Great Glen

loch oich
Future Dates TBC
loch ness
fort william

Racing & Cruising

Wikipedia describes a “Raid” as a sail and oar adventure. Today they typically involve a fleet of small boats capable of being rowed and sailed, exploring a coastline or inland waterway over several days, often with some competitive element. In practice, boats that can only be sailed are often allowed to join and this is the case with Sail Caledonia.

After the success of the first sail and oar raids in Portugal in the late 1990s, the annual Great Glen Raid was organised in Scotland from 2000. This involved a passage from the Atlantic Ocean to the North Sea via the Caledonian Canal and various lochs, a distance of approximately 66 miles (106 km), and passed through the Scottish Highlands’ spectacular scenery. The passage included negotiating 29 canal locks, including the flight of 8 at Neptune's Staircase, Banavie, the longest staircase lock in Britain.

The Great Glen Raid continues today as Sail Caledonia, organised by the Great Glen Boating Club. The raiding spirit is retained and participants, using a great variety of traditionally-styled craft, race and cruise through the Great Glen. However, the racing is friendly in the spirit of raids and the event includes a strong social aspect where food, drink, company and music are almost as important as the sailing!


Sail Caledonia is essentially a series of sailing and rowing races including at least one race per day.

Each day your journey through the Great Glen will be split into sections. Some sections will be a cruise in company and others, for those that wish to do so, will involve a race.

A series trophy is awarded to the best performer in each class and a further trophy awarded to the overall winner.

Further details of rules and formalities are provided within the Notice of Race, which can be found on the Downloads page.

Leisure Cruising in Company

For those who do not wish to race for some or all of the legs, there will be the option to accompany the fleet 'cruising in company'.

This will enable those with boats not suited to rowing to participate in the sailing legs and races whilst motoring between.

It may also be possible to join the fleet for part of the event only if that is preferred.