Executive Committee

Largs Sailing Club has an executive committee of volunteers who help to keep the club running and organise all the club activities, with the assistance of an army of other volunteer club members, and our office administrator Julia Gibson.

To introduce the executive, we have all written a few paragraphs about what we do, and who we are.

You can contact any of us directly using the contact form link on each of our profiles, or for general enquiries;

Commodore 2019-20 - Marilyn Robertson

Bitten by the sailing bug whist working in Marseille and sailing on a colleague’s 42ft racing Jeanneau off the coast of Genoa, I finally started learning to sail myself out of Port Edgar on the Firth of Forth in my late 30's.

Sailing always provided an extremely welcome escape from an often demanding career in medical biotechnology, although I also used business trips to experience sailing in many fascinating locations. Race night in Melbourne Harbour was a particularly memorable evening.  On joining the club in 2006, I was an enthusiastic participant in the club’s cruising in company programme, building my sailing confidence with the support and knowledge of others. I served as Cruising Convenor from 2014-16 and on our 33ft Delphia, Corshyecan, we enjoyed frequent social sailing around the Clyde and beyond with our friends and fellow club members. We had logged over 9000nm when I reluctantly parted with this boat in 2019 and I now sail with Able2Sail and any other friends willing to take me on as crew!

Since 2016, I  have worked with past Commodores to put in place a Development plan for the club, using my professional knowledge and experience of public sector funding and small business and charity governance. I look forward to working with all sectors of the club now to further develop and deliver a successful future.

Membership - Gordon Cochrane

I learned to sail with the Largs SC cadets in the 1960's, when the Club was at its previous location in John Street, launching off the slipway at Cairnie's Quay. The cadets then were nothing like as well organised or extensive as the LSTA today!
In those days, the Club had a very active Enterprise fleet, and after crewing for a couple of years, I bought my own Enterprise (a 13'3" plywood two man sailing dinghy). After graduating in 1970, I towed my Enterprise south behind my Ford Anglia, for 10 years of pretty hectic puddle sailing in England, including lots of team racing, championships etc. This was followed by two years sailing a Laser in South Africa. After returning to the UK, work and other issues put paid to dinghy sailing, so I went big boat, spending 20 years as a mate with Ocean Youth Trust. This was fantastic experience, and took me from St Kilda to Dunkirk, and lots of places in between. With my wife Ann, we also started flotilla sailing, then bare boat chartering, in various parts of the world. More experience!
After returning to Largs in 2002, I rejoined the Club, crewed for a couple of years, then we bought "Night Owl", our Maxi 1100 keelboat, which we have since sailed all round the Clyde, often with the cruising group, and as far north as the Summer Isles near Ullapool.
I also quickly got involved in the committee, then was asked to be membership secretary in 2005, basically responsible for administering the membership. This is not quite a full time job, but particularly at subscription renewal time, can certainly feel like it! Also, I have become increasingly involved in publicity, including developed the "e-news", which I hope members appreciate.

Contact Form for: Gordon Cochrane

Sailing Convener - Mark Edwards

The sailing convener is responsible for organising the running of the racing at LSC, and is a good initial contact if you are interested in taking part.

Sailing Events Convenor - John Connelly

I started racing dinghies in 1959 at Stone Sailing Club on the River Blackwater in Essex using a “Teach Yourself Sailing” book. My father built the 3 International Cadets that I raced until the age of 14 when I took over the helm of our Shearwater catamaran. 

I first came to Largs in 1963 for the Nationals and returned in 1971 to defend my National Champion’s title. I came away with it and also my future wife Hilary who was a member of LSC. 

I have owned and raced a number of keelboats including a Club 19, Sigma 33, MG335 and my current yacht “Aztec”, a Sunfast 40. Hilary and I have also owned and raced a Hurricane Cat at the Club and more recently I raced an A Class cat.

As the events Convenor I rely heavily on our volunteer base to deliver championships. I am fortunate to be supported by an enthusiastic events sub committee. 

Contact john.connelly@aztec.org.uk

Training Convenor - John Scott

Having "messed about in boats" a bit while at school, I started sailing seriously as a student on Rolls-Royce's 55' sail training ketch, Merlin of Clyde, and quickly got the bug. I have now been yacht racing, fairly successfully, as crew and occasional helm for more than 30 years and have done a fair amount of cruising, mostly in the Mediterranean. I started dinghy sailing again when my daughters started as LSC cadets and rapidly got more and more involved in introducing kids and adults to the joys of sailing, qualifying as an RYA Senior Dinghy Instructor in 2012 and Powerboat Instructor in 2017. I have a Laser which I race occasionally and largely unsuccessfully when I have time.
 
I joined the LSC Executive in 2013 and took over as LSTA Principal in 2014. Largs Sail Training Association is an independent organisation, set up by LSC, to provide RYA recognised training to club members. When Johnathan Briggs took over as LSTA Principal in 2018, I stayed on the LSC Executive to represent LSTA. 
 
