This new race will begin on June 10 and will cover a total of approximately 100 nautical miles in 24 hours, sailing out to the remote archipelago, using the islands as a turning point before returning to the finish line. Event will also include a cruise-in-company option for those who would like to be part of the excitement but do not wish to race.
Starts: 09 Jun 2016
Ends: 11 Jun 2016
Area: St. Kilda
Region: West Scotland
It is a remote beacon of the British Isles; a group of islands shrouded in mystery which have fascinated generations. And, for the first time, an organised yacht race will make the windswept St Kilda island group its focus – helping to highlight the UK’s only dual World Heritage Site, recognised for both its natural and cultural significance, in what will be the 30th anniversary of it receiving the former designation in 1986.
For many yachtsmen and women, these distant isles are a long-held dream, for many it is perhaps something they thought they may never achieve. Now, though, the collective expertise of an event advisory board, consisting of national collaborating partners and relevant maritime organisations like the RNLI and Coastguard, has been assembled to mount a race and event programme which can satisfy this desire to adventure to the edge – and back.
On June 10 next year, the gun will sound on the first ever edition of the St Kilda Challenge. Beginning with the arrival of the fleet on June 9, the programme opens with shoreside cultural treats in North Uist’s main settlement of Lochmaddy. Yachts will also be required to register and undergo scrutineering to ensure they meet strict participation criteria.
But it is on June 10 when lines will be cast, sails hoisted and crew readied for a parade of sail leading to the race start line in the Sound of Harris. And thus begins the adventure of the year.
The fleet will journey over a total of more than 100 nautical miles of open sea, famed for its wildness, wildlife and unpredictability with the St Kilda archipelago as its goal. Using the islands as their turning point, the yachts will make a rounding and then return to the finish line in the Sound of Harris. If some crews wish to, they can stop their clock and venture ashore briefly before continuing with the race.
By no means lengthy in terms of open water racing, its relatively short distance belies the significant challenges which could be faced by the vessels and crews involved in the June 2016 event.
As well as a racing fleet, the regatta will also incorporate a cruise-in-company to allow non-racing yachts to become involved in the excitement of the event.
Ashore, meanwhile, there will be plenty to thrill community and visitor alike. Further details will emerge in due course.
A pre-notice of race, including qualifying criteria, as well as an entry form and other event details can be found at www.calmac.co.uk/stkilda/challengeMore Information
For more information visit: www.calmac.co.uk/stkilda/challenge