As early as 1991, ideas for co-operation with neighbouring clubs were aired, and a regatta proposed. It was not until 1993 that the proposals came to fruition, with Gairloch Boat Club taking the initiative. (See – Neighbours.)
A regatta was proposed for a week-end in August of 1993. The invitation, extended to neighbouring clubs, proposed three races on the Saturday, with a practice race on Friday evening and a social day on Sunday. There were no applications on the final date for entries, one application being received from a club member a day later. After the committee decided to abandon the event, applications rolled in. With the commodore in hospital, the remainder of the committee set about reviving arrangements.
Seven boats from Plockton turned up, six came down from Gairloch, and six from our own club turned out. . Two races were held on the Saturday in excellent conditions. A very pleasant sail to Kishorn Island on the Sunday put the seal on a successful week-end.
Yeoman service was provided on shore by Gloria Macdonald and Gayle Adam on the catering. Stan Forrester, Marcus Given and Peter Harrop manned the committee boat, Sandy MacVarish and Mavis Harrop the rescue boat, with Geoff Harrington in a second safety boat from the Fish Farm.
In 1994 the Lochcarron Regatta was a wash-out on the first week-end of September. The practice race on Friday evening was abandoned due to lack of wind, after being started. The morning race on Saturday was abandoned in drizzle with no wind. The other two races of the day were abandoned before starting.
One family visited with a Mirror from Chanonry, two boys camping, and father using the ‘Club’ caravan. They joined an enjoyable Ceilidh in the Village Hall on Saturday evening.
A pleasant sail to Smuggler’s Bay on the Sunday for a barbecue salvaged something of the week-end.
In 1995, the only visiting boat for the Lochcarron Regatta in mid-August, was an Enterprise from Gairloch, which suffered a broken rudder pintle and did not finish a single race. That was not the only failure of the week-end.
The wheel steering on the rescue boat broke down during the practice race on the Friday evening. Stan Forrester and John Ireland worked until midnight to make a tiller to fit the outboard engine. It is still in use to-day.
In the first race on Saturday, Steve Patch, in a commanding position sailing a club Mirror, suffered a broken mast within sight of the finishing line.
Three races were sailed on the Saturday, and one on Sunday morning. Eight boats featured in the results, class 1 being won by Adam Macdonald in a Topper, and class 2 by David Sproule in his Wayfarer.
In later years, the aim of having neighbouring clubs join us for a regatta has come to nothing. Even though the date was brought forward to June, in the hope that it would be more suitable.
In 1996 there were only seven entries from Club members. Three races were scheduled for the Saturday, and two for Sunday. Heavy weather on Saturday caused one race to be abandoned, but both scheduled races were sailed on the Sunday. Jonathan Coppock in his Topper won Class 1; Roger Coppock sailing a Wayfarer took class 2.
In 1997 there were ten entries. All six scheduled races were sailed, but in the Topper/Mirror class participation by some members was erratic. Russell Brown took first place in the class. Robert Biss in a Laser Radial took first place in class 2.
The 1998 Regatta provided much excitement for the village as a whole, by the presence of the Kyle Lifeboat staging a rescue, Neil Sproule and David Murray, capsizing dinghies to provide the casualties. A Coastguard Helicopter added to the excitement, transferring rescue equipment to the lifeboat.
There were ten entries for the racing, all from the home club. Six races were sailed over the two days. John Murray and Dougie Baker-Patch battled it out in class 1, John finally taking first place. It was a family tussle in class 2, Dave Sproule’s experience paying off against his son, Neil.
The 1999 Regatta saw the poorest entry for this seventh event in the annual series. There were only six entries, all from our own club. When it came to the sailing, only five boats took part. The weather dictated the programme on Saturday, stormy conditions in the morning discouraging all but two of the larger boats, Steve Patch with his Dart and Dave Sproule with his Wayfarer. During the second race, the wind dropped right away, and Dave Sproule retired, despite a shortened course. The afternoon races were abandoned.
Sunday’s weather was an improvement – two Toppers joined the fleet racing, and Dougie Baker-Patch was out in the 420 with Daniel Lovett as crew. David Murray beat Jenny Baker in Class 1, while Steve Patch beat David Sproule in Class 2, the results in both cases being by a narrow margin.