The Final Leg – Arran to Troon

The brilliant team!

Poor Sumara was about a day behind the rest of the fleet but we were determined to finish. We had heard that about 13 yachts had retired and three did not start so although we were definitely going to be last at least we were going to finish! We had all booked tickets on the overnight sleeper back to London and some of the crew had to get back to work or other arrangements. It was going to be a very tight call. The sail across is about 13 miles (I think – this is from memory). We ghosted out of the northern channel from Lamlash. From the top of Goat Fell we saw ripples of wind on the water further out to sea, so we were hopeful of a fair sail. It was a slow start and the oars almost came out but eventually we caught a bit of wind and Sumara got under way. Now things were looking promising. We booked a cab to greet us at Troon to get us to the station. However soon I could see a smooth area near to the coast and sure enough when we were two miles off the wind died. A short blast of the motor would have got us there in time to catch the train but there was no way after all this effort that we were going to spoil things so out came the oars. We rowed in desperation to try to catch the train but soon we realised it wasn’t going to happen. We were only a mile off. The engine was a big temptation but instead we decided to call the cab firm and get a quote for Troon to London. Gulp! Oh well, it had to be. We rowed on and the harbour entrance loomed. It was dark now. We rowed towards the marina entrance and pumped up the dinghy. A large fishing boat swung around the corner and was surprised to see us. Grit and Rick rowed on ahead and ran to the Marina Office where a slightly bemused member of the staff was surprised to see us. He thought the race had finished yesterday. Not for Sumara!

Gordon Baird Greets us in Troon

It was a shame not to be able to celebrate as Sarah, Charlotte and Rick had to jump in the cab. Grit and I stayed behind to clear up the boat. The following day whilst walking down the pontoon we were enthusiastically greeted by Gordon Baird. Gordon gave us a hero’s welcome although we came last and Gordon came first! We had a lovely chat and coffee onboard his huge catamaran called Obedient.  After sorting the boat Grit and I had a tasty meal in the Marina Restaurant and caught the train back to London. The big adventure was over.

We were the smallest boat in the race and we came last. However we did finish. There were 50 boats due to start the race. Three did not make it to the start start leaving 47 competitors but only 29 finished. Obedient came first in 40 hrs and 44 minutes 22 seconds. We took a little bit longer at 106 hrs 57 minutes. We didn’t bother about the seconds!

Rick has done a nice write up in his local mountaineering newletter. Here is the link.

3 responses to “The Final Leg – Arran to Troon”

  1. Well done for finishing! Sounds like quite an adventure!

  2. tom masterman avatar

    hi saw sumara in troon she reminded me why i owened a vertue once jan gilda 113 will read the rest of your blog and journey i live not far from the marina if you need any thing checked email me what is your plans now for sumara tom

    1. Hi Tom, Just looked up Jan Gilda in my Peter Woolas Vertue book! It has it as V123, owned by E.H.Masters from Woking in 1973 and sailing from Chichester.
      I am travelling up to Troon tomorrow (Sunday 17th June). I was intending to sail the Aberystwyth via the Isle of Man but sadly my crew had to pull out at the very last moment due to work pressure. I will be tinkering around on Monday and you would be very welcome to visit for a coffee or an evening beer. I’ve put out some feelers for replacement crew as I would still like to sail if the weather is fair. Please say if you fancy it!
      Best regards, Alasdair

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