Please select your home edition
RS Sailing 2020 - RSSS - LEADERBOARD

Challenger Welsh Open Championships at Llyn Brenig Sailing Club

by Marion Edwards 24 Jul 2019 10:44 BST 20-21 July 2019

The Welsh Open Challenger Championships were held at Llyn Brenig Sailing Club on the 20-21 July. Seven Challengers sailors (three from England, four from Scotland, none from Wales) arrived at the club on Friday to find the water level 2m lower than normal (Welsh Water are working on the outlet valve). Fortunately the slipway was still long enough to launch the Challengers.

Saturday morning initially looked to be a bit breezy ("If the trees were moving like this at Rutland I wouldn't be going out") but the wind was actually typical for Llyn Brenig: variable in both direction (south westerlyish with an emphasis on the "ish") and strength (predominantly F1-4 with some gusts of F5). The race officer set a trapezoidal course for the day.

Race 1 established the pattern for the event: Val Millward (312) stamped her authority over the fleet although she was chased and harried by Graham Hall (270). Duncan Greenhalgh (295) soon learnt he needed to keep a close eye on Diana Faulks (288) to see what she was up to (the answer was usually sitting there waiting to pounce!).

Race 2 was characterised by a very heavy rain shower and the strongest wind of the day with Val recording 12.1 knots boat speed on the first reach. Again it was a Val-Graham one-two but Diana took third from Duncan.

The rather damp fleet returned to shore for lunch (and for several a change from spray tops to drysuits!).

In Race 3 Graham managed to lead from the windward mark and thought his luck was changing but in typical Llyn Brenig fashion on the last reach of lap two the wind shifted and dropped: he went left and Val went right where she found a lift and more pressure. At the end of lap one Stephen Thomas Bate (238) was see drifting back on to the pin. It transpired he had luffed Ronnie Cameron (240) to stop him going through the gate but had luffed too far! Ronnie put in an extra couple of tacks to overtake Stephen and hold his position to the finish. A tactical slip by Diana was exploited by Alex Hodge (116) who recorded his best result of fourth.

Ronnie made an excellent start to Race 4 and was third around the windward mark. He claimed to achieve this by keeping well away from both Val and Graham! Graham was rather nonplussed as he had hoped Ronnie would starboard Val and give him a helping hand. As Ronnie would never do anything so ungentlemanly, Val took another win! The wind around the windward mark was particularly fickle and some sailors decided to approach it by sailing very close to the shore... too close in Duncan's case as a quick tack was required accompanied by some nasty crunching sounds! His error allowed Diana to score her second third.

After four races the discard had kicked in leaving Diana and Duncan (the two Ds!) equal on points and equal on countback so Diana was third by virtue of her third place in the final race of the day.

On Saturday evening the fleet convened at a local pub for a very satisfactory meal which was accompanied by much discussion of the day's events.

By Sunday morning the wind had shifted to the south but it continued to fluctuate wildly in both strength and direction. During the day Val and Graham both recorded 12.2 knots boat speed. The course was changed to one that could be described as an "inverted B" - fortunately there was a lead boat! The change in course did nothing to improve Graham's fortunes and in Race 5 Val recorded another win and hence took the event. The two Ds were playing cat and mouse with each other and finished less than 10 seconds apart (with Duncan gaining the upper hand).

Race 6 saw the two Ds fighting over third place. Duncan drew on his years of experience to keep Diana firmly behind him and they crossed the line in third and fourth respectively. Alex was forced to retire with rudder problems which was an unfortunate end to his event.

So it was a emphatic win for Val with Graham in a comfortable second place. Duncan took third (with Diana snapping at his sponsons!). Val was awarded the beautiful wooden urn made over twenty years ago by the late John Vinnicombe (a former member of the club). John also used to make miniature wooden urns as keepers and this task has now been taken over by Paul Oliver. The top three (and the visiting shore crew) were presented with second generation miniature wooden urns which are a lovely memento of the event.

