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.

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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.

DSC 0907Last 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.

DSC 0919I would like to thank everyone who responded to my request last month, to put their names forward for inclusion on our new volunteer database. I received a great response and the list is growing. If you feel you would like to volunteer and have not already responded please send me an e-mail at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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.


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 Panorama Restaurant and Lounge @ Plas heli   

 pan0Iwan 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

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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 

WALES RETURN TO BOATING 2> 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    

 RYA News

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


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

Any other suggestions gratefully received - please email  Rob and  Stephen at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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)

IMG BA76B6A70F9B 1


Cruising - Calling For Helpryatraining

 Following on from the safe Trx articles, some useful RYA advice on calling for help

 Related documents

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.

Modern technology

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.

Non-traditional flares

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

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)

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!

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.

To apply for a berth (seasonal or short term) fill in the berthing application form on the Plas Heli Website here and also  email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Once allocated a berth please make all efforts to stay  in your  allocated space, remembering boats out racing may be short crewed when returning to their  berth.  Any issues with berths, shore power or water please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 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. 

The two J24's, with one good quality trailer, yard cradle and a good set of sails are available for sale as a package, please reply to this email if interested, or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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 codes below.  (please check in by using the most relevant one for the part of the centre you are accessing)

QRPH QR code pontoons

PH QR code compound


2021Flyer 2



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

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 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



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