Thanks to Ken Andrew for sending us this report of a Bruichladdich sponsored yacht race between Scotland, Ireland and France last month.
Clyde Cruising Club‘s Blue Water Trophy, first presented in 1933, was raced for in 2013 in a 2 leg race from Troon on the Clyde to Benodet in Brittany, with a stopover at Dun Laoghaire hosted by the Royal St.Georges Yacht Club. The trophy was to be awarded for the best performance on the second leg from Dun Laoghaire to Benodet, a distance of 360 miles.
“A dozen boats raced on the evening of 5th July for the first leg to Dun Laoghaire and 4 boats made it to the start line for the second leg on the morning of July 8th. After a couple of hours delay waiting for the wind the start was made.
“Throughout the day and into the hours of darkness, the boats maintained sight of each other. Argento reported that they completed 127 miles over 17 hours of continuous spinnaker flying, peeling between the A-sail and their light symmetrical kite as the wind stayed in the light East or North East. By dawn on the 9th, visual contact between the fleet had gone. The wind became very light around Land’s End but filled in from the north allowing an overnight spinnaker leg across the English Channel. Ushant came with dawn on the 10th and with it an increase in wind speed; ensuing reefs and headsail changes before easing to allow more A-sail and symmetrical spinnaker work through the Raz du Sein.
“Texa made the finish line first at around 2045 BST on the 10th, with Argento close behind at 2112 BST. Aislig Bheag, a Jeanneau Trinidad 48 came in a few hours after that. The skipper and crew of the Voyager 40 Hecate, were taking a more relaxed approach to the event, and anchored up before the finish and proceeded in daylight of 11th. Rumours that they were making sure that the celebratory cargo of Bruichladdich Malt Whisky and the distillery’s sister gin The Botanist had remained untainted during the trip remain unconfirmed at the time of writing….
“On Saturday 13th July, the Yacht Club de l’Odet hosted a party liberally supported by the event sponsor, Bruichladdich with their ‘man in France’ Donald MacKenzie, and the CCC Blue Water Trophy was presented by the Mayor of Benodet, M. Christian Pennanech, to the skipper and crew of the yacht Argento for the best performance in the race, along with a bottle of Bruichladdich Classic Laddie single malt. It was noted that there was huge demand for gin and supplies just about met demand with a number of enquires as to where it could be sourced in the UK.”
Our pictures show the winning yacht “Argento”, and Donald Mackenzie (of Dugas and Bruichladdich) Argento’s skipper Ken Andrew, and Christian Pennanech who is Mayor of Benodet in France.