If you read back through the news posts on the website it is astounding to see the events and activities we have been involved in this last six months. Social events, work parties, courses & competitive events. This has been backed up with regular watersports based teaching and training, encouraging participation in all aspects of life at the Club.

You might also be interested to know that our membership has increased by approx. 15% in that same period.

What has still to come this year?

So far we have the following on the calendar;
Monday 1st October 2018 – SCA Regional Forum, hosted by Royal West
Saturday 13th October 2018 – Closing Cruise
Saturday 20th October 2018 – John Graham & Jim Jack Concert
Friday 26th October 2018 – Boat Club Session
Saturday 27th October 2018 – Halloween Party
Saturday 27th October 2018 – SCRA Freshwater Sprints, Loch Tummel
Saturday 3rd November 2018- Bonfire & Fireworks
Friday 30th November 2018 – Christmas Tree arrives & Boat Club Session
Saturday 8th December – Santa Cruz and Fizz night…
Friday 14th December – Boat Club Session
Monday 31st December 2018 – New Year Extravaganza
Thursday 28th March 2019 – Club AGM

There are likely to be other events and these will be intimated when they have been finalised. If you can think of anything else you would like to see organised, or indeed would like to organise, please contact one of the Management Committee.

Of note above is the Closing Cruise on 13th October

Even if you cannot attend to go afloat that day, you might not want to miss the informal awards ceremony in the clubhouse at about 4:30pm. As well as the announcement of the winners of the Club Calendar competition, some of the sporting convenors will also be making presentations to members of their sporting disciplines.

Pop down and join the fun. Have a drink and a catch-up. Stay on for takeaway dinner in the hall if you have the time.

There will be Club regalia on sale that day too. Also the opportunity to order anything you might want for Christmas presents.

See you on the water



1st prize Andrew Taylor

2nd prize Robert Robertson 

3rd prize Matthew Henderson 



1st prize Andrew Taylor 

2nd prize Matthew Henderson 

3rd prize Eileen Morman.



1st prize John Mathie 

2nd prize John Phillips

3rd prize Ian Cameron



1st prize John Mathie

2nd prize Rose Sloan

3rd prize Robert Todd



1st prize Ian Cameron 

2nd prize David Fortune

3rd prize Matthew Henderson 


Dear Vice President,

I just wanted to write to formally thank the Royal West of Scotland Amateur Boat Club for the outstanding contribution that the club and its members made to the running of the Castle to Crane Race 2018. So many of your club members were involved in so many ways, it is probably unwise to list them. However it seemed on the day that wherever there was a cheerful, welcoming and efficient volunteer in a rescue boat, on the start line, at registration…. wherever you looked, there was a Royal West member.

We have had a lot of positive feedback from crews taking part in the event, and I would be grateful if you could pass on some of the comments to your members. They have earned their part in the thanks:

Well done and thank you to you and everyone else for yesterday’s event. It was brilliantly organised and good fun

First of all offering our congratulations on a terrific and well run event. Thoroughly enjoyed our experience and what a “buzz” around the start and finish areas!

Just to say thank you very much indeed to you and your team for a fantastic day on Saturday. We thoroughly enjoyed the day.

I am of course also delighted that you fielded four boats in the race. How fantastic to see two jollyboats out together. You must be very proud of the club for all the aspects of their involvement.

with very best wishes to Royal West,

Robbie Wightman
Convenor, Scottish Coastal Rowing Association

All Members,

The Committee is seeking member’s input regarding the current club facilities and activities, also seeking your views concerning possible future developments.

To do this, an online a survey has been created using Survey Monkey. You will be able to find this survey my clicking on the link below.

Hard copies of the survey will be available in the clubhouse as well.

We would ask that you complete the survey online, or submit hard copies, by 5th November.


Adam Graham
Hon. Sec.

Over the last few years we have avoided increasing the bar prices by a combination of controlling the bar overheads, adjusting purchasing methods and ultimately changing primary supplier. The time has come however, when we need to increase the prices to maintain the bar’s profitability.

