Home   Sport   Article

Ness Cup returns to sailing calendar between Fortrose and North Kessock

By Andrew Henderson

Register for free to read more of the latest local news. It's easy and will only take a moment.

Click here to sign up to our free newsletters!

Sunday will see boats take to the waters of the Moray Firth between Fortrose and North Kessock to compete in the annual RNLI Ness Cup.

The RNLI Ness Cup returns for 2022 as boats prepare to take to the waters between Fortrose and North Kessock.
The RNLI Ness Cup returns for 2022 as boats prepare to take to the waters between Fortrose and North Kessock.

The event is a highlight of the Chanonry Sailing Club calendar and is sailed over a longer distance using the wider expanse of the Inverness Firth.

The race is a little bit different than normal regattas as it tests the reaction times and wits of the dinghy sailors alongside the seamanship skills of the yachts.

The Ness Cup is also open to other sailing clubs and, given the larger course in more open water, is normally suitable to the more experienced dinghy racer.

However there are sometimes opportunities for less experienced sailors to crew on-board one of the participating boats.

The Ness Cup Trophy itself dates back to the 1930s and was originally provided by Oliver H Gossip.

He was a dentist who lived in Inverness and donated the trophy to Inverness Boat Club.

He was a founder member of the Beauly Firth Yacht Club in 1937 and their Commodore in 1940. It is a sterling silver cup valued approximately at between £5000 and £6000.

The first winner to get their hands on it was J Stuart Oliver in 1938.

No events were held between 1939 and 1946 due to the Second World War, nor for the following few years due to the shortage of petrol.

The Beauly Firth Yacht and the Inverness Boat Club amalgamated in 1951 to become the Highland Cruising Club and in 1967, after the Highland Cruising Club was wound up, all their assets including trophies were freely given to Chanonry Sailing Club.

In May 1967 the club agreed that the Ness Cup be used for competition by club members in a Race to Kessock (in one direction) to be held on Sunday, July 23 according to the tide.

The first winner of the newly established race was Frank Gale in his GP 14 – called Yarrum – and the first cruiser to win the Ness Cup outright was Ronnie Wilson in his Sonata – called Harmony – in 1979.

The format of the race has continued over the years and has always provides a great spectacle in the Moray Firth.

This year, the race will start from Fortrose harbour at noon. The course will be decided on the day subject to prevailing weather conditions and will be confirmed at the race briefing at 11am at the club.

Participants are encouraged to enter online, although it will be possible to enter on the day.

After the race there will be an opportunity for everyone to socialise and enjoy food and drinks, served by the club, followed by a prize giving.

All proceeds from entries and food will go towards the RNLI.

n Full race details can be found on the club website at www.chanonry.org.uk/ness-cup.html

Do you want to respond to this article? If so, click here to submit your thoughts and they may be published in print.

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies - Learn More