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The first five Loch Longs were presented to the world on George VI’s Coronation Day, Wednesday May 12th 1937.They were built from oregon pine on elm timbers by Robert Colquhoun of Dunoon and proved to be a star attraction at the Cove and Kilcreggan regatta organised to honour the new king.
At a cost of £66 they were in the league of a sailor on the tightest of budgets, the same holds true today with rules that strictly limit expenditure and rigging variations, perhaps one, but certainly not the only reason that the Loch Long has thrived for so long and still competes in races on the Clyde and also at Aldeburgh in Suffolk.
The origins of the first design can be traced back to 1936, when the Loch Long Sailing Club looked for a one design to replace their fleet of handicap dinghies. A Mr Ian D. Campbell came back from Scandinavia with a likely candidate in mind, the Stjarnbat, designed by Janne Jacobsson in 1913, before the First World War. However, the craft wasn’t deemed suitable until James Croll had worked on the plans and came up with the first design Loch Long. Colquhoun of Dunoon was commissioned to supply the first five boats with Croll providing all the finance.
Today the Loch Long One Design is regularly raced on the Clyde and 500 miles away on the Alde in Suffolk.
The home and heart of the Loch Long One Design is Cove Sailing Club, situated on the Rosneath Peninsular, Argyll and Bute. Each year Loch Long Week (for the Clyde Cup) is hosted by the club except every third year Aldeburgh Yacht Club has the honour.
Travelling, the Loch Longs are towed annually to and from Scotland for Loch Long Week on the Clyde and the Alde; they have often raced at Cowes Classics Week on the Solent and once in Brittany at the Semaine du Golfe the classic festival of sail. In Jue 2017 will see boats travelling to Gravedona on Lake Como in Italy.
To learn more about the Loch Long One Design and it’s history there are three books available to purchase:-
“Loch Longs – The First 50 Years” Researched by John Mcmurtrie, edited by Ruth Wishart – Price £10 from the Secretary
“Loch Longs – The Third Quarter Century 1987–2012” Jamie Bruce-Lockhart – Price £15 from the Secretary
“Aldeburgh Loch Longs: 50 years on the River Alde, a record of the Loch Long class at Aldeburgh Yacht Club 1962–2012” Jamie Bruce-Lockhart – Price £10 available from the Secretary’s Office, AYC