Contessa 26's thriving in Scotland

Contessa 26's on the River Forth

Last year I purchased "Tystie" a Contessa 26 from Chichester. Taking a chance, I purchased her from photographs and an eighteen month old survey through a broker in the area. When she arrived I was not disappointed, the exterior was not as good as the photographs suggested but the interior was better!

My first memories of the Contessa 26 were as dinghy sailor in 1967 when I thought she was the most beautiful yacht ever designed and launched. My opinion has not changed in 40 years. After 40 years of sailing and racing my desire for one had not diminished and I bought "Tystie"  CO155.
Since I bought her I have had her professionally resprayed and spent many happy hours updating her for single handed sailing and generally bringing out the beauty of this 38 year old.( 22 years younger than me!!)
After trailing her up from her berth in Chichester, the previous owner had sadly died and she had lain unattended for some time "Tystie" was parked in a shed with "Cala", a beautifully restored 26 owned by Graham Cownie and Windrift a lovely 26 sailed and raced regularly and successfully by Dr. Chris Oliver. Although "Flamenco" has left the fleet for Southern coasts we have been joined by "Karen Begg" another 26. Nearby at Dalgety Bay is another, white, sistership "Zephyr". The other 26's are all dark blue. Zephyr belonged to the Cuthbert family who, I think, had strong links with the Association.
I have enjoyed meeting my fellow Contessa owners and I am indebted to Graham and Chris for their advice and help.
Last week I was asked to pen some information on the East coast of Scotland Contessa 26's and their activity. I have attached photographs of the boats (see the gallery section of the site) but apart from taking part in club cruises and racing there are no organised events.
I shall be taking part in the Anstruther Muster in mid August. Anstruther is a fishing port at the North East corner of the River Forth estuary about 3 miles from the May Island. The harbour has about 55 pontoon berths which are nearly all occupied. For this muster there will be about 90-100 additional yachts from the Forth, Tay and the North East of England. Perhaps one year we will see our sisters from North Yorkshire!!
The muster involves a race from the Forth Bridges, around the May Isle and into Anstruther. Some boats choose to cruise and enjoy the ambience, the entertainment and the hospitality of the locals. This will be my fourth muster, it is about a 50-60 mile round trip.
Graham of "Cala" and I have discussed possible cruises and we often sail in company around the Bridges and the islands in the Firth of Forth observing and noting the wildlife.
We hope to organise a local get together in the future and I will keep you all posted if this develops. Meantime we will continue to enjoy the pleasures of sailing this wonderful yacht.

Happy and safe sailing.
Alex. Mackie
"Tystie" CO 155