Wind Forecast: 7kt gusting 10kt Northerly
Race Start 11:00
Due to the large Cruise ship anchored at the entrance to the New Harbour and the ferry schedule it was decided to move the start from inside the New Harbour to the Extended Transit from Breakwater lighthouse through Clipera leaving Clipera to port.
The start was therefore delayed with the warning signal at 11:30 and the start at 11:35. As race officer I was in touch with Port Control to establish the proposed passage for the Ferry and to notify that the yachts were sheltering beside the Cruise Liner until the ferry had passed to the east.
What a change of circumstances! We actually had some wind both forecast and actual for the race on Wednesday 28th July. As the 7 entries lined up for the start the clouds were booking ominous over Holyhead Mountain as they edged nearer to the New Harbour. Even so a couple of the yachts chanced it hoisting their spinnakers as they crossed the start line.
The course for the evening event was chosen by the Race Office Paul Humphries who set Start, Clipera (P), Bolivar (P), Meath (P), Clipera (S) and Finish. This proved an interesting and lively course with the two spinnaker boats charging off towards the Orthios Jetty before, in Redeye’s case she ripped her spinnaker and in Houdini’s case was simply overpowered.
So as they streamed out of the harbour Flair IV going goose winged made good ground on the approach to Clipera and rounded the mark in 3rd place with Jaydreamer and Wild Haggis just ahead.
Ninja and Houdini battled it out on the leg to Bolivar:
A distance of around 18 Nm.
Low water Holyhead 12:44
Wind Current at 09:25
Holyhead Port F4 F5 Direction 203°
Windy 10Kt. 12kt At 12:00 S off the stacks
AutoHoot still not functioning [connection failure in the wooden box Trevor created, too many screws to remove for access, will do at home] so Start will be over VHF Ch 17 Warning Signal at 10:55. Start at 11:00 Self timing over the finish line.
Light winds forecast but enough to get things going. A good start by Pastime and Wild Haggis left Flair slightly behind over the start line.
At the end of the breakwater Wild Haggis had forged a good lead with the normal duel between Flair and Pastime as they headed out to North Stack following the Irish ferries ferry as she headed out to Dublin
The seas were calm as the yachts sailed along towards the stacks with the remaining ebbing tide with Flair IV passing Pastime before the Western end of the breakwater. As they approached North Stack the tidal currents started to ramp up the sea conditions with the wind dropping under the influence of the headland. With sails flagging under these light winds with the tide racing south some tactical tacking kept the same order but with the distances between the competitors constantly changing.
Surprisingly the wind direction backed and spinnakers were deployed on Wild Haggis and Pastime with Flair IV running her code 0 all the way to the zone we normally avoid to round Maen Piscar!
The currents change quite dramatically on the route from South Stack down towards Mean Piscar and the key was to ensure that the VGM to the waypoint didn’t fall off too quickly.
As Flair approached Maen Piscar, Wild Haggis was on her way back and allerted Flair and Pastime to the strong currents flowing north now towards the rock itself.
Photo from Pastime, Flair IV standing well off the rocks.
As we normally avoid this area it was really interesting to see the rock exposed at this state of the tide and the tidal effects around the rock.
Flair IV, having rounded Maen Pisca, setting her code 0 for the return leg.
Phew! Phil’s relief as they leave Maen Piscar behind. As we progressed towards South Stack the winds became very fickle one again and it took lots of concentration to keep good settings on the sheets controlling the foresails.
The odd job for the crew! Not enough wind to overcome the now 4 to 5 knots of tide pushing us north.
The progress for Flair and Pastime was very slow over the water as they navigated round South Stack and on towards North Stack where the find finally increased to around 15kt. The last leg was very enjoyable with the great views of the Anglesey coastline and the awesome breakwater, which we all take too much for granted. That was until the rain started as Flair rounded the end of the breakwater and crossed the finish line. Wild Haggis was already well established on her mooring. Congratulations to the crew on Wild Haggis and to Phil for sticking at it even if the temptation to retire had been seriously contemplated.
Welcome back to RedEye after launching in the afternoon. Great to see more yachts on the water and competing in our evening races.
