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The Scottish Islands Peaks Race 2023

Team Fettes started the Scottish Islands Peaks Race on Friday 19th at 1200.  This is really an adult race, combining sailing and fell running, but there were three schools entered in the youth class in 2023.

Freddie D and Annabelle P ran the starting race from Oban Sailing Club around the hills and back to the good ship Big Jessie while Ed M entertained the crowds by piping from the deck. Then it was off to the island of Mull, where we arrived as first youth team. Ed M, Seamus Y and Ms Dawes paddled the rubber boat ashore to set off on the 18 mile, 2,600 feet run up and down Ben Tallaidh. Their time of 3hours 38minutes was the fastest we have ever run that route.  Seamus and Ed paddled back out to the yacht and we sailed into the night for the island of Jura.

Dawn on Saturday found Big Jessie en route to Jura in light winds.  This year’s race was in spring tides, which run fast among the islands – in fact, so fast that no yacht can sail against the current.  This factor came into play when the wind disappeared  completely.  We tried rowing the rubber boat, towing 16 tons of yacht behind, and realised that the tides meant we would finish on Monday.  At that point we joined the other schools in retiring from the sailing race and motored to Jura.

Eliza M, Angus R and Mr Fraser-Lewis battled through the mist, chest-high bracken and bog to run their tough 14 miles on Jura on Saturday afternoon.  Then back to the yacht, which set off for Arran, around the Mull of Kintyre.  The mist was rolling in from the sea as we rounded the Mull in darkness and poor visibility to arrive in Arran on Sunday late morning.

Freddie D and Annabelle P ran the 19 miles and 3,800 feet of ascent on Arran with Ms McDonnell, through mist and murk, in 4 hours and 14 minutes.  Then Big Jessie motored across a glassy Firth of Clyde to finish, with pipes playing, in Troon late on Sunday afternoon.

Well done to all involved and huge thanks to everyone for their support.