Duncan originally came to the fore in 1982, when the big-selling Scottish singer at the time, Valerie Dunbar, released a single of ‘Always Argyll’, written by Duncan and a friend, Jimmy Jamieson, from Tighnabruaich.  The song went on to be covered by over thirty artists in Scotland, Ireland, and Australia.  One of the groups which covered the song was the hugely popular folk band The Clydesiders.

When their guitarist decided to call it a day in 1982, Duncan stepped in, beginning an eighteen year career with the band, during which he recorded seven albums and several singles with them, and appeared in countless concerts and TV programmes around the UK and Europe.

With his band, including long time collaborator Cy Jack, Lindisfarne drummer Ray Laidlaw, and renowned fiddler Chris Stout, Duncan had support slots with Donnie Munro, Martin Carthy and Midge Ure, and a magical duet at Glasgow’s Atheneum Theatre with legendary Pogues frontman Shane McGowan, sharing vocals on ‘Loch lomond’ at a tribute concert for the great Scottish singer-songwriter Matt Mcginn.

More recently, with a 3 piece, he did a live Celtic Connections concert on Iain Anderson’s influential radio show.

Duncan and his band are appearing at the Royal West on Saturday 15th. September. Tickets are only £8 per person, and are available at the Club.

This will be a great night.   Don’t miss it!

A squad from the Club headed over to Glenarm on the Antrim Coast last Friday to participate in the Dalriada Festival Regatta again this year. They were joined by crews and skiffs from North Berwick, Anstruther, Portobello and Port Seton this year.

There was a very warm welcome awaiting them on Friday afternoon from the Events Team at Glenarm. Old aquaintences were renewed with Elaine Nelson and her husband of Glenarm RC and Fiona Hamilton & Barry Kirkpatrick of Cairndhu RC. Stevie’s friendly approach to bar management in the Bridge End Tavern was also greatly appreciated.

All the crews met at the coxes briefing on Saturday morning. As well as the Scottish clubs listed above there were the local clubs of Cairndhu, Glenarm, Carnlough and Foyle RC. The Dalriada Challenge race was to be over 6km. Straight away from the harbour mouth then turning South along the coast for approx 1.5km. The course then turned North across Glenarm bay for 3km towards the Black Rock. At the Black Rock the course turned South again before sweeping West back into Glenarm bay to finish at the mouth of the river.

Excitement was rising as the crews got organised and launched. Some of the skiffs are in the photo below milling about the start.

Royal West, in Birdie Bowers, started at the back of the group of 5 skiffs, starting 1 minute behind Port Seton.

Rounding the Southern marker bouys, at the end of the first leg, Royal West had reduced Port Seton’s 1 minute head start by approx 20 seconds. As the race headed North towards the Black Rock this lead was further reduced with every stroke. As the two crews approached the Black Rock Port Seton seemed to over shoot and Marie Paterson, coxing Birdie Bowers took the inside line. Seeing his mistake the Port Seton cox turned sharply, it was only through Marie’s mastery of the boat and her crew that a collision was avoided.

With spirits running high now the Royal West crew made a decisive move as the skiffs left the Black Rock. They pushed past Port Seton as the skiffs swept West into Glenarm Bay.

Royal West comfortably beat Port Seton. The final results amongst the skiffs were as follows:

1st Portobello (Mens crew)
2nd North Berwick (Mixed Crew)
3rd Royal West (Mixed Crew)
4th Port Seton (Mixed Crew)
5th Anstruther (Ladies 50+ Crew)

Royal West got a Silver Medal in the Mixed Crew category of the Dalriada Challenge race

The afternoon saw a series of sprint races in Glenarm Bay. Portobello had brought along a Junior 18 squad you competed against the Irish Universal Boats, see below:

The light weight and speed of these boats mean that our skiffs cannot compete on a level basis. However the Junior squad took part against them to get an experience of the tension and rigors of racing. They were awarded medals for thier participation.

Adam Graham and Alex Paterson of Royal West made up a composite crew with Anstruther & Glenarm to race in the Mens Sprint. Unfortunately they finished just outside the medals. In the Ladies Sprint Adam Graham coxed the Anstruther crew to a Silver medal. They were only just beaten by a much younger crew from Portobello, who had not taken part in the earlier 6km race. In the Mixed Sprint the Royal West crew again finished just outside the medals.

On behalf of the visiting Scottish clubs young Andrew Graham of Royal West presented Elaine Nelson of the ACRA with a painted oar.

Activity was not all focussed on the water. There was time for fun with a trip to the play park. Karen Graham, Heather Scott, Marie Paterson & Adam Graham on the swings.

Sarah Graham making a new friend.

