‘Sailing for Gold’ on the Clyde

19 Aug

On the 17th and 18th August, the RYA Scotland hosted a very special ‘Sail for Gold’ event at Quayside, Glasgow.

The event saw around 200 pupils, from 8 primary schools, take to the waters around the Riverside Museum. sportscotland Cumbrae led the ‘on the water’ activities under the leadership of Cumbrae’s instructor, Charlotte MacBeath. Other Cumbrae staff we also on hand to help things run smoothly.

Children out on the 'hansas'
Children out on the ‘hansas’

On-the-water fun for the school kids

The sun shone for the entire event, from set-up on the Tuesday, right through to close on the Thursday, serving to make it even more of a spectacular event. Seeing the children out on the water in ‘hansas’, with the backdrop of the Tall Ship and the Riverside Museum was something to behold. It was great to see the youngsters getting so much out of their experience, made even more special as some Team GB sailors were present all throughout, offering encouragement, advice and of course INSPIRATION!

As one teacher commented:

‘Three days into term and it’s going to be difficult to beat this as a highlight for them this year’.

The Tall Ship and Riverside Museum make for a stunning backdrop
The Tall Ship and Riverside Museum make for a stunning backdrop

Sparking National Interest

On the first morning of the event, ‘BBC Breakfast’ had a live feed to Quayside and later that day one of the presenter’s interviewed Cumbrae’s Chief Instructor David Frame:

BBC interview Cumbrae's David Frame
BBC interview Cumbrae’s David Frame

Watch the interview here (nb. David comes on around the 13min mark)

Outdoors Race Screenings

A large outdoor screen was put up on both evenings of the event to allow 100+ plus ticketholders to watch live medal races of the Olympic Sailing taking place in Rio. People had come to watch both Luke Patience and Charlotte Dobson trying to secure medals, both of these sailors passing through Cumbrae over the years. Unfortunately,on the first night, conditions in Rio meant that that no racing took place,however spirits remained high as the crowd gathered in the sunshine.

Team TB sailors waiting to support their collegues on screen
Team TB sailors waiting to support their collegues on screen

The next evening did bring race screenings and although the Scottish hopefuls on Team GB didn’t secure medals they had impressive performances over the course of the games and can be proud of their achievements!

All in all the 2 days on the Clyde were truly special and will have a golden place in the memories of all involved!

By Calum

Join Cumbrae for RYA’s ‘Sail for Gold’ Roadshow, Glasgow, 17-18th Aug

11 Aug

Come and help cheer on TEAM GB Sailors!

Looking for something unique to do in Glasgow on the evening of either 17th or 18th August? Look no further. To celebrate the Rio 2016 Games, RYA Scotland is hosting a special ‘Sail for Gold’ event and Cumbrae is proud to be a delivery partner, helping to make this a truly fantastic celebration of sailing!

Cumbrae’s Olympic connection

Cumbrae’s delighted to be involved in ‘Sail for Gold’, particularly as we’ll be able to show our support for our local athletes competing in Rio: Luke Patience and Charlotte Dobson. Both Luke and Charlotte have trained at the Centre over the years! In fact it was Cumbrae’s chief instructor, David Frame, who first selected London 2012 Silver Medallist Luke for the development team many years ago. Charlotte, like Luke, trained at Cumbrae during her RYA squad years. She’s currently making her Olympic in a new event for Rio, the 49erFX.

Helping to Get Kids involved

During the morning and afternoon of both event days, school pupils from 8 local schools will be out on the waters around the Riverside museum, getting a little taster in sailing. Cumbrae instructors will be delivering the on-the-water activities taking place.

Scottish members of the British Sailing Team who aren’t in Rio will be sailing alongside the pupils and offering analysis and commentary during the races. These include Eilidh MacIntyre, daughter of Scots Olympic Gold Medallist Mike MacIntyre; Anna Burnett from Helensburgh, Rory Hunter from Arran, Fynn Sterritt from Kingussie and Flora Stewart, originally from Edinburgh.

So…it’s all set to be an exciting few days!

Good luck Luke and Charlotte from everyone at Cumbrae!

By Calum

A podium spot for Cumbrae’s Dan and crew of Derry~Londonderry~Doire!

01 Aug

After 11 months, the 2015/16 Clipper Round the World Race came to an end on Friday evening with the completion of Race 14, ‘Den Helder to London’. This last race saw Cumbrae’s Dan Smith, skipper of Derry~Londonderry~Doire, and crew, secure another race win, taking their total to an impressive 4 wins throughout the 40,000 nautical mile circumnavigation.

A Podium Spot

Everyone at Cumbrae is immensely proud of Dan as Derry~Londonderry~Doire took SECOND PLACE overall out of the 12 yachts taking part this year. What’s more it was an extremely close finish, with only 4 points separating the first and second spot! The top 3 places were as follows:

  1. LMAX Exchange (152 points)
  2. Derry~Londonderry~Doire (148 points)
  3. GREAT Britain (126 points)


    On Saturday, the race fleet performed a colourful Parade of Sail on the River Thames. Many spectators gathered at St Katharine Docks to celebrate the race finish and the prize giving ceremony.

