News from 2 May (Race Report – Arran Series 2)

The second pursuit race in the Arran series began with even stronger wind than the first. Once again Macy set off first, this week in her own new Oppi, Optimistic Oppie. Katana and Ellie, in a club Pico, followed soon after before the other four keelboats gave chase. With the wind continuing to increase Katana decided to reef while both Ellie and Tiff took the prudent decision to retire early. Optimistic Oppie did well to hold on to her lead for a considerable time but having not yet mastered the skill of bailing while sailing the others eventually caught up. With the time ticking away Saorsa passes Voila but just failed to catch Banshee who, in turn, couldn’t quite close the gap on Katana.

Results Arran 2
1st Katana F. McLean
2nd Banshee R. Campbell
3rd Saorsa A. Finlay

News from 25 April (Race Report Arran 1 & Starter Trophy, Cruising update and Open Day)

Thursday 25 April saw the start of the 2019 sailing season at Toward Sailing Club, the first race in the Arran series. This series comprises 6 pursuit races, and first off on Thursday night was Macy in a club Oppi. As the slowest boat in the fleet Macy set off at 7 o’clock before the rest of the boats tried, in turn, to chase her down. With the squally conditions at the start dying as the evening went on Macy held her lead until, 20 minutes before the finish, Katana finally managed to catch and pass her to take over the lead. Behind them came Tiff in its first race at Toward, who in turn was being pursued by Voila, Banshee and finally Saorsa. With less than two minutes to go Saorsa passed Katana to finish in first place winning, not only the race but also the Starter Trophy.

The pace was more leisurely the next evening as five keelboats from the club headed off for the Start of Season Cruise. It was a short hop across to Port Bannatyne on the Friday night before heading to Millport on Saturday. Arriving early to avoid the forecasted high winds everyone was safely attached to the visitors’ moorings before conditions deteriorated. By Sunday morning the weather was bright and sunny, and almost warm. Taking advantage of this, several members headed round the island on scooters stopping for ice cream on the way. By mid afternoon everyone was heading for home having had a thoroughly good weekend.

Members were looking forward to the next weekend which promised to be a busy one with the club holding its open day on Saturday 4th May. Weather permitting, this is an opportunity each year for members of the public to have a go at sailing, kayaking or powerboating as well as enjoying shore based refreshments from several local businesses.

Taster Sessions on Saturday – what to expect

Keel Boat rides – you are taken out to  one of the boats (Saorsa or Banshee) by Fiona in our smaller rib power boat. You transfer from the rib to the keel boat out in the water. Experienced sailors answer your questions about sailing while you move along just by the power of the wind in the sails. With any luck you will see some of the local wildlife.

Dinghy ride in our Bahia laser dinghy with Dave at the helm. The Bahia can take 3/4 people and it will give you an idea of what it is like to sail in a smaller boat. You will probably get onto this boat at the quay.

Sea kayak taster in one of the club boats in the relatively sheltered waters of the bay by the quay. You can try your hand at paddling and manoeuvring the kayak assisted by experienced coaches. You will need to be at least 10 years old to try one of our kayaks and wearing a pair of shoes you don’t mind getting wet is essential!

Rib rides in our bigger rib with Lesley is great fun and very popular. Keep your eyes open for the seabirds round about and if you are very lucky porpoises might make an appearance.

All above will be subject to change depending on weather conditions on Saturday. Bookings are taken on the day and the rides are usually booked up pretty quickly . There’s plenty to do while you are waiting at the Club or in the Memorial Hall next door – see previous posts.

If you get bitten by the water sports bug then come along to our training registration night Wednesday 15th May 7.00pm in the Clubhouse.


Are you getting excited? We are!

Weather: Little or no rain forecast at the moment and according to the Met office some sunshine will appear. We will be keeping an eye on the wind and it may be a tad on the chilly side.

So what to wear? So the advice is wrap up warm with a waterproof top on because it is always colder on the water. Bring a change of clothes with you – we are not planning on a dook but you could get wet. We have changing rooms and toilets in the Clubhouse. All other equipment provided, but if you do have your own buoyancy aid then that would be helpful if you can bring that with you. Coast Coffee and Choumakes Cakes will keep you fed and watered. We will have an ice cream van too – it’s never too cold for an ice cream is it?

Olly’s Bothy will have a fun stall with prizes, you can get your life jacket checked by the RLNI and there may be other things on the day. Don’t forget the Memorial Hall next door will be having their table top sale at the same time so there will be plenty to do. Please note that all children must be accompanied by a responsible adult if they wish to participate in any taster sessions. Further updates on taster sessions during the week so keep in touch.


Really looking forward to this! We’ve been a bit spoiled with the weather to date so it’s unfortunate it looks like we might see some light rain at points this weekend, but I’m sure it will still be most excellent fun nonetheless.

Attendance: I’ve had confirmation so far that 6 boats are planning to come. No requests for berths from those without boats so far. Contact details if you fancy joining this cruise and would like a berth are

Plan finalisation: The final plan doesn’t really differ from the draft plan, except that the plan is to have a BBQ on the beach if possible on Saturday 27th after those who want to cycle come back from cycling. Sigmagic will bring firewood and a BBQ and possibly a tent or two in case there’s some showers. People should bring their own BBQ food. Perhaps bring something to cook onboard in the event the weather is really wet. We will either find a pub or descend on someone’s boat for drinks afterwards (or both).

