Teenager lifts Ness Cup after sailing his way to victory in Inverness Firth

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Ollie Bull.
Ollie Bull.

OLLIE Bull claimed victory at the annual Ness Cup which took place in the Inverness Firth last weekend.

The Culbokie teenager came out on top in the competition, organised by the Chanonry Sail Club, in an event which dates back to the 1930's.

The 17-year-old sixth year pupil at Fortrose Academy was the first sailor through the 14 mile course around buoys in the Inverness Firth.

Three high performances Musto Skiffs led the mixed fleet of dinghies and cruisers around the course.

Sailing veteran and last year’s winner, Ben Yeats, led off the start line at Fortrose looking for his 10th win, but was overhauled by Bull before rounding the first upwind buoy close to Munlochy Bay.

The singlehanded Musto Skiffs launched their spinnakers (kites) and headed downwind for a high-speed chase in the freshening breeze and big waves due to the strong wind blowing against a flooding tide.

Yeats attempted to press Bull only to crash into the back of a wave and capsize.

Bull pulled out a significant lead to the finish with Jonathon Bailey moving into second, while Yeats recovered from a capsize in testing conditions.

The slower boats still had a chance to win the race against the faster boat designs due to the time penalty handicap system, with Tim Lloyd (ILCA dinghy) and Mike Wilson (Solo Dinghy) leading the chasing pack.

However Bull has been putting in some very credible performances this year at the recent Musto Skiff World Championships in Italy and on the senior Scottish and Northern Musto Skiff circuit, securing his first Ness Cup win with a superior winning margin. First placed Cruiser was Gregor Fisher and crew Helen Urquhart.

The event was well supported by sailing club volunteers for race management, safety support cover,

and catering.

Ness Cup overall results: (1) Oliver Bull (2) Jonathan Bailey (3) Ben Yeats.

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