Learn to Sea Kayak With Our Beginners’ Lessons

TSC Open Day 2016If you have ever wanted to learn how to Sea Kayak, now may be the time. We have sessions for beginners commencing Wed 1st June 2016 for 6 weeks of sea kayak coaching.

In these sessions, you will start to develop the key skills required to control a kayak in the sea. Learn about forward paddling strokes, reverse paddling strokes, side paddling strokes, recovery strokes, turning, edging, and rescues.

If you are interested, then fill out and return a club membership form from our membership page and select the option for 6 weeks of kayak coaching.

Open to everyone aged 10 to adult. We have a range of sea kayaks suitable for different sized people from children to adults.

We hope that you will join us on the water!

TSC Annual Prizegiving – 2015

TSC Prizegiving 2015The final event of the year at Toward Sailing Club took place in the clubhouse on Saturday 14th November as members and friends gathered to celebrate the sailing and kayaking successes of the season.

The evening began with a delicious meal provided by the members before retiring Commodore, Alasdair Finlay, presented the various trophies and prizes.

With the formalities over, the baton was passed to Alison Currie who then occupied the junior members, and entertained everyone else, with a variety of games.

With winter well and truly upon us, the next event at the Club is not until 2016 when, on January 2nd, members are invited to an informal get-together in the clubhouse. Until then all that remains is winter maintenance and dreaming of the season to come.


Ailsa Series
Nae Loser, A. McLean
Arran Series
1st Topper, F. Mackay
2nd Saorsa, A. Finlay
3rd Gimcrack, D. Hillhouse
Bute Series
(Fast Handicap), 1st Saorsa, A. Finlay
(Fast Handicap), 2nd Mayfly, J. Oliver
(Fast Handicap), 3rd Stacey, D. Baird-Dean
(Slow Handicap), Purple Pixie, K. Baird-Dean
Optimist Class, S. Stuart
Cumbrae Series
(Fast Handicap), 1st Stacey, D. Baird-Dean
(Fast Handicap), 2nd Saorsa, A. Finlay
(Fast Handicap), 3rd Dr Feelgood, J. Orr
(Slow Handicap), 1st Cosmic Debris, K. Baird-Dean
(Slow Handicap), 2nd Topper, F. Mackay
(Slow Handicap), 3rd Topper, A. Kerr
Frostbite Series
1st Dr Feelgood, J. Orr
2nd Mayfly, J. Oliver
3rd Topper, A. Gibson
(Optimist Class), 1st E. Judd
(Optimist Class), 2nd O. Macgillivray
(Optimist Class), 3rd S. Stuart
Starter Trophy
Nae Loser, A. McLean
Burnt Islands Race
Voila, R. Campbell
Round Cumbrae Race
Parallel Motion, A Marshall
Crew’s Race
Gimcrack, J. Procter
Thistle Trophy (for Cadets learning in Toppers/Picos)
B. Wilson
Dandelion Cup (for Cadets learning in Oppies)
L. Oxland
Adult Learners
E. Stuart
Mary’s Quaich for Cadet Seamanship
S. Stuart
Munroe Quaich for the Outstanding Cadet
O. Jones
Alison Currie Trophy for Best Attitude
L. Oxland
Waddell Trophy for Sailing Effort
K. Baird-Dean
Robertson Trophy for most Outstanding Member
M. Benson
Robertson Half Model for ‘Something Special’
P. Keetley (In 2015 for being instrumental in setting up the Kayak Section of the Club)
Training Awards
RYA Junior Dinghy Scheme, Stage 1 : Oliver Jones, Oscar Macgillivray, Ellie Judd, Georgia Young, Rory Oxland, Lewis Oxland
RYA Junior Dinghy Scheme, Stage 2 : Alan Stewart, Sandy Stuart
Start Racing : Connor Wilson
RYA National Sailing Scheme, Level 2 (Basic Skills) : Eland Stuart
RYA National Sailing Scheme, Start Racing : Eland Stuart
Power boating Level 2 and Safety Boat : Kriss Baird-Dean
Dinghy Instructor : Fiona Mackay
Competent Crew : Craig Mackay
Kayaking Awards
Most Improved Adult : Karen Macintosh
Most Improved Junior : Sandy Stuart
Best Club Support : Alan Forsyth
Best Endeavour : Nigel Carr

AGM, Prizegiving and 2016 Club Calendar


The AGM of Toward Sailing Club (SCIO) will take place on 5th Nov 2015 at 7:30 pm in the Clubhouse. The Board are hoping for a big turnout – so if you can make it – please be there.

Prize giving

The prize giving tickets are ready! Saturday 14th November (7.00pm for 7.30pm) in the Clubhouse. Price £10 per person adult or child with a buffet and licensed bar. Tickets are limited due to capacity of the clubhouse so please get your orders in asap. Tickets can be obtained from Alasdair Finlay or Susan Chandler.

2016 Club Calendar

The TSC 2016 calendar has gone to the printers!!! Congratulations to all those whose photos were chosen and many thanks, once again, to Cowal Camera Club for judging and selecting the photos. No overall winner this year but a really high standard of entries from club members. Hopefully they will be ready for sale at the AGM in the Clubhouse. Here’s a couple of examples to whet your appetite, fabulous Christmas presents and a boost to club funds too!


Kayak Section’s Final Night on the Water 2015

DSCN9540a_800The kayak section’s final Thursday evening session for 2015 was held last night. The sailors had finished their season the previous week, so we were able to play around in the wind and not have to look over our shoulders for yachts and dinghies!

