We are delighted to bring you the first instalment of our brand new newsletter – aiming to deliver recent goings on, and some upcoming activity that is not to be missed! Covering sailing and social and other noteworthy club news, we hope you enjoy this newsletter and look forward to the remainder of the year here at the RNCYC.
At the beginning of the 2017 season, things kicked off with the usual Tuesday night Gareloch racing for GoD, Piper and Sonar classes. The Lomond School kids joined in to help crew and improve their racing skills. It was the usual mixture of beautiful sunsets, shifty breezes and typical west coast weather that saw through the spring and summer series.
The British Keelboat League (BKL) Q2 qualifier descended on the club at the end of April for a weekend of fleet racing in the Sonars, with winners progressing to the finals in Cowes in the autumn. It was a fantastic weekend of racing in some quite tricky conditions (two masts needed some serious TLC by the end of the Sunday’s racing). RNCYC teams finished in first and second, with a team from the Scottish Keelboat Academy finishing in third. We had teams representing Glasgow University, SSS and London Corinthian Sailing Club join for the event.
In May, the club engaged with the RYA Push The Boat Out initiative, inviting prospective members to tour the clubhouse, speak to members and try their hand at sailing. It was a greatly enjoyed day and we are happy to report that we have had some attendees join as a result! The GoD class entertained friends from the Freundeskreis Klassische Yachten. The team-racing was very close, but the Gareloch class just won 4-3. Stewart Gibb and team edged to victory in Class 3 on Kariba in The Scottish Islands Peaks Race, finishing just 2 minutes before the second place team. It was also fantastic to see lots of RNCYC members competing in the Scottish Series – Jamie McGarry and the Eala crew took the overall trophy, which was a great achievement.
In July, we ran the DRB Marine 2-boat team-racing championship. It was good to see an RNCYC team finish second between two very strong Royal Thames Yacht Club teams training for the BA Cup. The month also saw the Gareloch Worlds; an extremely competitive weekend for nine of the class boats competing in six races. Commodore Charles Darley (Catriona) paid a high price for an incident on the start line in race 4, leaving Iain MacGillivray (Teal) to take victory with an impressively consistent series.
The club regatta in August, held in conjunction with Lomond School’s 40th anniversary celebration, was a great success. There was racing over two days on the East Patch, and an orienteering non-racing challenge for those not racing. You can read the full report from Sailing Secretary Carolyn Normand here. The final week of August brought Largs Regatta Week in the RC35 Class – well done to Charlie Frize and Debbie and Kevin Atiken in their sterling performances in the RC35 Class.
Into autumn and September offered plenty excitement: the two teams who won at the BKL Q2 qualifier travelled to the British Keelboat League finals in Cowes, finishing in the top half of a high quality fleet; Ali Mo and Robyn Fitzgerald came 3rd in the RYA Women's Match Racing Championships; the Club Gareloch series concluded; and the weekend of the GSS was so exhilarating, even the bar floor couldn’t cope. The Club also took part in the annual Doors Open Day. John Reid, our Archivist, has spent a tremendous amount of time and effort cataloguing historical documents and artefacts belonging to the club. Some of the finer pieces in our collection were on display to the public, a brilliant way to showcase the Club’s place in local and maritime history.
Some RNCYC representatives travelled Stateside in September; first, Laura Cammidge attended the Blind Sailing 2017 Blind Fleet Racing World Championship at Sheboygan, Wisconsin with GBR Blind Sailing. Laura secured a brilliant result, helming her crew to first in the B3 Fleet Racing Division. We are very excited to be in consideration for hosting the World Sailing Blind Match Racing Championship in Summer 2018 – more information will be circulated around the membership on this progress. A team travelled to Seawanhaka Corinthian Yacht Club to compete in the Islands International Challenge Cup; an educational week two boat team racing against some experienced competitors, the RNCYC representatives had a great week on Long Island Sound.
October played host to the Ceilidh Cup match-racing event, sailed in the Sonar fleet; the weekend finished with RNCYC in 1st and 2nd, and St. Andrews as the first University team in 3rd. It also marked the end the very successful junior sailing season, with over 30 cadets taking part in Thursday evening sailing over the course of the year. At the 2017 Laser European Championships, Lorenzo Chiavarini finished in a fantastic 7th place, and as second Brit in the fleet.
