Family day for members and invited guests on Saturday the 30th of June from 1pm hopefully get on the water in various craft and as usual the barbecue will be lit.
The crew from Royal West and Castle Semple who rowed the Thames for the Jubilee pageant will be on hand later in the day later so come along and hear how their weekend went, seems it was quite an experience


We have recently been donated this beautiful 16ft double skull by the Sutherland’s of Killcregan, the history of this boat is quite impressive, It was built by a lady called Liz Todrick, she had gone on holiday with the Sutherland’s to Erajarvi in Finland where they rowed a similar boat. They really liked the boat so as Liz was a boat builder with McGruers of Clynder she took the measurements of the boat they had rowed and proceeded to build this replica for them on their return, i understand that Liz was in her 70s when she built the boat, Erajarvi looks like being the last rowing boat built on the Clyde by a woman.

Liz was also the owner of the gaff rigged cutter Ayrshire Lass, Liz Died in 1996 aged 96.

Its design is not unlike our 16 fleet, its not been in the water for some years however we were able to row it back across to the club on a very calm night loaded with launching trolly, it did sit low in the water exposing a slightly split plank however it was very watertight considering which is a testament to the boat builders skills and craftsmanship.


Due to a booking for a private party and a few people being on holiday, the session planned for 29th June has had to be cancelled. It will be back up and running in July.

On a positive note the crew who attended the Diamond Jubilee Pageant will be speaking about the trip and showing photos between 5pm and 8pm on Saturday 30th June, following the Club Activity Day. Come along and hear about the trip and see the stunning photos.


Would you be up for the challange…..
We need Scottish rowers to come along and take part at this fun day. We can provide transport over with P&O Irish sea and accommodation for you! All you need to do is a some rowing. It will be done in a relay fashion so it doesnt matter how little or how much you want to row, please come along and take part in this fun challenge with us!

If you are interested please just give me a call on the number below or drop me an email and we will organise the rest.

Dalriada Festival Virtual Row
Event Details

Organising group: Dalriada Festival Rowing committee
Contact details: Fiona Hamilton tel: 07738059405 email:
Venue: Victoria Square Shopping Complex, Belfast
Date: 16th June 2012
Time: 12pm-4pm

Aim of event: A clash between rowers from Scotland and Ireland will raise awareness of the RNLI’s vital work and the upcoming Dalriada Rowing Regatta.

Event plan:
Virtual row on the Concept 2 rowing machines to cover 80 km across the Irish Sea.

The event will consist of two teams one from N. Ireland and one team over from Scotland racing each other to complete the distance. The rowing machines will be linked up to a large television screen. The progress of both teams will be tracked across the Irish Sea and will allow the public to enjoy a great spectacle in the heart of Victoria Square. There will be a DJ playing music and keeping the public up to date with the rower’s progress.

In addition to the racing, we will invite members of the public to take part – paying a small donation to the support RNLI and they could have a go to see how far they can row on a machine in one minute with prizes for the winner including free entry to the Dalriada festival, free entry to the Ronan Keating concert etc. We envisage 2 rowing machines for this competition.

Both the fundraising teams from the Larne and Red bay stations will be participating at the event and will assist in the provision of staff members to collect donations as well as provide members of the public with information on their work. We hope to have the RNLI mascot with us on the day.

We hope to bring a traditional Irish Rowing boat to display to the public, with local rowers on hand to provide members of the public with information on the tradition of rowing on the Antrim coast, as well as the upcoming regatta.

So please come along and join us for a fun challenge, great craic and some Northern Irish hospitality!

As the country celebrated the Diamond Jubilee of Her Majesty the Queen, Royal West played its part.
On Saturday we held a Diamond Jubilee Regatta on the Esplanade with clubs from Anstruther, North Berwick, Portobello & Queensferry. The course was initially set from the Club to Madeira Street and back, however during the second race the unfortunate incident off Madeira Street unfolded and a decision was taken to shorten the course and run all events within view of the Club.

Birdie Bowers in the foreground

The first race, Men’s 40+, (start line pictured above) was won by North Berwick with Royal West coming in second. The second race, Women’s 40+, was won by St Ayles RC of Anstruther. This started a winning streak for them taking the next 5 events (Men’s Open, Women’s Open, Women’s 50+, Mixed Open & Mixed 50+). North Berwick fought back at the end to win the Mixed 40+ event.
The pairs events had to be cancelled due to the worsening weather conditions.

St. Ayles Ladies

The Colin Ross Memorial Salver was presented to St Ayles RC in recognition of their outstanding performance on the day.
During the lunch break a group of Junior members from Royal West (pictured below) undertook a sponsored row. They went out in Royal West’s “Birdie Bowers” and also in “St Ayles”, the Anstruther skiff, and rowed the adult racing course. Well done to the next generation who raised almost £400 for Cancer Research UK in the process.

