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 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).