We Laddies are essentially maritime romantics. The sea, with all its brute force, blueness and beauty, defines us. She soothes us with her pretty views and then throws herself at us with a fury that demands we take shelter – often all within the passage of a single hour.
The sea connects with us constantly. We live by her, travel on her, work with her and gaze at her. We have been battered by her, soaked by her and scared by her. Her salty wilderness is central to what we create. Without her, we are diminished and long to return.
Facing her is a necessary element of any visit to our remote island home. A west-Islay beach is no sun-dappled Mediterranean cove, but angry, Atlantic facing, and fierce. Here, the wind rips at your senses and unbungs the tear ducts. Wrapped up but suddenly exposed to such an elemental force you are asked to face down an abyss thousands of miles wide. Because the next stop is Canada.
There is little that prepares those used to the comfort of the modern world to such an assault on the senses. It is impossible to explain what it is like to be subject to forces that make even standing up a struggle. To experience it is to appreciate its importance.
Standing tall among our heroes are those who step onto such a maelstrom. Brave Argonauts who push out for fun in sailboats. They are a special breed. Modern excitement is usually sought in safer places.
The open sea is a challenge that must be met, or she will take you. She may be beautiful but she is also a white knuckle ride. To travel over her powered by the wind is a sensory experience like no other. We believe that you will instinctively understand why we love her so.
Phil Sharp Racing
The Transat bakerly
The Scottish Series
The Three Peaks Yacht Race
Photos by James McNaught and Roddy Scott