    Returning to Scotland

    In an interview earlier this year with Dan, he commented that:

    ‘Despite there being some awesome ocean views and incredible coastlines around the world I’ve missed the scenery of Scotland’s coastline. Ironically one of the furthest places away, Tasmania, reminded me most of home. It had a similar rocky coastline to that of Skye’.

    He also talked about missing his bike and said he was looking forward to getting out on the trails again after the race finish.

    So WELL DONE Dan, now you can enjoy the cycling!

    By Calum

    Supporting the Americas Cup racing

    29 Jul

    Britain’s America’s Cup team, is led by the most successful Olympic sailor of all time Sir Ben Ainslie and over the weekend 23rd/24th July he steered Land Rover BAR to glory, claiming a tight one-point victory on the final day of the World Series event in Portsmouth. Britain now sits on top of the Americas Cup World Series league table.

    Out on the water amongst the massive crowds and the worlds best sailors were the National Centre Cumbrae’s Chief Instructor David Frame and Instructor Tom Thurlow. After the success of last year Cumbrae was excited to be invited to support the delivery of this incredible event again. The Americas Cup Race Management (ACRM) has a small team of professionals who travel around the world delivering the racing and at each venue they require the support of the host country. David was tasked to pull together a team of 10 UK race officials to deliver the event in Portsmouth. “In many ways this year was straightforward, our starting point was to just do the same as last year! Inevitably though we had to recruit two or three new team members, as not all from 2015 could make it. We created a team that had each rib and position on the course filled with someone who had been there before. The ACRM team were impressed as having now taken the event around the world since we last worked together they had learned that the level of expertise and experience in the UK is second to none.

    We also learned quickly! it’s not just the AC 45s (racing catamarans) that use the latest technology. This year the course was to be set using iPads, specially developed software and the cellular phone network. The committee boat sent “Target Mark” positions of all the marks to the iPads in each rib. The ribs towing the marks, also saw themselves as a live position on the iPad screen, they then towed the mark towards the target mark location and dropped when the two positions coincided. Changing individual marks and resetting the course was done on iPad all very clever and a little disorientating with your head down looking at the screen. Fortunately GPS back up coordinates positions were sent around the team for all the marks using a WhatsApp mark laying group. This took away the need for radio time to transmit and then confirm 9 different mark locations as the Lat and Long were all clearly displayed on the screen of your mobile phone. Once you had them it was fairly straightforward to move to that position.

    The other aspect we needed to be aware of was the “digital overlays” of sponsors that would appear, but only on the TV screen! On the water it was difficult to judge where the BMW circle logo would appear but it was made clear that as main sponsor they didn’t want a rib sitting on their branding. Only when you see it on the TV screen do you appreciate there is the equivalent of a 90ft diameter BMW logo circle at the gate marks and they get it for free if your rib is on it!

    Tens of thousands of spectators packed the shoreline to roar on the home side as they snatched overall victory in the World Series by one point. Ben Ainslie and the BAR team were all presented with winners’ medals by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. While behind the scenes and away from the publicity machine the Mark Laying team were praised by ACRM and the race teams. Jimmy Spithill Skipper Oracle Team USA said ”The event overall was awesome. I think it’s been one of the best Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series events” . Race Director Rob Andrews added his thanks “spectators and sponsors had a great weekend. We provided Stadium racing with a stadium full of spectators who are now fans of Americas Cup racing. Sailing has changed and all for the good of spectators, teams and sponsors your mark laying skills and accuracy allowed this style of sailing to be played out within a critical TV window. Once again the Cumbrae led team had performed very well on the International stage.

    60 minutes of the 2016 Americas Cup World series story and action is available on BBC i -player until 20th August.

    By David

    Cumbrae ‘Catches the Clipper’ in Londonderry

    15 Jul

    Today, Cumbrae instructor Angus Fergusson caught up with his colleague Daniel Smith, skipper of the Derry-Londonderry-Doire, during the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race. Angus and members of Standard Life Sailing Club had departed Largs Marina on Wednesday for this special ‘Catch the Clipper’ Cumbrae cruise.

    A big thanks to Dan for giving the team a great tour of the Clipper yacht. Little rest for him though as Dan and the team depart on Sunday evening for the penultimate race of the 14-stage series, to Den Helder, the Netherlands. The race will culminate on 30th July with podium celebrations taking place in London.

    For the time being though, for Angus, and the rest of the guys cruising with Cumbrae, the next stop is Islay, as their adventure continues into next week…

    First Day: Leaving Largs Marina to 'Catch the Clipper'
    First Day: Leaving Largs Marina to ‘Catch the Clipper’
    Colleague Reunion: Angus and Dan
    Colleague Reunion: Angus and Dan
    Dan gives the team a tour of the Clipper
    Dan gives the team a tour of the Clipper
    Questions? There's many for someone who has sailed around the world!
    Questions? There are many for someone who has sailed around the world!

