Sitting on the boat in 71 mph gusts with the marina staff working full pelt checking boats reminds us of how fortunate we are being at Pwllheli being looked after by the marina personel.Also thinking about the great season we have had Cruising and Socialising . BOAT TO BOAT. Now looking ahead to 'What's next' in 'Cruising' and of course the 'Boat to Boat' ending our season.
Yes, Saturday November the 4th, 4 o'clock until 6 o'clock. For ones that have just joined us and are not familiar with this social, the two hours are split into two where you are allocated a first boat for this 1st session to meat up with new and old friends, you bring your own drinks and glasses so that the host boat only provides a 'meeting place'. Then Bohdan goes round with his hooter after approx 50 mins to say ''all off, time to go to your next allocated boat". As you can imagine it is important that we get the numbers of participants involved to enable us to accommodate people on the 'Host Boats' and without 'Host Boats' volunteering, this social would NOT be possible. We shall meet at the Plas Menai Room next to the office at 4p.m to instruct which boat you shall be visiting. Please can you inform us by Sunday the 22nd of October IF you intend participating, how many, and IF you would like to be a 'Host Boat' (You do not have to be a 'Host Boat'to be involved).
REQUEST BY SAILING CLUB FOR CRUISING PICTURES FOR THE ANNUAL CALENDAR. An urgent request for those of you that have got high resolution photos of 'boats on the water' for us to forward to the organisers and printers of the annual calendar. It would be good for ' Cruising ' (Power and Sail) to be represented. If you have any that you think suitable please can you send them by return so that a 'montage' can be created. Regards, Ruth & Bohdan
The weekend had been forecast to consist of two extremes with heavy winds from the remains of Lee and Maria on Saturday followed with very light winds on Sunday. But the heavy winds came through over Friday night leaving Saturday with maximum gusts of just 16-17kts, dying off to 6-14 for the second race.
The first start saw everyone eager to get started but far too eager for the strong tide taking everyone over the start time. Pariaba crossed the start line first followed by both Jac y Do and Honey Bee coming in at the pin end followed by Mojito mid line. All four boats were fully over the start line by the time the gun went and all four were called to return. Meanwhile Theia, Legless Again and Sanderling got good clear starts as the others returned. A quick turn around was made and everyone headed to the first mark - no 2, creating many luffing matches as the faster boats returned past the fleet. Sanderling significantly luffing up Mojito to protect their wind on the way but eventually the J109 had more speed on the beat and were able to quickly overtake and head to the mark.
Kites got launched as the wind dropped off. Valkyrie and Legless Again we're making significant ground on Mojito but as Mojito gybed to the next Mark they suddenly picked up pace and pulled away from the fleet, a position they maintained all way round taking line honours and 1st overall. Legless Again had a strong performance giving them 2nd overall and 1st in class 2 with Jac y Do behind them in 3rd place and 2nd in Class 2. Will Partington's Honey Bee took 3rd in class 2 with Valkyrie taking 2nd in Class 1.
Race two and Legless Again got a perfectly timed start, evident from the starting line video which was viewed by all with gasps and cheers in the bar later. Any further forward and they would have been over. As winds dropped, Mark And Jo Thompson's J80 Jac y Do gained good ground on Mojito but couldn't quite maintain enough in the end, finishing just 32 seconds behind on corrected. With reduced winds both Darling and Valkyrie decided to retire and head in for the day.
With Lee and Maria well out of the way on Sunday, the fleet were left with very little wind and AP was flown. As wind filled in race officer Robin Evens tried his best to set a course but as soon as it was announced the wind shut off and for Pariaba, Valkyrie, Darling and Jebus the suspense was all too much and they retired from racing. For those patient enough to stay out, the wind did fill in to give some good racing, testing everyone's skills in the light airs. Tim Rouse, Sailing Theia single handed, got an exceptional start, using the tide pulling the fleet over the line to his advantage, sitting on the line then turning round on the start gun and away he went. Mojito rounded the windward mark first and hoisted their kite just as the wind shut off, allowing Diva, Honey Bee, Legless Again and Jac y Do to pass them. They managed to get the boat going and pull back the race to take another 1st in the series followed by Jac y Do and Honey Bee who also took 1st and 2nd in Class 2 with Legless Again taking 3rd in their class while Diva took a comfortable 2nd in Class 1.
Reducing winds saw more of the fleet retire but Robin managed to set another course for the remaining fleet. Again Mojito parked at the first mark and the fleet passed them. Diva also suffered in the lighter winds so decided to retire. Although Mojito managed to get ahead they were unable to shake the excellently sailed Legless Again who took 1st place overall and in class 2. Failing to make the ground needed Mojito had to settle for 3rd place behind Honey Bee with Jac y Do behind them taking 3rd in class 2.
It's still all to play for in the remaining two weekends with more discards kicking in. Come and join us next on the 21st and 22nd October followed by the series finals and Autumn supper and party on the 28th and 29th October.
Vicky Cox & Peter Dunlop are Sailors of the Month (Offshore) for September - announced in Afloat Magazine - here
Peter and Vicky campaigned J109 Mojito, not only in the ISORA Series which they won overall but also in the Fastnet Race, the D2D race from Dun Laoghaire to Dingle and also the winners of the ISORA Global Exhibitions Offshore Series in Pwllheli.
Despite midweek forecasts of winds gusting over 40 kts putting off a few boats from launching, there were plenty of competitors out to enjoy the first of the Pwllheli Autumn Challenge weekends, although the wine tasting and tapas night at registration the night before meant that there were plenty of fuzzy heads.