Increases will take effect on Saturday 29th Sept.

The prices will increase by between 5p – £1 depending on the product, however on the more popular products the increases are only between 5p-20p. The larger increases are to products that we don’t hold a large stock of and tend to be predominantly popular at functions.

Some examples of the increases are as follows;
Pint of Tennents lager is currently £3.10, this will increase to £3.20
Pint of Tartan Special is currently £2.90, this will increase to £3.00
Gordons Gin is currently £1.55, this will increase to £1.70
Highland Park is currently £2.55, this will increase to £2.60
Smirnoff Vodka is currently £1.55, this will increase to £1.70

There are a few products where we have not increased the prices and notable soft drinks where we have actually reduced the price. Most 330ml cans of soft drinks will now be £1.00 rather than £1.05. The exception is Abbots Ginger Beer.

Adam Graham
Hon. Sec.

Further to my post back in May of this year, rowing has continued to grow, not only in numbers of participants, but also in our successes!

We attended Troon Regatta on 2nd June, where we managed to return with 2 Gold Medals! One for our Open Men crew and one for the Mixed 40+ crew. One of our newer members Derek also managed to bag himself 2nd place in the Surprise Sprint.



Next on the calendar was Arran Regatta on 16th June, where we achieved a Silver Medal for our Men’s Open and 2 Bronze Medals for the Mixed Open and Men’s 220+ (that’s a lot of years!!)

Next up……. Largs, 15th July. Our greatest success yet with 3 Gold Medals, 1 Silver Medal and the club’s Treasurer Liz McMahon in the winning crew of the Duncan Winning Challenge Race! This regatta also saw one of our newest members Angela winning her first medal in the Mixed Decades race. We were pipped by one point from winning the overall event.



Training went on all through August and into early September, only interrupted by the Exciseman’s Chase at Maidens on 8th Sept. This is a long distance race from Maidens Harbour to Gashouse Bay under Culzean Castle and back. A strong squad of 11 attended, enough for a full changeover at Gashouse Bay. Comments from other clubs and the event organisers identified Royal West as the clear favourites to claim the trophy, that we won the fist and second years the event was held.

Off the start the first leg crew was flying along. We turned the first mark and were heading West towards the second when disaster struck. Hugh broke his thole pin and, due to prep work for C2C, we were not carrying a spare. The oar was quickly lashed to the gunwhale and the crew continued to Gashouse Bay, but we had lost approx. 3mins. A decision was taken to leave Hugh using the makeshift oar for the return leg, unfortunately meaning Liz (Hon Treasurer) had to sit this out. The first leg team & Liz returned to Maidens to see how the lose of a thole pin had impacted on the overall result. Remarkably we finished 3rd of the 8 clubs entered. Troon (2nd) were 10 seconds faster and Arran (1st) 2mins 35 secs faster. But for the thole pin issue we may have one the event.

In the other racing that day Chippy performed well but unsuccessfully. One of our new members, Derek, was drawn in the winning FoCCRC skiff Saltire for the Patrick O’Rourke Memorial Race. Derek is rightly proud of this as his first competitive rowing win. Derek should also be credited as the photographer of a number of the exceptional images in this article.

With the excitement of our successful regatta season still at the forefront of our minds, we turned our attention to our biggest event of the year. Castle to Crane, 15th September 2018. This the biggest open water rowing race to be held in Scotland. 13 miles of fierce racing from Dumbarton Castle to the Finnieston Crane in the heart of Glasgow. The race is open to any fixed seat, coxed rowing boats of at least four oars. Last year saw 75 boats take part, of which Royal West had entered 2. This year we doubled that!

Former VP Alex Paterson put together a crew for Jollyboat Niaid which consisted of himself, Hugh Jamieson, George McCallum, Ali Wright and coxed by Gary Conner. Jollyboat Sprite was crewed by myself (Karen Graham), Adam Graham, Ronald Graham, Irene Hughes and coxed by Colin Campbell.

