Commodore’s Blog on the Orkney Race

I am posting here the blogs over the days of the Orkney race (edited for focus on the event).

Monday, 22 June

Well it’s back to normal again.  The results of the Orkney Race are out and published on the Orkney page, and the prizes have been awarded up in Kirkwall, though some of the crews had to head back to Edinburgh yesterday.

Sunday 14:43

Countess Linda crossed the line at about 14:00.  All boats now safely in. Prizegiving tomorrow evening.  See Tom Wilson’s summary on the Orkney Page.

Sunday 13:30 All the boats finished except Countess Linda who was reported at 09:00 a few miles short of the finish.

Interestingly, Lucky Lady, Charlie Panks’ boat is about to set off for a week’s cruise to Orkney and back.  Nothing to do with the race.

Sunday 07:44

Just picked up two reports from Rockhopper.  At 08:55 yesterday they had been becalmed for 12 hours but were moving again.  At 02:10 this morning they were making slow progress with 9 miles to go.  They have just this minute confirmed crossing the finish at 07:42:25.

Also reported that Peak flow, Panache and Nereides2 all finished within the last 3 hours.  Unfortunately a dreich welcome to Kirkwall with heavy rain.

Saturday afternoon 19:15

Screen Shot 2015-06-20 at 19.37.02Yesnaby and  Erin are in the marina.  Peak Flow is in fog some 16 miles from the finish line with very light winds.  Hope to get in sometime during the night.

15:50    Latest report is that Erin has finished.  Still no contact, but AIS tells us that Yesnaby is gybing downwind to the finish.

Saturday Morning 09:30

Still no contact from the fleet, but AIS has Yesnaby about 42  miles from the finish doing over 6 knots.

Chartlet shows Yesnaby, but the body of the fleet has to be estimated.

Friday evening 10:00

Well, Tom got to Kirkwall by 19:41 and reckons he won the race.

Panache has reported just passed Peterhead and is running second last.  Having been in the lead up the Forth, they got stuck in the becalmed area and watched the rest of the fleet sail by closer to the coast.  Now expecting a beat all the way to Mull Head.

No reports from anybody else.  I suspect that they are well into the Moray Firth and out of range for a mobile signal.

Friday 19 June, evening

Latest from Peak Flow is they have just passed the reporting line off Peterhead.  Taking a reef in in readiness of a long night.  The latest from “Bus Pass Man” is that he is on the water at last, though he says the Pentland Firth is a bit white in places.  I think he will be first to Kirkwall, but that is before applying the handicap.

Friday, updates during the day

14:30 Peak Flow and Rockhopper now closing Peterhead, with Peak flow lining themselves up for Rattry Head.  One of the Orkney boats is not far behind Rockhopper.  Meanwhile, having hove-to in Inverness to enjoy a Guiness, Tom is up to speed up the Cromarty Firth.  Noted that Erin, one of the fast boats passed Peak Flow, one of the slow boats at about 13:30.  Where had she been one wonders?

11:40 Peak Flow and Rockhopper both report passing Aberdeen with a much better wind.  Chartlet  has been updated.

Friday Morning 19 June

A flurry of texts this morning tell me that the boats are making good progress.  Fisherow’s Rockhopper has been sending me detailed position co-ordinates on a regular basis, whilst Bill Blyth from PEYC sent an excited message at 0500 when he was catching Erin. For a time the fleet was more or less becalmed off Gourdon.  (If like me you need to check where that is, it is half way between Montrose and Stonehaven.) But the latest from Rockhopper (at 09:51) was that the wind was picking up again to 6.2 knots off the beam.  (Although that might have been that they were doing 6.2 knots – cryptic texts can be confusing).

Meanwhile Tom, having given the rest of the fleet an overnight start, is trying to beat them using public transport (sounds a bit like a Top Gear challenge).  He says that he is not sure of his handicap! but that his initial start was only 3 knots and he was having to give way to a tram on the starboard tack.

Maria, shore based web, is putting up the more detailed log of Peak Flow on the Orkney page.

Thursday 18 June

Well they’re off with a brisk wind behind them.  The 2015 Orkney race is under way.  Unfortunately one of the RFYC boats, Yves’s Cherubino, withdrew so we have 7 boats racing.  Our own Peak Flow is racing with our main web man, Hillary on board.  So the web will be updated for this race by Maria.  Some photos are already up on the site.

Texts on progress will be fed back to me and will be followed here.

The first report is from Peak Flow, 3 hours out.  Just passing St Monans and Pittenweem.

Tom Wilson is the club’s representative for the event as well as the event organiser.  He is making his way to Kirkwall on Friday by road and ferry and should get to Orkney in time to welcome them ashore.

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