Team Checkmate wins the 2018/19 Spinlock IRC GBR Inland Championship, which took place at Windermere’s Winter Series.
With an astonishing 7 firsts and 3 second places, Checkmate finished on 13 points, 12 points ahead of the second placed boat.
The Winter Series started on November 4th 2018 and finished on March 10th 2019, during which we encountered all types of testing weather.
Checkmate’s Team included Ian McMillan, Steve Goacher, Tim Harper, Chris Robinson, Chris Harman, Mark Somerville, Lynne Morris, Andy Thomas and Stuart Trunkfield.
Winning this Inland Championship has been the icing on the cake of an exceptional year for Checkmate, after becoming the Impala British Champions for the second year running in June, The IRC Welsh National Champions in July and topping it all off wth becoming the IRC British Inland Champions.....What a year!!
The Royal Dee Yacht Club and Clwb Hwylio Pwllheli Sailing Club will again host the 2019 Spinlock IRC Welsh National Championships which is scheduled between Friday 9th August to Sunday 11th August 2019.
The open event will use the facilities of the Welsh National Sailing Academy and Event Centre and will draw on the skill and experience of the Academy’s event team who have a long and excellent record of hosting World, European and UK National Championships. This year again the race management is organised by The Royal Dee Yacht Club team.
The racing will take place on the world renowned sailing waters of Cardigan Bay with the dramatic scenery provided by the mountains of Snowdonia and the Llyn Peninsula and is only a short sail from the Marina. Minimal tidal influences and being open to the prevailing winds will provide superb championship quality racing conditions.
The Sailing Club and marina berths forms part of the excellent Hafan Pwllheli Marina complex with chandleries, boat yards, sail makers, parking and spaces for motorhomes - all you will need for a fabulous championship.
There is plenty to do ashore before or after the event (or for shore crew during the event). Please visit the great selection of boutique, shops and facilities in the market town and taste and experience the offerings of the new and refurbished bars, cafes and restaurants. A train ride to the Castle in Criccieth - or onwards to Porthmadog where you can catch the steam train to Caernarfon with the majestic castle or to the quarries in Blaenau Festiniog in the Snowdonia National park - all delightful experiences.
Whilst here with the boat why not explore the coastline and anchorages of Abersoch and an exploration sail up the river to Porthmadog.
The £9M Academy facilities will be used for the Championships. This new facility will enhance and extend the events capacity in Pwllheli and improves the access to the Bay.
The iconic Academy building incorporates a café/restaurant and club house all of which have views of the beach and the mountains of Snowdonia and mid Wales which provide a spectacular backdrop for all events.
I know you will have a memorable IRC championship in Pwllheli – both on and off the water – and I look forward to greeting you all.
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”