Report from The Sound of Luing - Rowing to Scotland


Charter Continuum clears the Garvallachs.

Well, that's what it must feel like to the becalmed crews on this year's race. There were optimistic rumours of an off-shore breeze as they set out from Whitehaven, but the weather forecast has remained constant for days now, very light breezes with no prospect of any change for the days ahead. So, its all hands on deck to row.

With strong tides to make way against and patchy breezes to chase, rowing is vital. Unable to drop anchor the lead yacht, Charter Continuum, had to row for hours just to hold its position in adverse tides South of the Isle of Jura. Once the tide turned they were swept through the Sound of Jura and on into the Sound of Luing, where they finally picked up some breeze. It is the same for all the crews, rowing between patches of wind and to hold position until the tide turns.

Thunderchild, who are second and have been closing on Charter Continuum, reported they had rowed for 16 hours and were staying very close in shore wherever possible. They left Whitehaven 12 hours behind, but are now within 5 hours and there are more important tidal gates ahead, where the leader could be held up. Its not over yet and the smaller yacht could still pull off a remarkable win.

Not so lucky are Red Dragon and Kookabura, 2 of the boats from the race's home town of Barmouth. Both have retired as they donít have enough time to get to Fort William and return their charter boats to port. More may yet be forced to take the same decision.

Simply Red were sighted third in the Sound of Jura, but it is just possible other yachts have taken a different course and gone outside the island into the Irish Sea, so positions could change. Watch this space.