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Gareth  Martel

West Highland Week- any tips?

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After being gutted to miss Scottish Series this year (some selfish relatives with awful timing for a wedding) we are going to venture into the unknown and have a go at west highland week. Has anyone on here done it on a Sonata before? any tips?


I have had a look through the CYCA handicapping, it seems that they consider a sonata to be a rocket ship, for example giving a Contessa 27 nearly 4 minutes in the hour!? Has anyone raced a sonata on CYCA before, is it realistic to do well or should we stock up well with beer and have a social trip (the crews favourite option (actually thats their favourite option at all events!)).


We will of course be staying on board so any shore or racing tips will be well received! Where would you recommend to berth in Oban? We intend on squeezing in somewhere on the pontoon in Tobermory, we wont have a tender!






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Sonatas have done it before and in fact I think So did it with Neil McLure et al. Doug Patton certainly did it perhaps 3 years ago.

Sonata has the usual handicap problem v other boats..........generally if there is a good beat then they do well but if it is a passage race with a lot of downhill then they suffer v things that surf better. Depending what class you are in it is the Trapper 28 (or 400??) that is the real bandit boat folowed by the Sadler 25s.....I'd be surprised if you lost to a C27.If is light you should do well on most of teh courses.

We normally stay in Oban marina as it always seems less of a hassle than Dunstaffnage unless you have your own car up there. There are buses but the ferry across from Kerrera is frequent and makes it feel more like a holiday. With the exception of Craobh there is always access to shops for food and drink so I wouldn't over-burden the boat with weight. Similarly carry enough fuel to get in or out of the harbours but if the wind drops and it is a long tow then there is always something bigger that will tow you. We have certainly towed Neil's 707 up to Tobermory! You will have no problem finding a space on teh pontoons at Tobermory.....there is always a gap to squeeze a Snotty into.

There are a number of boats that act as mother ships to racing fleet so if it is manky you can sometimes arrange to sling your gear on there for the actual race so that keeps weight down and the sleeping bags dry........

We will be up there with our cruiser (Strike 3) in Class 5, although class splits not yet finalised so that could change.

I assume your attending WHYW doesn't impact you going to Strangford for the Nationals?? We have entered Strangford but have yet to sort somewhere to stay.....something we will do before going up to WHYW.

See you at Craobh!!

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