Jane Butterworth - Commodores Report

This unfortunately will be my last newsletter before I hand over the Club Burgee to Gerallt.  In normal times we would be celebrating the hand over with a Christmas ball and prize giving but unfortunately the following will have to be said via newsletter.

My two years as Commodore  have flown by although 2020 was not as expected,  I am handing over to Gerallt who will take the Club from strength to strength and I wish him and Mark as Vice Commodore well, and hope that they have a little more activity within the Club in 2021 than I had in 2020

Stephen now stands down as President - thank you Stephen , and Bob Lowe will be the President for the next two years – well done Bob and it would great to see you soon.

I am pleased to announce that the newly elected  Rear Commodore will be Lyndsay Harrold.  Congratulations Lyndsay and I am sure your enthusiasm and input will be well received.

In my first newsletter as Commodore I announced the news that Pwllheli had been selected to host the 2020 RYA Youth National Championships, and little did I or anyone know that after all the preparation and getting ready for hosting the event over the next 16 months,  that the Corona virus pandemic and national lockdown would change everything for us all, hence 2020 has been a very strange year for everyone. The bay was empty of any boats for over two months and then with the gradual lifting of restrictions it was the local sailors that were able to make the most of some good weather and sailing before all travel restrictions were lifted.

After this some good racing took place including the IRC Welsh National Championships and Regatta that was run in accordance with new Covid regulations, also the Autumn series was very well supported with some great racing but the recent Welsh firebreak lockdown coupled with the current English lockdown has interfered with completing the series in its entirety.

Our youth section of the Club, CHIPAC was also affected,  but after a lot of enthusiasm by parents and the sailors we were able to hold a number of Friday evening sessions which I am sure will have wetted the appetite for a good season next year. Thank you to all the volunteers who managed to get our young sailors on the water.

I would like to finish by thanking everyone for their support over the last two years and all our volunteers who without these people we would not be able to do what we do.

I wish you all a very Merry Christmas but my thoughts are with everyone who has been affected by Covid.

Thank you and keep safe, and let us all hope for a more normal 2021.

Jane  Butterworth. 

Burgee Handover 3/12/20

Jane handed over the clubs 1958 burgee last night to incoming Commodore Gerallt Williams, who thanked Jane for her leadership and wise guidance over the previous two years, navigating the club through difficult times.

Jane remains as a club director and the RYA training principal, and  received an engraved  slate and stainless steel Welsh Dragon  and limited edition print of Porth Dinllaen to mark her two years in office. 

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Jane Butterworth and Gerallt Williams at the burgee handover


Due to  a continuing issue with the email client software, we can only publish the newsletter on the website currently. We hope normal service will be resumed soon. Whilst the content is updated, we have repeated some articles  for those that missed previous weeks.

With Welsh restrictions again imposed this week primarily around hospitality, there will be changes to opening hours at Plas Heli, for further information see the Plas Heli section below.

With no changes to outdoor restrictions, members are now able to sail again, and we can plan and hold organised activity, such as racing for groups of up to 30. It's important that skippers  enforce physical distancing and hygiene protocols on board, with mitigations include masks and other measures as previously advised by both CHPSC and RYA CW. CHPSC has issued an SI that "organised racing" crew numbers will be  capped at 80% of the IRC rating  crew number.

 The latest RYA CW advice  is  here.

We recognise members living in England are now out of lockdown, but  are subject to  travel restrictions if in tier 3,  so we hope we can provide some relief with a few more  "boredom buster" sailing related videos, and reports on the Vendee Globe . 


For the hardy racers there is still time to enter the last weekend of the "Winter Series"  (detail and changes to SI's here) or  complete the "Commodore's Challenge" and "Tremadog Triangle"

Adhoc racing can also be arranged with other boats- contact made with skippers via the  CHPSC Racing "Whats App" group - Join using the QR code 

 The CHPSC Flag Officers and Management Committee continue to meet and attend RYA CW forums, and have also attended sailing rules seminars. 

After much discussion and debate, the images for the 2021 club calendar have been selected and design details finalised with our printers. We thank our calendar sponsors -  this generous support  is much appreciated.


 Reasons to be a member in 2021 - 

The flag officers are often asked what the benefits and reasons  are for being a club member, especially as our home  "Plas Heli " is open to the public.

