Hi all,

If you are storing any private boats inside the clubhouse this year please make sure that the appropriate fees have been paid.

As you will appreciate, with the increased number of private boats, space is at a premium. Some consideration is being given to additional covered & secure storage, that hopefully we can put in place during the winter.


Adam Graham
Hon. Sec.

Marked by the piercing whistle from a Royal West loud hailer, as it echoed back from the cliffs on the West of Dumbarton Rock, the inaugural Castle to Crane race was underway at 10am on Saturday. Appropriately the first boat over the start line was Orcuan from GalGael. The race was born out of the larger event it was part of, The Clydebuilt Festival, a GalGael showcase for Scottish crafts. The race itself was organised by a small committee of primarily Scottish Coastal Rowing Association club members, under the banner of the Clydebuilt Festival.

Seventy Five fixed seat rowing boats from Scotland, Ireland, Wales, the Netherlands, England and Cornwall gathered to compete in a 13 mile race from the mouth of the River Leven, below Dumbarton Castle, to Finnieston Crane in Glasgow.

Royal West were involved from the conception of the event through to the conclusion of what has been hailed as very successful day. The Club’s secretary served on the race organising committee, working with a strong team of members & volunteers over the weekend organising the muster area and start at Sandpoint Marina in Dumbarton.

During Friday we controlled the arrival and offloading of the boats into Sandpoint Marina, in launch order, and then in a matter of 2 hours on Saturday the team co-ordinated the launching and starting of 75 rowing boats consisting of 407 crew members. The Club RHIB, crewed by Ewen Chisholm and Heather Scott (Hon Treasurer), then made sure the latter boats in the fleet made it safely to the finish. Three ladies who need particular thanks are Karyn Donnachie, Rose Sloan (Subs) & Joanna Dowall. They controlled the start line and start timing for the event. Joanna then went on to Glasgow and was involved with Race Control ratifying the results.

The Club had two boats entered, Jollyboat “Sprite” and St. Ayles Skiff “Chippy McNish”.

Sprite was crewed by three former Club Captains, Duncan, Ronald & Adam Graham, plus Karen Graham (Rowing Convenor) coxed by Colin Campbell. Sprite started 60th but finished 28th overall.

Chippy was crewed by Robert Dowall, Elaine Hunter, Liz McMahon, Sandy Disselduff, Ian Clark, Mat Henderson (Past VP). Chippy started 38th and finished 60th overall.

Conditions were perfect for the race and it all went very well. There were supporters on the banks at Bowling, under Erskine Bridge, on the pontoon at Clydebank College, in Renfrew and at Breahead. The biggest and most vocal crowds were at the Riverside Museum and near the finish line at Finnieston.

As Chippy & Sprite were finishing we could hear Gavin Stewart & Al Black (Past VP), not singing, but talking to the passengers on the Clyde Clipper. It had been chartered by Gavin as part of the QE2 celebratory weekend and was about to set off from the Science Centre to Clydebank.

As well as all the messages of thanks to Royal West received from individuals and clubs, we received a message of thanks from the event organisers as follows;
I very much appreciate the above and beyond put in by members of Royal West. I know that there was a lot of teamwork went into the start, and having the safety boat available was essential both for the day and for the exploratory trip up the River while we were in the planning stage. Robbie Wightman, Convenor SCRA

The event would not have been complete without a prize giving. Before the awards it was explained that the last and most significant prize was the Median Trophy. To be awarded to the boat/crew who represented the entire event. This was a Prize for All, in future years to be carried in the boat that won it the year before. To the surprise of the crew and delight of the Club this was awarded to Chippy McNish. The following message was also received in relation to the Median Trophy;

The Median Trophy is in the gift of the organisers. The purpose is to award a trophy to a crew who are representative of the fleet as a whole. It was awarded to Chippy who came 60th out of 75 boats and were of good behaviour, which is a relief. It is very pleasing to the organisers that the trophy has gone to a club who contributed so much to make the race possible, a local club who have enabled many from far and wide to have a safe and enjoyable experience of the great river that your club has been a fundamental part of for so long. Congratulations Chippy McNish and Royal West of Scotland ABC.

On and off the water Royal West excelled itself this weekend.

The Club should be proud of the team who worked on this event and of those who have contributed to the incredible events we have hosted at the Club this season. The Closing Cruise to Kilcreggan Hotel will be on Saturday 7th October, to which all are invited.


The kayaks in the locked Kayak Shed are all privately owned and under no circumstances should they be used without the permission of the owner. There are plenty of Club kayaks accessible in the main shed.

Furthermore, as required in the Club’s Byelaws, all boat being launched must be signed out and in again, in the book provided for this purpose. Any damage to boats must be reported in the same book when they are signed back in.This covers private and Club owned boats.

