If you plan to come and watch the Fife fleet we hope to provide some useful information to help you get the best and safest experience of the Fife Regatta. This guide aims to highlight the timings and proposed courses, allowing spectator craft to remain at a safe distance to allow the boats to manoeuvre safely.
Safety Zone during Race Starts
Whilst we want you to see and be part of the regatta, one of the most important things we are concerned with is safety. We have to protect both the Fife Fleet and the spectators from incidents.
The largest of the yachts is 125ft in length with a bowsprit of 30ft, along with six yachts between 80ft and 105ft. These yachts need a large area to manoeuvre during race starts, so we have set up a Safety Zone to try to allow everyone to enjoy the events whilst being safe.
The diagram below which highlights the Safety Zone, extending 200 metres to leeward, and 50 metres to windward of the start line. Marks may be laid at the leeward corners. We ask that spectator craft refrain from entering this area 30 mins before the first race start and 20 mins after the last race start (there will be three race starts per day), and that you comply with any Fife Regatta official safety vessels’ requests. This is in the interest of us all.
Saturday 11 June :: Race 1 :: The Cumbraes Race :: Start Time 1030
The first race for 2022 will see the fleet race round Great Cumbrae and Little Cumbrae. Split into 3 classes, the larger yachts will aim do a “figure of 8” round Great and Little Cumbrae (orange line), and the smaller boats will aim to round Great Cumbrae only (blue line). The course will either be set as clockwise or anti-clockwise, dependent on wind direction.
If you are watching from land, the hills or shores around Largs and Fairlie will provide some great vantage points to see the yachts start and finish (bring binoculars). Or, why not rent a bicycle in Millport, Great Cumbrae, and follow the fleet round.
If you plan to watch racing afloat, we kindly ask you to respect the racing fleet. We will implement the Safety Zone around the starting area to ensure the safety of both competitors and spectators.
Sunday 12 June :: Race 2 :: The Rothesay Race :: Start Time 1030
Race 2 sees the fleet sail to Rothesay Bay, Bute. The fleet will once again start off Fairlie, the larger yachts will skirt the mainland up to Inverkip before heading southwest towards the Isle of Bute (orange line). The smaller yachts will take a more direct course (blue line).
There should be great spectating opportunities at Largs, Skelmorlie, Wemyss Bay and Inverkip on the mainland, and then in Rothesay, Bute for the race finish. Again, we politely request that watchers afloat respect the racing yachts, especially during the start period. We will again implement the Safety Zone around the start area.
Monday 13 June :: Reserve Day
There are no planned activities in Rothesay Bay and the reserve day is intended to allow any flexibility in the schedule to racing due to poor weather. Something to allow for in Scotland.
Tuesday 14 June :: Race 3 :: The Loch Fyne Race :: Start Time 1230
The Fife fleet join the “Parade of Sail” cruise through the East Kyle of Bute, carefully navigating the narrows at Burnt Islands, then mustering just off the village of Kames, near Tighnabruaich.
From here, the fleet will race starting at 1230, and head south. Larger yachts will round Inchmarnock to starboard, then head to the finish situated off Portavadie Marina on Loch Fyne (orange line). Smaller yachts will round Ardlamont Point then turn north-west to the same finish area (blue line).
Wednesday 15 June :: Reserve Day or Challenge Day
There are no official racing activities in Portavadie for the reserve day, again the weather is something to allow for in Scotland.
Thursday 16 June :: Race 4 :: The Bute Race :: Start Time 1030
The penultimate race sees the fleet start off Potravadie Marina then head back to Largs, rounding Garroch Head, Bute, through ‘The Tan’ (between Great Cumbrae and Little Cumbrae), before finishing just off Fairlie.
Millport, Great Cumbrae, and Largs should provide great vantage points for the returning fleet, with the stunning crags of Arran as a backdrop.
Friday 17 June :: Race 5 :: The King’s Course :: Start Time 1030
First used in 1891, “The King’s Course” is the course for the last race day this year. Boats will start in Largs Channel, head in an anti-clockwise direction around three marks (orange line) or direct to the NW mark for smaller boats (blue line), before returning to finish off Largs.
The start line will be located off Largs, to the north of Largs Pier. It should provide spectators on Largs promenade an excellent view of the race start and finish. The coast road north of Largs should also provide great spectating points.
Spectators afloat should be aware of the Cumbrae Ferry which will be operating to the south of the start/finish area. It has absolute right of way under local by-law. Again, please respect the competitors who are racing and may have limited manoeuvrability.
All information given on the routes and timings can be subject to change depending on wind conditions, and we cannot accept any responsibility if the routes change on the day. We will however try to keep you informed as much as possible.
The Fife Regatta wish to thank all those who have enquired about volunteering and to those who have been extremely helpful in bringing together the 2022 event.
We currently have no specific additional volunteer roles available within the event team, however if this changes it looks like we have received a lot of kind invitations of help and we can follow up where needed.
Thank you also for all the interest in the designs of William Fife, that has been expressed through lived experiences, art, and heritage, it demonstrates the clear legacy left by the Fife family of boatbuilders on the shores of the Clyde.
Among the many requests we cannot accommodate visitors onboard any of the boats during the regatta.
If you have information to share on the history of the Fife yard or any of the yachts build, there please contact [email protected].
Regatta Merchandise will be on sale in Largs Marina, Rothesay (by the Victorian toilets), and Portavadie – this will include the sale of the Official Programme which has unique historical information on William Fife and the yachts taking part.
Merchandise can also be ordered through the website (coming soon).
Please do follow the Fife Regatta via the website and social media to get the latest updates as the event draws near.
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