Twelve of us made it out for this session, most arriving early to make sure we had enough time on the water. We had some south easterly F3 wind to play in before it dropped at around 7.15 pm. There were lots of happy faces tonight as people perhaps reflected on how much they have improved over the course of this summer. The excitement of the occasion had clearly gone to Phil’s head as he proceeded to dig out his seldom seen Greenland paddle and roll with it!

Following on from the on-water session, we held a short meeting in the clubhouse to discuss future plans. First on the agenda was the organisation of a work party to clean kayaks in readiness for storage. This will commence on Sunday 13 Sept at 11 am. Any members who can help out with this would be much appreciated.

We are unfortunately running out of daylight for evening sessions (sunset was at 7.45 pm and we are losing 15 minutes of daylight per week). This summer has seen 2 sets of 6 coaching sessions run between May and September, with 10-12 members participating in each set. This has been done without any incidents and with everyone getting something out of it, so all in all it’s been a good summer for the kayak section. We can now look forward to moving indoors to the pool and onwards to spring and the 2016 season.

Many thanks to all who contributed to make this season on the water a success.

TSC Paddle Weekend – Junie & Lesley’s Experience

As part of feedback from the 5/6 Sept. “Paddle Weekend” we asked attendees for feedback. We received the following from Junie and Lesley who attended TSC on  Saturday 5th.

“What a fantastic day!! We spent the morning sailing, courtesy of Alasdair and his beautiful yacht.(The Moody 336) We learned quite a bit about how it all worked and how important the safety aspects were, plus had a turn behind the wheel. Truly a fantastic experience. Later in the afternoon, we went kayaking with David and John. Again, well delivered instruction, fun, a great way to keep fit and brilliant way of seeing the landscape.

The sun shone, the people were lovely and we couldn’t have asked for a better experience. Thanks so much Toward Sailing Club!”

Best Wishes Junie & Lesley

(Images courtesy of Junie)

TSC Kayak Section – Paddle Weekend 2015

11999736_10205202220755352_1494321197789124502_oIn order to celebrate a successful season on the water, the kayak section at TSC held a ‘paddle weekend’ over 5/6 September 2015. Club members as well as others were invited to attend paddling events based at the club house. Quite a few folk camped at the club and attended both days’ activities. We also had some guest coaches present who had very graciously donated their weekend to help run the various activities.

In the week leading up to the event we had been monitoring a large high pressure system over the Atlantic, hoping that it would move on over the UK in enough time for the weekend. In the end, we experienced its leading edge which brought somewhat chilly north western winds, but nice blue skies and sunshine too.


The day got off to a blazing start weather wise, with what can only be described as one of the sunniest days of the year. Winds were north westerly F3 gusting F5, so an adventure was guaranteed on the scheduled all day paddle trip.


Saturday’s group ready for their day trip.

Susan Chandler, one participant on the day paddle, shared her experiences –

“Saturday was a great day on the water. It was sunny with a breeze that made the conditions quite challenging! Six people went on a day trip with Gill, Andy, Ramsay and Colin coaching. We went from the club to Port Bannatyne over to the MOD base (on Loch Striven) down to Port Lamont and back to the club via a rather hair-raising encounter negotiating the fish farm nets and cages. Along the way we practised strokes and manoeuvres, and had to deal with strong winds and waves that we all found very exciting and challenging. We were all pretty tired when we got back to the clubhouse but thrilled we had managed to get home and no one capsized.”

In another group several people worked with Phil in the bay practising balance, rescue drills and even some rolling. They all said they had a great time and learned a lot. Fiona Mackay came within a whisker of completing a Euro style roll.


Saturday’s sunset at Toward.

The third group consisted of 3 novices, one of whom had a lesson with guest coach Dave in the morning. The other two had a sailing lesson with Alasdair Finlay on his yacht in the morning and kayak coaching with Dave in the afternoon. They later conveyed that they had had a great time.

Saturday evening saw a social gathering. Fun was had, with lots of chat, a few drinks in the clubhouse and a bonfire on the beach. The sun had now set on a stunning day of weather and paddling with plenty of happy campers about!


Sunday started off quite a bit cloudier than the previous day, with a cool north westerly wind still blowing for most of the day.

Greenland style paddles.

Greenland style paddles.

This hadn’t deterred some attendees showing up ahead of time fully kitted out and ready for the day’s activities!

Sunday’s events included some more wet/rescue practice round at Ardyne bay. There was also a Greenland skills session which covered all things related to the use of the traditional “skinny stick” (history, review of paddles, paddle strokes and rolling) in an intensive 4 hour session. Attendees were given the opportunity to test out paddling strokes on the water (and in the wind) using various Greenland and Aleutian style paddles.

Rolling and balance bracing practice

Rolling and balance bracing practice

After lunch, instruction resumed on the grass, where participants were introduced to recovery technique, focusing on the static brace, leading to the Standard Greenland roll. This was followed by a rolling demonstration at the slightly more sheltered bay north of the club. Those attendees who wished to try out a static brace and/or roll braved the cool water, and a first ever Greenland style roll was achieved by Fiona! A vigorous paddle back to the clubhouse against an increased wind ensured that everyone was fully warmed up on their return.

The event concluded by late afternoon and attendees went home to recover from an action packed weekend. A big thank you to everyone who helped make this special weekend event happen!