    By Calum

    Summer Fitness at Cumbrae’s Gym!

    27 Jun

    If you’re looking to ‘tone up’ before going away on holiday, or perhaps you’re spending time on the island over the summer months and want to keep active, then Cumbrae Gym is for YOU! With great PAYG rates, as well as membership options to suit you, now’s the time to email us, pick up the phone or pop into sportscotland Cumbrae to get started!

    Take a look at our GYM PAGE to find out more details…

    By Calum

    Cumbrae: 40th Anniversary Film

    06 Jun

    WATCH this film - it captures the essence of Cumbrae over the years - created in celebration of the centre’s 40th birthday.

    Written and produced by Andrew Smillie with additional footage courtesy of sportscotland Cumbrae.

    By Calum

    Cumbrae celebrates its 40th Anniversary!

    19 May

    Watch the film, created by Andrew Smillie, to celebrate Cumbrae’s 40th…

    On Saturday 14th May, the current Cumbrae team were joined by past employees and partner organisations to celebrate the centre’s 40th anniversary.

    Great fortune meant that the centre and surrounding waters were bathed in glorious sunshine from start to finish. Guests enjoyed on-the-water activities and a BBQ on the sunbaked front terrace. The day culminated inside the centre with a celebratory toast and a Ceilidh into the wee small hours.

    Joining Cumbrae on the day were colleagues from sportscotland Inverclyde and Glenmore Lodge, as well as Trust Board members, and representatives from North Ayrshire Council, East Ayrshire council, the Fields Studies Council, Ocean Youth Trust and Education Scotland. Kenneth Gibson MSP and his wife Patricia Gibson MP also came along and enjoyed a trip out on one of the centre’s powerboats.

    Cumbrae was also delighted to welcome the Performance Director of the RYA, the Chief Executive of RYA(s), as well as the Chairman and the Chief Executive of the Scottish Canoe Association (SCA).

    Current Olympic Team Manager, Stephen Park, joined the celebrations too. Stephen’s Olympic aspirations started with his 470 campaign at Cumbrae back in the 80’s and he kindly gave an inspiring speech on Saturday evening:

    Stephen Park, Olympic Team Manager

    Stephen Park commented:

    “Cumbrae has been pivotal to the success of Scottish sailing over the last 40 years and is essential to the growth of our sport going forward. It provides the perfect conditions for athletes and coaches to learn and develop helping them to challenge at the very highest level.”

    Other comments from guests included:

    ‘Thank you very much for organising a fantastic event to celebrate the history of the Centre. It was quite obvious that a lot had gone into it; the fairy lights alone would’ve taken ages! It was great to see some old faces too’ (Andrew Smillie).

    ‘Thanks very much for a great afternoon and evening on Saturday. It was great to catch up with old friends over a beer or two and celebrate the last 40 years. Happy Birthday Cumbrae, here’s to the next 40 years!’
    (Nick Fleming, Chief Executive, OYT Scotland)

    ‘There exists a friendliness and a relaxed professionalism about the centre, which has prevailed since the early days and it was heart-warming to realise that it’s still the case. From a former instructor’s point of view, dropping in in to the celebrations, I was made to feel very welcome as were the rest of the band, who were equally impressed with the centre and the staff’ (Dónal Boyle).

    ‘Thank You! We had a lovely day at Cumbrae on Saturday and felt very welcome. We both tried windsurfing and Stand Up Paddleboarding…I now want to buy my own SUP. The weather was ideal and it was brilliant to see the centre buzzing with activity and everyone enjoying the water’ (Jane Booth, opus29).

    Read the article on sportscotland’s website detailing this milestone birthday…
    Wayfarer and powerboat
    Patricia and Kenneth Gibson on powerboat with Matthew
    Calum's sons going out kayaking with Sam
    Jane Booth SUP
    Jane Kerr and Audrey Sutton Santa Vey
    Somerled with Santa Vey in the background
    Stephen Park, John Derbyshire, James Allan, David and John
    Somerled in front of centre

    By Calum

    PHOTO COMPETITION - winner announced…

    12 May

    On 3rd May, Cumbrae National Centre TURNED 40!

    As part of a series of celebrations, we ran a ‘40th PHOTO COMPETITION’ and we’re pleased to announced Peter Cochrane of Standard Life Sailing Club as the very worthy winner!

    Congratulations Peter!

    By Calum

    STV’s Jennifer Reoch tries out windsurfing at Cumbrae

    25 Apr

    Cumbrae was delighted to welcome the STV crew to the centre on 14th April.

    STV’s Jennifer Reoch gave windsurfing a go with a little help from competitive windsurfer & Cumbrae instructor, Natalie McWilliams. Take a look at how they got on: Watch the film of Natalie introducing Jennifer to windsurfing

    By Calum

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