The Virtual Surfski / Kayak Race continues until the end of October.

Participants can set their own courses on the sea, loch, or lake. Routes must start and finish at the same place to minimise the effect of wind, tidal stream or current.

The course you do can be 5 or 10 Kilometres on Home Waters.

Further information can be found here:

Current results as of 20:00 on Saturday 17 October are shown below.

All Royal West Kayakers are encouraged to participate!

Inverclyde is an area with ‘Local Restrictions’ related to COVID.
The Royal West has procedures in place to provide for the minimisation of risk arising from COVID while undertaking, kayaking, open water swimming, rowing, and sailing.
These procedures can be found at <- Click to open new window showing the current COVID procedures
A distinction in these procedures is made between FORMAL and INFORMAL outings.  FORMAL outings are defined as those activities that are scheduled by one of the RWSABC Sporting Discipline Conveners. A record of those participating will be kept for the purposes of Test and Protect. The Test and Protect Register will be maintained by Joe Heffernan in the role of COVID Officer for the Royal West.  Unless otherwise informed by a Sporting Convener or the COVID Officer all outings should be assumed to be INFORMAL.

For INFORMAL Outings:

  •  A maximum of 2 households can be present with a maximum of 6
  • 2m Social Distancing between members of different households is always to be maintained
In keeping with tradition there will be a Closing Cruise 2020 (conditions permitting) to celebrate sporting activity during this most exceptional of seasons.  However, with COVID restrictions there will have to be some changes compared to previous years.
The changes that are going to be put in place are:
  1. Participants are require to book a place on the Closing Cruise.  This is to allow the ‘Field of Play Bubbles’ registers to be prepared before the event.
  2. Numbers may be limited.  The maximum number that can be in a ‘Field of Play Bubble’ is 30 persons.  It is expected that there may be several different ‘Field of Play Bubbles’ for the different disciplines and craft.  Places will be allocated on a first come first served basis.  Information on how to book a place is provided below.  There is a chance that some people wishing to attend the Closing Cruise will be told that they cannot attend as the event is over subscribed.  Please understand that we don’t want to do this but there are limitations associated with the Royal West’s intention to be responsible club with the interest of Members and the Community in our hearts.
  3. You will be allocated a time to undertake your preparation and launching.  This is to avoid large groupings forming.
  4. Return and landing will need to be staggered to avoid large groups forming.
Weather dependent options:

Option 1 with good conditions: Paddlers, rowers and sailors leave from Club (during their allocated time slot) with packed lunch to land on a beach for a socially distanced picnic
Option 2 if conditions are not so good:  Paddlers, rowers and sailors leave from the Club (during their allocated time slot) for a 1 to 2 hour excursion without stops returning to the Boat Club

Option 3 if conditions are poor: Closing Cruise will be cancelled.
COVID requirements

This event can take place under a ‘field of play bubble’.  There will be multiple bubbles for paddlers, rowers and sailors.  A register will be taken listing all who attend for Test and Protect.  This event is limited to members only.
To assist with the organisation of this event please send an email to: make the subject line: ‘Closing Cruise’.  List the names of the people who expect to attend and indicate whether they will be paddling, rowing or sailing.  You must send your email no later than 4:00pm on Friday, 2 October.
During the course of the week leading up to Saturday you will be kept informed via email with instructions.  Final Instructions will be issued on the evening of Friday, 2 October.
If you have questions about the above please contact Joe Heffernan via email –

Virtual Surfski / Sea Kayak Races – October 2020
5 or 10 Kilometres on Home Waters

As a result of Covid-19, the Tail o’ the Bank Race had to be cancelled this year. However, as an alternative, Royal West is inviting entries for virtual races in October.

Participants can set their own courses on the sea, loch, or lake. Routes must start and finish at the same place to minimise the effect of wind, tidal stream or current.

Entries should be recorded during October and emailed to with the heading Virtual Race and must specify:
Name / Male or Female / Distance / Craft used / Time taken (mins. & secs.)
Participants must attach evidence of their course, and time, by way of a screenshot from Garmin, Strava, Endomondo, or another recognised GPS tracker.

The course must be completed continuously. It is the overall elapsed time that counts. Competitors are not permitted to stop recording until the relevant distance has been covered.

Paddlers are asked to submit entries shortly after completion to ease maintenance of a leaderboard and to provide an incentive of times to beat. There is no entry fee nor limit on entries, so individuals can have as many attempts as they wish.

Participants are encouraged to send photos on the understanding that Royal West may use them for publicity purposes. However, photos are not essential.

Royal West will collate the entries and post an updated leaderboard weekly under the ‘News’ tab on the RWSABC website and on the RWSABC Kayakers’ Facebook page. All entries must be lodged by midnight (GMT) on 31st October 2020. Winners will be announced in early November and the final results posted as aforementioned.

Entries in each race distance will be split into four categories:

Surfskis and Fast Sea Kayaks (Male)

Surfskis and Fast Sea Kayaks (Female)

Conventional Sea Kayaks (Male)

Conventional Sea Kayaks (Female)

Categorisation of craft will be determined solely by the Royal West.

