On the 20th – 23rd of May Co-founder, Bill Dobbie, will take to the West Scottish waters for the annual Scottish Islands Peaks Race in a team of five bearing our seal as they race under the name ‘Raasay While We Wait’ as we sponsor them in this annual regatta.
The history of the race begins in 1983 when half a dozen vessels made the journey from Troon to Oban – the reverse of today’s route. The race and course has evolved and expanded over the years and now sits as a constant in many sailor’s calendar.
The route unintentionally acts as a whisky tour in many ways as boats set off from Oban, passing by Mull, Jura, and Arran. Though competitors don’t venture as far north as the Isle of Skye and Raasay, the island of Mull, home to Tobermory Distillery is the closest they’ll sail to our own distillery site.
Between all this runners from the team will take off on foot to the top of the island peaks before the crew set off on the next leg!
Bill and the Raasay While We Wait team will set off from Oban, one of Scotland’s oldest sources of single malt Scotch whisky, and carry on to Mull where Tobermory was first established in 1798 followed by a 41 year gap in production during the 1930s until it was reopened in 1971 and bought by current owners Burns Stewart Distillers in 1993.
Next on course will be by the only other island off an island distillery in Scotland, Jura, which was rebuilt from a derelict state in 1963. George Orwell famously wrote much of his novel 1984 on this remote island. Then the sailing crews will head for Arran where in the early 19th century there were more than 50 whisky distillers, most illegal pot stills as would have been seen on Raasay too.
Arran Distillery as it stands today was opened in 1995 to the North. Each bottle is adorned with the symbol of two eagles to symbolise the story that during the opening ceremony two flew by, thought to be a note of thanks for the distillery halting building work during the weeks when the eagles hatched their chicks. Perhaps we’ll see some bats emerging when we open the Isle of Raasay Distillery?
Our sponsored Raasay While We Wait team will finish the 160 nautical mile race (hopefully in first place) at Troon in South Ayrshire. We’ll be sure to have a dram ready for them!