Flag Officers Friday Newsletter
Welcome to this week's edition of the Clwb Hwylio Pwllheli Sailing Club E-Newsletter.
Those of you who visited Plas Heli or the harbour area last week will have noticed our flags at half-mast. No sooner than they had been raised following the period of mourning for HRH The Duke of Edinburgh, we received the sad news of the passing of two loyal and longstanding members of Clwb Hwylio Pwllheli Sailing Club.
Paul Marland who raced for many years on “Sunrunner” and Charles McConnell who, together with his wife Chris, owned and cruised “Last Orders” and more recently “Dreamtime”.
They will be sadly missed and our thoughts are with Jen, Chris and their families at this sad time.
April probably saw the most significant changes in Covid restrictions made for some considerable time. On the 12th Welsh Government travel restrictions were lifted to allow travel into Wales from the remainder of the UK. This meant that many of you who live over the border in England were able to visit your boats, caravans and holiday homes for the first time this year. It has been great to see you return and the area slowly returning to something akin to normal.
Pwllheli’s new Shannon All Weather Lifeboat “The Smith Brothers” arrived by sea on Sunday the 18th April, delivered by our local RNLI crew who brought the new vessel up from Pool. She was met in Tremadog Bay by five other RNLI boats, the ILBs from Criccieth, Abersoch and Pwllheli together with the Porthdinllaen All-weather lifeboat and the retiring Lilly and Vincent Anthony of Pwllheli. The sight of six lifeboats together in the bay was truly amazing. The new vessel was also welcomed by many, who had gathered on the shoreline. Our Rear Commodore Lyndsay Harrold and myself were fortunate enough to be able to take to the water on our newly refurbished Protector rib and were treated to a day that we will fondly remember for a long time to come.
Last weekend saw 19 young Topper sailors and 9 Optimist sailors from the Midlands RYA, training from our Plas Heli facility. All participants were pleased to be back on the water and despite there being very little wind on Saturday morning they were eventually treated to some fantastic sailing.
Last Monday saw the re-opening of outdoor hospitality. Plas Heli opened its doors and drinks and refreshments were served on the balcony. There was a good attendance but the dropping temperature was not conducive to a late evening.
The Plas Heli pontoons are filling up rapidly and this coming weekend will see the start of Club Racing and an ISORA Pwllheli to Pwllheli Bay Race on Saturday.
Membership applications are continuously being received and our Hon. Secretary has reported no fewer than 31 new members. I would like to take this opportunity to extend a warm welcome to them and of course to all our returning members. I look forward to meeting you all personally in due course and I hope we all have a great sailing season.
CHPSC are continuously trying to improve its members experience and last week we took delivery of a prototype table and bench which should enable members and visitors to be seated on the balcony whilst maintaining a view of our fantastic coastline. The bench was given the seal of approval by all last Monday evening and I am pleased that a further five units are on order and will hopefully be with us by the weekend.
Don’t forget that the newly branded “Panorama Restaurant and lounge" is now open and serving refreshments for consumption on the balcony and terrace. Iwan Parry and his team look forward to serving you - see the article below.
On behalf of myself and the CHPSC flag officers, I hope you have a great bank holiday weekend.
Gerallt Williams – Commodore CHPSC.
Panorama Restaurant and Lounge @ Plas heli
Iwan Parry, the new manager of Plas Heli’s catering facility would like to wish you a warm welcome for the new sailing season and looks forward to greeting you at the newly rebranded Panorama restaurant and lounge.
Iwan Parry is passionate about good food, having dedicated the best part of ten years to the hospitality sector and is keen to ensure all sailing club members and local visitors alike enjoy their time at the venue.
Not only is Iwan introducing afternoon tea and tapas to the fresh food menu, new beers and local produce will also be available. Good quality locally sourced fresh food and beverage at reasonable prices with great service is Iwan’s main aim.
Should you wish to entertain on-board, Iwan and his team can arrange a lovely hamper and picnic to meet your needs. The venue is also available for private functions. S4C have already reserved a spot for filming in July, watch this space!
Iwan Parry (centre) - the Panorama Restaurant and Lounge Manager
Panorama Restaurant and Lounge Opening hours:
Monday 11.00 - 21.00
Tuesday 11.00 - 18.00
Wednesday 11.00 - 21.00
Thursday 11.00 - 21.00
Friday 11.00 - 23.00
Saturday 11.00 - 23.00
Sunday 12.00 - 20.00
Contact Iwan and the team:
Phone: 07793 258 827 or 01758 614 442
Facebook:panorama bar & lounge
The club has a webcam mounted on the Plas Heli Bridge, with views of the harbour approaches - the live images can be viewed here, or at the bottom of the website home page.
