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The St Kilda Challenge

An annual international yacht race from Lochmaddy, North Uist to St Kilda. Comann na Mara in conjunction with associated Partners.

The Challenge Course

The St Kilda Challenge proposed course

The course for this event will be split into two distinctive routes as there will be two distinctive groups in this Challenge. These two groups in the Challenge will now be split into  " The Race round St Kilda "  and  "The Flotilla ", below is a description of the difference between the two groups.

The Race round St Kilda

The race will start off Pabby, at the western end of the Sound of Harris. Vessels will make their own way to the start line in plenty of time for an 09.30 start.  The exact route of this section will be heavily weather depended and there will be a mandatory briefing the night before the race for all skippers to confirm the final course; however in broad terms the intended route will take the crews from the western end of the Sound of Harris, out to the St kilda archipelago rounding it and then heading back to the western end of the Sound of Harris to the finish line. 

Due to the challenges of the area the Race will be held there will not be any opportunity for Race crews to land on St. Kilda during the Race, if you wish to make this attempt then you will need to participate in the flotilla instead.

The Flotilla

For those wishing to travel to St Kilda but preferring to sail in company there will be an organised flotilla to the islands as well, so whether you are an experienced sailor or a relative newcomer, the adventure awaits! The Flotilla part of the event will start after the Race itself, however we would recommend that crews still make their way to the start area for the same time of 09.30 and you will be directed to a waiting area till race crews have started.

It is also the aim of the organisers that all participants of the flotilla have the opportunity to actually stop at Village Bay, St Kilda - a truly unique place to visit. This again, due to the aspect of the bay, is weather dependant and will also require access to a rib or vessel tender as yachts are only permitted to anchor in village bay. If your vessel does not have access to a tender then please let us know as we are hoping to make provisions for this, but we cannot guarantee it at this stage. 

Vessels taking part in the Flotilla are reminded that although there will be a vessel from the event making the journey to St Kilda as well, the responsibility of safe passage and the suitability of the crew and vessel for the journey is that of the skipper of the vessel.

A voyage to St Kilda is a truly magical one however it is not one to take lightly. As the map shows St Kilda is in a remote location and the waters around it can be quite challenging particularly when the wind is coming from the south. There is a minimum equipment requirement for vessels wishing to take part in the challenge and details of this can be found in the "Notice of Race" section both vessels taking part in "The Race round St Kilda" and "The Flotilla" will need to meet the same safety and equipment standards. 

If your vessel does not have the equipment required for this section of the event or you do not wish to travel out to St Kilda then there will be plenty for you and your crew to get involved in onshore and whilst the race is underway you may wish to explore some of the beautiful areas around Lochmaddy and North Uist.

St Kilda Race Diagram

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