Arran 1 Race Report

With the first pursuit race of the season getting under way in almost no wind it looked like it was going to be a long slow drift for the early starters. First off was Kriss Baird-Dean in her Topper, Purple Pixie pursued some minutes later by husband, Dave in his Comet, Stacey. Those who had checked the forecast were not surprised when the wind began to fill in and by the time Banshee, helmed by her new owner Ruairidh Campbell, and Saorsa crossed the start line some considerable time later a stiff breeze had filled in from the east. Purple Pixie did a sterling job at holding her lead before, on the seventh leg of the course, Stacey eventually managed to pass. As the wind continued to increase the advantage passed back to the Topper, and as Dave took the first swim of the season Kriss regained her lead. It was not long however before the keelboats made the most of the freshening conditions to catch then overtake all of the dinghies. Despite being short handed Saorsa went on to pull away from Banshee until a moment of brain freeze saw Saorsa heading to her mooring at the end of the written course. This allowed the two leading dinghies to retake the lead before the realisation dawned that in this race format the course is repeated until the predetermined finish time of 8.30pm. Despite their little detour Saorsa remained ahead of Banshee and soon managed to catch the dinghies once again. With gusts now reaching 30mph, what had begun as a gentle sail in the evening sunshine had now turned into a bit of a physical workout. When the lights signalling the end of the race finally came on, it was a welcome sight for the dinghies who had done well to keep going in the increasingly trying conditions.


Arran 1

1st Saorsa (Moody 336), A. Finlay

2nd Banshee (Oyster 26), R. Campbell

3rd Purple Pixie (Topper), K. Baird-Dean

Tidy up day a success

TSC held its annual tidy up day on 2nd April 2016.  The slips had some thick layers of sand and seaweed to be removed this year. Achievements included getting the slips, jetty and dinghies ready for the start of the season. A big thank you to everyone who helped out!

TSC Community Consultation Survey

Suvey Now Closed

Community Survey Now Closed

Our community consultation survey is now closed.


Toward Sailing Club

Toward Sailing Club (a community club) was established in the 1960s on the site of the dilapidated swimming pool which was part of the Castle Toward Estate. Over the years the clubhouse, dinghy park and surroundings have been developed and expanded through community support and the hard work of members.

The club became a charity in 2014 and now owns all the ground from which it operates. This includes the bus turning area, car park, grass areas, clubhouse, storage compound, jetty, harbour quay, slipways, picnic table and seating. These are all maintained by the club and most areas are open to the community and visitors.

Kayaks on the water at TSCAs a community sports club, our fees are deliberately kept low so as they are not a bar to participation. Annual membership is the equivalent of less than £1 per week for an adult and less than 50p per week for a junior. Kayak and sail training is offered to everyone aged 10 and over by our nationally qualified coaches, instructors and safety boat drivers.

Existing activities and benefits include –

  • Club owned dinghies and kayaks
  • Regular kayak/sailing events
  • Bi-weekly sail racing
  • Social events
  • Covered and secure storage
  • Club moorings

This year our open day and taster sessions are scheduled for Saturday 21st May 2016.

There are no paid positions within the club. It is run entirely by volunteers.

As part of our ongoing development, the club has recently obtained a Heart defibrillator and will soon be offering free courses on its use, to members of the local community.

Your involvement

The club is now looking towards its future and has detailed a number of proposed suggestions. We want to hear what everyone in your household, thinks about South Cowal and what we, at the Club, could do to make our facilities even more inclusive to
the wider community and other groups. This is a real, no-holds-barred, opportunity for you to help us develop this area for you, for us, and the next generation. Tell us what activities or facilities you would like to see available – these don’t need to be water sports
related, we want to hear all your ideas. Remember our current facilities are mainly used in the summer months.

How could they be used more often?

What would you like to see happening at Toward Sailing Club?

Our community survey is now closed. Thanks you for showing an interest.

Suvey Now Closed


A TSC Burns Supper

TSC hosted a fabulous Burns Supper on Saturday 6th February. Angela Kerr is off to a flying start as our new social secretary. It was lovely to meet up with friends from the Cowal Mountain Bike Club and Holy Loch Sailing Club.

Thank you to all who came and made it such a success. We will be back for more!!

TSC Welcomes Cowal Mountain Bike Club

We were very happy to welcome Cowal Mountain Bike Club to our clubhouse this Saturday. Here are some photos of them as they returned from their muddy exploits!

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!


Frostbite 2 Series – Race Report

Fantastic Frostbite Turnout!

11th October saw the 2nd race day for the Frostbite Series and this week the turn out didn’t disappoint! Two of last weeks intrepid Oppie sailors again turned up in the form of Ellie Judd and Oscar MacGillivray, and this time the weather was kind and permitted them to start! We had a good turnout of 9 dinghies on Sunday and although the weather was kind the wind was not playing!

A very light easterly saw the fleet set off on course 7 heading for the Toward race mark. The faster boats set a good pace with John Orr in Dr Feelgood and Jan Oliver in Mayfly well ahead, with Dave Baird-Dean in Stacey along with Alastair Gibson a good way behind them. There was quite a tidal pull as the tide was going out and several of the more in-experienced sailors had to change their course to allow for this, something they will soon learn at Toward! Kriss Baird-Dean in Purple Pixie had a bad start and never really found her pace. Beth and Connor Wilson bought up the rear of the field with Beth and Kriss having a little competition of their own to round the Ardyne mark and reach the finish. Ellie Judd and Oscar MacGillivray recorded their first finish in their first ever proper race at Toward, so huge congratulations to them! First place in the first race went to Jan Oliver beating John Orr into 2nd place on handicap, with a well-deserved 3rd place going to Alastair Gibson in the club topper.

The second race got under way with even less wind than the first enabling the faster boats to take a long lead. The top two places were reversed from the first race with John Orr coming in ahead of Jan Oliver with 3rd place taken by David Baird-Dean in Stacey. However, the race officer was, as last week, forced to shorten the course with the ever dropping wind speed.

It was fantastic to see so many people turn out for the dinghy racing at Toward and we hope they continue to do so in the remaining 2 races of the season, weather permitting!


1st Race
1st Jan Oliver – Mayfly
2nd John Orr – Dr Feelgood
3rd Alastair Gibson – Club Topper
2nd Race
1st John Orr – Dr Feelgood
2nd Jan Oliver – Mayfly
3rd David Baird-Dean – Stacey
1st Race Oppies
1st Ellie Judd – Club Oppie 6
2nd Oscar MacGillivray – Club Topper 1
2nd Race Oppies
1st Ellie Judd – Club Oppie 6
2nd Oscar MacGillivray – Club Topper 1