After a number of years of service to the Club, either on Committee or helping to run events, Karen Graham had indicated earlier this year her intention to step down as Rowing Convenor at the AGM. When the Covid-19 pandemic struck in March, she agreed to continue in the role to help provide stability in what were turbulent and frightening times. As that storm has eased she feels it appropriate to step aside now and let her proposed successor, Karyn Donnachie, take the helm full time.

Karen Graham started rowing at the Club in the mid 90′s, competing in the numerous Scottish Jollyboat Championship events before winning her first international event, the Coxed Pairs at the 1999 Celtic Watersports Festival in Largs. Her re-engagement in competitive rowing back in 2010, when the Club helped found the SCRA, led to joining the Committee in March 2017.

Other than encouraging the growth of competitive rowing at the Club in the last few years she has also been involved in running a number of events at the Club or organising the teams to attend events all over Scotland. Her enthusiasm for all aspects of rowing at the Club led to the inhouse refurbishment of two of our four Jollyboats, to make them seaworthy for the Castle to Crane races. Due to her encouragement the Club again had the largest entry at this event last year, with two Jollyboats and two St. Ayles Skiffs. We also provided two of the safety boats and the Start Line Team.

Karen organised and took a team of 20 to represent the Club at the Skiffie World Championships last year. Most of the crews made their event finals, one of them only just missed out on the medals by a few seconds. The entire team plus all the accompanying family and friends had a fantastic time there for a week. Credit must go to Karen for taking the Club to a new level.

Since Karyn Donnachie was co-opted onto Committee earlier in the year she has been working with Karen Graham in order to maintain continuity. Karen will continue to provide Karyn with support in the coming months as we start to get back out rowing and will remain an integral part of the competitive rowing group at the Club.

More than 300 Outings have been logged since we re-opened the Sheds on the 30th May and a few refreshments partaken in the Clubhouse in the last month – it’s been great to see so many Members back enjoying the Club and made all the hard work worthwhile.

However, we are still in Phase 3 and the Committee would ask that you take the time to re-familiarise yourself with the current procedures that are in place before your next visit. Check back through this news page for these.

We aspire for the Royal West to be a model of responsible activity during this pandemic. We all have a responsibility to achieve this. Our actions, as seen by the wider community, influence others and have an impact on the reputation of the RWSABC. Please be aware of this in everything you do while down at the Boat Club.


If you wish to make use of the Club, then you must understand and adhere to the procedures set out – failure to do so may result in activities being suspended or the Clubhouse being closed until Phase 4.

• Use the hand gel as you arrive and before you open any doors or touch any equipment
• Buoyancy Aids, Cags and Spraydecks must be taken home with you
• Physical distancing of 2 metres between households AT ALL TIMES
• A maximum of 2 in any shed at any one time
• A maximum of 4 people on the hard and 2 in the repair area
• A maximum of 2 down by the Boathouse and 4 on the beach
• A maximum of 8 on the water from 5 households
• You can use the Toilets but not the Changing rooms or Showers
• Please remember to take all your kit, water bottles with you and bin your rubbish!
• Use of the sporting facilities & Club equipment is for MEMBERS ONLY
• We would also ask you not to post photos on the Club Facebook pages that do not comply with the current rules on group sizes or physical distancing

• Use the hand gel as you arrive
• Maximum group size is 6
• Maximum of 3 households in any one group
• Physical distancing of 2 metres between households AT ALL TIMES
• The Clubhouse is open to Members and their household members – NO GUESTS
• Always follow the one-way system
• Sign in everyone in your party, along with the time of arrival
• Return your Glasses to the bar before you leave
• Use the antiseptic sprays that are on each of the tables

If you have any questions concerning the procedures, please contact a Member of the Committee

On Saturday 8th August, 3 swimmers left the Royal West beach at 3:15 PM to begin a 3 km swim to Fox Street and back along the Esplanade. The first swimmer to arrive back at the Boat Club was Gerard Malone with a time of 0:49:33. Ally Robb was second with a time of 0:57:40 and Colin Campbell was third with a time of 0:59:40 Congratulations to all swimmers for participating and successfully completing the swim!

