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St Kilda Race

Posted: Tue Dec 01, 2015 10:12 pm
by mm5aho
By now this might be old news...

A new race to start next June (11th) from Sound of Harris round St Kilda and back, based out of Lochmaddy marina.

In my view a clever bit of marketing for a new marina. Bring in a few adventurers, racers and others, get a night or three's berthing out of them, given them a challenge, and create a bit of excitement too.

I'm intending to try this out, and have a crew lined up - coincidently two of them same as were crew for last trip out there, which coincided with another trip Contender made there exactly 20 years previously (to the day), and one of them was there then too as a teenager. He was chuffed to get to go there every 20 years exactly.

There a bit of a lack of detail on the Calmac website which seems to be hosting the details so far. For example exact route not clear, the detail on how to stop there for a visit mid race (as they're planning), and where the start finish might be more precisely, but there's enough to get interested in.

Anyone else this in mind?
There's a non-racing cruise in company to be held concurrently too.

Caused me to review my kit list to meet Category three of the OSR rules (to which they have added AIS mandatory). I'd never thought to have a fire blanket, nor emergency nav lights. More stuff to take up locker space along with all the other stuff I have in there weighing the boat down.

Re: St Kilda Race

Posted: Tue Dec 01, 2015 10:27 pm
by NorthUp2
Emergency nav lights? In June? St Kilda? Have the organisers ever been that far up north!? :)

Re: St Kilda Race

Posted: Wed Dec 02, 2015 9:00 am
by Mavanier
Hoping to make it along for the cruise in company aspect, but will have a baby on board by then so I somehow don't think the race is going to be on the cards for us!

Re: St Kilda Race

Posted: Wed Dec 02, 2015 10:04 am
by Nick

Racing round St. Kilda without stopping seems a bit of a waste !

Re: St Kilda Race

Posted: Wed Dec 02, 2015 11:59 am
by marisca
I have registered an interest but have my doubts. As I understand it, the itinerary is for a "Parade of Sail" through the Sound of Harris on the morning of the 11th prior to a 0900 start off Pabbay. That's about 20nm and means a 0500ish start after a party the night before - should sort out the men from the boys! At least it will be neap tides. Then it is non-stop out, round and back to Pabbay though there is indeed a suggestion of stopping in Village Bay - all within 24 hours.
As for the AIS - it could be a chance to make a forum multi-buy of the Matsutec HP-33A, as much discussed on TOP a while back. Somewhere around £270 IIRC.
Emergency lights - a facility to connect a dry cell to the masthead LED tricolour will suffice.
Don't forget to tie down the foot of your mast!

Re: St Kilda Race

Posted: Thu Dec 03, 2015 8:39 am
by mm5aho
The timing does look a little ambitious.
Last trip out there, 3 years ago I think, we left from Taransay where we'd anchored overnight. Earlyish start, arrived later afternoon. Any trip ashore is going to take a few hours to do it justice, then another 5-6 hours back. So assuming say 0500 start at Lochmaddy, that's very late back.
That trip was a 20 year anniversary of Contender's first trip there, and one crew was there at that earlier time too, so re-enacted his teenager swim in Village Bay of 2 decades previously. Brrrr.

On AIS, I have bought from here...
I'd been intending to fit an AIS transmitter, so this tied in well with the possibility of this race requiring it. Priced in Euros, but delivered out of UK, it's by far the best value. I got AIS and 25W capacity splitter. Build quality looks excellent, software and setup system looks easy and well written. But I've only started playing on the bench with it yet, and will fit over the winter, feeding common antenna with VHF radio. I've had AIS receiver fitted a few years and found that very useful. (That I bought as parts/not working on eBay and repaired it, now works fine)
I should have remembered the possibility of a group purchase, but forgot! At least if others are contemplating, then there's a reference point, or sample that could be viewed.

Re: St Kilda Race

Posted: Thu Dec 03, 2015 11:21 am
by stevepick
I can't do this next year, as the timing doesn't suit ( already booked up for something else on the dates). I hope it makes critical mass and becomes a regular event, because I will plan for it in 2017. Just need to install AIS. The equipment requirements aren't too onerous. The spare nav lights can be bought as battery driven individual lights that mount onto a rail for a few £'s.

I have often wondered about about a scottish fastnet equivalent of racing around rockall and back :D .

Re: St Kilda Race

Posted: Thu Dec 03, 2015 12:23 pm
by mm5aho
"...I have often wondered about about a scottish fastnet equivalent of racing around rockall and back :D ...."

You know that sounds to me a bit more of a challenge, one to be more seriously considered.
Bit more like a Transatlantic for those that haven't the time.?

Re: St Kilda Race

Posted: Thu Dec 03, 2015 9:04 pm
by Aja
I've heard muttering a of a trip to Rockall..
Apparently after last years AZAB St Kilda is just too easy-peasy


Re: St Kilda Race

Posted: Sat Feb 06, 2016 8:12 pm
by mm5aho
Anyone heard anything about this recently?
The Calmac website has had no update on it since the original posting.

I emailed organisers and got a nice reply. Apparently the chairman of the outfit organising the race is sick, so that's casued some delay. But that email said an update was due to be posted last weekend.

Any news?

Re: St Kilda Race

Posted: Sun Feb 07, 2016 10:21 am
by marisca
No, nought heard since an email noting my interest saying there would be an announcement at the London Boat Show.
Meanwhile I followed Geoff's lead and bought an AIS transponder from Marinetraffic. It seems to mate happily with OpenCPN on the boat laptop and with Belfield's plotter though that still wants a separate GPS input. Marisca is tucked up in a JWD sugar shed so the signal is a tad attenuated - doesn't appear on MarineTraffic but does show on Slightly worrying is the distance the "Track" function says she moves when I'm not there!

Re: St Kilda Race

Posted: Sun Feb 07, 2016 2:19 pm
by mm5aho
My AIS system is installed but not permanently left transmitting, or I'd have a flat bettery by the time the boat goes back in the water. One small adjustment to make to get it to output slow speed data sentences for another instrument, but it does show incoming data on the screen OK.
There seems to be good back info on their website about it, but next time to Rhu I'll insert the SD card with the right file and that should fix it.

Must email and ask for a status update on St Kilda. Doesn't bode well if a lot hangs on one man?

Re: St Kilda Race

Posted: Thu Mar 10, 2016 9:40 pm
by marisca
WTF! Just got an email from the "organiser" - it is now for yachts 10m minimum length, 0.900 min IRC - so that's me and Contender stuffed. Apparently the Martine(sic) Coastguard Agency have specified a minimum of 30' "due to the VHF coverage in the area."
Price has also gone up to £120 for <50'.

I think I'll wait 24 hours before replying.

Re: St Kilda Race

Posted: Thu Mar 10, 2016 10:56 pm
by stevepick
That's a shame, sub 10m boats still race the fastnet, and I guess there must be points where they are in dodgy VHF contact 1/2 way to the fastnet rock. How about a race within a race? Take your own times and run with the "big" boys :D

Re: St Kilda Race

Posted: Sun Mar 20, 2016 9:57 pm
by mm5aho
Something's moving, this week apparently.

I got this email today...
"Morning Geoff..
Sorry for the short delay. Johnnie Readman from Clyde Cruising is now the new Racing Officer. He is now creating a new explanatory entry.
It will cover all aspects and should be with you this very week. So sorry for delay Geoff but we must have it right from the start I'm sure you will agree?
It will be with you soon. I am still in Drem, North Berwick but will be home in Uist late Monday 21st. Meetings will commence from 22nd.
Please keep in touch as matters progress. .
Kind regards. .. Gus"

Hope this turns out OK.