New Commodore for Solway Yacht Club and shortlisted for Awards

After two successful years, Ian Purkis retired as Commodore of the Solway Yacht Club at the AGM on 17thNovember. He “handed the helm” to Lindsay Tosh, himself a longstanding and highly experienced sailor and member of the Club Committee. Summarizing his time in office, Ian said how he’s been particularly pleased to have worked with the local community in bringing more awareness of our local seafaring heritage and the modern sport of sailing to a wider audience, in particular the young children of the new Dalbeattie Learning Campus. “The Everest Skye play-boat, once an Olympic Laser class racing dinghy, is a great introduction and we hope many of those in the playground today will be the sailors of tomorrow”

Lindsay echoed the comments when accepting his election as the incoming Commodore, keen to develop these links further with the Club’s increasing involvement the the local “Active Schools” programme. 

As if anyone needed reminding, the Club has been enjoying much success in recent years and expanding its activities in training, racing, sail cruising off shore and power boating. So much so that the Club was nominated for “Club of the Year” in the 2018 Annual Awards run by the sport’s governing body, RYA Scotland. Marc Turner from RYAS arrived to congratulate the Committee with the news that the Solway Yacht Club has made the shortlist, the winner to be announced at a special event in January. 

More good news followed for Jock Wishart who was originally from Kirkcudbright, and, in his youth, a former Solway Yacht Club Cadet Captain. Over the years he has achieved great success not only in yachting but as an expedition leader with several polar adventures to his name. He had also been nominated and shortlisted for the RYAS 2018 “Performance of the Year” Award. Earlier in the year, he put together and led the winning, all-Scottish team in sailing’s prestigious “Commodores Cup”; he was particularly proud of the fact that the international competition was held in English sailing’s home waters, in and around the Solent. “Jock’s Celtic Team” not only won, they won handsomely with the Netherlands team a distant second. 

The AGM also gave Club members the opportunity, which they took with great pleasure, to elect both Gordon and Liz Daly as Honorary Members. As the husband and wife team they have given enormous service to the Club over many years. Gordon, a retired Master Mariner, in accepting the Honorary membership, commented how grateful he’s been for the Club’s very existence, having first joined in 1953! Congratulations to Gordon and Liz!

Members will be saddened to learn that one of our longstanding fellow members, Robert Furness, passed away suddenly very recently. He was well known to many us, along with his boat “Pipsqueak”, and will be sorely missed.  Our sincere thoughts and sympathy are with his wife, Shelagh and all the family at this sad time.

Solway Yacht Club members will be deeply saddened at the news that one of our Honorary Members and past Commodore, James Copland passed away on Thursday 1st November.

James was a lifelong sailor achieving great success in many different yachts, large and small. He learned to sail in a 10ft canvas bottomed dinghy and over time reached the pinnacle of the sport as one of the crew of former Prime Minister Edward Heath’s yacht “Morning Cloud”. He was a highly respected member of the Royal Ocean Racing Club and in the very recent times and, despite ill health, accepted their invitation to attend the 2017 Americas Cup at the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club as their VIP guest. 

After a distinguished career in the Royal Air Force, including great success in the RAF Sailing Team, he returned to Kirkcudbrightshire and became our Club’s Commodore in 2000. He was instrumental in reviving dinghy racing at the Club in particular, presiding over events with exceptional expertise. He was a driving force of interclub cooperation and competition and a keen supporter of Cadets, particularly enjoying Race Officer duties during Cadet Week.

Following his term as Commodore he continued to give great support to his successors. He was elected an Honorary Member in 2012 and continued his great enthusiasm for the sport and Solway Yacht Club in particular to the end of his life. To Kate, his wife, and his family we extend our deepest sympathy.

His funeral will be held at 11:00am on Friday 16th November in Colvend Church.