Unfortunately, our friends from the Royal Thames Yacht Club and the Royal St George Yacht Club were not able to attend the Millennium Bowl due to be hosted by us in October, but they will travel to Rhu for some three-boat team racing in the spring instead. We joined in the nation-wide charity initiative and hosted an RNLI Fish Supper to raise funds for our local Helensburgh and Rhu Lifeboat branch; fish and chips, followed by a quiz (decided by a three-way tie-breaker!) made for a really fun night and a great precursor to the inaugural Rear Commodore’s Challenge. The Challenge provided an opportunity for some more informal team racing, with short, sharp races and swapping pairs each time – it is an event that would be welcome again next year.
By November, we found ourselves at the end of the season. A fabulous Laying Up Supper, Prize Giving and New Members Evening to celebrate the fantastic achievements of our members and a chance to fully welcome those who have joined this year was enjoyed by many. Congratulations must be extended to all our sailors and volunteers this year, without whom we would not be able to continue in the same fashion as in 2017 - a full list of all prizes awarded will be available on the club website in due course.
With the winter months drawing in, it is bitter-sweet to say goodbye to another successful sailing season, however, be sure there is plenty of action at the club to tide you over…
Applications have now closed for the Scottish Keelboat Academy 2017-2018 Programme, which will see its coaching weekends begin in mid-November, continuing until March 2018. Sailors will take to the waters in the Sonar fleet once again, so keep an eye on the Gareloch and East Patch for this year’s promising young Scots sailors.
And, there are a few more dates to add to your diaries:
Sunday 26th November – Christmas Bazaar
Saturday 9th December – Christmas Party
Wednesday 13th December – Ladies Lunch
Sunday 17th December – Carols & Carvery
Monday 1st January – New Year’s Day Lunch
Saturday 20th January – Burns Supper
Please get in touch with the office if you would like to book your place (more information to come soon on the Christmas Party so watch this space!). We are also on the lookout for a social coordinator to join in the organisation of the social calendar and running of events at the club – more information is available on contacting the office also.
Heads of Agreement with our preferred developer, and with Rhu Marina Developments Ltd (the owners of the ground we are acquiring at the marina) have been concluded, and the solicitors for the three parties are now working hard to put the formal contract documentation, which is complex, in place. It is hoped that that will have been done within the next few weeks. It will be conditional on our entering into an agreement with Crown Estate Scotland (the owners of the remainder of the marina), and their managing tenants Quay Marinas, in respect of our co-existence in the future at the marina, and providing for variation of the title conditions which apply to the ground we are acquiring, so as to be apt for the development we are proposing. The Draft Heads of Agreement with the Crown are well advanced. The draft, with proposed amendments, has been doing the rounds for some time. The Crown Estate has promised to have them back in our hands this week. As soon as those Heads of Agreement are concluded, work will begin on the formal contract documentation with the Crown and Quay Marinas.
Since getting the contract documentation in place has taken somewhat longer than hoped, the contractual period of exclusivity we agreed with Rhu Marina Developments Ltd (which binds them and the Club not to negotiate with any other person) has been extended by three months.
In the meantime, the developers’ architects and engineers are proceeding with various investigations, and preparatory work.
On our side, a small sub-group has been established to formulate a plan for the operation of the catering side of our new operation at the marina, part of which will provide catering for non-members as well as members.
As a reminder, the structure of the deals we are entering into will involve the preferred developers purchasing our current property for development, and, as part of the price, building us a new clubhouse at the marina, along with a slipway and other facilities. They will keep us in our current clubhouse until the new one is complete. When the first phase of the sale to the developers is completed, and we receive the first tranche of the price, we will complete the purchase of the land at the marina. All is, of course, subject to planning and other necessary consents being obtained for both developments. Design work on the new clubhouse, and indeed on the proposed development of our current property, and the preparation of applications for planning consent etc (all of which will be undertaken by the developers, but with input from us as to our requirements) will commence as soon as the formal contract documentation is in place. Once the design of the new clubhouse is sufficiently advanced there will be an opportunity for members to see what is proposed and to comment. It is difficult, because of the planning consent process, to make any sort of accurate prediction as to timescale. However, the developers have prepared a preliminary draft timeline, which indicates that it may be around two years from now that we would take occupation of our new clubhouse.
From the above, it is safe to say this has been another jam-packed sailing season at the RNCYC – long may it continue this way!
Remember, in addition to the club office and website, we have our social media accounts:
Facebook: Royal Northern & Clyde Yacht Club
Facebook: RNCYC Crewfinder
Finally, we would like to extend our thanks and appreciation to all those who have lent a hand or two to the organising committees and office this season; without you, we really would not be able to host sailing or social events and your hard work is greatly valued.
The Management Committee