Anyone found to be using privately owned boats or equipment without the owner’s permission may be referred to the Management Committee.

Adam Graham
Honorary Secretary

Our winter bar hours come into effect at the start of October.

From Monday 2nd October until Monday 26th March the Bar will not open on a Monday night.

Adam Graham
Hon. Sec.

This meeting will take place in the Bar.

Please bear in mind that there is also a meeting of Cardwell Bay & Greenock West Community Council being held in the clubhouse Hall that same night.

Paddlers from various locations in Scotland and North of England took to the water on Saturday 2nd September for our Tail o’ the Bank Surf Ski / Kayak Race. Conditions were well nigh perfect with only a slight breeze from the south.

The main event was a 10 mile race comprising of two loops of a clockwise circuit from the Boat Club to the perch on Rosneath Patch, then around the wreck of the Captayannis and back to the club. There was also a shorter 5 mile race comprising of one loop of the course.

The overall winner was Pat Winterton from Oban in an NK Nitro Surf Ski. The first female was Lizelle Kemp from Linlithgow Kayak Racing Club in a Think evo 2 Surf Ski.

Our own club members performed well in both the cruiser class and novice categories.

A full list of results is as follows:-

As some of you may know, the Club bought a Laser Stratos earlier in the Summer as a platform for teaching sailing to larger groups than the one-on-one format of double handed dinghies. It is also a faster and more exciting dinghy than the other two in the fleet.

Our recently co-opted Sailing Convenor Lindsay Dowds and past VP Al Black have committed to encouraging the wider membership to try sailing by providing beginner sessions that should see the new boat and existing fleet being used more regularly.

If you want to participate in these sessions please contact Lindsay via sailing@rwsabc.com or in person at the club. More info about use of the Club sailing fleet can be found on the pull down menu under the Sailing tab above.

The object of the Club it to promote and foster all amateur water sports. Our investment in this new boat and the commitment being made by members to encourage its safe use is another example of the Club’s commitment to that objective.

We would encourage all members to use as much of the Club’s fleet as possible. That includes the 2no 16’s, 2no pairs and 2no Heavy 4’s recently refurbished.

If you have any queries about use of Club sporting facilities or equipment please contact the relevant convenor.

Karen Graham rowing@rwsabc.com
Willie Bell canoeing@rwsabc.com
Lindsay Dowds sailing@rwsabc.com
Open Water Swimming
Joe Heffernan openwaterswimming@rwsabc.com
Captain of Boats
George McCallum captain@rwsabc.com

The Club is involved with a new rowing race being run this year as part of the Clydebuilt Festival at the Riverside Museum.

At about 10am on the morning of Saturday 23rd September about 80 fixed seat coxed rowing boats will set off at minute intervals from the mouth of the River Leven, below the ramparts of Dumbarton Castle, in a 13 mile race to the Finnieston Crane in Glasgow. Two crews from the Club are taking part. One in our St. Ayles Skiff Chippy McNish, the other in one of our Portobello Class Jollyboats Sprite.

There are crews attending from as far north as Shetland, as far south as Cornwall, as far West as Ireland and as far East as Holland.

Royal West has been asked if we can provide volunteer marshals for the launch site at Sandpoint Marina in Dumbarton on the Friday afternoon, to greet arriving crews, also Saturday morning to help get boats launched and act as timekeepers/starters. Every volunteer will get a free event T-shirt.

If you think you can spare any time on either day please contact me on secretary@rwsabc.com.

Message for all Members, but especially the ones who use the Ladies Changing Rooms.

Over the last few months various elements of work have been undertaken to improve the ladies changing facilities.

  1. Ogilvies removed the fence on the wall at our request
  2. This allowed us to have the new roof membrane fitted to make the rooms watertight
  3. The paintwork internally was refinished by Lynn Morrison
  4. Additional shower curtains were added by Rosemary
  5. New extract fans, tube heaters and an infrared heater were fitted by the House Convenor Jim Ford over the last couple of weekends.

On the last point above we would ask that no-one turns off any of the fans or heaters.

  • The two new fans are turned on whenever the lights are turned on and go off automatically 20mins after the lights are turned off. This is to allow them a chance to draw out the moist air left when the last user leaves.
  • The tube heaters mounted at high level on the walls are very low energy units that we want to remain on all the time to stop the room becoming cold & damp. Please do not turn them off.
  • There is a large grey box on the wall as you enter with a spring loaded switch on it. If you need an instant injection of heat into the room push this button and the new infrared heater will come on for 20mins then switch itself off.

In the coming weeks we will be changing the floor covering and replacing the lockers with smaller personal effects lockers.

If anyone has queries about any of the above please do not hesitate to contact myself of Jim Ford.


Adam Graham


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