The Tail o’ the Bank

Between 1976 and 2003 the RWSABC hosted a sea kayak race around the Clyde Estuary.  Unfortunately the popularity of sea kayak racing fell away and the race stopped.  In recent years sea kayak and surf ski racing is firmly back on the agenda.  The clubs 150th birthday saw the return of this event. Following the success of the 2016 race we plan to run it again in 2017.  The date has not yet been set.

The Course

Over the 28 years that the Tail o’ the Bank was run there were a couple of different courses used.  The planned course that will be used this year will be the same as the last time the event was run, at this stage it is subject to approval by Estuary Control.  This will be from the beach at the club heading north to a Perch, turning east towards the wreck of the Captayannis, and back to the club.  The race will be two laps with the exception of the novice category which will be a single lap.  Each lap of the course is approximately 5 miles.

The start / finish line will be formed by two markers dropped parallel to the beach. All participants will start from the beach side of the line formed by the two marks, this does not necessarily mean between the marks.  The east most of the two marks will be the turning mark for the start of the second lap of the race.

Classes of boats

As with the Forth Challenge there will be two classes of boats.  Sea kayaks designed for racing such as the Rockpool Taran, the Epic 18 and the Tiderace Pace along with Surf Skis will constitute a Performance class.  Traditional sea boats such as Nordkapps and Tidarace Explorers will form the Cruiser class.  In addition to these two classes there will also be a Novice category.  This category is limited to paddlers who have never raced before and will be restricted to plastic sea boats.

Location / Facilities

The club is located at the west end of the Esplanade in Greenock, the address and map can be found under the About tab on this web site.

The club does not have a private car park but there is extensive on street parking next to the club.

Launching and recovery of boats will be via the club’s private beach.  There is easy access to the club’s beach via a gated entrance.

Both male and female changing facilities with showers are available at the club and all participants are welcome to make use of them.

There is limited space behind the club that could, by arrangement, be used for overnight camping on Friday the 2nd of September or after the race on the 3rd of September.  If you wish to make use of this please email captain@rwsabc.com. Please be aware that space is limited.

The club is lucky enough to have a small bar on the premises.  Participants are welcome to make use of the bar after the race and into Saturday evening.

Race Rules

  1. All boats must be seaworthy with sealed buoyancy sections or fixed buoyancy. The buoyancy must be capable of supporting both the craft and paddler.
  2. All paddlers wear an approved, CE marked Personal Flotation Device.
  3. All paddlers must carry a compass and a whistle.
  4. All participants are required to hold Third Party Indemnity insurance.  Suitable coverage is provided  by membership of the Scottish Canoe Association or the affiliated country organisations (BCU, WCA & CANI). Competitors who are not members of the SCA or one of the affiliated organisations can obtain suitable coverage by obtaining a day membership of the SCA on the day of the event. This will be at a cost of £5 payable on the day.  Please note, members of the RWSABC competing in club owned boats will be insured under the clubs insurance.  Club members competing it their own boats will be required to obtain Third Party Indemnity.

How to enter

Once the date has been set there will be an online registration form available.

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