At an early stage the Club secretary held out a metaphorical hand of friendship in correspondence with Plockton Small Boat Sailing Club. There were several attempts to arrange joint events without success until 1993. In August of that year, there were seven entries from Plockton in the first Lochcarron Regatta.
In return, Plockton invited Lochcarron to join the Jubilee Trophy Race on the 28th of August. We towed three Mirror dinghies down the loch behind Bragela and Peggotty. The wind was strong. Roger Coppock managed to break a centreboard on a Mirror Dinghy before the start of the race, purely resisting the force of the wind. The second Mirror team, whose names are not recorded, chickened out. Marcus Given salvaged the honour of the club with a very good performance in another of the Club’s Mirrors.
Despite the distance being greater, joint events with Gairloch Boat Club have been more successful.
On the 29th/30th May 1993 we were invited to A Whacky Week-end of sailing. About ten members were accommodated in the Rhuda Reidh outdoor centre – the former residence of the light keepers. Two Mirror dinghies were taken, on top of each other on Stan’s trailer behind Douglas Gunn’s car. The trailer proved unequal to the load, but Gairloch rose to the occasion and had it welded in time for the return trip. Dave Sproule towed his Wayfarer up for the week-end.
In the races, Dave Sproule was 1st equal, Stan was 5th and the Coppocks 14th.
The races were not the only activity. We had a barbecue on a gloriously fine evening on the Saturday. There was great excitement when our members were introduced to the ‘death slide’, an aerial ropeway on which the more adventurous could sweep down the slope on a sling suspended from a pulley block.
We were also excited at the Clubhouse that Gairloch have built.
Breakfast on Sunday morning was a bit of a problem as there was a failure of the water supply. Sabotage was suspected. It was thought that the locals objected to Sunday activity on the water.
Gairloch responded by bringing six boats down for the Lochcarron Regatta in August, later that same year.
The Gairloch Club’s Old Inn Challenge provided two very successful week-ends.
On 10/11th September 1994 we managed to take up five Toppers and David Sproule’s Wayfarer. During the week-end Lochcarron were slightly ahead on points on the Saturday, but Gairloch pulled ahead on Sunday. Dave Sproule in his Wayfarer took the individual award. Apart from helping on shore, Stan made himself useful on the committee boat.
For the week-end of 2nd/3rd September 1995, Lochcarron launched nine of the 24 boats out. As the launching got under way on the Saturday morning, Stan Forrester found that there was a spare Mirror dinghy, and young John Murray was looking lost in the boat park. ‘How about it, John?’ asked Stan. John agreed, and the two of them sailed all the possible races over the week-end.
The results as a team were disappointing, the Gairloch boats taking all the leading places. Jonathan Coppock managed the Best Junior award, and the Friendship Trophy was awarded to Stan and his crew, John Murray, the highest placed Lochcarron boat.
Unfortunately in 1996 Lochcarron’s entry in the Gairloch Boat Club’s Old Inn Challenge was reduced to one, and Steve Patch did not sail up to his usual standard.
Chanonry Sailing Club have been very good friends. Joan Maxwell has been a tower of strength running training courses in Lochcarron, and our junior members have been through to training sessions at Fortrose on several occasions. (See the section on ‘training’)