Our St Ayles Skiff Chippy McNish was crewed by Marie Paterson, Liz McMahon, Elaine Hunter, Karyn Donnachie, Angela Jones and Helen Hazlett. Henceforth to be known as the Royal West Princesses!
Our other Skiff Birdie Bowers was crewed by former VP Mat Henderson, Ian Clark, Robert Dowell, Lindsay Dowds and Julie Evans.

Conditions on the day were almost perfect, slightly overcast, relatively calm, incoming tide and south westerly wind. Sprite, Niaid and Chippy set off as boats 20, 21 and 23 in the first wave to leave the River Leven. Birdie, due to her category, was boat 66.

Setting off 1 minute 14 seconds behind Sprite, the Niaid crew gave themselves some work to do to catch the more experienced crew. The Niaid crews strength prevailed after 2 miles, when they managed to pass Sprite between Bowling and the Erskine Bridge. Both crews then progressed constantly through the fleet. Niaid crew had set themselves the challenge of beating the course record set last year. The Sprite crew had set the challenge to be sub 2 hours, taking at least 15 minutes off their time from last year. Both crews comfortably achieved their goals with Niaid setting the new course record of 1 Hour 50 minutes 35 seconds! Sprite completing the course in 1 hour 59 minutes 26 seconds. Only 7 boats of the 73 boats competing, finished the course in under 2 hours.

Chippy McNish, rowing in St Ayles Open Ladies category, crewed by our crack ladies (princess) team was 38th. Two of the ladies in this crew are new to rowing this year and for them to commit to an event of this scale was impressive. Their training involved weekend sessions, with one of them having to travel from Roseneath to do so. Your commitment ladies is inspiring and hats/tiaras off to you!

Birdie Bowers, rowing in the St Ayles Open Men’s category, with a squad including two 70+ members, was 42nd. Ian and Mat having been committed to encouraging coastal rowing at the club for so long were adamant that they were going to compete in this event again this year. They press ganged Robert Dowell into the crew again and must have caught Lindsay in a moment of weakness, convincing him it was a good idea too! Having found themselves a crew, they were still short a cox. In steps another new member, Julie Evans, who was only too happy to accept the challenge.

The club had 5 boats on the water that day, if we include the Royal West safety boat, crewed by our very own VP Heather Scott and Ewen Chisholm. They did a fantastic job marking the end of the fleet and escorting the last few boats to the finish. Thanks Heather and Ewen.

Much preparation went in to organising our participation in this event and this really was a team effort to get all 4 boats ready for the event. Many thanks to Hugh Jamieson for his endless hours of work on both the Jollyboats. The club now has 2 functioning Jollyboats which we can now hopefully use on a more regular basis and introduce our other members to the delights of rowing these beautiful boats. They were much admired when they were sitting on the hard at Sandpoint Marina!

Another thing much admired, was the outstanding contribution of other Royal West members to make this event such a great success. Our marshalling of boats on the Friday and Saturday at Sandpoint and the race start team were highly commended by the organisers and participants. Another great example of how the club can pull together to run or be involved in running fantastic events. On behalf of all who were on the water, we offer our sincere thanks to our onshore crew of Rose Sloan, Tom Kater, Willie Bell, George Carson, Derek Keatley, Ann McSeveney, Susie Clark, Joanna Dowell, Ross Dowell, Sarah Graham, Rebecca Graham and Joe Heffernen.

I’d like to say that I am now off to have a rest after all this excitement, but its not to be! The next 3 events in the rowing calendar are: Prestwick Regatta on 29th Sept, the Closing Cruise on the 13th October and the SCRA Freshwater Sprints at Loch Tummel on 27th October. Onwards and upwards!
Here’s to keeping the Royal West flag flying!

Karen Graham
Rowing Convenor

Hi all,

Our Beach Convenor has a pre-winter beach tidy planned for Saturday 29th September at 10am.

Any help to remove rubbish, as well as winterising the beach/grounds, would be appreciated.



Alex Workman’s photos are now accessible on the website complete with results


Interesting article. Might be of interest to a number of our members


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