2019-06-05 Race no 1
On Wednesday 5th June we welcomed back to the HSC Offshore fleet Jaydreamer before she rushes off to participate in the Dun Laoghaire to Dingle race on 12th June, good luck Paul!
As preparations were made to get to the start line Flair IV’s crew arrived and had to carry out a mast climb, to fix the newly restored anemometer, which delayed her getting off the mooring until just on the 5 minute gun. Therefore she had to sail off with her main partially raised and no engine. Successfully away from the moorings she then had to round up to complete setting the main but that delay meant preparations for flying the spinnaker were somewhat delayed too.
The six yachts competing got reasonable starts even if not all of them were quite ready, the yachts closer to the breakwater started on jibs leaving their spinnakers until after the knuckle. Flair, as soon as she could, hoisted her spinnaker but in the rush the port sheet and guy became detached from the clew so she had to partially drop it again to re-fix. Once flying properly all looked good until there was a big bang as the pole uphaul halyard snapped! The usual Wednesday evening disasters but at least the crew now had a working anemometer!
- Hits: 82
Race no 1 2019-06-02
Due to the weather only two yachts turned out for what turned out to be an exciting and blustery race. Jetstream and Flair IV headed out but had to delay the start to allow the late departure of the ferry to clear the harbour entrance.
Wind speeds from 25kt - 32kt generally around 30kt were recorded and the two yachts achieved some pretty impressive speeds on the downwind first leg to Bolivar leaving it to starboard. Flair IV recording boat speed at 10.2kt, so needless to say neither yacht attempted to fly anything but their jib and reefed main, it was just too windy!
Turning at the mark Jetstream, with 8 on board, was in the lead and she headed south whereas Flair with only 5 onboard tacked and headed back west making a track just to the north of the breakwater. With several tacks towards Clipera she fell further behind as Jetstream tacked only 3 times before entering the harbour. As you can see at Clipera it was a little wild!
- Hits: 150
Wednesday evening 2019-05-29
A completely different aspect to the weather for this evening race with thick grey cloud and rain greeting the participants. Wind speeds from 14kt to 22kt from the west indicated a spinnaker start, however with shortage of crew on Flair IV, Incantation and Shearwater left just Houdini and Jetstream to fly their spinnakers from the knuckle.
Wendy started the race for the offshores setting course 1 from the old course card; Meath (s) Penrhos (p) Clipera (p) and finish. Houdini got the best start and had a considerable lead by the end of the breakwater with Jetstream, Flair IV, Shearwater and Incantation following in order behind.
- Hits: 454
2019-05-26 Race #4
A change from recent wind conditions with a gusty westerly blowing out of the harbour the course was set for a downwind start turning at the spit mark to sail up north to Langdon Ridge for the first time this season. The start time of 14:10 is working well as the fleet follow the Irish Ferry out of the harbour. Start today was provided by Jetstream as Flair IV had a few issues getting prepared and late arrival of crew.
- Hits: 234
It is with great sadness that we report the passing of Peggy Robinson overnight on Friday 3rd May 2019. Peggy was a stalwart member of the club and was our President for a number of years. She was the owner of Hellhound and sailed out of Holyhead for a very long time and now Hellhound is a reminder of her as the yacht continues to be based in Holyhead.
Peggy’s ashes will be scattered in the Irish Sea by the Holyhead Lifeboat; we are awaiting information on the exact date – but it will be sometime in September. The club will make sure that those who knew her can say their goodbyes too on this day.
In the meantime, some of us attended her funeral last week and Kim Argyle, the Club Commodore gave a eulogy. We have replicated this below as it gives a good flavour of our past Club President who was a true ‘character’.
Tribute from Kim Argyle:
Peggy, as we all know, was a feisty, firebrand of a woman. She started sailing a long time before I knew her, in a GP14, moving on to a 505, gaining success at club level, always committed to winning.
She had a few yachts, all called Hellhound. She organised events around the Irish Sea, as well as competing in the racing. When Holyhead Sailing Club hosted the ISORA Race Week, Peggy was there to make it a success.
Peggy was always willing to do anything asked of her! But one weekend, we had our Try A Sail event at the club. Peggy turned up unexpectedly and asked for a job. So we asked her to make a cup of tea. The retort was ’I don’t make tea’. So we decided to ask her to speak to the people who had been taken out sailing – to gauge their reaction to their experience. This turned into quite a lengthy grilling which probably terrified our potential future members.