And participation in the fancy dress parade through the village. Sarah Graham is proudly waving the Club flag.

The weekend was rounded off with a free barbecue, music and a firework display.

All of those who travelled from the various Scottish Clubs have expressed thier thanks to the Antrim Coast Rowing Association for a wonderfully well organised event. Not just on the day but in the run up to it also. We expect to be back next year and there is also talk of the event making it across the Irish Sea in the coming years, to the other side of the ancient realm of Dalriada.

All photos by The Patersons or from the Dalriada Festival Facebook page.

The following email was received from a David Andrews a few weeks ago. Have printed it off and posted on the Club noticeboard but thought it best to post here also.

“I am emailing as many of what I believe will be the relevant Scottish yacht and boat clubs on the “The Macallan” Yacht Clubs of Scotland Website to ask them if they could help me in a quest for information. However, I do appreciate that some of you clubs may be of but recent vintage and may therefore not have the historical background to be able to help.

I am attempting to discover the whereabouts or fate of a large motor-boat that is known to have been brought to Inverness from Orkney and sold at some time during the 1930′s and I was wondering if any of your members or their wider circles of boating acquaintances had heard of, or may have knowledge of it, however slight that may be.

The boat’s name was “Bunts.” This may have been changed since so I will try to give a description of her last known appearance and the reason why I am trying to trace her. “Bunts” was once owned by Mr Ernest Cox of the salvage firm of Cox and Danks Ltd that was engaged in salvaging the scuttled German warships in Scapa Flow. However, the firm sold its rights to salvage to another firm during the early 1930′s and Mr Cox sold the boat to an Orkney hotelier, who later had the boat taken to Inverness and sold where her recorded history ends.

The boat is understood to have been of German origin and probably came from one of the larger warships. She was either 12 or 13 metres in length and had a beam of approximately 2.6metres. She was of diagonal-carvel build with a “spoon” bow and a stern that I will describe of “double transom,” “vee” or if one’s ornithological knowledge is good enough “raven-tailed.” She was single screwed: the rudder was hung on the stern and was operated by means of “yoke lines” from the wheel amidships. Her decks were of wood. The forward superstructure was of light metal: the sides had several side lights in them and sloped up to a domed cross-section with a number of “scoop” type air ventilators on the top of it. There was a small hatch fitted on the starboard side at the forward end. The wheel-house was situated amidships with windows that were roughly square. The after superstructure appears to have been lower than the wheel-house and had 3 round side lights, scuttles or port holes in the sides of it. At the time of sale, the boat’s name was painted in the form of a roundel on the starboard and possibly, the port bow. There was a hawse pipe fitted on the starboard side though the anchor appears to have been stowed on the foredeck. The hull was painted white, the superstructure was painted a dark colour: the wheel-house was probably varnished wood. It is possible that the boat’s colour scheme may have changed since, as may her appearance. I regret that due to reasons of copyright, which I do not own, I am unable to provide a photograph.

In trying to trace the present whereabouts of the boat I attempted to discover whether or not she had transitted the Caledonian Canal but to no avail.

My reason for trying to trace the location or fate of the boat is that I have been carrying out some voluntary work for the Scapa Flow Museum in Orkney on a boat of similar build that is located there and I am trying to validate the local claim that the boat the museum owns was the barge of the German admiral who gave the order to scuttle his ships. It would also be of interest to find what became of Mr Cox’s boat; which is the probably the more “famous” one as she is mentioned by name in literature.

Would you therefore be so kind as to circulate my request amongst your members in the hope that one of them will know something, however minor, of the boat? If they do could they then pass the information on to me together with any contact information the individual member is willing to divulge so that I may contact them for further details?”

If anyone can be of help drop me an email and i will forward it to Mr. Andrews.

Adam Graham
Hon. Secretary

This weekend sees the second Dalriada Festival Rowing Regatta being held in Glenarm on the Antrim Coast.

A mixed crew from Royal West is leaving with Birdie Bowers on Friday morning and catching the ferry from Cairnryan at 13:30. Travel to and from the event on the ferry is being provided free of charge by P&O Irish Sea. There are also crews from Maybole, North Berwick, Port Seton, Portobello and Anstruther travelling over.

The main race of the day on Saturday is the Dalriada Challenge Race over approx 6km in or near Glenarm Bay. This is a processional race with the first boat setting off at 11:00 and one boat every minute after that. This is followed by a series of sprint races during the afternoon over an 800m course round bouys. These races will contain up to 10 boats at a time.

The weekend is rounded off on Saturday night with a parade through the streets of Glenarm down to the harbour where there will be a BBQ, music and fireworks. There will be a full report on the website next week.