With very light winds forecast and actual the start of the race was very slow but certainly all the boats were clear as they passed the start line!
Flair creeping past Carpe Diem with Pastime ahead just after the start.
Progress was slow all the way out to the harbour entrance with very localised patches of wind which allowed several changes in the apparent order over the water.
The course was
With the wind being so fickle after the run down to Penrhos and the beat back to Clipera the fleet had split with several boats getting less current and wind and with the announcement of the Stena Estrid that she was leaving the port as some of the yachts were nearing Clipera Flair contacted the Stana ferry to let them know that Flair was now under motor having retired to ensure she was not obstructing the ferry’s course.
Out of the 7 entries for the race only 3 finished but it was certainly a very testing evening for all involved.
It was great to have the bar and food available in the clubhouse a welcome return to post race camaraderie. A big thank you to Dawn for her OOD Duties.
See you on the water next week, hopefully with more wind.
At the end of the series Pastime takes first place in the series; congratulations Phil!
Our racing fleet, ignoring the weather forecast, arrived at Holyhead with a misty evening beginning to drizzle but the chance of increasing winds and getting out on the water was sufficient for the 4 yachts who entered the race.
The evening’s course was set by the OOD team of Sooty and Dawn as:
A clear downwind start line, once again in very light winds, was achieved with Wild Haggis, Houdini and Flair IV in close quarters as they crossed the line with spinnakers being hoisted.
Photo from Flair IV
Photo from Houdini
Photo from Houdini
Photo from Flair IV
As is now normal Wild Haggis got clean away with Flair IV, after a slight delay with getting her spinnaker flying, challenged Houdini with her slightly greater downwind speed. However Houdini was not prepared to allow Flair to overtake and made life very difficult as they approached Clipera for the first time. Pastime meanwhile was making steady progress gaining while the two yachts ahead were otherwise engaged.
At Clipera a spinnaker gybe was necessary to sail down to Meath and then a drop for the symetrics at Meath to turn upwind to pass Clipera on the way to Penrhos. Flair IV’s drop didn’t go so well with the lightweight spinnaker getting caught in the pre rigged Code 0, so once again Houdini was able to get away. Wild Haggis had a substantial lead by the time she rounded Penrhos with Houdini, Flair IV and Pastime following on as they hoisted or unfurled their spinnakers on the way back to Clipera. Flair IV now having changed to her other spinnaker, having put a tear in the other one, but wasn’t able to pull back the distance gained by Houdini.
At Clipera the yachts had to drop/furl their spinnakers again to go onto a beat back into the harbour and over the finish line all within 13 minutes elapsed time and less than 3 minutes on corrected time (NHC) but corrected time 4½ minutes (IRC).
Initially there were concerns that there would not be enough wind for racing but the determination of the crews paid dividends with some great racing. Dawn set an interesting course of Start, Clippera (s) IDM (s), Clippera (s), Penrhos (s) and finish.
With wind speeds varying from 2kt to 6kt from the NE as the 5 minute warning was sounded by Dawn from the Quarterdeck the 5 yachts vied for position on the line with Wild Haggis getting the best start and Flair being squeeze out crossing the line in last place.
Jaydreamer following Wild Haggis with Pastime alongside and Houdini ahead of Flair just after the start.
Light winds continued for a while as they sailed out to Clipera with Wild Haggis forging ahead as Port Control confirmed that one of the Ferries was just rounding the Breakwater. Jaydreamer, Pastime, Houdini and Flair all had to alter course to avoid the ferry’s route into the dock leaving Wild Haggis to gain a significant advantage.
With their spinnakers and Code 0’s flying the boats approached Clipera as the winds were gradually increasing and veering southerly giving a tight reach back to IDM. Flair by now had caught up with Jaydreamer and Pastime but Houdini rounded IDM in a good second place.
Once again on the course to Clipera it was a spinnaker leg and the asymetrics had a significant advantage. Flair managed to stay in 3rd place at the mark and was starting to catch Houdini on the windward leg to Penrhos. Houdini tacked early leaving Flair holding her course until she tacked almost on the line for Penrhos, having to put one more short tack in before the mark. Rounding Penrhos, Houdini set her spinnaker for the downwind leg and regained her substantial lead over Flair down towards the Aluminium Jetty, while Flair was notified of the impending departure of the other ferry and had to alter course further downwind. Flair and the radio officer on Epsilon had a conversation giving information of their intended strategy and FLair soon managed to alter course to pass astern of the ferry getting a good angle for her code 0 before rounding the end of the jetty and holding a beat to the finish.
