Organisers of an inaugural race to Scotland’s furthest flung archipelago are giving sailors the chance to reach the ‘bucket-list’ destination.

The St Kilda Challenge will see the first ever yacht race held from North Uist to the isolated island group and back again.

Participants will race around 100 nautical miles across the North Atlantic, amid potentially dangerous weather conditions.  St Kilda was occupied for thousands of years, but unforgiving conditions on islands and the surrounding seas meant that it was depopulated 85 years ago.

The race, which is scheduled to start on Saturday 11 June 2016, is being organised by Comann na Mara, the Society of the Sea, with support from ferry operator Caledonian MacBrayne, the Scottish Sailing Institute, Royal Yachting Association Scotland and the National Trust for Scotland, which owns St Kilda.

The St Kilda Challenge route

The St Kilda Challenge route

The route will begin at Lochmaddy and it is expected it will take sailors around 24 hours to complete it, depending on conditions. The race will be open to all but organisers are creating a qualifying criteria and safety standards for yachts and crews.

Boats will be based at Lochmaddy prior to the Race, where social activities will take place.

The starting area will be approximately within 2 nautical miles of Pabbay Island located to the North West of North Uist and is approximately 20 nautical miles from the marina in Lochmaddy. If the weather forecast is deemed by the organisers to be unsafe an alternative starting area may be used.

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