An additional webcam will be installed later this year looking over the Plas Heli event pontoons and northern end of the marina and will be streamed in the member's area of the club website.
Welsh Government Alert Level 4
> Cross border travel restrictions were lifted on April 12th
> Organised outdoor activity allowed for up to 30 participants of any age
> Elite training can take place
> Casual sailing can take place as part of exercise, with max six people.
> The Plas Heli compound, event pontoons and outside hospitality spaces are now open.
> Latest RYA Cymru Wales Q & A clarifying the announcement of April 9th is here
Trading Boats between UK and the EU - news article here
BREXIT - RYA Guidance
Border force (customs) requirements for recreational boats leaving UK waters (for example visiting Ireland) are listed here with links to the forms etc
MÔR DEITHIO / CRUISING
2021 plans - update from Rob Smith and Stephen Williams
The latest cruising news is in the cruising section of the club web site here, and reproduced below:
There is still uncertainty regarding covid but hoping for further easing of restrictions that will allow organised activity.
Towards the end of last season we saw more cruising boats participating in racing and let’s hope that continues. We will be aiming to tailor more races for cruising boats with shorter simpler courses but centred upon just having fun on the water
We are also hoping to have a varied and interesting programme of events for all boats including Ribs and power. Ideas so far are:-
> Cruise and overnight stay at Porthdinllaen
> Day cruise in Cardigan Bay and early evening drinks at the Warren Beach Bar
> Lunch trip on RIBs to Porthmadog
> Cruise and overnight stay at Aberdaron – supper in the pub?
> Cruise and 2 night stay at Aberystwyth
> Cruise and stay at Greystones linking to ISORA. Possible involvement of Greystones Yacht Club and North Sails
A "Whatsapp" group to enable cruisers to discuss plans etc has been set up - Join your fellow cruisers and chat all things boating by emailing Rob or Stephen with your mobile phone number to join, or use the QR code below. (please introduce yourself to the group)
Cruising - Calling For Help
Following on from the safe Trx articles, some useful RYA advice on calling for help
Guidelines for skippers of pleasure craft under 13.7m in length on the types of emergency distress alerting and locating equipment they can choose to carry based on distance from the coast and GMDSS communications sea areas.
Download the guidelines
The RYA's guidelines for pleasure vessels under 13.7m in length, outlines the combinations of equipment including flares, EPIRB, and Digital Selective Calling (DSC) marine radio, you could consider carrying and using to indicate that you need assistance, depending upon the type of your vessel and where you use it.
Press and hold the red button on your DSC VHF and assuming power and an aerial it will transmit your distress alert until another station acknowledges it; activated, an EPIRB will transmit for about 48hours, indicating that you need help and telling the Search and Rescue authorities where your EPIRB is; fire a parachute flare and you have to cross your fingers, hope that someone is close enough, that they were looking in the right direction during the 40 seconds it will burn for, they see it and that they react.
Modern technology provides safer and more reliable options for distress alerting than flares, and presuming such technology is carried aboard a pleasure vessel, the owner may now wish to consider reducing their complement of flares.
Electronic Visual Distress Signals (EVDS) are hand-held non-pyrotechnic devices that are being offered as alternatives to pyrotechnic flares. Whilst the cost, safety of use, ease of testing and disposal of these items might be attractive, EVDS are not currently included within the list of internationally recognised distress signals (Annex IV of COLREG) and should not be relied upon to signal you need assistance unless they emit a signal which is in that list (e.g. SOS).
Location - the final mile
Simply telling someone you need help may however not be enough; they also need to be able to locate you. Search and Rescue (SAR) services, equipped with radar and specialist homing equipment, may not need anything further, but in many instances locating the vessel in need of help in the “final mile” can be challenging, especially if the rescuer is another small craft.
Traditionally a handheld red flare at night time or in poor visibility or an orange smoke by day has been the most effective solution for this “final mile” pinpointing of the vessel in distress. EVDS do now however provide a viable alternative.
It is now possible for a pleasure vessel under 13.7m (which is not by law required to carry flares) to be equipped for distress alerting without carrying traditional pyrotechnic flares. An alerting device listed in COLREG such as EPIRB (ideally with GPS and a homing device) or DSC marine radio set (correctly connected to the GPS) which is suitable for the intended area of operation together with some form of EVDS for location in the final mile may be a suitable combination.
Download the guidelines
The RYA's guidelines for pleasure craft under 13.7m in length, provides guidance for skippers on the types of emergency distress alerting and locating equipment they can choose to carry based on distance from the coast and GMDSS communications sea areas.
2021 Membership Rates
Membership of CHPSC for 2021
The membership year is from 1st January to 31st December.
