Recently Hugh Kerr asked if the Club would consider awarding the Jen Duncan Memorial Trophy to the first woman to finish the Tail o’ the Bank LD Kayak Race in the future. The Committee fully supported this suggestion.

Hugh has subsequently been involved in a Facebook Challenge that led him to post these relevant images.

Festive Season opening hours

Mon 23rd – Closed as normal for winter hours
Tues 24th – Open but only from 8pm-10:30pm to allow staff home for midnight
Christmas Day – CLOSED
Boxing Day – CLOSED

Frid 27th – Open normal hours
Sat 28th – Open normal hours
Sun 29th – Open normal hours
Mon 30th – Closed as normal for winter hours
Hogmanay – Open as normal but extended to 2am
New Year’s Day – Hall open in the afternoon for New Year Day Swim ONLY
Thurs 2nd Jan – CLOSED

Frid 3rd Jan – Return to normal winter hours

Please note the changes to the regular hours that are in bold above.

For the 2nd year running the Management Committee has taken the decision to ticket this event due to its ever increasing popularity….

However, this year we are going to give you the option of letting us know whether you would like to sit in the Hall or in the Bar, also if you wish to sit in the company of other specific Members.

The List will be available at the Bar from 5pm on Friday 22nd November.

In order to make the process a bit fairer we have a few Terms & Conditions.
1. Tickets are £5.00 per adult/child. Inclusion on the list will only be made when payment is received. (If your child takes up a seat then they need to be paid for)
2. Members must buy the tickets in person from the Bar, they cannot be reserved and paid for later.
3. Members are restricted to 6 tickets each, including themselves.
4. Member buying the tickets must be present on the night to sign in their guests and remain with them for the duration of the evening.
5. If, after you have purchased your tickets, you find you cannot attend, please let us know and we will attempt to resell them to via Waiting List.
6. We will have a Waiting List running, so if you want up to another four tickets add your name to that too.
7. As our Licence precludes children from sitting in the Bar, groups with children will automatically be allocated seats in the Hall. Please indicate on the list if there are children in the group.
8. We will let you know where you will be sitting prior to the event.

Points to note.
a) All guests must be signed in by a Member.
b) No children are allowed in the Bar.
c) The Bar will close between 11:50pm and 00:10am to allow the Bar Staff to see in the Bells

All the proceeds from the ticket sales will go towards various projects around the Club.

A few months ago, following an update to Committee about what was planned for the coming weeks, Tom Kater suggested that it would maybe constitute an interesting article on the website. It would let the membership understand how busy the clubhouse can be.

Below are organised events over the last week.
Wed 23rd Oct. Management Committee meeting. Bar open
Thurs 24th Oct. Boat loading for SCRA Freshwater Sprints. Bar open
Frid 25th Oct. Team head to Pitlochry for Freshwater Sprints. Boat Club Session. Bar open
Sat 26th Oct. Team attend Freshwater Sprints at Loch Tummel SC. Ukulele Session. Wedding photos taken at Club. Member hosted 21st birthday party. Bar open
Sun 27th Oct. Bar open
Mon 28th Oct. No activity
Tues 29th Oct. Weightwatchers. Re-arrangement of rowing boats for winter storage. Rowing cardio training commenced. Coastal navigation course started. Bar open

There have also been outings on or in the water by members.

This coming weekend is also very busy with November Movie Night on Friday, a First Aid course on Sat & Sun and Fireworks on Saturday night.

Tom Kater & Paul Edgar are arranging Winter Talks to commence in late January. Make sure you keep Wednesday nights free so you don’t miss these very informative talks.

If you can think of something that the members might find interesting on these dark winter nights please talk to one of the Committee members to see if we can accommodate it.

Set next to the beautiful Loch Tummel in the heart of Perthshire the Scottish Coastal Rowing Association hosted their end of season Freshwater Sprints last Saturday at Loch Tummel Sailing Club. This has been the venue for the last four years as it is relatively central for all the coastal clubs in Scotland. It is also a stunning location with great facilities.

The racing is in five regional teams plus St. Kilda, that is made up of rowers arranged on the day from all the other regions. Royal West is part of the SW Region. This stretches from Annan to Glasgow, includes the clubs on the islands in the Clyde and the Irish.

Three clubs shared the role as team captain this year. Vikki from Wigtown, Mel from FoCCRC and Karen from Royal West put together the crews and organised things during the day.