For this cruise unfortunately it is difficult to book something more permanent for the Saturday night in case the wind determines we have to go elsewhere.

Weather is looking fairly good so far although it is changeable so will have to watch it. It is currently forecast to be NW, which is ideal for Millport. Light breeze on Friday evening (8 knots gusting 15), medium breeze Saturday (max 15 knots gusting max 24/27), overnight Saturday medium 11 knots gusting 20 from NW) light breeze Sunday (8 knots gusting 17). Unfortunately Saturday is forecast for a little rain, so the BBQ may have to be revisited. However we shall see!


Start of Season Cruise Sat 27th/ Sun 28th April (and Friday evening 26th) – rough plan!

A rough plan is forming!

Although the plan is not finalised, we thought we’d let you know of our rough plan. Hopefully this allows you to plan in advance and to ask questions, make suggestions etc.

The main plan is to go to Millport, Great Cumbrae for the start of season cruise on Saturday 27th/ Sunday 28 April 2019.

Generally this means leaving Toward area at approximately 10/11am on Saturday 27th April 2019, and cruising in company to Millport where there are 26 moorings laid. (I have confirmed with Cumbrae Community Development Company that these were lifted over winter 2018/2019 and are back in the water fully checked so they are ready for use.) Price is £10 per boat for an overnight stay, payable at an honesty box.

Additionally, it would be nice to leave on the Friday night, just to get away! We were thinking somewhere close such as Port Bannatyne for the Friday night. However, appreciate Friday night is difficult for some, so the above is the main plan and if some make it on the Friday night too, great! Saturday stragglers (boats and people) can be picked up off Toward Saturday morning.

Social at Millport on Saturday 27th April 2019 will be organised in due course.

Thoughts are to do a bike trip around the island for those able (with everyone hiring bikes), with the obligatory ice cream on the way.

Sunday, likely lazy start, followed by leisurely cruise back to Toward.

As you’ll know, Millport can be a little exposed to the SW/S, which is unfortunately the prevailing wind. We will have a backup plan for a more sheltered and protected location closer to Toward if it is very windy or if the sea state is rough. Clearly the weather may be so bad that we have to cancel and reorganise, but we hope that won’t be the case.

Those without boats who would like to participate and haven’t already got a place on a boat, please email me on and I’ll see if I can pair you up with a boat. Beginners are welcome.

Likewise Skippers, please let me know if:

  • you intend to go,
  • you need crew, or
  • you don’t need crew, but could nonetheless offer berths to extra people.

Even experienced kayakers might wish to join by kayak, so let me know if a berth only is required.

Will follow up with more concrete plans, details and guidance. As usual sail planning, safety and decision whether to go or not is each person and skippers responsibility. If anyone wants copies of maps or cruising guide details, or would like a bit more support/closer company on the way down to Millport if it’s a new boat or something, please contact me at above email.

For guests who are not members, but would like to join the cruise, please become an Associate Member for the purpose of this cruise (£10). Please see the membership page of this website for details. However it would be worth considering full membership given it is only £46 per person and there will be at least 4 cruises organised in a year. We hope to do evening cruises/ floatabouts this year too, plus potentially a longer cruise further up the West Coast. There will also be lots of other club events to benefit from.


Talk by Andrew Morton on 4 April 2019 7.15pm – please join us!

This is a talk which will definitely be of interest to TSC kayakers and sailors alike.

Andrew learned to sail, row, kayak and handle motor boats as a boy on Loch Lomond and the Clyde in the 1960s. He owns a Finnmaster 76CA motorboat but his prime love is kayak racing, something he has done for 50 years. He has seven British Master’s gold medals, and six World Master’s medals, including two golds, to his name. He was World Champion for the over-70s in 2016.

He’ll be jetting back from Brazil, where he’s been teaching Incident Investigation as part of a series of courses delivered in Birmingham, Rio, Aberdeen and Irvine, for Kelvin TOP-SET, especially to deliver this talk to TSC!

His talk will cover cruising the West Coast of Scotland and the Scilly Isles, kayaking and fitness and will be accompanied by photos and slides.

We hope you can join us!

Six Nations Rugby on a big screen at TSC

Feeling the winter chill? Kirstie McDonald our new social secretary is off to a flying start. She has arranged to show the Six Nations rugby matches in the Clubhouse on the following dates –

2nd February – Scotland v Italy,  Ireland v England (13.00 – 22.00)
9th February – Scotland v Ireland,  Italy v Wales (13.00 – 22.00)
23rd February France v Scotland,  Wales v England (13.00 – 22.00)
16th March Italy v France, Wales v Ireland,  England v Scotland (13.00 – 22.00)

Even if you aren’t a big fan of rugby it’s a good chance to catch up with friends, share maintenance woes and plan for the season ahead. Bring the mini-me rugby fans -free entry refreshments available. Hopefully a few beers as well but that will be confirmed nearer the time. All supporters welcome and friendly banter encouraged!!
Email sent out gives contact details for Kirstie if you have any queries.