On a rather windy yet mist evening only 3 yachts rigged ready to enter the race. However Jim on Hellhound as a single hander decided that the winds then at 25kt were too much for him and he returned to his mooring.
The race was being managed by Dave Meacher and Cogger on Dave’s rib attending the line. Good clear instructions meant that Pastime and Flair approached the start line in good order in some very gusty conditions. Flair got the upper hand at the line
Note the perfect positioning of the OOD’s committee boat with the parallax line showing as a single continuous line and ODM having been rescued from the breakwater earlier in the day.
Having rounded Clipera the two yachts tacked onto port tack to head towards Penrhos.
Flair was the first to tack as the skipper noticed the drop in VMG to the mark, going onto starboard increased the VGM considerably but only for quite a short distance before it tailed off again and Flair tacked to port again giving her a good line to Penrhos.
Flair approaching Penrhos. Skipper noted a cause for complaint to crew with spinnaker lines dragging again!
At this point the committee boat returned to the New Harbour to capture the finish times. A great evening of heavy weather sailing in limited visibility just honing our seamanship skills!
Thanks to Cogger for the photos and to Dave Meacher for his efforts on rescuing the ODM and being onstation with his rib especially considering the less than pleasant weather!
Please note I am waiting for confirmation of alidation certificates for 2021
Just as you would imagine when intending to sail the wind speed was dropping and it started to rain as I was working in the newly refurbished committee room/quarterdeck; but sailors don’t mind a bit of rain do they!
The entries for this race were the usual crowd Houdini, Jaydreamer, Passtime of Hamble, Flair IV and the welcome return of Carpe Diem. Antoka also came along for a first time out on a race. Winds were light ranging from 4kt to 12kt Easterly.
The start was well contested with Houdini marginally ahead of Jaydreamer to her lee and Flair on her windward side as they squeezed past the IDM. Flair forced Houdini to hold her course heading East eventually tacking below Flair. Flair then tacked on a good line to North Eastern mark and had a good lead as she headed out to Meath.
Around Meath Flair headed for where the skipper had the Penrhos mark placed back in May setting her code 0 for the reech. Houdini obviously knew that it had been moved and the crew on Flair noticed Houdini holding a much higher course. Having dropped furled her Code 0 Flair altered course to the new location of Penrhos but by now had lost the lead to Houdini.
The new coordinates for Penrhos are 53.3146, -4.60344 compared to 53.3104, -4.60458 Some 457m difference!
After rounding Penrhos Houdini flew her symmetric spinnaker on a tight reach back to Clipera with Flair on her Code 0, now being chased by Jaydreamer and Passtime with their asymmetric spinnakers. The wind was dropping to around 4 to 5kt as the yachts closed in towards Clipera and onward to the New Harbour entrance.
Jaydreamer overtook Flair on the leg to the finish line with Passtime and Carpe Diem following.
Another great Wednesday evening race at Holyhead Sailing Club even though the weather was not its usual sunny June evening! Nice to see the numbers participating increasing along with the Squib Class out on the water.
Photos from Becca Warren.
Please note I am waiting for confirmation of alidation certificates for 2021
A perfect evening for a race in the bay. Sooty and Dawn set the same course as last week with the moderate SW winds giving us the usual downwind start but some good upwind and downwind legs from Clipera to Penrhos and back.
Just 3 yachts out for the event Jaydreamer, Houdini and Flair IV all getting a good clean start before the issues started to bite with Flair IV having problems with getting her spinnaker launched allowing Jaydreamer and Houdini to get clear.
Next as the approached Clipera for the first time Jaydreamer had an issue and had to bear away from the mark losing ground to the east of Clipera. Flair IV and Jaydreamer had a close battle on the upwind leg to Penrhos but Flair’s performance to windward was letting her down allowing Jaydreamer to overtake before Penrhos.
