Lockdown Gallery

The Committee in its wisdom decided that as Serpent events in 2020 were inevitably to be curtailed*, a selection of photos from past club activities should be presented on the website to remind us all of to what we have to look forward.

Now adding the lastest submissions at the top of the page. Remember to click on the pic for a better view.

Here are 3 from the 2016 Frostbite race: The late Neil MacDougall assisted by Don Gillies at speed in  Camus Bosta, Martin Yuill going well in Pondskater, and Exody leading Camus Bosta into the Tan.

Now 2 photos from Tom Hutchinson

 Above a 2014 start at Rothesay. Tom comments 'Who says we are not competitive'  and below Martyn Webster in Shona soon after the start of the 2016 Portavadie race. We will miss Shona and Martyn in the Serpent events. 

Here are 3 from Stewart Toy - the Loch Riddon BBQ in 2017.  Maybe not perfect BBQ weather but happy faces nonetheless as is usually the Serpent way.

The first submissions were from the irrepressible Trevor Watson and are from the 2013 Round Shuna Race. Do click on each photo to enlarge it.

 Nobody was ever fooled by Out of The Blue's attempts to look casual by fishing off the transom.

 Troikka doing what she did best in very light airs. Looks like only 2 on board. What were we doing wrong?

The next three are submitted by Dugald Glen and are from the opening muster Tarbert race in 2008.

  On board Tulla with Iain and Pamela Sinclair as guest crew.

Here's a super shot of Troika the SJ320 under full sail with George and Julia Hannah on board. The SJ was an enormously fun boat.

This looks like it must be a sail change about to proceed on Troikka. No roller headsail here.

Now a couple from Graham Gillies:

With a threatening sky backdrop the sun catches Exody in the West Kyle, May 2017.  The race had been stopped already and we were sailing on to Tarbert.

   This is the Serpent fleet in the Kyles in the Postavadie race 2016.

A few people shots as taken by the race secretary. Most will have been on the website in the past. (Note: If anyone is unhappy with being depicted in any please inform me and they will be removed.)  The first 2 are from 2017 when Anne & I were guest crew on board Katya for the round Shuna race. Judging by the woolly hats it must have been chillier than it looks.

Catherine is certainly sporting some impressive headgear as Anne shows off her racing crew pose.

The Croabh Muster barbecue team who have done a splendid job over many years.

The next 4 are from the Tarbert muster 2016 where clearly there was a good turnout for the pre- dinner drinks party.


Appreciation of Douglas Clow

 Members will be saddened to hear of the death of Douglas Clow (79).
He was a valued member of the Serpent Yacht Club and one of its staunchest supporters for over 40 years.
Douglas’s passion for sailing started when he raced dinghies at Monklands Sailing Club. After he got married to Margaret and their family arrived, he realised a bigger boat was needed. In true Douglas style, he sourced a hull and deck and proceeded to build, not just one, but two boats at the side of his house in Lesmahagow. The first was “Phaeton’ –an Elizabethan 30 and the second “Ambition” a Warrior 35.
His last boat was, Guilty, a Gibsea 39, in which he competed very successfully in Serpent and Clyde Cruising Club events. He also spent many happy holidays with his family and friends on the Clyde, the West Coast and further afield, often in the company of other Serpent yachts.
Douglas’s company, The Clow Group, is one of the largest independent manufacturers of ladders, steps, brushes and access equipment in the UK today.
Many will wonder how Douglas was accepted as a member of a club for medics.
My Dad, Jack Edgar, was Douglas’s GP when the Clow family lived in Lesmahagow. Dad had been helping Douglas finish off his boats when he got a notification about the Serpent Yacht Club starting up. He asked Douglas if he would be interested in them entering a race together. Douglas agreed.

Quite quickly, Serpent members realised what an asset Douglas was to the club, not just for his great knowledge, sailing expertise and enthusiasm but also the fact that his firm had accounts with chandlery suppliers and offered favourable rates on marine equipment as well as on paint brushes, ladders and scaffolding from his own company. Honorary membership of the club was extended to him and he subsequently joined the committee and served as Treasurer.
My memories of Douglas will be of him always sailing impeccably turned out in his shirt and tie, always smiling, being very competitive and doing outrageous things to win e.g. keeping his spinnaker flying when all others had lost their nerve.

He will be sadly missed. Our thoughts go out to Margaret, Douglas, Cameron and Kirsten and their families. 

Catherine Toy
Past Commodore 


As we near the next decade

A Happy Christmas and successful sailing in 2020 to all Serpent members.

Here is advance warning that the AGM is to be held on 12th February in the Newton Mearns church which is not far from where our present commodore has his HQ.

At the AGM the star attraction will be a double act by Stephen Pickles and Trevor Watson on the subject of Ataraxia's summer cruise to Norway and the Lofoten Islands.  This promises to be most informative and entertaining and you can get a glimpse of a preview by going to Trevor's blog which was compiled during the voyage.  We are assured that they have lots of photos, those on the blog  being merely a sample of what is to come. Definitely something to make AGM attendance unmissable.