Fridays strong winds had left quite a swell to negotiate with 14-22kts from SSE compounding the chop. Race officer Robin Evans set a course heading to Mark no 1 along the beach before heading up wind to mark no 5. Mojito and Jackknife got off to a good start and as the fleet rounded no 1, Andrew Hall's Jackknife lead the fleet offshore in precession. It wasn't until Jackknife were close to a mark that Mojito noticed that Jackknife and the whole fleet were heading to Mark no 4 instead of 5. Will Partington's Honey bee had been sailing slightly freer than most to head for the correct mark but as all the fleet were following Jackknife they also slotted in line.
When Mojito realised, they bore away to head to the correct mark while Jackknife, still unaware of the mistake, rounded no 4, hoisted their kite and were well on their way to the next mark before they took it down. Their mistake allowed Mojito to take an easy first at the line on handicap, 2 minutes ahead of Dave Hughes's Legless Again in 2nd place, who also took 1st in class 2 with Honey Bee taking 3rd overall and 2nd in class.
3rd in class 2 was taken by Mark Thompson's Jac y Do helmed by Stephen Tudor. Meanwhile in class 1, Jackknife had to settle for 2nd followed by Lewis Williams's Darling in 3rd place.
After losing a crew member overboard in the first race, Parabia decided to head in early and retired from the second. This time Robin set the remaining fleet a course starting in the opposite direction to no 7 before the upwind leg to no 5. Jac y Do were settling into the series racing and got a better start on the next race but at no 5 it was a Jackknife followed by Mojito at the windward mark. At the start it had looked like the next leg down to no 2 was going to be too tight to hold kites but eventually Jackknife launched theirs. Mojito held back till later, both allowing Jackknife to pull ahead and Jac y Do to make significant gain. Further back in the fleet Honey Bee were also making ground but not quite enough to secure 3rd overall. Jac y Do took 1st overall and in class 2, Mojito 2nd overall and 1st in class with Jackknife 2nd in Class and 3rd overall. Honey Bee finished 2nd in Class 2 followed by Legless Again and Darling took 3rd in class 1.
Day two and the forecast was to start much the same as day one but with the overnight heavier winds due to rapidly die off. As the fleet came to the start line the heavens opened and rain severely reduced visibility. With a shifty 14-16kts it was all very close at the start. Jebus managed to squeeze in at the pin end next to Mojito pushed up by Honey Bee who were being pushed up by Jackknife, while Jac y Do got a clear start at Gimlet rock.
Robin set a course similar to Saturday but this time everyone found the marks despite the very poor visibility. Mojito, being chased by both Jac y Do and Honey Bee were on fine form and finished almost two minutes ahead of the fleet on corrected time. Jackknife managed to hold on to 2nd place with Jac y Do having to settle for 3rd over all, taking 1st in their class. Darling took 3rd in class 1, while in Class 2 Honey Bee took 2nd behind Jac y Do followed by Jebus in 3rd.
As the fleet headed back to the starting area after the finish, the winds suddenly switched off to just 6-8 kts but with a large chop left from the earlier winds. This time the fleet headed out to mark no 7 where the chop was more evident. Mojito struggled to get going in the light airs but heavy chop and a 360 to burn time at the start resulted in the rest of the fleet heading out before them. The tack out from Gimlet rock saw many boat struggle to get any speed against the waves but Jebus and Jac y Do tacked back early followed by Honey Bee and all three managed to regain substantial speed ahead of the fleet ufollowing Jackknife around the first mark.
As the breeze dropped, code zeros were hoisted on the tight downwind leg but heading back up wind, wind holes appeared with 40degree wind shifts, stopping Mojito in their tracks at one point while Jac y Do were gaining rapidly upon them. Ahead of the fleet, the huge headers were making it difficult for Jackknife to round the last mark and get to the finish but after multiple tacks they made it, taking line honours and 2nd in Class. Overall 1st and 2nd positions were taken by Class 2 boats Jac y Do and Honey Bee with Legless Again taking 3rd in class but not enough to prevent Mojito from taking 3rd over all and 1st in their class. 3rd in class 1 was taken by Darling.
At the end of the first weekend Mojito lead the series closely followed by Jac y Do and Legless Again but it's early days in the four weekend series with plenty of discards, so ample time to get names on the score board.
Plas Heli Carvery - Worth Every PennyThe next weekend, weekend 2 of the series, is on 7th&8th October with a charity quiz night Saturday night in aid of Welsh Air Ambulance and CHIPAC sailing. Book your crew in and see if you can beat the other crews at the quiz night as well as on the water. The prize for the winning team - a Sunday carvery for up to 6 people at Plas Heli may we'll come in handy for refuelling after racing, before heading home.
MID SEPTEMBER CRUISE -September 15th-17th. The intention was setting off on the Friday but the weather was not favourable with an onshore 3 metre swell at Aberystwyth entrance and heavy gusts. Therefore we all met at Plas Heli for 'Early Doors' - socialising and dining. Eight boats cruised to Aberystwyth on the Saturday. Early start on a mirror sea but unfortunately no wind. We made good time to our destination although one of the boats came into difficulty but another boat soon came to assist and offered support. The beauty of cruising in company.
Once at Aberystwyth a 'Meet and Greet' at 'The Pier' so that everyone could join socialising and some being introduced to the group for the first time. Thirteen of us dining at 'The Fountain'. As Emrys said "The best gammon steak I have ever tasted', the food was as glorious as usual.
We sailed back on the Sunday, some called at SCYC, Abersoch on the way back to Pwllheli. We had a fabulous sail back, and this was the 'icing on the cake.'
A 'full on' cruise but great to welcome new members and seeing everyone enjoying themselves. Let's hope there's another chance before the end of the season.