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Welsh Open Squib Championship at South Caernarvonshire Yacht Club

by Vincent Delany 19 Jun 14:55 BST 16-17 June 2018

Many events have been organised this season to celebrate the 50th birthday of Oliver Lee's National Squib two-man keelboat. One of those events was the open Welsh Championship raced at South Caernarvonshire Yacht Club, over the weekend of 16th and 17th June, the traditional date for the National Squib Championship.

Boats were launched at Pwllheli on Friday in preparation for the first championship race on Saturday. At 10.00 Saturday, the wind and sea conditions were such that racing was postponed for two hours, which gave the competitors an opportunity to update their knowledge of the Racing Rules of Sailing, with a session on the floor of the clubhouse led by David Battye - in each case, the boat under David's right foot was the boat who did not have an obligation to keep clear.

Back to the racing. There was a tight start line with a favourable tide followed by a one mile beat as part of a triangular course. The weather was overcast with some hazy sun. Following some place changing, Josh Metcalf in the celebrated Ric O Shea won from local teams Dave Best in Crossfire and Brian Holland in Dream On.

In race two the sea conditions remained very rough in 20 knots of wind. This time the leaders of the fleet were the same, but with Gerard Dyson in aLchemy in third place. By now the crews were tired, but a third race was programmed. Again, in this race, the order was Ric O Shea, Crossfire, with Ges Browne's Bacchante in third place.

The barbecue planned for Saturday evening was cancelled due to high wind.

On Sunday morning, the wave state was higher, and the wind was stronger then before, and a sea mist enveloped the race course. There were two general recalls before the inevitable black flag was introduced. In this race there was a reversal of places, with Ric O Shea followed by aLchemy and Crossfire. Many competitors had difficulty with the second reaching leg which was a very close reach. The fitter or heavier crews could gain many places on this leg. In race five, Alan Johnson in Nimbus led around the windward mark, but let Ric O'Shea through to take the win, with aLchemy in third place. At this stage the championship winner had already been decided. In the final race, held in 27 knots of wind with great planing on the offwind legs, Ric O Shea was again the winner with Crossfire second and Richard Robinson in Greyling third.

There is no doubt that the conditions with limited visibility and irregular one metre high waves and strong winds was challenging for the lighter crews. The local boats are probably more used to these conditions. Ric O Shea is the only one of the top boats using Batt Sails, while second to sixth places used Hyde Sails. The local boats from Abersoch have incorporated the electric pumps permitted under the rules to keep their boats dry, which was undoubtedly a major advantage compared with the boats with 30kg of bilge water slopping around.

At the prize-giving dinner, Brian Holland thanked the four Irish boats and the Yorkshire visitors for travelling so far.

Overall Results:

PosSail NoBoat NameHelmCrewClubR1R2R3R4R5R6Pts
1136Ric O SheaJosh MetcalfMark HoganSCYC1111115
2797CrossfireDave BestPete RichardsSCYC22239211
3800aLchemyGerard DysonTony SaltonstallRYYC63923822
423GreylingRichard RobinsonMark ThompsonSCYC74474322
5789Dream On...Brian HollandTony SampsonSCYC38548727
6754MayhemSteve AllsoGlenn PritchardPYC471267529
796MoonstoneMalcolm BlackburnJohn StephensonSCYC8511105432
8818Toy for the BoysPeter WallaceMartin WeatherstoneRNIYC5665111032
9858BaccanteGes BrowneHarvey WordenSCYC1193812940
10872PocahantasMike HughesGary CatterallSCYC9111096640
11836AlkypopsGareth PritchardSteve Mc.Q.HSC1410812141155
12845Rock n RollJohn SparrowRalph BanthorpeSCYC1314713131258
1348PeriquinVincent DelanyNoel ColcloughDLMYC22131311151466
14132NimbusAlan JohnsonDave GarlickSCYC1012222222268
1542Fifty ShadesColm DunneColm DalyKYC15162222101376
16702JuminiMichael KearneyStuart KearneyRNIYC16171417161578
17849SASPhil SnewenRos SnewenSCYC22151514172283
18108Ogo PogoToby TaylorMike C.SCYC18191616181684
1911SquibDick BattPamela PhelanRVYC12182222222296
20829Kachina TooDavid HallDavid BattyeHSC222222152222103
21490NeptuneJames UrenRichard DelvesSCYC172222222222105

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