Great Glen

loch oich
Future Dates TBC
loch ness
fort william


Matthew Peacock’s Raid

Matthew skippered the winning boat, ‘Gladys’ in Sail Caledonia 2015 having first joined Sail Caledonia in 2014. Here he reflects on his experience in 2015.

Sail Caledonia was again a most enjoyable event with great camaraderie between all boats, crews and support staff. Anyone who appreciates stimulating company, laughter, live music, good food, occasionally challenging sailing, interesting small boats and a memorable experience should come. The Sail Caledonia spirit developed during through the week as we all got to know each other, old friendships were renewed and new ones forged. It is a truly international event with crews and boats from Sweden, Holland, Italy and France as well as distant corners of the UK.

The organisation and support staff are efficient and keep just the right balance between ensuring safety, keeping things moving and maintaining a fun and sociable atmosphere. The live music and homely food are perfect for restoring minds and bodies at the end of physically active days.

This year the weather was cool, with a dramatic mix of showers and sunshine but no midges. Even though we camped, we did not get soaked. The wind varied from flat calm to W-NW F4-F5, providing exciting sailing and occasional rowing for those who could be bothered during racing.

The racing was the icing on the cake and the last reason why anyone should attend. Many boats are justifiably content to cruise and enjoy the scenery but for the sad souls who like to race the competition was sometimes intense. Gladys was almost beaten by Moirach on the first race, Ristie led all the way down Loch Ness but we had the crew weight to sail back without reefing and Ella did well to over-take 2 boats in the rowing pursuit race when Gladys only just held her own.

Gladys was successful this year because:

  1. Andrew Peers, “the nut on the helm”, is a brilliant helmsman and tactician.
  2. Mick Byrne is a great crew; a powerful oarsman, willing to hang out and hang on when required, steadfast and cheerful.
  3. Graham Wickenden very kindly loaned us his precious carbon fibre oars which made rowing almost pleasurable as well as efficient
  4. Other boats were helpful, freely providing lifts (thanks Ristie and Ella) and loaning tools and expertise (thanks Auk) when, ahem, repairs were necessary.
  5. Gladys is a Swallow Boats Bayraider!