STORNOWAY sailors Kenneth Morrison and wife Amanda Darling are no strangers to sailing away with race awards in their local waters.
However, recently the couple scooped first prize in an international sailing regatta whilst on holiday in the island of Sardinia, Italy.
Keen to do some Mediterranean sailing, Kenny and Amanda were directed to the local yacht club – Lega Navala in Alghera, Sardinia – who were hosting the first round of ‘Vento de I’Aguer 2013’ Green Power Trophy, III Marco Caula.
The pair were offered a place on a German yacht of Swedish design called ‘Miss Pepper’, skippered by Christian and wife Linda who were keen for crew and delighted to hear that both Kenny and Amanda had plenty of sailing experience.
Kenny is perhaps best known throughout the Scottish islands in his capacity as skipper of the traditional sgoth Niseach boat ‘An Sulaire’, which he said for 20 years, the first 10 minus an engine!
And together with Amanda, they bought their wooden yacht ‘Lily’ in Sweden seven years ago, sailing her home to the islands where she has won many regattas, including a coveted painting by local artist Vega in the Stornoway Sailing Regatta.
In Sardinia, variable winds and shifting patterns tested the skills and tenacity of the 38 competitors, but used to the at times unpredictable seas around Scotland, Kenny and Amanda streaked home easily beating the Mediterranean sailors.
“We couldn’t believe it!” laughed Amanda. “We were light years ahead of everyone and felt almost embarrassed as we, total strangers, had to stand up and collect the first prize of a beautiful hand-made plate.” She added: “The Sardinians took it all in good humour and made us feel very welcome. There was a delicious feast after the ceremony and we have made some good friends and connections from the experience.”