Great Glen

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Great Glen
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The experience of sailing coast-to-coast through the spectacular scenery of the Caledonian Canal, including racing in both the Atlantic and North Sea, is very special.

We also recognise that some Raid crews are very proficient with boats specifically designed for this type of event and hence we have introduced something really challenging for them - the 'Loch Ness Challenge'.

The expected daily programme is shown below, but please note that each day is wind and weather dependant.

Saturday. Lochaber Yacht Club to Corpach.

Arrive at Fort William and launch boats.

Late afternoon race on Loch Linnhe (sea loch) followed by welcome reception and buffet.

Sunday. Corpach to Gairlochy.

Skippers take their boats up the majestic 'Neptune's Staircase' from sea level to 25m whilst crew members take the cars and trailers to Inverness. The crew are brought back to their boats by mini bus.

Lunch at Banavie followed by a rowing race along the canal reach to Gairlochy, some 10km to the north-east.

Monday. Gairlochy to Loch Oich.

Race the length of Loch Lochy between hills rising either side to 900m.

A fun “round the cans” race in the afternoon.

Camp at Laggan with the bonus of the Eagle floating pub in the evening.

Tuesday.Loch Oich to Fort Augustus.

Rally along Laggan avenue to the race start on Loch Oich. Race on Loch Oich (possibly a sail-only race, i.e. no rowing allowed) followed by lunch at Cullochy Lock.

In the afternoon we rally along the canal reach and through the lock at Kytra, congregating around 1km south of Fort Augustus.

During lunch the boats can “dress all over” to take part in the Best Dressed Boat competition. This will be judged on arrival at Fort Augustus.

The final leg will be a 'speed' pursuit rowing race into Fort Augustus with the finish line right at the top lock and in sight of Loch Ness.

Finally, we lock the boats down the flight of locks at Fort Augustus to Loch Ness ready for the following day.

This is the catering staff’s well deserved night off, but Fort Augustus has a wide variety of excellent pubs, restaurants and cafes to choose from

Wednesday. Fort Augustus to Foyers.

Wednesday is the day of the Loch Ness Challenge where the top boats attempt a grueling 54km passage up the full length of Loch Ness and half way back to the overnight stop at Foyers! With a 06:00 start this is a big day for those taking on the Challenge.

The final course will be weather dependant and may be shortened (in the event of stiff NE breeze) so as to provide the possibility of one or two boats completing the challenge within the time limit.

Those boats not competing in the Challenge race the 17km to Foyers directly.

Thursday. Foyers to Dochgarroch.

Complete the passage of Loch Ness, stopping for a picnic lunch on the shores of Loch Dochfour and arriving at Dochgarroch in the early afternoon.

Friday. Dochgarroch to North Kessock.

Complete the passage of the Great Glen with a rally to Inverness. A driver from each boat moves their car and trailer to North Kessock while the boats complete the journey to Muirton locks.

Lock down the flight of five locks and stop for lunch at Clachnaharry before locking out to sea for the final race of the event on the Beauly Firth in the afternoon. Participants are now back on salt water having travelled from the Atlantic Ocean to the North Sea.

The day ends with boats being recovered onto trailers at North Kessock before returning to Dochgarroch where we hold the closing party, prize-giving and ceilidh.


The event closes on the Friday night so competitors are able to leave early on the Saturday to travel home.