Medals and certificates will be sent by royal mail to the category winners (5k and 10k). Certificates of Completion will be sent by e-mail to every entrant.

Safety and responsibility:
• The nature of the event is such that the Royal West cannot accept responsibility for any incident that might occur.
• Please ensure you are properly prepared and only paddle in conditions, and in a locale, you are comfortable with.
• Do not paddle solo, unless it is something you often do.
• Carry a means of calling for help. (VHF, Mobile ‘phone, Whistle, PLB).
• Safety is your responsibility. If in any doubt, do not paddle.

Any questions relating to the event should be sent to

There will be plenty of nice days in October, so let’s get out and log a few entries!

Royal West rowers are taking part in the Castle to Crane: 5 Miles from Home challenge this weekend.  This is a virtual running of the Castle to Crane over a 5 mile course in each team’s home waters.  Teams from around the world will be participating.  Each team will report their times to the organiser so that the fastest fixed seat rowers can be recognised for their achievements. Royal West has entered 5 Boats in this event.

First to go on Friday (18 September) at 5pm is Ronald Graham, Adam Graham and Hugh Jamieson crewing pair no 11. On Saturday (19 September)  Jollyboat Naiad takes to the water at 2.15pm with crew Gary Connor, Alex Paterson, Ali Wright, Hugh Jamieson and Ronald Graham. On Sunday (20 September) Chippy McNish sets off at 10am with Elaine Hunter, Carron McKee, Rose Sloan, Hugh Jamieson and Karyn Donnachie on board. Also keep an eye out for Colin Campbell and Adam Graham taking to the water (separately) in the sixteen!

Wish our competitors well and hope for good rowing conditions.

On the evening of Wednesday, 16th September draws were made for the Winners of the RWSABC 200 Club by Rose Sloan in the socially distanced presence of Heather Scott, Joe Heffernan and Marie Paterson.  These were the first draws since the draw in January 2020 due to COVID Restrictions. Shown below are the results of these draws for each month from February until August.  The 200 Club provides useful funds to support the Royal West.

Congratulations to all winners!

The beach to the west of the Boat House is closed while work is undertaken to build the gabion wall.  All members are required to stay out of this area until the work is completed.

Today significant changes have been announced by the Scottish Government concerning COVID restrictions.  The Royal West has updated our guidance and you can find a link to this guidance below.

Concerning ‘Informal’ water sports which are those not organised by a sporting convener the new restrictions are:

  • No more than 2 households in a group with the maximum number in the group limited to 6

Concerning the use of the Clubhouse the new restrictions are:

  • No more than 2 households in a group with the maximum number in the group limited to 6
  • Facemasks to be worn at all times inside the Clubhouse when you are not drinking or eating

Our ‘Formal’ Activities such as the organised Kayaking, Rowing and Swimming activities are exempt from these new restrictions.

You can find the full Guidance for Water Sports at the Link shown below

Click here to go to the Water Sport COVID procedures

You can find the full Guidance for the use of the Clubhouse at the Link shown below

Click here to go to the full Clubhouse COVID procedures

Failure to comply with the procedures could result in the Club/Club house being closed, if you feel that you cannot adhere (or are unwilling to adhere) please refrain from using the Club/Clubhouse at this time.

We ask you to play your part in keeping the spread of COVID at bay by following the procedures.  The Scottish Government has made their guidance mandatory from Monday, 14 September but we request that you follow the new procedures immediately.

Thank You.

It is with regret that we announce that Adam Graham has stepped down from his role as the Honorary Secretary of the Royal West, effective immediately. Adam had intended to take this action at the AGM scheduled for March, but this did not happen due to the impossibility of holding an AGM in these COVID times. He has worked tirelessly for the best interests of the Club and has been down at the Club practically every day since lockdown started.
Adam first joined the Committee in 1995 as Captain of Boats. Since then he has held many roles including Vice President and for the last 10 years, he has been the Honorary Secretary. He was instrumental in helping to set up the Scottish Coastal Rowing Association and introducing St. Ayles Skiffs to the Royal West.
Adam will be sorely missed given his long experience and competence. Joe Heffernan has agreed to take on the duties of Honorary Secretary and hopes that the Membership will approve of this change when we are finally able to have an AGM.
A full listing of all the things that Adam has done for the Royal West would fill a book, but the Committee fully understands and supports his decision. The Committee is immensely grateful for his past contributions.  We will formally recognise his years of service when the AGM takes place so that the membership can formally recognise his role in the continuing success of the Royal West.

We wish him and Karen joy and contentment as life carries them forward.

It is with deepest regret that we intimate the passing of Captain Allan MacFeate on Saturday 5th September 2020.

Allan loved coming along to the Club with his son Derek and two grandchildren.

The procession will leave from the family home on The Esplanade on Thursday 17th September at 1230Hrs to the RWSABC (1235hrs), Greenock Wanderers Rugby Club (1240Hrs), the Cricket Club (1245Hrs) then Greenock Crematorium for a Private service

Heather I. Scott

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