The Coates-Walker Quaich is awarded for submission of the best cruising log during a sailing season. A few of our more intrepid sailors have submitted the following logs for the Committee to review, and already there have been many positive reviews. You can read the logs by clicking the links below.
Alastair Skinner & Alastair MacIntyre
James Gibbons & Kenneth Laing
This #ParentsinSportWeek, we’re helping parents to keep their child safe in sport.
Understand how you can keep your child safe by taking this FREE e-learning course for parents from the NSPCC, it only takes 10 minutes.
RYA ELearning Course
Commodore John Watt Wightman CVO, CBE, RD* (RNR)
John Watt Wightman was born in Leith, his parents having moved there from North Berwick. His Grandfather (also John Wightman) was the local Ironmonger, session clerk of Blackadder Church and a founder member on the committee of North Berwick Yacht Club in 1901. Grandfather John competed in the fortnightly races in his yacht "Paragon". Robert Wightman, John Watt Wightman's father, was an early member of East Lothian Yacht Club in the 1930s initially with a lugsail boat called "Lothian Lass", and then having "Paragon II" built by Millers of St Monans in 1935. Just how he got building a new boat past his wife when he also had 2 year old John in the house (and golfed regularly) is slightly lost in the mists of time. Although growing up in Edinburgh, young John spent much time at North Berwick in the flat above the ironmongers shop, doing all the harbour things that those growing up in North Berwick do, including sailing model yachts built by his grandfather, playing on the beach and going out with local fishermen on their boats.
When the war came, the Wightman boats did not have wartime registration, so were stored ashore for the duration of hostilities. Paragon II was kept in one of the bays of Fowler's Garage on the High Street. Although the East Lothian coast was a closed area, young John was still able to come down to stay above the shop by working as a boy on one of the farms at Rhodes holdings. He was in the town when bombs were dropped on the Law, and also when a mine detonated on the East Beach breaking windows along the front. He continued to be friends with patient local fishermen and learned the names of all the rocks, and "meads" (transits) for passages through rocks. Knowledge, which is now lost to most.
In 1945 Paragon was launched again, and young John was given one of the ex hire rowing boats, with wartime registration "A6" to use. He credited use of that rowing boat as giving him the understanding of how to manoeuvre twin screw ships in later life. He had a great interest in flora and fauna of the coast, in particular the sea birds. He continued to sail with generations of the Auld family as well as his own family. He continued to sail Paragon II, increasingly taking responsibility for maintenance from his father during the 1950s.
He joined the Royal Navy Volunteer Reserve Tay Division in 1951 (while at University) and undertook his National Service in the Med with the RN, seeing action both in Cyprus (which he discussed with Andreas with some circumspection) and landing tanks at Suez. After National Service he joined Forth Division RNVR, bringing mine sweepers and MFVs down to North Berwick from time to time. Although he did nor race sailing boats much at North Berwick, he did tell a story of racing round the Bass Rock in naval whalers (27 foot long open boats with a dipping lug rig, and five oars). The start and finish line was at Rosyth Docks. He did race in Paragon II occasionally, mostly in the Elie Stern Chase, with some success, although given how poorly Paragon points compared to Bermudian yachts, in years with too much south in the wind Paragon II would come last by quite a long way.
He did also take advantage of sail training in ELYC, when he was required to have a dinghy sailing qualification to take part in a 1980s Royal Naval Reserve sailing regatta. Thank you to Morty Turner, ELYCs instructor at the time, for getting him through his RYA "Elementary" at a time when he was already qualified to command ships. His family did enjoy watching the capsize drill in a Mirror dinghy. It will be hard to imagine for current members under the age of 50, but no wet suits were used at that time. The capsize was conducted in cotton shorts, a woollen jumper and a Helly Hansen buoyancy aid.
John continued to sail Paragon II into his 80s, still staying in the flat above the Ironmongers shop. Although not a racer, he did make full use of his boat, and sailed her into most of the harbours in the Forth. Sail of course, because she does not have an engine. The furthest south he took the boat was Alnmouth in Northumberland (in one hop from North Berwick). The furthest North he sailed Paragon II was Arbroath. On one memorable occasion he sailed in one day from North Berwick, to Inchcolm, over to Aberdour for lunch, and then back to North Berwick...... taking advantage of the tides and a 180 degree wind shift at lunchtime. He enjoyed many adventures in the boat, and it is sad that we can no longer hear them from him, nor share in his knowledge of the history of the harbour and the natural history of the coast.
In his civilian life "JW" was an Edinburgh lawyer with law firm Morton Fraser. His legal practice was wide and diverse including a large rural practice in the North of Scotland, and some commercial clients including the paint company that supplied the paint with which Paragon (and the Forth Bridge) were painted. He was awarded the CBE in the 1980s in recognition of his military career. He was made a Commander of the Royal Victorian Order (CVO) in the 1990s in recognition of his services as solicitor in Scotland to Her Majesty the Queen.
The winners of the 100 Club draw for July 2021 were made on Saturday September 4th in the Clubhouse.
The winners of the 100 Club draw for July 2021 were made on Saturday August 7th in the Clubhouse.
The winners of the inaugural 100 Club draw for June 2021 were made on Saturday July 10th in the Clubhouse.
Ricky drew the numbers from the hat, with the lucky punters below claiming the prizes!
A PERSONAL TRIBUTE TO BRIAN CAMERON
1946 - 2021
by Mike Rigg – Vice Commodore
Brian had been a member of ELYC since 1978 and over those years he has sailed and raced a vast number of dinghies and yachts, successfully, and he never lost that love for sailing and racing right up until his recent death.
