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