As well as racing St. Ayles Skiffs over a short sprint course in six lanes with a buoy turn, there was also a couple of straight sprint races that Royal West entered Sixteen number 15 into. This is named the Picnic Class

Unfortunately the SW regional boat suffered a few major equipment breakages, the first during the first race when we were in contention for first place. Over the day we broke a thole pin, two tillers, a foot rest and finally an oar. Not withstanding this we managed a first place and a few seconds. We finished 4th of the 6 regions.

In the Picnic Class the Club managed two 2nd places. Adam Graham finishing just behind a boat called Pascal from RowPorty. Karyn Donnachie got off to a slow start in the ladies race in the building head wind. At one point she nearly lost her oar, but quickly got into her stride and came back from fourth to finish second, ahead of Pascal from RowPorty. The combined scores achieved by Royal West from the two races was the same as the score achieved by RowPorty, meaning that they share the trophy again, as they did in 2017.

The trophy will be back on display in the clubhouse shortly.

Racing season might be over for another year but winter training & boat repairs have started. There is work to be done about the Club but also with other local clubs in encouraging them to build, row and compete. Should be a productive winter this year again in many aspects of life at the Club.

The Club will be represented this weekend at the Scottish Coastal Rowing Association end of season Freshwater Sprints event held at Loch Tummel Sailing Club.

Twelve members will form one quarter of the regional team being co-captained by the Club’s Rowing Convenor Karen Graham. As well as competing in St. Ayles Skiff races the Club is also hoping to retain the Picnic Class Trophy, won the past two years by Karyn Donnachie & Adam Graham.

Racing starts at 10am and continues until approx. 4:30pm if any other members interested in attending to spectate.

Following the racing the association holds its AGM, at which the Club will also be represented.

Our clubhouse is also busy this weekend with the October Boat Club Session on Friday, a Ukulele session on Saturday afternoon, one of our members is getting married on Saturday and will be using the clubhouse for photos. Then there is a private function on Saturday night.

Watch out for another article about the Club in the Greenock Telegraphy tomorrow.

Never a dull moment at the Club!!!

Friday 25th October – Boat Club Session
Saturday 26th October – Fresh Water Sprints, Loch Tummel

Friday 1st November – Movie Night
Saturday 2nd November – Bonfire & Fireworks
Sunday 10 November – Remembrance Sunday Service at Wellpark Mid-Kirk @ 10:30 for 10:45am
Friday 22nd November – Barrie Kelly & the Ten Gallon Bratz @ 8pm
Friday 29th November – Boat Club Session

Friday 13th December – Boat Club Session
Saturday 21st December – Christmas Movie Night
Tuesday 31st December – ***Hogmanay*** music by the Hogmanay Hooligans…

Wednesday 1st January – New Year’s Day Swim @ 2pm

If you would like any further information on any of the events please contact the Sporting Convenor or a member of the Committee

Overlooked by the castle with the longest recorded history of any stronghold in Scotland, a fleet of fixed seat rowing boats gather last Saturday at Sandpoint Marina, opposite the site of the historic Denny’s Shipyard. A yard famous for the Cutty Sark, SS Sir Walter Scott and TS Queen Mary.

Fitting then that this was the launch site for Castle to Crane 2019. The third year this spectacular fixed seat rowing race has been staged and the third year that the Club has entered as well as been prominent in organising the launch site & start.

Seventy-five boats gathered from as far south as Sidmouth in Cornwall and as far North as Kirkwall on Orkney. We also had a boat over from Strangford in Northern Ireland. The organisers expected a slump in participants due to the high level of commitment put into the Skiffie Worlds in July, however, even with a number of overseas clubs not attending, there were actually more boats this year.

The Club provided the large majority of the “meet & greet” team throughout Friday. This team booked in the arriving boats and issued registration packs. They also assisted in offloading boats and making the arriving crews welcome. It was made more difficult this year by the incredibly good weather. Sun cream and hats on a very warm and sunny September day. The team this year included Mat, Karen G, Karyn D, Rose, Helen, Ronald, Adam, Marie, Alex & Ian. From 10am-9pm the team were always cheery, but in the end weary.  They was also a couple of lovely enthusiastic ladies from Burghead.

