While the winter months may not see as much activity afloat there is plenty of planning and preparation happening off the water for 2024.
Whether it’s to race or spectate, if there’s still room to add some dates to your boating calendar then keep reading to find out about events you’ve definitely heard of, and some that could be new to you.
Here's a round up of some key dates.
Spoiler alert, it’s not in Scotland, but with two Scots sailors part of Team GB, we are quite proud and will be watching this closely. The Olympic sailing events will take place between the 28th of July and the 8th of August 2024
Rhu sailor Anna Burnett will be stepping aboard her Nacra 17 with partner John Gimson, when they’ll be hoping to keep up the momentum from their European Championship win this November.
Joining Anna at The Games is fellow Scot Fynn Sterritt who’s set to take to the waves with 49er partner James Peters. Hailing from Kingussie, Fynn has been telling friends in the Scottish Highlands about his Olympic goal since his teens, one to watch for sure.
Remaining on a big scale, the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race will be back for 2024. But, bringing the action a bit closer than Paris, the renowned competition will make a stop in Scotland for the first time in its 27-year history.
Set to make an- appearance up in Oban, the Scottish pitstop will mark the penultimate pause on the 40,000nm race in July next year.
The small west coast town is no stranger to the franchise, with Clipper Ventures visiting Oban as part of the company’s wider initiatives back in 2021. Clipper delivered four packed weeks of sail training programmes, aimed at youngsters who had been impacted by the pressures of Covid-19.
Want to watch the action unfold? Read more about what to expect from the Clipper Yacht Race, including the crew list featuring some Scottish names.
The oldest international sporting trophy is up for grabs in 2024 in Europe, not in Scotland alas. However the British Team has a number of Scots involved ashore and afloat. It's always inspirational to watch these machines being thrown around a race course . We can only imagine some of the watch parties on Arran as Neil Hunter enters his third Americas Cup campaign, and we're looking forward to tuning in.
On the East coast there is also set to be some midsummer action, as Royal Forth Yacht Club in Edinburgh prepare to host the Squib UK National Championships.
Starting on the 15th of June, the week long classic dayboat event is returning to Scotland for the first time since 1998, when the event was held in Dundee.
Promising a packed social calendar and plenty of local knowledge on a range of activities within 3 miles from the clubhouse, there’s sure to be plenty going on off the water too.
Sounds interesting? Read more from Royal Forth YC
Slightly more regular, are the RS Aero 5 & 7 Nationals which comes to Scotland around every five years. East Lothian Yacht Club are playing host to the singlehanded sailing class next summer, ready to showcase their scenic beach location and friendly club. They’re no strangers to the competition, having hosted back in 2019 as well.
Find out more about the intense racing fleet, and what to expect from next years event.
Joining the two nationals at the end of the summer is… a world cup. The International 8 metre World Cup are headed for the West Coast.
With tune up racing on the 17th and 18th of August, and World Cup racing from the 19th to the 24th, the end of summer spectacle is sure to bring the action. Hosted jointly by Royal Northern & Clyde and Mudhook Yacht Clubs, the event will see the classic 8 metre class return to the Clyde as the hosts celebrate 200 year, and 150 year anniversaries respectively.
Still treasured by many owners across the globe, many will be excited to see the return of the former Olympic Class.
Alongside the big dates to keep in mind, for those newer to racing and looking for somewhere to get started, there are also plenty of open events run by clubs and class associations. These events offer different categories available to sail or race in company. Read on for some quick fire dates you might consider.
The annual start to the Clyde racing season run by Royal Western YC, off Kip Marina. Several fleets involved from the more competitive course racing to passage racing for those not wishing to use the spinnaker or go round as many corners. Find out more at the Kip Regatta
Four days of exhilarating racing great for sailors to come together across a diverse range of classes in a friendly environment. Find our more at the Scottish Series website for how to get involved.
This three stage race is open to all monohull yachts with a CYCA handicap, taking competitors from Oban to Tobermory on day 1, on to Bunessan on day 2, and then back on the home straight, hopefully by Sunday night.
Described as a highlight of the West Coast Yachting calendar, sailors from all over Scotland and further afield are sure to gather for some fine scenery and fine racing. Find out more on the Oban SC website.
This travelling series gives yachters the option to complete the series, or enter individual races if they don’t want to take part in the entire week long regatta.
Suitable for a range of experience levels, ages, and competitive spirits, the race committee welcome and support first timers. Visit the West Highland Yachting Week Website for full details.
Largs Regatta Festival is open to keelboats, dinghies, and catamarans of all classes, racing is spread over two weekends with a range of racing on offer.
But, for those not so worried about speed, a Cruise in Company will be led by the Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust again this year.
To find even more possible adventures afloat, The Clyde Yacht Clubs Association collate local and national events on the Clyde, accessible via their 2024 CYCA Events Calendar
And, if you know where your interests lie (perhaps taking inspiration from the likes of ‘Team Scotland’ sailors Maggie Adamson and Calanach Finlayson’s success at the double offshore World Champs ) , then there’s already a choice of dates to consider for sailing two handed.
For sailors fancying their own shot at double handed racing, probably the largest in 2024 will be the 2 handed Round Britain and Ireland Race on the 12th of May organised by the Royal Western Yacht Club and the fleet will be venturing North around the coast over May.
For those with a passion for Keelboats and Yachting, there are also plenty of opportunities and information to read up on this winter as minds cast forward to 2024.
With no shortage of regattas and racing series to keep you busy, there are also plenty more unique dates to consider should you be looking for something a little different.
For those with a passion for hills as much as waves, this adventure combined fell running with sailing across several days.
Open to a range of sailing classes, this event can also be broken down into runners and sailors, as well as an all rounders class for those taking the challenge even further. Why not get a team together and if you are looking for some runners their are plenty wishing to get from island to island, so contact the race team on their website if your interested.
For something a little bit different, perhaps the Dumfries based Nithraid could be your pace. Welcoming all dinghy classes to race alongside a range of other watercraft including coastal rowing skiffs in a unique river race popular amongst locals.
Competitors race from nearby Glencaple along the River Nith right into the heart of the town, before making the return journey.
With a guaranteed bank of spectators watching on, and a well timed lunch break for competitors to enjoy with those watching on, the Nithraid is undoubtedly a full day out. Celebrating it’s 10th anniversary in 2023, the Nithraid has proven it’s popularity,so look out for the dates in 2024.
If you are simply using your time to race to save the planet then why not use your boat differently in 2024 and plan a remote beach clean. Some great examples happening across Scotland already, why not join in!
Check out some of Scotland’s beach clean champions to find a way to make a different:
RYA Scotland will of course be running a range of courses and events over the year with updated details appearing in our Events Pages.
So look out for the team while your afloat or online and keep in touch if there is something you feel we should highlight.