movement if allowed. Jessica got the first gun followed closely by Duncan. Keith finished a creditable 3rd but unfortunately was unable to complete any further sailing. John and Ronnie led the remaining fleet home.

After a short break ashore the fleet ventured out for Race 2 to find a squall was overhead generating sizeable waves from the cold F5/6 wind, no one in a boat noticed the showers however getting buckets of salt water regularly deposited in their faces. The race took the same order as R1 round the first lap with StephenTB, John and StephenL keeping better pace with the leaders. Alex retired when the emergency home-made rudder failed to stay on the pintles, perhaps won't forget the rudder next time. Approaching the club Duncan had boat failure later found the mast collar missing, he also retired to make repairs. Jessica got her second bullet followed in by StephenTB, John and StephenL the only 4 finishers of a particularly tough race.

Race 3 was started back to back with a smaller field in the lighter conditions as the squall moved round the Ben, leaving a nice F3/4 ideal racing conditions. Jessica led the fleet round the course in a lonely vigil with Alex, StephenTB, John, StephenL and Ronnie in hot pursuit. Duncan's boat was fixed and relaunched with the challenge of catching the fleet rounding the windward mark. At the end of the three lap race Jessica got her 3rd bullet and almost guaranteed the event, Duncan managing to overall most of the fleet pipping Alex on the line to take second and Alex third with a borrowed rudder.

Exhausted sailors wrapped up their boats and made plans for the evening socials with plenty stories to recount, not knowing Sunday was to dawn blowing a steady F5 with squalls of F6/7 left many sailors declaring they were staying onshore. Six boats lined up to launch in a lull watching the next squall rapidly approaching from the south west up Loch Linne to arrive in nice time for the start of the next race. John thought better of the conditions after a couple of tacks and a reach across the Loch decided to return to shore for an early bath and pick up a prize for his courage taking on the storm.

Race 4 started for a 1 lap race in 'washing machine' conditions, with all the 5 remaining boats battling the conditions. Jessica and Duncan took an early lead and was nick and tuck all the way round with Jessica leading at the final mark it looked fait accompli, however inshore was vastly favoured on the final short beat and Duncan took the race with Jessica a close second. StephenTB, Alex and Ronnie bravely continued to finish in that order.

Race 5 and final race got underway with the wind at its tops for a 1 lap race however the RO changed his mind and must have thought more punishment was required changing it to a 2 lap race. Jessica sailed for home with enough results in the bag to take the regatta. The remaining 4 boats battled round the course in horrendous conditions with Duncan slightly ahead of Alex crossing the line after the first lap both expecting a finish to realise anther lap was being demanded. A close race ensued to the windward mark with Duncan slightly ahead of Alex, the gap opened considerably as Duncan seemed to constantly surf from one wave to the next all the way to the gybe mark. The next reaching leg was completely different as the wave angle to the layline was completely different, they came either over or spinning the boats leaving helms struggling to control the boats direction down to the final mark and a short beat up to a welcome finish line. Duncan took a comfortable bullet followed by Alex, StephenTB and Ronnie, all 4 starters finishing the final race of the weekend and gladly making way to the recovery team to get relief from the rough conditions.

Overall Results:

1st Jessica Campbell, 5pts
2nd Duncan Greenhalgh, 6pts
3rd Stephen Thomas Bate, 13pts

Full results can be found here.

Events do not happen without a huge contribution from a team of volunteers who assist with launching and recovering boat, race management, safety, mark laying and catering etc etc. During the prize giving, the fleet showed their appreciation to all those that helped from Lochaber Yacht Club to make the weekend a great success.

Sailability Scotland SCIO is a registered Scottish charity that promotes and develops disabled sailing throughout Scotland. For further information visit or contact us at

Related Articles

RYA Sailability: From Lockdown and Beyond
Sailability clubs and centres have gone through eight months of upheaval From closing completely to re-opening under strict restrictions, Sailability clubs and centres, like so many sports organisations, have gone through eight months of upheaval. Posted on 12 Nov 2020
Returning Tallulah win 2020 Concours d'Elegance
Stunning Scorpion at the RYA Dinghy Show 2020 The 2020 Concours d'Elegance at the RYA Dinghy Show has been awarded to the Scorpion Tallulah, owned by Jerry Hannibus. Posted on 29 Feb 2020
40 Years On: The Story of the Challenger
How a disabled but adventurous lady worked with a brilliant yacht designer It all started in the late 1970s when a disabled but adventurous lady worked with a brilliant yacht designer to produce a fast, exciting single-person dinghy that a severely disabled person could sail. Posted on 22 Dec 2019
P&B Challenger UK Championships at Rutland
Unusually, the fleet included two syndicate boats The UK Challenger Championships took place at Rutland Sailing Club over the weekend 13-15 September. The event was sponsored by Pinnell & Bax who generously provided prizes worth over £200. The whole fleet was also clothed in their new P&B sails. Posted on 16 Sep 2019
English Challenger Championships at Ogston
A healthy turn out of fourteen boats over the weekend The English Challenger Championships took place at Ogston Sailing Club over the weekend 24-25 August. The event was generously sponsored by the local companies of H.A. Briddon Ltd and Jons Tyres. Posted on 26 Aug 2019
Sailability Scotland SCIO T5 Challenger Regatta
Held at Bardowie Loch, near Milngavie Regatta five of six in the Challenger Traveller Series took place at Bardowie Loch, near Milngavie which is the home of Clyde Cruising Club (Dinghy Section) on the 17th and 18th August 2019. The event was supported by Duncan's Yacht Chandlers in Glasgow. Posted on 20 Aug 2019
Sailability Scotland SCIO T4 at Loch Earn
Seven sailors take part over the weekend Sailability Scotland SCIO's fourth Challenger Traveller Regatta took place over the weekend of the 3rd and 4th of August, 2019. Seven sailors took part from five different clubs in Scotland. Posted on 8 Aug 2019
Challenger Welsh Open Championships
Valve issues mean Llyn Brenig water level was 2m lower than normal The Welsh Open Challenger Championships were held at Llyn Brenig Sailing Club. Seven Challengers sailors (three from England, four from Scotland, none from Wales) arrived at the club on Friday to find the water level 2m lower than normal. Posted on 24 Jul 2019
Who says you can't enjoy sailing?
RYA supports campaign to challenge negative perceptions of disability The Activity Alliance's Who Says? campaign is calling time on negative perceptions about disability, inclusion and sport. It was created in response to the national charity's recent research, which explored people's attitudes on inclusive activity. Posted on 15 Jul 2019
Multihulls at the RYA Sailability Regatta
Challengers and Wetas at Weymouth For the first time since its inception in 2007, the venue for the RYA Sailability Multiclass regatta was not Rutland Sailing Club, instead we were at Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy with the racing taking place in Portland Harbour. Posted on 9 Jul 2019