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Pwllheli Autumn and Challenge Series - Day 1

by Vicky Cox 24 Sep 2019 06:54 BST 22 September 2019
Glorious weather over the Snowdonia range, the backdrop for the start of the Pwllheli Autumn and Challenge Series © Vicky Cox

Glorious weather greeted sailors as they prepared for the start of the Pwllheli Autumn Series, four weekends of racing, which together with another three weekends of the Winter Series, make up the very popular Pwllheli Challenge Series.

With a variety of forecasts predicting in the region of 16kts gusting 28kts from the east there was bound to be quite a chop but once out in the water wind was a fairly stable 15-20kts. Race officer Robin Evans set a windward/leeward course taking in Pwllheli mark 2 and the fairway buoy. All boats got away cleanly, upwind to the fairway buoy but as the race progressed and the sun warmed the course, the wind dropped to just 6 kts making it difficult to maintain any speed through the larger waves.

Andrew Brookes 1720 took the first race shortly followed by Peter Dunlop and Vicky Cox's J109 Mojito and Stephen Williams's XP33 Darling xx. And in class 2 Will Partington's Hunter, Honey Bee had a cracking race taking 1st followed by Mike Cromptons J97 Injenious and Dave and Sarah Leather's J80 Harley Quinn.

With three races planned and lighter winds, a shorter race was set. Injenious got off to a great start but Mojito managed to play the shifts to take 1st from them, followed by Luvly Jubbly who took 3rd overall. Winds settling to a steady 10-14kts and race 3 saw Ian McMillans 1720 Japanphur getting a good start but Mike Crompton was determined to take the race, followed by Harley Quinn and Luvly Jubbly who took 1st in Class 1.

Winds had dropped to just 11kts for the start of day 2 after an early morning squall of 27kts leaving a slight chop. Everyone was eager to do well and race officer Robin Evans was forced to make a general recall. The second start was lead by Mojito in clear air while the rest of the fleet bunched around the pin end. Luvly Jubbly gaining ground on Mojito didn't quite manage to get there and Mojito managed an easy 1st, finishing almost 2minutes ahead of Luvly Jubbly, followed by Darling xx just 6seconds behind. Class 2 was taken by Injenious just 8 seconds ahead of Japanphur.

Race 2 and Mojito got another good start alongside Japanphur causing Japanphur to tack away leaving Mojito with clear air to make the first mark with ease.

Meanwhile a bunch up at the pin end saw Darling xx pushed out. Luvly Jubbly were trying hard, closely catching Mojito but a couple of timely tacks from Mojito and they pulled away again. Down to PSC Mark 1 and Luvly Jubbly were gaining again. The next leg in 7kts was from PSC Mark 1 through 0 to PSC no 7, a tight leg for a kite.

Worried that Luvly Jubbly would hold their kite, Mojito decided to launch their code zero instead and pulled out on Luvly Jubbly finishing 2 minutes ahead. 3rd place was taken by Harley Quinn who took class 2.

The series is currently lead by Peter Dunlop and Vicky Cox's J109 Mojito closely followed by Andrew Brookes Luvly Jubbly in class 1 and Mike Crompton's Injenious in 3rd place, leading class 2.

With plenty of discards and a fleet from Holyhead due to join the racing, there's every opportunity to join the Pwllheli Autumn and Challenge Series. The next weekend of racing in the series is on the 5th and 6th October.

More details and full results can be found at

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