Junior Sailors at Pembrokeshire CYRC

Having made the journey to Mumbles, many families were well into the journey to PYC too so continued west for the next CYRC event on Sunday.  The breeze built overnight and Sunday morning dawned with whistling in the rigging and a forecast for building breeze throughout the day.  Another big Topper turnout, plus fleets for Optimists and General Handicap made up a great fleet and a big entry.  An army of volunteers were in the water to help sailors launch off the beach into the breeze and racing got underway right in front of the club.  The breeze continued to build and safety teams were immediately on hand for the many spills and capsizes to keep sailors going and they enjoyed two full-on races in winds topping out over 20 knots before heading back ashore for lunch.

In the Optimists, Robbie Smart of PYC took the win in both races.  In the Topper 4.2 class it was Andrew Scott of Dale YC who took the spoils, and in the General Handicap Ioan Thompson and Freya Terry made the best of the strong breeze flying their kite down the reaches to win the handicap fleet.

In the Topper class, our Llangorse SC sailors took on the best of the west – all of them friends from training squads and national series racing events – making up an incredibly strong fleet.  In race 1 the fleet split: Finn Robarts of Fishguard Bay YC led to the left from the pin, Ben Willett opted to go right from the committee boat end and Miles Everett, Lou Boorman (FBYC) and Duncan Lloyd-Evans led a group of boats out from the middle of the line. With a flood tide crossing the course from right to left, Ben was up-tide by starting at the committee boat but Finn had the pace and the lee-bow on port tack as they neared mark 1…  Finn just rounded ahead.  They all rocked and rolled downwind on the inner loop course while a gathering crowd ashore watched and held their breath at the spectacle of all the sailors running downwind flat out, using the waves to throw the gybes in.  At the finish Ben just shaded it pipping Finn into second and all our juniors made top-ten results with Duncan 3rd just ahead of Lou Boorman (FBYC); Aled Llewelyn-Jones took 5th, Jake Scott (Dale YC) 6th, and Miles Everett 7th.

The wind strengthened even more and on a bay full of white-caps things got underway on an outer loop course for race 2.  Finn led at mark 1 from Duncan and it looked like they’d get clear but in the breeze now topping out at 25 knots things weren’t easy.  Ben Willett slowly clawed his way back into contention taking 2nd place at the top of the final beat chasing down Finn on the final run.  At the gybe mark Ben took the inside line and sailed higher than Finn, both of them negotiating a mix of upturned Optimists and safety teams, and they reached flat out neck and neck across the long reach to the finish with Ben taking the win by the smallest of margins on the line biased end.

On the beach, parents were in the water ready to help recovery in the onshore breeze and the wet and exhausted sailors made their way up to tally and have lunch in the club.  Soon after, the race officer made the decision to abandon all further racing for the day with the forecast for the wind to continue building.  Boats were duly hosed off and packed away in the sunshine before a prize giving a presentation in the club.  Ben Willett 1st, Finn Robarts (FBYC) 2nd; Duncan-Lloyd-Evans 3rd, Aled Llewelyn-Jones 4th, Lou Boorman (FBYC) 5th, Jake Scott (Dale YC) 6th, Miles Everett 7th .

Photos courtesy of Pembrokeshire Yacht Club, thank you.