About the Club

Mission Statement

To offer an affordable and active club with a relaxed, friendly and welcoming atmosphere for people who are regular boat users particularly those who live on the Craignish peninsular; and to encourage shared participation in sailing and kayaking, so we develop a lifelong appreciation of all water based activities as an environmentally sustainable leisure and healthy lifestyle activity.

History

Craignish Boat Club was formed in 1991 to enable people living on the remote Craignish peninsular, Argyll, to gain safe access to water for the purpose of sailing and kayaking activities. The Craignish peninsular includes the villages of Ardfern and Craobh Haven. The founding members of the club chose to have a specific focus on the children and young people on the peninsular and formed a cadet section for the purpose of sail and kayak training, as well as providing series racing and cruising for the adult and family members of the club.

The club is affiliated to the Royal Yachting Association and Scottish Canoe Association, and is a registered Community Amateur Sports Club.

Committee

The club is run by a committee of members elected annually at the Annual General Meeting in November of each year.

Finance

Club aim: to be financially strong, function as a non-profit organization and ensure all accounting procedures are carried out with due diligence.

Membership

Club aim: to maintain and if possible expand membership, especially children who live on the Craignish peninsular and surrounding area, and to keep all members informed of club activities. The club has a membership of sixty four children and adults and includes people with disabilities. The membership represents 15% of the total population who live on Craignish peninsular. We are the only club offering a sports training program in this remote community and all the children who attend the local primary school attend the cadet training sessions.

Site

Until very recently the club was located in Loch Craignish Lagoon by the village of Ardfern. The lease for this site came to an end in 2010 and the club negotiated a long term twenty five year lease for Eilean Traight near the head of Loch Craignish. Following successful grant applications for £110,000 we are now moving towards developing this site to be our secure, permanent home, from which we can operate.

Volunteers.

Club aim: to develop a qualified, skilled and motivated membership for running the club committee and training courses. For training there are currently within the club a Royal Yachting Association coach who advises on safety policy and three Royal Yachting Association dinghy instructors for dinghy sailing, and one British Canoe Union kayak instructor. A number of club members hold Royal Yachting Association power boat and rescue boat qualifications.

Equipment

Club aim: to have a rolling programme of updating and renewing equipment as necessary. The club owns a fleet of fourteen sailing dinghies including Optimist, Taz, Pico, Topper and Wayfarer; two Challenger trimarans for people with disabilities; one Newmatic 360 rescue boat, a miscellaneous collection of yacht tender style inflatable dinghies for instructor support boats and six kayaks. All equipment is available for training, racing or recreational use by members.

Training

Club aims: To organise a training programme for children and adults that seeks to instill in its students the joys and skills of sailing and kayaking by providing quality instruction, information, safety, and encouragement at all levels. Monday evenings from April to October are set aside for cadet sail training. Cadet members on reaching teenage age and being ready for more challenging sailing can join the adults on Wednesday evenings and Sunday afternoons for competitive racing. Kayak training takes place on Tuesday evenings throughout the season. Adult training takes place as required. Students who complete all levels of the programme will understand the fundamentals of sailing and kayaking and demonstrate proficiency in handling dinghies and kayaks in various conditions and be aware of the safety issues surrounding boating.

Racing

Members have a fleet of privately owned sailing dinghies and Flying Fifteen keel boats, which hold a series of handicap and class races on Wednesday evenings and Sunday afternoons during the season. The Flying Fifteen fleet in particular provides a great way for all novice members to gain experience, sailing with a competent helmsman either as crew or helm under direction. The more hardy members of the club participate in a Frostbite Series of races at the start of the year. Members with yachts participate in larger regattas including the Round Mull Race, Round Shuna Race and the West Highland Week.

Recreational

Sunday afternoon mid season is also a focus for informal but more adventurous outings in Loch Craignish, Loch Crinan and the Sound of Jura. Members with yachts organize an occasional ‘cruise in company’ round the islands of Jura and Isla. The club also holds a number of social events throughout the year, bringing together the Craignish community.

Success

Despite being a small club some of our cadets have gone onto bigger things within the sailing world. Presently Lorenzo Chiavarini is with the Olympic Laser Training Squad, Angus Grey Stephens was a member of the RYA National Youth Squad for Laser Radials and Mara Lyon is with the RYA Scottish Topper Squad. Keener cadets are presently also racing in the Scottish Traveller’s Series, and attend the RYA Scottish Class Academies for high level coaching. Former members have also gone on to jobs in the marine industry and at the time of writing two former cadets, now in their early twenties, are pursuing a career in the yacht delivery business and are crewing yachts across the Pacific and Atlantic oceans, whilst others are employed in various UK and Australian marinas, and also serve in the Royal Navy.

18th April 2013