Saturday morning brought a few more boats but a lot more people. On average each boat had a crew of five, so we were expecting in excess of 375 people at Sandpoint before the start at 11am. As busses had been laid on from The Transport Museum this flood arrived almost at once. Incredible to see the waves of people getting off the busses in the marina and heading to the toilets, breakfast van and then their boats. There were also a lot of supporters and locals, as well as the press. The marina had a very lively and energetic buzz about it ahead of the Coxes Brief.

Having briefed the coxes and crews, Robbie Wightman (SCRA Convenor) wished all the crews well and proceeded to brief the rescue boat crews. As well as having entered four competing boats in the race again this year, the Club and its members also provided two of the safety boats. The Club’s RHIB and a RHIB Phil Jones borrowed from Briggs Marine. The size and power of this boat turned a few heads. The Club members who provided safety cover (Heather (VP), Ewen, Paul & Phil) are to be commended, especially for their patience with some of the slower crews.

As in previous years the Club provided the start line team. This year it consisted of Al (Past VP), Shelagh, Hugh and Karen B. Although very new to the Club Karen B has been very enthusiastic, so we needed to find her a role. As Al, Shelagh & Hugh were concentrating on starting and timing Karen B & her husband George were the buffer between them and the supporters who had gathered to watch the start. The team did a remarkable job and were commended by the organisers for their accuracy and efficiency.

The race itself takes crews from a line across the mouth of the River Leven, below the castle, up to a line across the River Clyde at the Finnieston Crane. On the way up it passes the sites of all the major Upper Clyde Shipyards, some now redeveloped such as John Brown in Clydebank, others still in use such as Yarrows at Scotstoun. It passes under the Erskine Bridge, around the Renfrew Ferry who was cutting through the fleet and over the Clyde Tunnel. It passes from one of the oldest of Scotland’s Castles to the heart of one of Scotland’s most vibrant cities. Finishing beside the broadcasting hub that is Pacific Quay and just East of The Science Centre. One of the ships passed on the course is the TS Queen Mary, now under refurbishment at the quayside adjacent to the Science Centre. This beautiful ship was built at Denny’s and launched in 1933.

So 11am arrives and the first boat sets off on the race to Finnieston.

Royal West boats started at positions 23 (Chippy, Open women St. Ayles), 36 (Sprite, Mixed four oared other), 27 (Naiad, Men’s four oared other) & 44 (Birdie, Open St. Ayles).

The ladies in Chippy had gone to a good amount of effort again this year to decorate the boat and dress for the race. Having been nicknamed the Princesses they took this to extremes. Karyn, Angela, Liz, Marie (Hon. Treasurer) & Elaine can be seen below ready to launch.

Sprite’s crew had a couple of fresh faces in it this year. Karen G & Adam were joined by Helen & George to form a Mixed crew. Helen had rowed previously at Loch Lomond ARC before joining Royal West a few years ago. George had been replaced in the Men’s jollyboat this year and needed a seat. The fifth member again this year was Colin at cox. His knowledge and understanding being worth another oarsman.

Naiad’s crew also had a new member this year. Ronald replaced George in bow to help channel the crew’s power & enthusiasm. Alex (Past VP), Shug, Ali (who travelled from Chester to train & compete) & Ronald were coxed by Gary again this year. They had been training for some months with a target of improving on the course record they set last year.

Birdies’ crew comprised some of the oldest competitive rowers in the Club as well as some of the newest. Mat(Past VP), Ian, Rose (Subs), Julie & Karen R had also been putting in the hours for months to get ready for this event. Their determination was commented on by the safety boat crews.

The Easterly wind that had been predicted was stronger than expected and no new records were set. Heading from the Leven to Erskine Bridge was a slog that few will want to repeat soon, but once into the relative calm east of the bridge progress was less demanding.

Naiad’s progress through the fleet was quite remarkable. Having set off 37th they were the 5th boat to cross the line and recorded the fastest time on the day at 2hrs 13mins 19secs.

Sprite did not perform quite as well as last year, however still managed to be the 18th boat across the line and finished 11th overall and 3rd in category. Time 2hrs 36mins 9secs

Chippy was 34th across the line, finished 54th overall but 9th in category. Time 3hrs 17mins 5secs

Birdie was 74th over the line but 70th overall and 28th in category. Their time was 3hrs 45mins 41secs

As well as picking up the Four Oared Other trophy again this year we have also received a lot of thanks from participants and event organisers for our support of the event.

Credit for the photos go to Alex Workman and Steve Thomson. Possibly Ewen for the last one

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