I personally met Brian when I first joined ELYC in 1990, at that time he was sailing a Fantasy which very shortly afterwards he sold and bought what he always described as “LOVE IT TO BITS” a First Class 8 he named Lambada. Brian competed here at ELYC, the various East Coast Weeks held on the Forth, Tay and the North East and the Scottish Series held on the West Coast.
Many a yacht club member were involved in all these events including delivery trips to and from the venues. In 1999 John Hookway and I purchased a First Class 8 which led to friendly rivalry between both boats and our friendship with Brian strengthened each helping each other with launching etc.
In July 1997 Brian and Vivienne married and much to the “delight” of Viv she spent her honeymoon in a caravan and tent shared by Brian and his crew as they raced at East Coast week on the Tay.
Eventually in the early noughties Brian sold Lambada and bought Nimrod or as he lovely called it Nimmers. He raced Nimmers as regularly as he could and irrespective of where he finished he always came ashore with a broad smile again saying “loved it to bits”.
During this period he felt the need for the close racing and excitement of dinghy racing and purchased a Laser 2000 which he christened Line Dancer. He raced Line Dancer most Wednesdays and Saturdays ably crewed by Mike Smith and at times Ainsley McLaren. The sight of Brian and Mike approaching the start line with seconds to go brought fear to the hearts of many a dinghy sailor, as the boat lived up to its name. The sight of Brian bearing down on me on Starboard with Smithy puffing away on his e cigarette will live with me forever.
Vivienne has kindly donated Line Dancer to the club, to be raced by members, in memory of Brian so she will still be seen battling out on the water.
Brian spent some of his time away from North Berwick when he and Viv would go to their apartment in Lagos, Portugal. During one of his trips to Lagos he purchased a 47ft catamaran called Sticky Paws which he used to race and potter around the bays and harbours of the Algarve.
Brian always had a yearn to sail long distance and in 2004 he decided to satisfy that by entering the RAC cruise from Lanzarote to Antigua. He was crewed by ELYC members John Hookway, Martin Craig, Paul Rigg and myself. The trip took just under 3 weeks without a harsh word being spoken. Brian would spent all day preparing the various evening meals including one day a fish pie using the only fish we ever caught followed by a sweet of custard and apple pie. Having not taken custard power on board he made the custard from first principles. The only strong drink consumed was water and a bottle of Fizz to celebrate my wife Maggies 60th birthday and our radio chat with Gerry who was only 24 miles away doing his own transatlantic crossing. Needless to say our arrival in Antigua was a cause for celebration with many Dark and Stormies being drunk.
Brian kept Sticky Paws in the Caribbean for a couple of years and he and Vivienne spent two winters cruising the beautiful islands of the Caribbean.
In 2006 it was time to bring her home back to Portugal and he joined ARC Europe along with others. Brian had made up his mind that he would do the return leg without the use of an engine, which he only used for entering and leaving harbour. I was once again asked to be part of the crew which I jumped at. I found some of the many windless days and nights hard going and would go to my bunk, when not on watch, and listen to music. As we approached Bermuda Brian spotted another boat in our fleet and of course this led to a windless race to the finish line, which was at least a day away. However a gesture so typical of Brian was when he shouted down to me to come up as the finish line was in sight and then told me to take her over the finish line. A gesture I’ve never forgotten. Brian was awarded a special prize by the organisers of ARC Europe as being the only boat to sail back without the use of an engine.
Brian's love of racing led him to purchase a 34ft Carbon Fibre racing yacht called Yellow Bird which he had totally restored to its original condition. He successfully raced Yellow Bird in all of the local regattas, some many miles away from Lagos , and local races. This led to some uncomfortable nights trying to sleep as Yellow Bird was not equipped as a luxury yacht but as an out and out racing machine .The discomfort was soon forgotten the next day as we were bearing down on the start line with shouts of "up, up!" from Brian.
Latterly he was using Yellow Bird less and less so in another move typical of him he donated Yellow Bird to the local sailing club for the youth of the club and town to learn the art of sailing and racing.
Brian was a big man in many way, but I’ll always remember him as having a big heart who never fell out with folk and always thought the best of people. The funny stories around Brian will hopefully be told for many a year around the club bar and it will be a long time before we see his ilk again.
Rest in Peace Brian its been a privilege to be called your pal.
Sail Loft Cafe - Reopening
We will be reopening the Sail Loft Cafe this weekend (22nd May). The cafe will be open every Friday evening from 5pm - 8pm for hot drinks and pizza, and every Saturday from 10am - 6pm for coffee, cakes and lunchtime food.
Please see our menu below:
Decaf tea £1.00
Peppermint tea £1.00
Earl Grey tea £1.00
Coffee (black/white) £1.50
Hot chocolate £2.00 + Cream and marshmallows+£2.50
Squash (orange/blackcurrant) £0.50
Apple/orange juice carton £1.00
*Hot drinks with an option of oat milk*
Cheese (+ chutney)£2.00
Tuna mayo £2.00
Fried egg £2.00
+Side salad+ £0.50
Soup of the day - see board for reference £2.50
Traybakes - see board for reference £2.00
Scones - see board for reference £1.50
*If you have any allergies, please let us know*
East Lothian Yacht Club | 36-40 Victoria Road | The Harbour | North Berwick | East Lothian | EH39 4JL