The 3rd Fife regatta of the modern era got underway today Sat 21st, in the Firth of Clyde with a 20 strong fleet of spectacular traditional wooden sailing yachts, average age 90yrs all built a mile from the start line by Ayrshire’s most famous boat builder William Fife.

The yachts resplendent in gleaming varnish work and polished brass gathered from many parts of Europe, to celebrate the 100th birthday of Viola bringing to 7 the number of them, which are now over 100years old.

Their longevity and elegance have created almost a cult of the Fife brand in many parts of Europe. As the size of the yachts ranges from 107ft to 19ft they compete on a handicap system with 2 Classes.

On Saturday in class 1 96 year old The Lady Anne (70ft) prevailed over the mighty Moonbeam III (105 years old)
In class 2 saw a victory for the 104yr old Mikado with sprightly young Solway Maid (a mere 68 yr old) in second place and the venerable 98yr old The Truant just eased into third place by only 2 minutes.

With the benign conditions in the Firth of Clyde this was the day for the small boats to shine though the forecast for the coming week suggests that the big boats will dominate the passage race to Helensburgh. The boats can be seen racing in the upper firth Sun and sailing down to Rothesay on Tuesday. Thursday they will race around Bute and return to Largs with a grand finale starting from Largs up and down the Firth on the grandly titled King’s Course.