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5 reasons to set sail for West Highland Yachting Week! 30th July to 5th August 2016

5 reasons to set sail for West Highland Yachting Week! 30th July to 5th August 2016
West Highland Yachting Week is Scotland’s biggest yachting event, attracting hundreds of boats from all over the world. It’s based around three of Argyll’s most scenic harbours, Craobh Marina, Oban and Tobermory, with racing taking place amid breath-taking Scottish scenery. There’s as much fun to be had on land as at sea. You’ll find a carnival atmosphere when the yachts are in port, packed pubs and plenty of socialising. So this year, weigh anchor, unfurl the mainsail and set a course for West Highland Yachting Week.

1. Steeped in history
West Highland Yachting Week's history reaches as far back as 1882 when the newly formed Royal Highland Yacht Club held its first regatta in Oban. In 1947 the Royal Highland Yacht Club joined forces with the area's other local clubs, Oban Sailing Club and the Western Isles Yacht Club, to hold one major event and West Highland Yachting Week was born. The event holds a special place in many sailors’ hearts. Competitors return year on year to soak up the unique atmosphere and enjoy the distinctive blend of racing, camaraderie and ‘craic’.

2. Stunning sailing
These must be some of the most scenic sailing waters in the world, taking in many miles of varied coastline. Islands, mountains, lochs and castles all provide a spectacular backdrop to the racing. The action starts at Craobh Marina near Loch Melfort. The first passage race to Oban heads through the Sound of Fladda. For the next two days the fleet races out of Oban, round the island of Lismore or in the Firth of Lorne. On Wednesday, the boats move north, passing the cliffs and castles of Morvern to the colourful fishing port of Tobermory on Mull. Thursday's racing takes place in the Sound of Mull before the return passage to Oban on Friday and the final night’s celebrations.

3. Something for all sailors
The ethos at the heart of West Highland Yachting Week is participation and fun for all. The programme offers round-the-buoys and passage racing, so there’s something for everyone. And unlike many other events, West Highland Week encourages competitors to enter individual races if they don’t want to take part in the whole series. Some choose to enter only for the passages races, or just one race. It’s a great opportunity for family sailing or for those who fancy trying competitive yacht racing for the first time.

4. A superb sailing spectacle on the west coast of Scotland
West Highland Yacht Week isn’t just for sailors. Land lubbers will love it too. The yachts make for a magnificent sight and there are great vantage points from which to watch the racing. Gavanan Sands near Oban is a perfect spot for viewing Tuesday’s inshore courses in the Firth of Lorne. Tobermory on Mull must be one of the most beautiful natural harbours in British waters. The vista from the upper levels of the town, with the whole fleet at anchor, is a sight to behold! While in Oban, some yachts berth at the North Pier, while some take up moorings or anchor off the Esplanade, Oban Sailing Club, or at one of the local marinas.

5. Action onshore
At West Highland Yachting Week, après-sail entertainment is as important as the racing, with a packed programme of events and entertainment. From the grand opening party at Craobh Marina, to ceilidhs, barbecues and fireworks throughout the week, it’s non-stop partying for sailors and spectators. And in Oban and Tobermory, the pubs are jammed with thirsty sailors and the streets full of revelers enjoying the fun.

Why not take the opportunity to discover the other attractions around Craobh Marina, Oban and Tobermory, from exploring the coast by foot to visiting the local whisky distilleries? Find out more about Oban & Lorn and Mull, Iona, Coll & Tiree.

Header photograph by yachtingimages.co.uk
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Photograph by yachtingimages.co.ukTobermory Harbour. Photograph by Tobermory Harbour AssociationTobermory Harbour. Photograph by Tobermory Harbour Association
Tobermory Harbour. Photograph by Tobermory Harbour AssociationPhotograph by yachtingimages.co.ukPhotograph by yachtingimages.co.uk
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