As it came near to the time that boats were due to be launched, there was obviously a flurry of work to be done ready to go in the water, scraping, cleaning and anti-fouling. At that time I was working in the boatyard, and from far off I would hear a shout of ‘Kim, Kim! Where are you? I need you to mask up my line.’ For a while, I would ignore the call, but she would hunt me down and tell me to come to her boat ‘IMMEDIATELY’. If I was foolhardy enough to say I would be wither in half an hour, the answer would be ‘Now – I need you now!’ My reward was a tumbler full of whiskey on Hellhound that evening.
On one occasion, we had a club cruise to Ireland. As we sailed up Carlingford Lough, we heard an eerie noise coming from afar. As we approached the marina, we were greeted by the sound of Peggy playing the bagpipes – enthusiastically, but not desperately tunefully.
She always attended our AGMs; at these events, her main bugbear was the Ladies’ showers. There were two good showers, and one that had been made to fit in a smaller space. Peggy was not happy about this so she decided that the shower nearest the window was the best. One morning, one of the members was in that shower and heard a knocking on the shower door – which she ignored. The knock came again – also ignored – on the third knock, she quickly wrapped the towel around herself and opened the door, thinking someone was in trouble. Instead, she was greeted by Peggy in a state of undress, demanding that it was her shower, and why was the lady using it. The poor member was so taken aback that she grabbed her belongings and dashed out apologising profusely.
Following Peggy’s knee and hip operations, she would shanghai friends with a few seductive words, such as ‘you know I fancy a little sail on my boat – why not come along as my guest?’ This really meant –‘I find it difficult to sail on my own, so you can do the running around stuff, while I sit at the helm and shout at you.’ She would disappear from Holyhead at the crack of dawn, and return in the fading evening light; Peggy with a smile on her face and the other lucky guests tired out and still running around to get the boat moored up safely.
Peggy will be greatly missed; she was a one-off, highly regarded and an honoured President of the Sailing Club for a number of years.
Peggy, Thank you
- Hits: 208
The forecast for Sunday published here was pretty accurate but no other boats turned out to join Flair on the race so it was abandoned. A big thanks to Kim and the launch team for repairing the bow of the pink launch damaged in the high winds over Friday night and into Saturday.
The pink launch had a significant hole worn in the bow stem and the metal protection strip has been lost. Kim informs us that this will be replaced when we can lift this launch out, once the blue launch is back in operation.
Sailing Instructions (These are still in draft awaiting confirmation from the Sailing Committee and therefore only available to website registered members)
With a lot of activity on moorings and the welcome return of Houdini to the waters of Holyhead we were hopeful of a few entries in the race on a beautiful day with Southerly 11kt to 17kt winds and wall to wall sunshine. However only the one new yacht to Holyhead, Shearwater, joined Flair IV for the afternoon race. The course was set to Clipera, Bolivar, Clipera Bolivar and finish giving a reach out of the harbour, a run down to Bloivar and then a windward leg back to Clipera.
A very polished start by both yachts saw Flair chase off into the lead flying her code 0 from the knuckle eastward. All was going well but as they passed Clipera the spinnaker preparations ran into difficulties. Meanwhile Shearwater had tacked away north with Flair running in close to the coastline before tacking downwind towards Bolivar. At the buoy Flair had a considerable lead but through continuing problems with the rigging she sailed without headsail for quite a way allowing Shearwater to close the gap and as the boats approached Clipera Shearwater took the lead.
More and more problems on Flair IV allowed Shearwater to gain a considerable lead before Flair got her act together and started to pull back the gap and as they entered the harbour Flair IV caught Shearwater to take the lead two tacks from the finish. So a poor performance by Flair IV gave Shearwater an easy start to her season with a handicap win by some 24 minutes.
Our first offshore race of 2019 was held on 2019-04-14 with 2 boats entered; Flair IV and Hellhound. The results system handicaps have been updated to the latest NHC Handicap numbers. These races for offshores are what is called a tandem series allowing both NHC Variable handicapping and IRC fixed, measurement handicaps.
Since only one yacht, Flair IV is in the IRC class the IRC class is not valid for today’s race, just the NHC Class results are available.
The start time of 14:05 is set to miss the Irish and Stena Ferry departure times. The course today was from the start line passing Clipera to port then Bolivar to starboard coming back to Clipera passing to starboard then finish.
Jim on Hellhound was sailing single handed and Flair had a crew of 5 with variable winds of 5kt to 15kt Flair was clearly at an advantage beyond her handicap with a 2 minute 20 second corrected lead at the finish.
As the yachts passed Clipera there was a spectator:
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