The Venue Area
Pwllheli is the unofficial capital of the Llyn Peninsula, in Northwest Wales. Much of the Llyn Peninsula is designated as an’ Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty’, and Pwllheli is an ideal base to explore the Peninsula, as well as the nearby Snowdonia National Park, Anglesey and the glorious western coast of Wales.
Pwllheli is a thriving market town with a weekly market on Wednesday in Y Maes. The market is one of the busiest in Britain, and you’re bound to find a good bargain! Also in the town centre you will find many shops, selling everything you need. The town is full of seaside character.
The impressive 400 berth, award winning marina provides sheltered berthing and is considered to be one of the best in Wales. With the nearby boat yards and chandleries the area provides all the services needed by boaters The marina also caters for the visiting boaters with berths for casual overnight or short stay.
The waters off the Llyn Peninsula, which combine moderate tidal and sea conditions with varied patterns of winds, offer spectacular scenery of the Snowdonia mountains and the rugged coastline.
Sailing events held in Cardigan Bay include the National BT Match racing the Optimist Nationals, the J24 World and European championships, the Topper Nationals and the One Ton Cup.
Pwllheli has two beaches. South Beach, which is mainly shingle, has been awarded the Blue Flag Award for clean sands and waters. South Beach stretches from Gimblet Rock, across the promenade, and around towards Llanbedrog.
Glan-y-Don is the other beach at Pwllheli and is located adjacent and to the east of the new Welsh National Sailing Academy and Event Centre The beach runs for about three miles towards Pen-y-Chain headland, which is the site of the Haven Holiday Camp. This is a long sandy beach and is ideal for launching large numbers of Optimist dinghies and is the one we shall use for launching (see photo below). The race committee vessels and support boats will all be using Pwllheli Marina.
Abersoch, 7 miles away is another of Wales’ top sailing venues. About 7 miles in the opposite direction brings you to Llanystumdwy, just outside Criccieth, the childhood home and burial place of Lloyd George. Porthmadog is 14 miles to the east of Pwllheli and is truly the gateway to Llyn, and has a picturesque harbour and lots of shops.
The Llyn Peninsula is very different to the rest of Wales, benefiting from the gulf stream the weather is often different (usually better!) and so is the landscape. Much of Llyn is rolling countryside, rising up to the occasional volcanic peak – needless to say that these are all now extinct. The highest of which is Yr Eifl, on the north coast of Llyn. There are also other hills on Llyn, all worth a climb, like Carn Fadryn, Mynydd Rhiw and Garn Boduan, to name a few. All the hills give excellent views over Llyn and on a clear day, Snowdonia, all of Cardigan Bay and Anglesey up to Holyhead Mountain.
Although only 8 miles wide, the Llyn Peninsula often has different weather on each side. The main feature of the Llyn that most people remember is the wind. We have consistent South-Westerlies which mean that small trees and hedges all lean the same way! The effect is most noticeable towards Aberdaron which is on the tip of the Llyn. On the upside, the sailing is always good.
Pwllheli Sailing Club possesses a well secured area for keeping dinghies overnight. The clubs own buildings and catering facilities will be complemented by additional buildings for the duration of the event.
Calon Hwylio Cymru ~ Heart of Welsh Sailing
When it comes to hosting major national and international championships, the Welsh venue of Pwllheli is increasingly on the radar of event organisers.
Clwb Hwylio Pwllheli Sailing Club is website provides lots of information about the club and events – see www.pwllhelisailingclub.co.uk
Pwllheli lays claim to being the gateway to some of the best sailing waters in the UK, with Cardigan Bay offering weak tidal streams and stable winds against the stunning backdrop of Snowdonia and the rugged north Wales coastline.
Located on the Llŷn Peninsula, in the Gulf Stream and to the west of the Welsh mountains, Pwllheli has a mild, drier climate than the rest of Wales.
Our track record is excellent and over the last four years Pwllheli SC has hosted many events for some of the biggest racing classes around and has catered for more than 6,000 competitors.
In 2007 we hosted the Cadet Worlds and in 2008 the RYA UK Youth championships and Optimist Nationals.In 2009, action at the club included the Mirror Worlds, Topper and Cadet Nationals. During 2010 National championships were hosted for the Finns,
Toppers, 29ers, 49ers and RS400s. 2011 is as busy as ever starting off with Optimist Selectors, 420 and Laser Qualifiers, 29ers Grand Prix, Optimist Nationals, Sprint 15 Nationals, 420 Nationals and UK Finn Masters plus the annual Welsh Youth and Junior Championships.
Each winter sees more than 1,500 squad sailors coming to train. Pwllheli SC is also working with Plas Menai to offer a venue for London 2012 Pre-Games Training Camps.
The club has a secure compound for keeping boats overnight and a marquee for events. Car parking is free.
Pwllheli is located on the south side of the Llyn Peninsula and the relatively shallow waters of Cardigan Bay combine moderate tidal and sea conditions with varied patterns of winds. The sailing waters are open to the South Westerly winds which prevail throughout most of the year – as evidenced by the trees and hedges all learning the same way – which the club says allows for largely unbiased racing areas.
South Westerly – the bay is exposed to the sea and this is the cleanest direction for breeze. This direction will see less shifts and longer oscillations so you will be holding a tack for longer, and need to know your numbers so you know whether you are on a lifted or headed tack. A compass will be important as there will be no visual references looking out to sea. It is also likely to be wavey for the wind strength, an important factor when considering how to get the best boat set up.
Westerly – Depending on where the course is, there may be more breeze along the shoreline due to compression so it’s worth checking out the right hand side of the course which might provide lifts and gusts, but you could also find big holes and never escape the corner. Think about the possibility of pairing up with another boat and doing split tacks before the start. Also consider the tide – there might be less tide along the shore.
North West to East – This will be shifty flatter water as the wind has come from the mainland. Look for possible stronger wind bands / gusts coming from areas of lower land such as valleys, by looking at what’s happening on the water. Be alert for lifts and headers.
South East to South – Going up the beat you now have the mainland on your left so there may be more wind up this side of the course if it is close enough to the shore. This is probably unlikely so as with a South Westerly it should be a fairly clear track, albeit with flatter water and a few more shifts. Nevertheless, look out for any land effects on the left which might be consistently there. Again a split tack could be useful.
Sea Breeze - The Llyn peninsular might generate a very small localised sea breeze but this is unlikely to last. The main sea breeze in summer is likely to be generated as a result of warming on the mainland in settled and sunny weather, coming from the South West in the afternoon: meteorological information for Pwllheli shows on 12 per cent of days an offshore morning wind is replaced between 10.30am and 12.30pm by a sea breeze which persists for the rest of the afternoon and is normally steady and reliable.
The Tide is very weak with a peak tide of 0.3knots and an average tide of 0.1 knots
Finally, Clwb Hwylio Pwllheli Sailing Club is an RYA affiliated members club. Please respect our simple rules and you will receive a warm Welsh welcome.
During a busy event patience is a virtue. We aim to make your stay enjoyable and as stress-free as possible. If you have any problems please speak to staff in the Club or members of the volunteer events team.