Conditions at the time of the swim were excellent with calm conditions. The water temperature in the Clyde was 16 degC.

The event was limited to members of the Royal West of Scotland Amateur Boat Club due to COVID restrictions.

Pictured below from left to right are Colin, Gerry and Ally.

For Colin Campbell this was the 7th time he participated in the RWSABC Clyde Swims to date. He is the only person who has taken part in every RWSABC Clyde Swim. These swims took place in 2013, 2014, 2015, 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020.

Gerard Malone is a 4-time champion of the RWSABC Clyde Swim. In 2015 and 2019 he was the fastest swimmer in the event. In the 2018 event he swam in the event without a wetsuit and won the male non wetsuit class.

Ally Robb has participated in 5 RWSABC Clyde Swims in 2015, 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020.

This was the third time that the Event was an Esplanade Swim.  In 2014 and 2015 the event was also run along the Esplanade due to weather conditions making a Clyde crossing unsafe.

There was a problem with the Boathouse door recently. It was stuck locked and it was found the that snib was ‘ON’ keeping it from being unlocked.

Also, the Boathouse door lock has a ‘deadbolt’ feature. This feature should be used when you leave the Boathouse as it improves security. To lock the deadbolt, turn the key one full turn anti-clockwise.

The following reminder has been placed on the door.


There have been updates to the COVID Procedures for Water Sports.

A new set of Procedures has been written to cover the full opening of the Clubhouse and Bar.

The main changes for Water Sports are:

Up to 5 households with a maximum Group size of 8 (but the restriction of 4 on the hard and launching/landing remains the same)
Boats and paddles are no longer to be tagged and restricted to a single person (however they must be cleaned before and after your outing with soap)
You may use the toilets but changing rooms are still not to be used

The most recent water sports procedures can be found at the link shown below:

RWSABC COVID Water Sports Phase 3 Procedures Most Current Version <– This is the link to current Water Sports COVID procedures

There are new procedures to cater for the opening of the Clubhouse and Bar.

RWSABC COVID Bar and Clubhouse Phase 3 Procedures Most Current Version <– This is the link to the current Beer Garden COVID procedures

Please review these as you are expected to be aware and follow the Procedures.

Thank you for taking the time to keep up to date.

Keep Safe!

RWSABC Committee


Please see below a short video demonstrating how to use the Club Bar in the coming couple of weeks.

Brilliantly Filmed again by Karen Radford, with the help of some vagrant Members as extras.

The formal guidance will be published later tonight.

Trust everyone who made use of the Beer Garden at the weekend enjoyed themselves. It was great to see people in the real world again, using the Club for more than sports. Adherence to the guidance was great. Understand the video helped, as well as adding some entertainment.

As relaxations of the Scottish Government restrictions continue we have been working on a plan for the re-opening of the internal spaces for seating. The formal guidance and another video will be published in the coming days, ahead of our planned opening internally on Thursday 16th July at 8pm.

For the remainder of July we plan to open the following hours;
Thursday 8pm – 11pm
Friday 5pm – 10pm
Saturday 2pm – 10pm
Sunday 3pm – 7pm

Thank you for your continued support.

Look forward to seeing you on the water and about the Club.


Adam Graham
Hon. Sec.

There have been updates to the COVID Procedures for the Beer Garden and Water Sports at the Royal West.

The only change for Water Sports is that 4 households may now go on an outing together.  The maximum group size remains the same at 4 persons.

The most recent water sports procedures can be found at the link shown below:

RWSABC COVID Phase 2 Procedures V5 updated 10 July  <– This is the link to current Water Sports COVID procedures

There has also been an update to the procedures for the opening of the Beer Garden.  The change here, compared to previous versions, is to allow group sizes of up to 6 persons.  These groups must be limited to a maximum of 4 households.

RWSABC COVID Bar and Clubhouse Initial Opening Procedures V3 <– This is the link to the current Beer Garden COVID procedures

Thank you for taking the time to keep up to date with the changing procedures.  Keep Safe!

RWSABC Committee


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