All in all this was a very enjoyable weekend. Thanks are due to race officer and event organiser Peter Davies, the volunteers at Llyn Brenig Sailing Club and especially to Paul Oliver for the urns.

Overall Results:

PosHelmSail NoClubR1R2R3R4R5R6Pts
1stVal Millward312Rutland Sailing Club‑1111115
2ndGraham Hall270Rutland Sailing Club‑22222210
3rdDuncan Greenhalgh295Bassenthwaite Sailing Club3‑4343316
4thDiana Faulks288Rutland Sailability43‑534418
5thStephen Thomas Bate238Annandale Sailing Club65‑756527
6thAlex Hodge116Clyde Cruising Club56467(DNF)28
7thRonnie Cameron240Clyde Cruising Club‑77675631

Related Articles

RYA Sailability: From Lockdown and Beyond
Sailability clubs and centres have gone through eight months of upheaval From closing completely to re-opening under strict restrictions, Sailability clubs and centres, like so many sports organisations, have gone through eight months of upheaval. Posted on 12 Nov 2020
Returning Tallulah win 2020 Concours d'Elegance
Stunning Scorpion at the RYA Dinghy Show 2020 The 2020 Concours d'Elegance at the RYA Dinghy Show has been awarded to the Scorpion Tallulah, owned by Jerry Hannibus. Posted on 29 Feb 2020
40 Years On: The Story of the Challenger
How a disabled but adventurous lady worked with a brilliant yacht designer It all started in the late 1970s when a disabled but adventurous lady worked with a brilliant yacht designer to produce a fast, exciting single-person dinghy that a severely disabled person could sail. Posted on 22 Dec 2019
P&B Challenger UK Championships at Rutland
Unusually, the fleet included two syndicate boats The UK Challenger Championships took place at Rutland Sailing Club over the weekend 13-15 September. The event was sponsored by Pinnell & Bax who generously provided prizes worth over £200. The whole fleet was also clothed in their new P&B sails. Posted on 16 Sep 2019
English Challenger Championships at Ogston
A healthy turn out of fourteen boats over the weekend The English Challenger Championships took place at Ogston Sailing Club over the weekend 24-25 August. The event was generously sponsored by the local companies of H.A. Briddon Ltd and Jons Tyres. Posted on 26 Aug 2019
Sailability Scotland SCIO T5 Challenger Regatta
Held at Bardowie Loch, near Milngavie Regatta five of six in the Challenger Traveller Series took place at Bardowie Loch, near Milngavie which is the home of Clyde Cruising Club (Dinghy Section) on the 17th and 18th August 2019. The event was supported by Duncan's Yacht Chandlers in Glasgow. Posted on 20 Aug 2019
Sailability Scotland SCIO T4 at Loch Earn
Seven sailors take part over the weekend Sailability Scotland SCIO's fourth Challenger Traveller Regatta took place over the weekend of the 3rd and 4th of August, 2019. Seven sailors took part from five different clubs in Scotland. Posted on 8 Aug 2019
Who says you can't enjoy sailing?
RYA supports campaign to challenge negative perceptions of disability The Activity Alliance's Who Says? campaign is calling time on negative perceptions about disability, inclusion and sport. It was created in response to the national charity's recent research, which explored people's attitudes on inclusive activity. Posted on 15 Jul 2019
Multihulls at the RYA Sailability Regatta
Challengers and Wetas at Weymouth For the first time since its inception in 2007, the venue for the RYA Sailability Multiclass regatta was not Rutland Sailing Club, instead we were at Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy with the racing taking place in Portland Harbour. Posted on 9 Jul 2019
RYA Sailability Regatta
Blind Sailing team crowned champions With more than 100 sailors, competing in over 70 boats, the UK's biggest disability sailing event of its kind took place this weekend at the Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy (WPNSA), home of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. Posted on 8 Jul 2019