Proud of thier efforts

The event was supported by the visiting clubs, friends & families, umpires as well as local businesses that sponsored the racing. The Club would like to thank all those who helped and our sponsors:
Keyline Builders Merchants
React Catering Services Ltd.
McGills Buses
Inverclyde Leisure
Insight Travel Services
Café Continental
West of Scotland Insurance
Fun World / Laser Matrix
At the prize giving the efforts of Captain of Boats Alex Paterson, was recognised by the presentation of a new hat. The assistance of Ewen Chisholm in moving boats was also acknowledged by the presentation of a new uniform T-shirt.
Saturday was rounded off with a social gathering in the Club attended by Royal West members and friends, along with the entire St. Ayles RC contingent. A very good night was had by all, this year without the need for any visits to A&E.
It had been planned that Sunday would be a small scale pageant on the Esplanade or a social row to Kilcreggan. The weather and river conditions meant that once again the plans had to be revised. After discussions over tea, coffee and biscuits in the Racing Shed a plan was hatched to make a visit to Lyle Hill to give our visitors a better view of the area and then retire to the Club TV Lounge to watch the Diamond Jubilee Pageant.
The Anstruther folks were astounded by the view from Lyle Hill and we spent 30-40 minutes up there taking it all in and explaining the different lochs and local features.
Back at the Club hot drinks and hotdogs were a welcome relief from the prevailing Easterly wind that had threatened unsuccessfully to ruin the weekend. The TV was on and the build up to the Pageant was causing nerves in the Club.
Royal West, along with Castle Semple RC, had been asked to provide a boat and crew to represent the Lieutenancy of Renfrewshire. Weeks of preparation by both clubs had led to this moment in front of Her Majesty the Queen and the world’s press.
The crew left with Whiteforeland early on Friday morning arriving in Walton-on-Thames (West London) at around 18:30. They stayed overnight with the Duncan Graham, a former Captain of Boats & Life member who lives and works in London. On Saturday they moved Whiteforeland to Dukes Meadow near Thames Tradesmen’s RC where half of the crew camped on Saturday night.
They were joined on Saturday night by the Lord Lieutenant of Renfrewshire and his wife, who brought some light refreshments with them. The boat was being decorated for the event and the Lord Lieutenant was keen to inspect.
Sunday was tense for all involved, though everyone had rowed before they had never rowed together. Duncan Graham, who was the boats designated skipper, had only ever met one of the crew before and that was about 20 years ago. The crew launched about 4-5 hours before the Pageant started and had some time together rowing to the muster point, concerns about the crew’s capabilities were quickly dispelled.
If you were watching the BBC TV coverage carefully you will see that Whiteforeland was one boat away as they passed Her Majesty the Queen.
The weather did not dampen their enthusiasm or sense of honour at having represented the Club and the County. One of the Castle Semple member said, on their return last night, that the spectacle of rowing under Tower Bridge during the event made her smile like a Cheshire cat one minute and then burst into tears the next. Others talked about their sense of pride. Mat Henderson referred to the number and diversity of the rowing boats being spectacular.
When they arrived back at the Club last night they were welcomed by family & friends. There was a very positive buzz even after such a long drive. A group of Royal Navy personnel ,on a sponsored bike ride from John O’ Grouts to Lands End, were in the bar and volunteered to assist offload Whiteforeland. This was greatly appreciated by all.
The Captain of Boats has asked that the crew reconvene at Royal West, 5pm on Saturday 30th June (Greenock Fair Saturday), to do a short presentation of their exploits and show photos to all members and guests who want to learn more. We will be pressing for attendance by the Provost, Lord Lieutenant, etc. Watch out for more details.
This weekend we also held a live music event on Sunday night organised by George Carson (Jnr). The Boat Club Jubilee Music Night was truly fantastic. Thanks to the performers and audience we raised £150 for club funds and experienced great music from George & Cheryl, Veronique, Martin Jones, Stewart Anderson, Gordon Mackenzie, Al & Billy, Tom & David. Thanks also to those who brought food for the buffet and prizes for the raffle. Well done Jim Campbell doing the raffle.
This weekend was a great success. Those who gave of their time to assist in any way have the thanks and appreciation of all the membership and Committee.

An excited crew gathered early this morning at the Club to head off to London. The boat & trailer looked fantastic and the crew were in very good spitits. There to see them off was the Depute Lord Lieutenant, Alastair MacMillan. The crew have arrived safely in London and are lodging with Duncan Graham this evening before setting up camp at their designated launch site.

Tomorrow evening the Lord Lieutenant and his wife will be accompanied by the Club President, Sir Ludovic Shaw Stewart, to meet and spend some time with the crew.

The boat is featured in the official Pagaent guide and can be downloaded at the following webpage:

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