"Pwllheli Sailing Club offers something for everyone, casual boaters, a base for cruising, racing and motor boating together with being a great venue for events, training and importantly a fantastic meeting place, with views, for friends" 

  • In addition to all of the varied activities featured in this e-newsletter membership of the club provides:
    Meeting place for likeminded people in a friendly environment
  • Affiliated membership of the RYA who safeguard recreational boating in the UK
  • Helps to support youth sailing (CHIPAC)
  • Training and Development - RYA courses run by club members
  • Dinghy and keelboat racing opportunities
  • Cruises in company
  • Great social events - club members have priority
  • Discounted berthing at Plas Heli pontoons, and Dinghy storage in a secure compound
  • Access to CHIPAC for members children to learn to sail with experienced instructors teaching in the medium of Welsh and English
  • Members can gain RYA qualifications through volunteering experience at club events.
  • Advertise your Holiday Accommodation to a target audience of visitors to the area during events
  • Receive regular e-newsletters with useful information
  • 10% discount at the Glan Don Beach Bar in Plas Heli
  • Reduced racing fees via the skipper membership option
  • Easy membership (application/renewal) process all on-line and starting from £65 for the year! - see below

Award Winners

Next week we will publish a list of our 2020 champions  - the winners of this year’s racing and cruising trophies and aim to have a bigger and better prize giving ball next year, to reward these worthy recipients. 


 Vendee Globe

vendee globe

This Incredible race started on Sunday the 8th November and is one we know many members like to follow. 

The race can be followed by accessing the event website here or downloading the app from the Apple app store or Google Play store

At the time of writing the fleet  have dealt with an incredible rescue of Kevin Escoffier (PRB) by Vendee veteran Jean Le Cam (Yes we Cam!) 850NM from Cape Town when  PRB broke up in heavy weather, with Kevin taking to his liferaft.  As this newsletter was being finalised three other boats are also assessing damage and sailing towards Cape Town, after hitting unidentified underwater objects.

The clip below show Kevin telling his story to race control, and a further clip featuring a report by the Vendee Globe race director

Remarkably, avid supporters of this race will recall Jean  Le Cam being rescued by a PRB  boat ( Vincent Riou) boat in 2009!




Boredom Buster Video series - week 4

Video 1 - Racing - Middle Sea Race

 "An extraordinary, exciting and at times hazardous experience, in 2018 we pulled together a young sailing team to taken on the challenging 50th Anniversary Rolex Middle Sea Race on our Pogo 12.50, Hermes"
Video 2 - Vendee Globe - Ellen MacArthur
A fantastic documentary detailing  Ellen MacArthur and Kingfisher's" incredible build up and ultimate race around the world in the vendee globe
Video 3 - Documentary - Robin Knox-Johnson - Legend
Video 4 - Cruising - "Fair Isle"
Following last weeks video about the choice of cruising boats, we take a look at "Fair Isle's" summer cruise after lockdown



Plas Heli, the Welsh National Sailing Academy and Event Centre, has been awarded the venue rights for the 'IRC Welsh National Championships' for 2021 and 2022.  The Championship is hosted by Plas Heli, and organised/managed by CHPSC and the RDYC.

We now are recruiting volunteers for event planning purposes and if you would like to contribute, or have any suggestions to enhance the event, please reply to this newsletter. Its intended to have the first planning meeting in December to agree the Notice of Race and proposed format of racing.  This meeting will be open to all potential entrants   and volunteers, and will be held using Zoom. Further details next month.


IRC Welsh Nationals 2020/ISORA Welsh Coastal Series  - Mojito and Jac Y Do 

 RNLI - Gorsaf Bad Achub Pwllheli  - Boathouse Update

Works commenced in September of last year with an initial completion scheduled for the end of July, however the present epidemic delayed progress on site, but work is now nearing completion.

Wynne Construction of Bodelwyddan has completed work on the structure, which has been designed to be as sustainable and maintenance-free as possible. The family-firm also completed the RNLI Llandudno Lifeboat Station in 2017.

