Toward Sailing Club forms one of the hubs on the trail. At Toward there is dedicated free parking for vehicles provided along with a sheltered launch site and storage racks for canoes/kayaks are available within the club compound. As you would expect Toward Sailing Club was very much involved in the process.
Toward Sailing Club formed their own Toward Flotilla to help welcome the first official paddler to Toward Sailing Club. On Wednesday 23rd July, the paddler – Dave McBride – set off from Tarbert at about 12.30 and arrived at Wreck Bay in the Kyles at around 5.00pm. Some coastal skiff rowers from Tighnabruaich joined him for a stretch. Alasdair Finlay, on Saorsa, picked up a few of the Rothesay contingent involved in the project and then to headed up the Kyles to meet the paddler coming down to Toward. Alasdair’s boat party welcomed Dave to the Kyles and to offer encouragement as well as getting some photos present. Mike Geraghty also welcomed Dave McBride and took along David Lyons who did a fantastic job of piping in the flotilla with his wonderful bagpipe playing!
About 50 people had turned out from the Club to take part in the flotilla or welcome Dave to Toward. A word of praise for young Sandy Stuart (11) a novice paddler who was among the kayakers that turned out for Dave. Well done Sandy!
The Following morning Toward Sailing Club’s very own paddler Phil Keetley started off from Toward on the next leg of the relay and headed north to Dunoon escorted by Mike Geraghty on his keel boat Lucy. Phil then left Dunoon heading for Helensburgh to complete the trail relay.
All in all this was a great response from Toward Sailing Club members and it certainly helped the morale of those paddling. Thereafter on Friday evening the official launch of the trail was part of the Commonwealth Flotilla Reception in the Sugar Sheds at James Watt Dock. Fiona McLean and her crew and Ruairidh Campbell and his crew represented Toward Sailing Club by taking part in the Commonwealth Flotilla.