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 2023 - 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 also raced dinghies occasionally and largely unsuccessfully when I have time.
I joined the LSC Executive Committee as Training Convenor in 2013 and was Largs Sail Training Association Principal from 2014 to 2018. (LSTA is an independent organisation, set up by LSC, to provide RYA recognised training to club members.)
Over the last few years, I've been most heavily involved with Club Development, and I have also been Safeguarding Officer for the Club and LSTA.
As Commodore, i see my role as supporting other members of the Committee, our staff and our wonderful team of volunteers to grow and broaden participation in all the Club's varied activities and make Largs Sailing Club a success and a great place to be.
Contact Form for: John Scott

Rear Commodore 2023 - Neil Gould

I first ventured onto the water on the West Coast in the mid-sixties on board a converted fishing boat, based in Troon and Crinan.  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 "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. My day job became more international working for a shipping company. As result I had the opportunity to sail and race regularly in China, Italy and UAE including match racing in FT10 and and Beneteau 7.5, Beneteau 31.7 and Swan 38. With my own boats, I developed a taste for single handed sailing 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 hope my enthusiasm for sailing combined with developing businesses will help the club grow as a  base for water sports in Scotland and a welcoming venue for visitors and sailors.

Treasurer - Marilyn Campbell

My husband Ian and I moved to Fairlie from Kent in January 2022, fulfilling our long-held ambition to spend our retirement years in this beautiful area, where Ian had spent a lot of time staying with relatives in his early years.

We had finally sold our much loved Westerly Falcon Comet in 2019, deciding our arthritic joints no longer needed the trials of maintaining a boat in a UK winter, and devoted our times afloat to chartering in warmer climes.

However we soon realised after moving here, with huge windows overlooking the water, that we actually craved to get back out there! We bought a 5m RIB in May but now fear that we shall have to upgrade to something bigger to enable us to fully explore the beautiful area we now call home.

I have always worked in Finance, with several qualifications under my belt. I served as Hon Treasurer at Upnor Sailing Club, on the Medway for several years, before taking up the role of Auditor and training future Treasurers. Ian and I feel very comfortable being part of a Sailing Club and joined Largs SC at our earliest opportunity. We hope to spend many happy years getting to know members and joining in club activities.

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

Membership and Publicity - Gordon Cochrane

I learned to sail with the Largs SC cadets in the mid 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!) This kindled what became a lifelong passion.

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 club's cruising group, and out west, from Northern Ireland as far north as the Summer Isles near Ullapool, and Stornoway.

I also quickly got involved in the committee, then was asked to be membership secretary in 2005, basically responsible for administering the membership. I also developed the "e-news", and other club publicity, plus becoming the unofficial club historian.

I took a break from the executive committee in early 2020, to catch up on life, but rejoined at the AGM in December 2022, in my previous roles, and look forward to helping to take the club I love forward in the post Covid era.

Contact Form: Gordon Cochrane

Dinghy Convenor - Jon Bassett

I started sailing with my school club at Pitsford Reservoir where we sailed mainly Toppers, GP14s, Larks and a very old Fireball. Chasing each other around the reservoir soon turned into trying to race – my first open meeting was in a Mirror where I was so far behind they had started the second race before I had finished the first one!

Working up through the school and club cadets system, I thankfully got a bit better, and sometimes even managed to complete a race in sight of the other boats. At university, I sailed a few traditional boats venturing out of the youth classes, and discovered how fantastic some of these could be: Merlin Rockets, Hornets and National 12s showed me just how much rope you can put on a boat.

Since moving to Scotland and joining Largs SC in 2009, I have sailed single handed dinghies and really enjoy the club racing and the regional open circuits. I also spent 10yrs on the local RNLI crew. Largs is a fantastic place to sail, with a huge sailing area available to us, and one of the best views from any clubhouse in the UK.

As dinghy convenor, I organise the club dinghy racing series, and will be working with Phil Alderson in the Training lead role to help introduce our newer sailors to racing.

Training - Phil Alderson

I have been dinghy sailing since I was about 10 in a few different clubs around Scotland. Starting off in a Mirror, then a Laser before team racing at University. I was then introduced to the International 14 which got me hooked on high performance boats. After trying an old wooden Cherub, I moved to that class and have been sailing seven different Cherubs since the mid 1990s, building three of them in various garages and sheds.