Important Notice - Serpent Yacht Club GDPR Policy

In order to comply with the provisions of the 2018 Data Protection Act we are required to inform members that by renewing your subscription you are consenting to your details being held on the SYC electronic records and paper files as set out in our Data Protection Policy which can be viewed on this, the club's website.  The permanent link to the document is on the right hand side of the screen under the heading 'Pages' 


Frostbite Race

Report by Graham Gillies
It was a thin but hardy turnout for this year’s Frostbite Race. Potential participants may have been discouraged by the arrival of the remains of Hurricane Lorenzo with its potential high winds and torrential rain. In the event, the three participating yachts were met on the day with fresh winds and dry conditions.
The easterly wind at the start near Largs Yacht Haven provided flat water and unsettled skies. The choice of sail setup was a tricky call in the minutes prior to the start with wind speeds varying from 10 to 30 kn. 

Aquaholic made a perfect start crossing the line just seconds after the gun with Tulla Mhor crossing the line close on her heels. The chosen course was a clockwise circumnavigation of Great Cumbrae, a modest challenge for those global circumnavigators. Silverjack joined the pursuit 10 minutes later once they had stowed the starting paraphernalia.

The wind lightened as they approached Hun 9 buoy at Farland point allowing some close sparring between the leading boats. It was soon a hard gybe round the mark at Portachur.
The wind lightened a tad in the lee to the west of Cumbrae but remained steady and Tulla Mhor’s long legs increased the gap from Aquaholic. Her handicap of 6.5 required Tulla Mhor to maintain a fast pace.

To the north of Cumbrae, the wind strengthened and sheets were hardened up for a close fetch to Hun 1 with a light chop now affecting the speed. Tacking round the mark, it was a gusting 25kn close haul to lay the finish line. The race was completed by lunchtime with one gybe, one tack and as yet no rain; allowing the fleet to scamper home and pack the sails for the winter layup before the promised downpour.

                                    Silverjack easing the sails as they approach the finish.

Tulla Mhor took line honours with Aquaholic winning on corrected time.
Here are the results with corrected times.

Aquaholic   1hr 12 mins  11secs
Silverjack    1hr 14 mins  39 secs
Tulla Mhor  1hr 16 mins  55 secs.



Autumn Muster

 Weather for the Polaris Regatta weekend has long depended on a spin of the celestial coin and once again it was sunny and relatively windless rather than very windy and wet.  There were no complaints to be heard from Serpent members although there may have been some groans of frustration as yachts bobbed in the holes between patches of fickle breeze.  The Holy Loch being busy with the regatta the equally busy Port Bannatyne marina had been chosen as the destination of a short race from Kip,  one which was eventually stopped at Hun 1 after about 3 hours.

 Emma Louise after the finish heading for Port Bannatyne
Six boats took part with Tulla Mhor with a crew of four circumnavigators making a welcome reappearance from Ardfern and Tom Hutchinson in Aquaholic taking on the committee duties owing to the absence of Katya.  Graham Gillies and Jane Hishalwood in Silverjack did particularly well being ahead of Tulla Mhor for some time and while the conditions were not at all to the liking of Pondskater, Aquaholic crept up along the shore eventually finding some new breeze which had completely eluded Troikka stuck out in the middle and in time accustomed manner Tom took first place on corrected time. I don't have the times to hand but the order was Aquaholic, Tulla Mhor, Troikka in class 1 and Silverjack, Emma Louise and Pondskater in class 3.

 Troikka pictured in her last Serpent outing, seen after the finish
Having rounded Hun 1 most made off immediately for the marina where the crews of Sulaire and Black Pepper formed a reception committee and assisted with parking in the relatively tight environs amongst the much larger contingent from Fairlie Yacht Club.  Much later the Serpents, most armed with their bus pass proceeded out to take the bus into to Rothesay where the Victoria Hotel provided a wholesome meal.


Dates for your diary

Dates for your Diary

Autumn Muster 7th / 8th September 2019 at Port Bannatyne Marina on Bute.  There will be a relatively short race from Kip marina starting at 10am on Saturday morning and finishing at the Ardyne buoy.  Here is a course reminder:

COURSE:   Start, CPA X (yellow) P , Hun 1 (yellow) S , Ascog Patches S , Toward Bank No35  (green) P,   to Finish - Ardyne (green) P ,  (approx 14.5nm)
 FINISH:     Passing the Ardyne buoy to Port with the breakwater of Port Bannatyne Marina bearing 250 deg M.  No committee boat is expected to be on station. Yachts should note their time with accuracy to the nearest second and their finishing position
Port Bannatyne marina is a new venue for the club. It will be busy as Fairlie Yacht club are having their own race there from Largs.  We will be dining at the Victoria Hotel in
Rothesay. The race is likely to be from Kip to Ardyne via Cumbrae. The club
dinner will be in Rothesay at the Victoria Hotel.  Come and check it out.

Frostbite Race Sat 5th October 2019. This race round the Cumbraes from Largs is a fun event and a suitable contest for our closing muster.

Annual Dinner and Prize giving Sat 7th December 2019 The venue will once again be the Art Club.