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A century ago, some of Glasgow’s best known business families chose to leave their home comforts behind every weekend in summer to do battle on the Firth of Clyde, racing against each other in a fleet of sailing yachts, the Scottish Islanders. Designed, built and organised to ensure absolutely level competition, winning in one was entirely down to boat handling skills and cunning. 


The boats’ seaworthiness ensured that they turned out regardless of the weather, sometimes the only fleet brave enough to do so. Their antics excited interest far beyond the yachting fraternity and were eagerly covered in the national press.


Using the Scottish Islanders as a thread, we draw together stories about the people involved in the original pre-war racing scene, including some early pioneers of women on water, such as the remarkable Udy Russell, and their intense competition, including occasional excursions abroad, where we see Herbert Thom and his crew doing battle with America’s best in Oyster Bay. Finally we look at how the individual boats have survived into our age, being restored and rebuilt to serve new generations as basic, safe cruisers, still winning races, always turning heads, not forgetting the social scene.

The Scottish Islanders

SKU: 364115376135191
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