I moved to Largs in 2007 and have been racing and instructing with the LSTA here since then. The Largs Sail Training Association is an independent organisation, set up by LSC, to provide RYA recognised training to club members. I took over as the LSTA Centre Principal in 2021, and have now joined the LSC Executive to represent LSTA. Along with 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.

Contact Form for: Phil Alderson

Youth Representative - Louise Russell

From being sailed about by my dad in an optimist dinghy as a toddler, I have been out on the water for as long as I can remember. At the age of 8, I was enrolled in LSTA cadets and have not looked back since. After a few years of Thursday cadets, I was fortunate enough to have my own topper dinghy which opened up sailing opportunities around Scotland.
I have taken part in many of the Scottish traveller series events and RYA class academies. Granted I'm not the best or fastest sailor, I still enjoyed myself at the back of the fleet and gained tips and tricks from Scotland's best young sailors.
Other than sailing with LSC, I have also been on a number of outings with Able2Sail as a youth mentor which has been a very rewarding experience.
One of my favorite experiences has been a week's voyage with Ocean Youth Trust on Alba Venturer in 2017. I thoroughly enjoyed crewing a 70' yacht which is a world away from my usual dinghy sailing territory and sparked a new love for yacht sailing. Helming through the Gulf of Corryvreckan was a particular highlight of mine.

As the Youth Representative, my role is to give younger members a say in what happens in their club, and assist the executive in making decisions that benefit our younger members too.

Louise Russel on a yacht

Adam Lansdown (Committee Member)

I have lived in Edinburgh since 1980, and being the middle child of a retired RN officer and fanatic sailor, seem to have had boats within range most of my life. We were able to indulge with our first (and possibly sadly only) boat in 2007 when we bought a 10m Westerly Seahawk from a Largs berth holder, where she remained until mid 2022, when we had to bid her farewell. I was occasionally tempted to move her closer to home or to a more economical base, but the convenience and friendliness of Largs easily triumphed over these passing whims.

I am now free to crew with others, charter wherever the mood takes us, and smile at the endless dilemmas facing my boat owner friends confronted with their ever lengthening job lists or choice of spares. We do miss the fabulous jaunts with family and friends, from weekends and holidays around the west coast of Scotland, Ireland, and north of England, and access to some of the most beautiful and often challenging places on offer right here on our doorstep.

I recently retired from a career as a specialist commercial surveyor working with operators in the hospitality and leisure industries – including work on marinas around the country. I am very keen to add whatever support I can to LSC to develop their superb facilities.

Johnathan Briggs (Development)

I’ve been passionate about sailing since my teenage years. I sail both a dinghy (a D-Zero) and big boats (a Lagoon Catamaran) with my family, both at Largs and on the West Coast. Both my teenage sons have been part of the RYA Topper squad system so we spend a lot of time travelling to other clubs up and down the UK and get to see what they do well and not-so-well.

I have a particular passion for helping kids learn to sail and I have been an active part of the LSTA for around 10 years. With two very active teenage sons, I seem to have had a lot less time for sailing than I once did, but I hope this will change this year.  In the last six months I have greatly enjoyed designing and making my own carbon fibre hydrofoils and carbon board then learning to Wing Foil with them – if you have never seen Wing Foiling then it’s the sailing equivalent of having a midlife crisis and buying a motorbike! As usual my kids are better then me already!

Sailing Events Convenor - vacant

We thank John Connelly and his successor Mark Edwards for their service in this important position on the executive committee. Mark retired from the executive at the December 2022 AGM, and we seek a new volunteer to take on this role. Contact our commodore John Scott to discuss.

Contacting the Cruising Group

Whilst we seek a volunteer to fill the vacant position of Cruising Convenor, the cruising committee members can be contacted using the link below. Or you can approach us directly if you see us out and about on our boats, Ann and Gordon Cochrane's Maxi 1100 "Night Owl", and Neil Gould's She 31 "Loch She".

Our activities since March 2020 have been badly affected by the Covid situation, but we did manage a very popular and successful cruise in company to Rhu in August 2021, and another c-in-c to Tarbert in 2022. We all hope that our normal cruise in company programme can be resumed in summer 2023.

Contact Form for: Cruising Group