“Poor Latifa: always head to wind,” many a knowledgeable sailor thinks when paying respects to Fairlie Parish Church’s beautiful wind vane.
Yesterday off Ardlamont – the south-western tip of Argyll’s Cowal Penninsula – during The Fife Regatta’s thrash from Tighnabruaich to Portavadie, we saw the real Latifa come alive, full and by, as William Fife Jr. must have visualised this exquisite – some would say the finest – example of the functional art that flowed from his drawing boards and models, through his Fairlie boatyard to the firths, seas and oceans.
Fife was 79 when he designed and built Latifa as an ocean racer.
She never stops.
(*From Wind on Loch Fyne by George Campbell Hay, Oliver & Boyd, 1948 by kind permission of the Trustees of the W.L. Lorimer Memorial Trust/ Scots Language Centre.)