Once round Penrhos with Flair’s spinnaker made relatively quickly she was able to overtake Jaydreamer rounding Clipera just ahead but she soon lost 2nd place as Jaydreamer comfortably passed her on the leg back to Penrhos.
Houdini was by now well clear as Jaydreamer was once again challenged by Flair on the 3rd visit to Clipera but Flair was not close enough to capitalise on her better downwind speed. So as they returned to the New Harbour Houdini led from Jaydreamer with Flair IV in 3rd place.
With our new volunteer Sooty and Dawn on the quarterdeck the racing start for the offshores went ahead at 18:30 with four entries; Houdini, Jaydreamer, Pastime and Flair IV. The race was started over VHF Ch 37(M1) with a course set of Start, Clipera (S), Penrhos (S), Clippers (S), Penrhos (S), Clippers (P) and finish.
WInds were light SW so the start was a downwind leg with 2 asymmetric spinnakers, 1 symmetric spinnaker and a code zero launched as they crossed the start line.
Flair IV’s choice of code zero was not the best and she struggled to stay in contention as they left the harbour.
At Clipera Houdini had established a good lead over Jaydreamer with Flair IV and Pastime battling as they rounded the mark. The leg to Penrhos was to windward and required some tacking. Many thanks to Jim Shutler for getting the Penrhos mark set and providing assurance that there was sufficient depth around the mark.
Jaydreamer retired after an issue of the settings on her depth data leaving Houdini to race ahead all on her own. Pastime and Flair continued to battle it out back to Clipera and then back to Penrhos.
For the final leg to Clipera the ferry seemed anxious to leave the port with Pastime and Flair having traversed the harbour entrance safely.
Houdini crossed the line well ahead of the two remaining contestants with Pastime over the line in second place leaving Flair in last place.
Lots of testing of rig and sail settings being worked on and it was interesting to see how the boats interacted.
Scroll down for the series results
With Dawn setup on the quarterdeck with the new timing clock but as yet no flag pole the race was started over VHF Ch 37(M1) with confirmation of course 12.[Note: later it was noted that the course listed as 12 on the website does not appear on the new Race Course Cards handed out by Dawn. A note will be placed on the website version.]
A downwind start allowed Jaydreamer to lead off the line with Houdini in second place, Flair IV third and then Passtime. Once Passtime had settled her asymmetric spinnaker she quickly overtook Flair running on a symmetric as Flair overhauled Houdini also on a symmetric. Meanwhile Jaydreamer was well ahead as they left the harbour towards Clipera.
At Clipera as they rounded the mark and headed for Bolivar Jaydreamer held her lead with Passtime in close pursuit both still flying their asymmetrics leaving Flair and Houdini further behind on just their genoas in the light quartering winds.
As Jaydreamer rounded Bolivar it was clear there was a problem with her spinnaker but she still maintained her lead on the fetch to Meath with Passtime dropping back a little and Flair now beginning to catch up a little. With her spinnaker still causing problems Jaydreamer had to tack twice to round Meath losing time to the rest of the fleet but again still staying in the lead. The short broad reach and fetch between Meath, Clipera and back to Meath allowed Flair to get close to Passtime and eventually as they rounded Clipera to starboard to return to the harbour Flair sneaked inside Passtime and eased away from her on the beat back to the finish. The finish, always awkward since the moving on the line meant that all the yachts had to tack back onto port tack to cross the line.
Welcome back to the Race Results for Holyhead Sailing Club 2021
3 yachts were scheduled to race with a start time of 12:30 on Sunday May 2nd 2021 but only 2 made it to the start line on time, with Flair IV unable to start her engine until much later.
Phil Livingston took over responsibility for the start as Mark Rosenthal was below deck working on the problem on Flair. Jaydreamer welcoming a new crew member onboard and Passtime started on the set course of Clipera, Langdon Ridge, Bolivar, Meath, Clipera and finish. Once the work on Flair had been completed she sailed out to meet the racers and followed Passtime back in.
As expected Jaydreamer had a good lead over the water by this time but it wasn't enough to beat Passtime on handicap.
Great to be back to racing and we look forward to more entries on Wednesday evening and next Sunday.