Ian Purkis

Solway Yacht Club Open Day 2018

Sunday brought perfect weather for the Solway Yacht Club's 2018 Open Day. In beautiful Spring sunshine and with a pleasant North East wind, the Solway Yacht Club offered visitors trips out on to the water, with tea and cakes on return up at the clubhouse. What made it extra special was the naming and launching of three brand new Club training boats, two of which had been most generously funded by the Holywood Trust.

I have posted a revised version of the Club Championship results on the website (On the Water/Results). For anyone who saw the first version, the changes affected Colin Filer and Ian Purkis. Part of that was an error I made so my apologies. The rest was down to applying the OOD code for those who are prevented from racing due to being either OOD or safety cover. Note that the last two races are weighted to give half points for Super Sunday. For SYC, this does not apply to those with DNC and you will notice a local Sailwave variation called DNC Medal that ensures our local rule is applied.

I have also applied a third discard to a series of twelve races as agreed by the committee. For those who follow such things, the discard profile is now 0,0,0,1,1,1,1,2,2,2,2,3. This means that for up to three races there is no discard, for four to seven races there is one discard, for eight to eleven races there are two discards and for twelve or more there are three discards.

I will give this version a couple of weeks as provisional before finalising it so please check and let me know if you disagree with anything. 

Lindsay Tosh, Sailing Secretary 

Dave Hart (new member) is an inveterate boat collector of interesting historic craft. He has bought Lovely Nellie & plans to fit her out as a work boat , Lovely Nellie has an interesting history as one of the ships boats from HMS Ark Royal broken up in 1980 . She is a 24 feet Cheverton work boat with a Perkins 4236 diesel 80hp engine, she is being rewired from 24v to 12v, having a new 12v starter & alternator fitted, reposition instruments for engine to beside the engine on the port side, having all the engine hoses replaced & exhaust system upgraded plus a small cuddy added up fwd, new floors, reinforced side decks from amidships to aft so that mooring gear can be pulled over the side, fitted with aft tiller steering & remote aft engine controls, fuel tanks moved aft, new engine box made to allow access all around the engine, new gantry fitted amidships for nav lights & nav aids, replace or repair the propeller,  she will be available to assist members with moorings & towing, assist SYC with races as a committee boat if required,  assist KARMA Kipford & Rockcliffe moorings association if required, assist with general work boat operations any one may require in the river Urr, AJG insurers have agreed to insure her for this use once refitted after she has had her survey & insure her during the fitting out period over the next few months.

If interested in helping to work on TUG formally (lovely Nellie) then please contact Dave Hart.

Opportunities to learn to use TUG will be available to members via SYC in the future if required.

Handling a displacement hull work boat is different to a RIBS.

Dave likes volunteers so why not get involved, adults only .

Phone Dave on :01556-660007 . If interested.

SYC Members will be greatly saddened by the news that our Bosun, Kevin Paul, passed away on Saturday 1st September. A tribute to Kevin can be found on the Members’ page of the SYC Website. 

The funeral will be held on Thursday 20th September at 1.30pm at St Nicolas’s Church, Guisborough TS 14 6BS

It will be followed by a private cremation.

No flowers please, but donations at the church to the RNLI

“Melisande” is a short 22ft whaler, built at Robertsons boat yard on the Holy Loch in 1918/19, has oars & sails and was the ship’s boat for the Royal Navy survey vessel “Melisande”, built on the Clyde also in 1918/19. She weighs approximately 1.2 tons and up to 6 persons can row her, with a cox & lookout forward. She would have been used as the ship’s boat for general duties, plus inshore work as she has a very shallow draft 15-18 inches aft. She has a very heavy centre plate and no engine. She was sold out of the Navy after the First World War having had a short Navy life. She has been in the care of one family from Essex ever since. Her sails were made by Jimmy Lawrence of Brightlingsea in Essex assisted by the last owner who wanted to experience making the sails for her in an evening class Jimmy was involved with at the Nottage Institute at Wivenhoe, Essex on the River Colne. I was offered her 3 years ago, but it has taken that long for the family to part with her. They wanted her to go to someone who would look after & who was into whalers & wooden boats.