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Pwllheli Autumn Challenge Series - Week 5

by Vicky Cox 20 Nov 10:07 GMT 21-22 October 2023
Panache - Pwllheli Autumn Challenge Series week 5 © Andrew Hall

Results at the very top of the table were already taking shape with Mojito firmly at the top followed by J70 Sgrech Bach, Mojito Bach and Honey bee.

However the battle for 2nd and 3rd place in Class 1 was still very much up in the air with Ashley Field's Sunfast 3600 Panache and Paul&Sam Kitteringham's Elan 350 'Finally' on very close points. With one more discard coming into play Panache had the chance to discard a DNC so Finally would need to work hard to keep their position.

Rain and a south westerly 20-25kts met the fleet out in the bay and winds continued to build to 32Kts by the end of the last race.

A great start by the bigger boats saw Finally in clear air, Mojito below them and Panache suffering in their air. By the windward mark Mojito had worked up some height but Finally were desperate to stop them getting past and both boats ended up feathering too much and losing speed, leaving Panache to pull ahead. Mojito decided to bail out and tack away making slow progress across the waves.

Kites up and Nigel Ingram's Farr 30, wild haggis and the two J70s were loving the conditions and gaining on Mojito. Wild haggis were planing at some impressive speeds. However the challenging conditions forced them to retire just moments before the course was shortened, in a hope to make repairs and rejoin later racing.

Peter Dunlop and Victoria Cox's J109 Mojito crossed the line first followed by Paul&Sam Kitteringham's Elan 350 Finally. Stephen Tudor & Mark Thompson's J70 Sgrech Bach then crossed the line with the kite up at tremendous speed, disappearing past Gimblet rock and heading towards the Fairway buoy before they got the kite down.

The second race and conditions had deteriorated with winds up to the 30s and rain and spray making it difficult to pinpoint racing marks. Another great start with everyone on the start line at the gun.

Downwind and Mojito were exercising caution, whereas Sgrech Bach wanting to make use of the J70s planing abilities again, hoisted their kite, only to end up on a prolonged broach allowing the rest of the fleet to pass them. Mojito finished first with another comfortable lead.

Then came a very close battle between Finally, Panache and Mojito Bach skippered by Chris Jones. After handicaps were applied Mojito Bach took 2nd. And with just 1 second splitting Panache and Finally, Panache took 3rd place, moving them up the final standings to 2nd overall in class 1.

The results were close and that one second meant that Finally had to settle for 3rd overall in class 1 with just half a point difference between them.

Crews are looking forward to the next racing weekend in two weeks time which includes the Santa special race before crews don their posh frocks and black ties for the club Christmas party. And what better than a blast round the St. Tudwall islands and back to clear the heads the morning after.

Full results, racing and party information can be found on the club website at

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