Some of the world’s most beautiful classic yachts assemble on the Clyde this weekend - and anticipation is building ahead of their visit to Rothesay.
The Fife Regatta, which is based at Largs Yacht Haven and begins on Friday, June 28, will see almost 20 yachts, all built to the stunning designs of William Fife III, spend a week sailing around the Firth.
The event’s programme features a race from Largs to Rothesay on Sunday, June 30. Most of the yachts taking part are expected to berth at Rothesay’s inner harbour pontoons when they arrive, and there’ll be an ‘open house’ welcome at Isle of Bute Sailing Club for the participating crews that evening.
The regatta will leave Rothesay Bay at 11am on Monday, July 1, at the start of a cruise through the Kyles of Bute to Tighnabruaich, with two nights at Portavadie Marina to follow later in the week before the yachts return to Largs.
The yachts taking part in the regatta were all built to the designs of William Fife III, the third generation of a family of Scottish yacht designers and builders.
He began building yachts in 1890, and soon surpassed the achievements of his father and grandfather in becoming known as one of the premier yacht designers of his day, building two America’s Cup yachts for the tea magnate Sir Thomas Lipton.
Most of William Fife’s yachts were built at his own yard at Fairlie, just a stone’s throw from this year’s regatta HQ and home to the event’s founders and organisers Fiona and Alastair Houston.
Fiona said: “It is a huge commitment and a great deal of work to create the Fife Regatta, however the pleasure shared between all involved outweighs this and it is an incredible feeling to watch the Fifes appear on the horizon and sail into Fairlie.”
The Fife yard was also renowned for the extremely high build quality of its yachts, as well as their graceful, elegant design. It is thought that there are fewer than 100 Fife-designed yachts still in existence today, around 50 of which are still sailing.