Along with LSTA Principal, Johnathan Briggs and Chief Instructor, Bill Forsyth, I'm responsible for all training activities at the club and I'm proud to represent LSTA's wonderful team of instructors and volunteers on the LSC Executive. I'm also responsible for Safeguarding.
 
Contact Form for: John Scott

Safety - Bill Forsyth

A keen dinghy and keel boat sailor, I have worked in the maritime sector for over 30 years , the last 20 in front line search and rescue and vessel survey and inspection. Prior to this I was fortunate to be able to make a living sailing other peoples yachts, and managed to complete several transatlantic crossings and sailed to and from various Mediterranean ports.

Re introduced to the beautiful waters of the West coast when both of my sons became junior members at Largs in 2013, not content with just lending a hand on an occasional basis I qualified as a dinghy instructor in 2014 and now participate in both adult and junior training. Most weekends when I am not instructing or coaching I make up the numbers during club racing.

As safety convenor, my role is to ensure that the water and shore based activates are adequately risk assessed and that where required we comply with any statute requirements and follow best practice. I also support a very keen group of volunteers that maintain the club's fleet of RIBS. Assisted by many other members behind the scenes, we all work together to ensure that whatever events are happening on the water or ashore are delivered in a friendly, competitive, fun and safe way.

Contact Form for: Bill Forsyth

Neil Gould (Committee member)

I first ventured onto the water on the West Coast in the mid-sixties on board a variety of motor vessels from a converted fishing boat, based in Troon and Crinan, to CalMac cargo boats tramping the Western Isles in the early 70’s. It was even suggested I go for my crew ticket when I was 14. I dabbled in dinghies as well on GP14’s in the Forth but was not impressed. In 1992, courtesy of my wife, I had a week's sailing in Pembrokeshire which turned out to be competent crew course. After that I was hooked. I was crew for hire in various races in South West of England including cross channel races, crewing on Hunters, J24, Sigma33 at various club events and regattas. After that my day job became more international working for a large well known shipping company. As result I had the opportunity to sail and race regularly in China, Italy and UAE including match racing, IRC and dinghies latterly on my own boat. I developed a taste for single handed and racing. 

I now enjoy sailing a She 31 from Largs and am working on improving the boat and more importantly my own skills to compete a bit more. I provide occasional entertainment for the club on windy days sailing in circles while put my fenders out and get ready to come back in to the marina. 

During the day my job still is water related as my company is engaged in shipping sea freight around the world and even providing ship’s agency on the Clyde. 

I hope the combination of my enthusiasm for sailing combined with developing businesses will help support the club grow as a leading base for water sports in Scotland and an attractive venue for visitors to the area

Adam Lansdown (Committee member)

I live in Edinburgh and commute to the west coast for my sailing on our first - and still current - boat, a 10m Westerly Seahawk, which I bought from a Largs berth holder in 2007 and where she has remained ever since. I have been tempted to move her to be closer to home or perhaps to a more economical base, but the convenience and friendliness of Largs easily triumphs over these passing whims.

I sail with my wife, family and friends, and we use the boat as a weekend and holiday home that moves easily around the coast to some of the most beautiful and often challenging places on offer on the west of Britain (as we have visited all the “kingdoms”). It amuses us on occasion that we may be close to being “in” when the Crinan Canal staff recognise us and ask if we can help a novice pass through with us!

I recently retired from a career as a specialist surveyor where I was a partner and director of a professional firm working with operators in the hospitality and leisure industries – including work on marinas around the country. The bulk of my work was for private and corporate companies seeking disposals and acquisitions, and for institutions and investors needing appraisals and independent assessments. I hope that some of this experience will be of use to the club in the coming years.

Harvey Bernard (Committee member)

My first experience of sailing was whilst in the RAF. Joined the Base Sailing Club sailing Bermudan rigged wooden dinghies on the Norfolk Broads. Got the bug and intended to purchase my own boat just as soon as I was demobbed.

Business and family got in the way and it was some years before I had sufficient time and resources to fulfill that dream. Purchased a Trapper 500 in 1987. Changed to a Jeanneau Arcadia in 1990 and 7 years ago changed again to a Fisher 30 Motor Sailer. Have been berthed in LYH all of that time. Did participate for some years locally in club racing with the Trapper and Jeanneau but most of my sailing has been cruising the West of Scotland interspersed with annual trips to Australia where I sail my son's Bavaria 37 around Sydney Harbour, Pittwater and the Hawkesbury. Now mainly retired from business at PLC Board level and currently Rear Commodore of the Fisher Owners Association I hope to be able to put some of my sailing and business experience to good use participating in the management of the Largs Sailing Club

Treasurer - Vacant

This role is currently Vacant.

Contacting the Cruising Group

Whilst we seek a volunteer to fill the vacant position of Cruising Convener, Ann Cochrane has volunteered to coordinate the winter talks for 2020, and Colin Brook will continue as summer coordinator for the 2020 cruise in company programme. They can be contacted using the link below. Or you can approach the sub-ctte members directly if you see us out and about on our boats Bethany, Inclination, Memsahib, Night Owl, and Sunshine.

Contact Form for: Cruising Group