Spinlock IRC Welsh Championships 1st – 3rd August 2014

The inaugural ‘Spinlock IRC Welsh Championships’ is only a few weeks away and is hosted by Pwllheli Sailing Club (PSC) on 1st to 3rd August.

The event has used the successful 2013 J Cup hosted by PSC as a spring board with the added award of the ‘Spinlock IRC’ regional title. PSC Commodore Stephen Tudor said: ‘The Club is very proud to be offered the opportunity to host the first Welsh IRC Championships and is delighted to see competitors already entered from Ireland, Isle of Man, Scotland and Liverpool in addition to the local competitive fleet. Entries are still being received and we still have free berths available for the event on the new Academy pontoons’.

The event will use the recently completed visitor and event pontoons which form part of the £8.3M investment in the Welsh National Sailing Academy and Event Centre. The project has been supported by the European Regional Development Fund, through the Welsh Government.

Richard Fildes is a seasoned campaigner in Cork Week and Dun Laoghaire, notably successful in his recently sold Corby 37, ’Impetuous’. His home waters are in Cardigan Bay and he is looking forward to competing in the Welsh IRCs in his recently acquired Corby 33 ‘Impostor’. He looks forward to returning the favour of the many great Irish welcomes over the years to our visitors from Ireland.

The event is supported by ‘Irish Cruising Racing Association’ (ICRA) who has completed a very successful Championships hosted by the Royal Irish Yacht Club in Dún Laoghaire earlier in the summer. ICRA Chairman and Event organiser, Norbert Reilly, commented that the two events strengthens the ties already established across the Irish Sea. A trophy will be awarded to the competitor with the best combined results in the two events.

The IRC Welsh Championships Race Management team is headed by International Race Officer, Mike Butterfield, who will design the racing programme to provide the best possible competition on the water. Mike said: ‘The bay offers ideal race management opportunities with no commercial shipping to worry about and the tidal influence is not significant.’

welsh_irc_1On 26th July there is a feeder race from Dún Laoghaire to the Welsh Championships in Pwllheli. This is the 7th race in the Irish Sea Offshore Racing Association’s 2014 series and is sponsored by KONA. The ISORA fleet will be the first visitors to use the new pontoons in Pwllheli. ISORA Chairman, Peter Ryan, said ‘the ISORA fleet regularly visits Pwllheli either for a race start or finish and the Welsh welcome is always warm and friendly. The new facilities in Pwllheli will make the sailing waters easily accessible and a great destination for visiting offshore fleets, flotillas and for keel boat regattas and Championships.’

isoraThe social programme will start shortly after the arrival of the KONA crew bus from Holyhead on Thursday evening with the KONA ISORA reception/prize-giving for the feeder race. A crew dinner is planned with entertainment for Friday evening and a Championship party for Saturday evening.

Bob Lowe, vice Commodore of Pwllheli Sailing Club, and the Events Chairman with overall responsibility for all major and International events in Pwllheli complimented the events team for their work in bringing forward this significant keel boat championships and the professional approach by the team will ensure that all competitors will have great racing and a fantastic time ashore.

The £8.3m Welsh National Sailing Academy and Events Centre is a Welsh Government and Gwynedd Council initiative and supported by the European Regional Development Fund, through the Welsh Government. The facility will be operated by Plas Heli Cyf, a local social enterprise company.

Designed by EWA Architects this iconic building will have a cafe, restaurant, club room and panoramic views of Snowdonia from terraces at first floor level. The ground floor comprises offices, a commercial kitchen and cellar, changing rooms, open event hall and meeting/conferencing/teaching rooms.

The large secure event and storage compounds with its direct access to the beach together with the events and visitor pontoon berths will provide a facility capable of running major international sailing championships.

The facility will also be used for conferences, boat shows, business and food exhibitions, weddings along with general educational use. The building will also be the new home of Clwb Hwylio Pwllheli Sailing Club.

It is expected that the commercially run facility will be sustainable and will employ a Centre Manager, Events Manager, Marketing Officer, Community Development Officer, Bosun and associated support/office staff.

Pwllheli has a great record of hosting National and International dinghy sailing events and is a RYA National Academy.

Photographs by Official event photographer Andy Green.



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