As many of you will know a group of our Juniors trained for and then participated in a sponsored row this year to raise money for Cancer Research UK.

They had asked to do this at the start of the season and chose the day of the Club’s Regatta to undertake the row. The challenge had been for six of them to have achieved a level of competence that allowed them to row, by themselves, over the long course set for the racing that day. This was from the Club to Madeira Street and back.

The conditions on the day were particularly bad and the course was shortened. This did not put the Juniors off but, erring on the side of caution, the group of six was split into two and went out with experienced oarsmen & women from Royal West and St. Ayles RC.

They performed very well in the very rough conditions and impressed the crew from Anstruther with thier ability to follow commands and stay in time, even in the heavy seas.

As well as being sponsored the Juniors went round the visitors to the Club on the day and collected more money. The total raised was £ 331.65. This was recently handed in to the shop in West Blackhall Street much to the delight of the staff. They were very impressed with the efforts of the Juniors and thanked them for all thier hard work.

Pictured below with Birdie Bowers is the crew.

From Left to Right they are Anna Kane, Andrew Graham, Rosie Kane, Katrina Bryce, Ruairidh Smith, Kyle McPaul.

The Club is very proud of these members and look forward to thier continued development within all aspects of the Club.

Captain of Boats Alex Paterson is organising an overnight Club trip to Lochgoilhead on Saturday 11th August (conditions permitting). All members fit for the trip are welcome, whichever means of transport you prefer.

Expect we will leave 09:00-10:00 on the Saturday with stops along the way for lunch and relief. Lochgoilhead for dinner time. We have provisionally booked the Village Hall in Lochgoilhead for the overnight stay, bring your own bed & breakfast stuff. Explore the village then an early night!!! Back down to the Club on the Sunday.

The Village Hall will cost approx £1.00 – £1.50 a head, dependant on numbers.

Anyone interested should drop a message to Alex on or myself on in the next week.

Adam Graham
Hon. Sec

Despite being plagued by strong north-easterly winds for the early part of the season, paddling has continued on with only one night having to be completely abandoned. Increasing numbers have been getting out on the water on both Monday and Tuesday nights with many of the novice paddlers now being as far afield as Cove, Rhu and the Captyannis.

Monday nights have been more focussed on novice paddlers and developing their range of skills. The Tuesday nights, although not set in stone, have seen the more experienced paddlers concentrating on more extended paddles in a variety of conditions.

A series of informal stroke-work sessions and ‘rolling clinics’ are being planned for Thursday nights. These will be held in the bay and are on a drop-in basis for whoever wants to try new skills or brush up on their technique. It is also proposed that various rescue techniques can be practiced during these sessions.

There have been a number of extended trips this year including, Bute, Lismore and Tiree. Future trips are being planned throughout the season include Luing and Seil, Sound of Mull and Knoydart to name but a few. In August, paddlers are also invited on a combined Club weekend trip to Lochgoilhead with the rowers and sailors.

A date for the diary is also the Clyde Swim on the 18th August where the assistance from paddlers is always appreciated and is crucial in helping the swimmers stay both safe and on course throughout the swim. If you can help out with this please let Ewen Chisholm or any member of the Committee know as soon as possible.

Number 11 Pair is now undergoing a general refurbishment at Port Glasgow community development trust project. These are the guys who built our two St Isles Skiffs, Birdie Bowers and Chippy McNish. John Glover and his trainees will be stripping down the boat then varnishing both inside and outside,replacing worn or split planks and generally giving it a refresh ready for the water. This is part of our plan to implement a rolling maintenance program for the fleet. We plan to add to our website a repair matrix / spreadsheet which tracks the maintenance and works carried out on the fleet so the membership can see at a glance when the boats last had works carried out. Our boats are our heritage and need maintenance but they also need to be used.

We think No 11 pair is one of the original and oldest boats in the fleet as its a slightly different shape from the other pairs, it’s around 100 years old so deserves some TLC

Just to remind you that we have a regular Thursday night from 6.30 at the club where people who would like to try Rowing come down and get on the water with one of our 3 Rowing coaches, this is open to non members for a period of temporary membership and is good fun in a very relaxed and safe environment, we provide all the necessary safety equipment

Our next family and invited guests day takes place on Saturday the 28th of July from 1pm, lets hope the summer has started by then !!

Alex Paterson
Captain of Boats

Some of you may have noticed a problem yesterday with the website. It was re-directing to an Indonesian based blog.

Pam Forsyth has kindly sorted this issue for us and we are now back up and running.

Have reported this interference by the Blog to the ISP that powers it, as well as Facebook, which is where it was also directing you.

Adam Graham
Hon Secretary

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