Report by Vicky Cox and Mark Thompson, photographs by Carol Twells.
The weather forecast for the Spinlock IRC Welsh Championships indicated it was going to be heavy weather on at least one of the three days.
Friday started with a lumpy 18-24 kts from the south west and race officer Mike Butterfield was keen to get all three races in as quickly as possible in the tricky conditions.
The building wind saw some challenging sailing and some spectacular broaches by Liverpool based Prima38 “Max Too” who opted for white sails during the first race.
As the fleet settled more kites went up and there were plenty more broaches as a result, with few boats hoisting spinnakers in the last race with gusts of 29kts seen on “Sgrech”
Rush/Howth based J109 “Storm” battling against “Triple Elf” for the Celtic cup, struggled during the first race to come in 6th and top spots were taken by local boat and RC35 class member “Imposter”, Scottish RC35 class boat “Triple elf” and Pwllheli based J125 “Jackknife”
However as “Storm” settled into the racing and regained their form, they took the next two races with convincing 1sts but with consistent performance by First 35 “Triple Elf” who lead the series after day one.
In IRC2 just two races were completed in the difficult conditions, with Impala National champion “Checkmate” taking two fine wins, from Paraiba in race 1 and West Lancashire based “HRT” in race 2, a very impressive performance by them.
Cork 1720 Luvly Jubbly took two wins in IRC3, after “Mayhem” blew its jib out.
Friday Cruiser race was won by the single handed “Theia” racing an offshore race to Eurwyn Buoy and back, with all 5 Cruisers completing this race in very demanding conditions, with big seas and wind over tide out at Eurwyn.
Daily Prizegiving with free Jugs of beer and a prize draw sponsored by Partington Marine followed racing, with a BBQ at Plas Heli
IRC 1 start
Saturdays forecasts was for 15-20 kts and with much heavier winds forecast for Sunday there was talk of trying to fit in extra racing, but the fleet were quickly met with 21 kts as soon as they left the channel and it soon build to 25-28 kts.
The sustained wind and building chop proved challenging for the fleet with “Valkyrie” losing their pulpit, Dun Laoghaire based ISORA boat “Yoyo” with an injury onboard and “Storm” breaking their spinnaker pole - but despite their difficulties, “Storm” took all three races in IRC 1 to lead the series, with “Checkmate” again taking two wins in IRC 2. 1720 “Mayhem” took both wins in IRC 3 and Darling XX IRC 4 Cruiser Class
Competitors were greeted by the Jac Dobson a’r band playing in Plas Heli after racing, with impressive dancing by the “Max Too” team! with Saturday prizing draw and jugs of beers and goodies sponsored by Firmhelm. This was followed by a crew dinner, in Plas Heli’s Gorwel restaurant.
Sunday soon found the overnight gale “Ernesto” subside and winds soon dropped off to 17kts for the start of racing, further dropping to 6-8kts by the end of the last race. With the chop left from the previous nights winds, the fleet experienced equally challenging conditions.
In IRC 1 “Storm” one of three highly competitive RC35 class racing in the event managed another convincing day with two firsts and a third to win the overall IRC Class 1, and take the inaugural Celtic Cup with wins here at Pwllheli Wales, the Scottish Series at Tarbert back in May, a second at the Bangor town regatta, and first at the Kip Regatta. IRC2 was won by Impala 28 “Checkmate”, IRC3 class was by Cork 1720 “Mayhem” and IRC 4 Cruisers by DarlingXX
Triple Elf and Mojito
A great three day championship, with race management by Clwb Hwylio Pwllheli Sailing Club and Royal Dee Yacht Club, and social events by Plas Heli, who thank all helpers and competitors, with a special mention to the RC35 class, and all Scottish, Irish and Liverpool boats for making the journey to Pwllheli. We are very pleased to be part of the Celtic Cup, and delighted that the result was confirmed at this event.
'Celtic Cup' and 'Spinlock IRC Welsh National' Champions “Storm”
Read the article in AFLOAT.ie here
Read the article in Yachts and Yachting here
1. The scheduled time of the warning signal for the first race each day will be later than 10.55 – this changes SI 5.3
2. The Exclusion Zone in charts P and P2 is removed. There is no exclusion zone.
Friday 17th August 2018
There will be a short prize-giving every day afyter racing to celebrate the day winners.
The BBQ after racing on Friday and the Crew Dinner on Saturday night with a live band is a must for all competitors and friends.
After racing on Sunday - Prize-giving carvery baps.
Entries are still invited for the IRC Welsh National Championships, in Pwllheli 17th-19th August 2018.
This flagship event is being hosted by Plas Heli, the Welsh National Sailing Academy and Events Centre, and managed by Clwb Hwylio Pwllheli Sailing Club and the Royal Dee Yacht club. Racing is planned for Two IRC classes and a Cruiser class on two racetracks, in a commercial traffic free environment. Cardigan bay has weak tides and provides a safe and fair racing area, for windward/leeward, coastal or round the cans racing, with stunning views of Snowdonia and the Llyn peninsula as a backdrop.
Free berthing is available on the Welsh National Sailing Academys event pontoons included in the entry fee, which for those entering before August 7th includes an entry into a prize draw with some great prizes! We are delighted to host the RC35 class who have included the event as part of the Celtic Cup, with notable boats “Storm” “Triple Elf” and “Imposter” already entered.
With an ISORA race from Dun Laoghaire to Pwllheli the weekend before, its a great opportunity for Irish boats to enter the regatta, and join “Mojito" “Sgrech" “Jackknife" and “YoYo" that have already done so.
Locally “Legless Again” “Bada Bing” and “Honey Bee” look set to battle in IRC 2 once again. Sportsboats are embedded in the two IRC classes this year, but also compete for the sportsboat cup, with the well travelled and 2017 Dun Laoghaire regatta winning 1720 “Lovley Jubly” head to head with “Mayhem".
In the Cruiser class, 2017 IRC 4 champ “Ella Trout 3” joins a growing list of local boats in this popular class, racing one short coastal race per day, around local islands and racing marks. With great socials planned in Plas Heli, its brewing up to be a fantastic event. Motor home parking, camping available and plenty of local attractions for shore based supporters and crew.
Enter at www.ircwelshchamps.com with information also available at www.pwllhelisailingclub.co.uk and www.plasheli.org
Mojito IRC Nationals @Andy Green
Enter the Spinlock IRC Welsh National Championships and why not do the rest of the Celtic Cup Series!!!
Championships in Scotland, Ireland and Wales - who wll win the Triple Crown?
Congratulations to Pat and Gerallt Williams 'Pererin' who won the Spinlock Lifejacket in the super early bird prize draw ....
'Pererin' has entered the Cruiser Class of the Spinlock IRC Welsh National Championship
Anotrher Prize Draw will be announced soon - enter the championship here to be included in the next Prize draw..