2021 Fee Structure
Primary Member - £65
Joint Membership - £115
Racing Skipper - £125
Joint Racing Skipper - £180
Associate Member - £75
Student/Apprentice Member - £30
Youth Member - £20
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)
Road Trailer £50 or £75 for 2 stacked
Box storage trailers under 10 feet £60 (£75 for larger box trailers)
You can purchase a club burgee or pay for your club calendar postage as part of your membership process!
Reasons to be a member in 2021
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 (123,700 individual e-mails sent in 2020/21 - see past copies here), membership of the club provides:
- Meeting place for like minded 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,
- Dinghy storage in the refurbished and 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 (small fee applies)
- Receive regular e-newsletters with useful information
- 10% discount at the bar in Plas Heli
- Easy membership (application/renewal) process all on-line and starting from £65 for the year!
- Racing Skipper membership includes all racing entry fees, except the IRC Champs and the ISORA element of coastal races.
Racing starts tomorrow ,the 1st of May with both club and ISORA racing scheduled.
When not racing in an organised activity, the rule of 6 apply, however, when in an organised activity (such as club racing we are permitted to sail with mixed households, and more than 6 providing there are mitigation measures
RYA instruct organisers to publish these mitigations by way of Protocols. We will republish the CHPSC Protocol from last year and this is very similar to the rules set by RORC. It will be a condition of entry that all skippers (and crew) abide by our Protocol.
> Crew limited to 80% of the IRC certificate crew number (to nearest whole number)
> Skippers should have a COVID protocol for their boat
> Good hygiene and distancing should be followed, with other mitigations such as masks and gloves, and the current COVID restrictions followed before and after the race and when ashore
Much credit to the pathway returning us to racing, and allowing organisers to manage their activities goes to the RYA and RYA Cymru Wales.
The ability to use increased numbers for organised racing is a great improvement over normal outdoor numbers, and the RYA CW guidance document for skippers is published here
The 2021 racing programme has been developed by club Racing Captain Vicky Cox, and is published on the website, and the club activity calendar here
Stephen has developed a matrix of course and distance between marks and generally improved the racing resources which can be found on the club website here
The matrix is also reproduced below
Whilst we tick down the days until April 26th, the Commodore Challenge and Tremadog Triangle are available to keep us busy, so a good opportunity to set a time now the marks are laid.
Club Racing at CHPSC is arranged under the guidelines of the RYA/RYA Cymru Wales and the latest charter is reproduced below.
ISORA are publishing its 2021 programme and further information and the race schedule can be found here
This includes the five race "Plas Heli Welsh Coastal Series" starting on May 1st with a coastal day race at Pwllheli
The centre is now partly re-opened in line with Welsh Government Alert Level 4 restrictions, with authorised access now permitted to the pontoons, compound and the "Panorama Restaurant and Lounge" is now open for outside service In line with Welsh government Covid regulations, we advise the use of the "NHS Covid App" when visiting any of the Plas Heli facilities. The QR codes are on the doors and relevant gates.
Note: elite RYA squad training is permitted indoors, as is indoors organised activity for up to 15 from May 3rd
In order that the club and centre can open re-promptly, there is some essential maintenance work being undertaken on the infrastructure of Plas Heli and both Plas Heli and CHPSC equipment by the Directors and Flag Officers, in line with Welsh Government Regulations. In addition, a review of the facilities is currently underway to best structure the centre for events, club and community use. Some areas of the centre are hired to local business and local authorities etc, and meeting rooms (for example) can be booked via the Plas Heli website.
As restrictions are eased, we will be looking for additional volunteers to ensure a smooth return to club activities. All voluntary activities will be managed to keep members safe, and all within allowable guidelines.
Restaurant and Lounge Bar - outdoor service has resumed - see details above
Plas Heli - Event Pontoons
The pontoons are likely to be very busy this year with demand potentially exceeding capacity. A berthing plan has been drawn up and will be emailed to all Plas Heli berthing customers, with the planned location of their berth.
J24's for sale - expressions of interest
A project is underway to look at the feasibility of replacing the two academy J24's with a lift keel sportboat, to use for race training, club racing and for CHIPAC sailors to transition to keelboats. It will also be available for charter into class events in the UK and Ireland, representing Wales.
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. The first planning meeting was held last month via "zoom" to agree the format of racing and framework to publish the Notice of Race. This is now complete and published with the online entry open at the event website here
Thought for the Day:
"look back and be grateful, look ahead and be hopeful, look around and be helpful"
For more information, membership links and the latest weather and webcam
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 2021 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 receive an automated 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
Note: the members parking area outside Plas Heli is temporarily closed due to some recent anti social behaviour, and will be re-opened at Easter, or when the centre re-opens