Once completed the handover procedure will commence which will involve a series of inductions for the crew and officials before formally handing over the keys for the building.
The building will offer all of the essential crew facilities which are lacking in the present building, which will be required to support the crew and the new lifeboat. To name a few, the new RNLI boathouse will accommodate and impressive training room for its dedicated volunteer crew members, visitor engagement area and generous sized boat halls for both the D Class and the newly and eagerly anticipated Shannon Class Lifeboat. Due to the recent pandemic, this has also been delayed and is now scheduled to be on station and housed at Pwllheli from March 2021.
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Photos Courtesy of RNLI/Tomos Moore

The building incorporates significant new services with features such as ground source heating , solar panel electrical generation and pumped washdown facilities which require familiarisation and the inductions are an integral part of the formal process adopted by the RNLI to ensure that the users are fully acquainted with the systems and working of the building.

The present proposals will mean that the existing Mersey class lifeboat will remain at the current lifeboat station, and following handing over the crew will begin preparations for the transfer which will begin once launch and recovery trials and training are commenced early in 2021 followed by the arrival of the new lifeboat towards March / April of next year.

Clive Moore, Coxswain at Pwllheli and Architect of the new Boathouse said:
‘Final stages of work are now being carried out, involving the external works, fitting out and commissioning of the various services and systems within the building. I’ve been fortunate enough to work on many boathouse projects for the RNLI over the years which I can honestly say, have all been a pleasure to work on but the excitement for our station to be completed is even greater.’

 2021 Membership Rates


Membership of CHPSC for 2021 is now available from 1st October 2020 for new members - a person who has not been a member for the last three years

The membership year is from 1st January to 31st December, so a new member in November will benefit from 14 months of membership for the price of 12!

2021 Fee Structure 

Primary Member - £65

Joint Membership - £115

Racing Skipper - £125

Joint Racing Skipper - £180

Associate Member - £75

Student Member - £30

Youth Member - £20

Dinghy Storage

Small (Optimist/Topper) £55 (£48 early payment)

Medium (Laser) £65 £55 early payment)

Large (Merlin Rocket) £85 (£75 early payment)

Multi Hulls (Dart etc) £95 (£83 early payment)


Plas Heli  re-opened on Thursday 12th November with table service,  a maximum of four people to a table (unless from the same household)  and visitors  are encouraged to pre-book a table,  and provide contact information including verification. Due to new Welsh Government restrictions coming into   place today, 4th of December at 18:00,   (review date December 17th ) no alcohol can be served and the closing times are adjusted as below.

The  new opening  times are as follows, and will be reviewed on December 18th

Friday 10 - 16:00

Saturday 10 - 16:00

Sunday 12- 16:00 (carvery available 12-15:00)


The December food menu also includes Beef or Chicken Curry, and Mushroom Risotto,  in addition to the favourites pictured below.


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 IMG 0383"Pysgod a Sglodion" - fish and chips, plus the popular burger - offered as a special on Saturdays with a free beer


New codes on all gates - please don’t pass on these numbers. Anyone with a genuine need to access the pontoons, compounds or other gated areas will be provided with the code, combination or key. Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for details, or talk to one of your Flag Officers. The Plas Heli event car park on the quay is also available for members parking, should the main Plas Heli car park fill up - for a parking permit see instructions below.

Track and Trace is a Government requirement, please record your details on the sheet provided at the entrance to the  bar, or send an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. It is a Welsh Government recommendation that you also use the NHS app, via the QR code below. 


Future Plas Heli/PSC hosted Events:

Winter series 5/6th December 

Thought for  the Day:

"assuming is the root of all disappointments"


 For more information, membership links and the latest weather and webcam

go to:


Plas Heli Quayside Parking

The parking area on the Plas Heli Quayside is available for paid up CHPSC members and to authorised pontoon users.

The parking area is accessed through the gate adjacent to the old club building

The code to the gate is changed regularly and can be obtained through the plasheli.org website  > Facilities> Parking.  For convenience follow this shortcut link here

Fill in the details – put a tick in the box to confirm that you are a CHPSC member (have your 2020 membership number ready)

Then in the payment bit – use ‘I am a paid up CHPSC member and request permit for parking’ - Then Submit

You will then get a return e-mail with instructions

Please make sure the gate is closed and locked at all times and that the padlock is never left open or with the code left on the dial

NHS at Plas Heli

Many of you will have noticed a new porta-cabin located adjacent to the old club building - this is used by Betsi Cadwaladr National Health Trust Nursing staff for patient consultations in a secure covid-free environment.

Plas Heli is pleased to be able to assist the NHS with this facility and the use of the training rooms in Plas Heli


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