Monday – Sail to Abersoch
On Monday 8 Sprint 15s sailed to Abersoch in a pleasant 5-8mph westerly breeze and hot sunshine. Fortunately, Charles Watson (who was enjoying a family holiday at Abersoch prior to taking part in the Sprint 15 National Championships later in the week) was setting up his boat on the beach and loaned us his trolley to get the boats up the beach. We had lunch on the Sailing Club (SCYC) balcony basking in the sun. On the return we had 9 boats as the Littlejohns family (who like their lay-in and missed the departure from Pwllheli) drove their boat to Abersoch and set it up on the beach. Steve & David then joined us for the return sail. In the evening the group enjoyed the excellent bar meals in the Club and exchanged
Tuesday – Go-Carting
With no wind the plan to do short races in the bay off Pwllheli had to be dropped for a lazy morning sunbathing or on boat maintenance. The afternoon however was spent Go-Carting at Glasfryn Park. Go-Carting is becoming established as one of the most popular events of our Championship week and this year was no exception – in fact team Shanklin had taken the event so seriously they had been practicing at the circuit the day before. We had 16 competitors and ran 2 heats of 8 and then a looser’s final and a grand final. In heat one the benefits of the Team Shanklin training session was clear as William Baker led from start to finish and Alex Pierce (I think Stuart had adopted him) came through to take second making it a Shanklin 1,2. Steve & David Littlejohn took the other places in the final with 3rd and 4th places. In the second heat Steve Roberts led for most of the race until he took to the rough sideways when lapping Bob Carter, which let Norman Grum snatch victory but Steve Roberts hung on for a deserved second place. Paul Smith and Matt Smith came in for 3rd & 4th and places in the final. In the pits it was all talk about good carts and how some of the carts were responsible for poor performances (pulling to the left, no brakes, low power, etc). To add extra spice (and to compensate for some bad carts) it was agreed that the winning 2 of the looser’s final would get places in the final. Matt Grum made no mistakes and tore around the course in the looser’s final to take the flag from Pete Young, David Muir-Rolf, Dave Holyoak and Charlie Pierce. Thus Matt and Pete qualified for extra places in the final, but sadly a cart had been taken out of service so Pete could not take part. So the scene was set for the big final which looked a bit like a family affair – 2 Littlejohns, 2 Grums, 2 Smiths, 2 Pierces (it was claimed) plus Steve Roberts. The first race of the final was of the drivers running across the tarmac for the best carts. The first lap or 2 was very tight with all 9 carts locked together with very little distance from 1st to 9th. After a couple of laps the order got established and once again it was William Baker hotly pursued by David and Steve Littlejohns who did the Michael Schumacher bit. Further down the field Paul Smith & Norman Grum made significant gains through the race but Steve Roberts and Matt Grum had lost out in the race for the good carts and found they could not realise their true potential. So in the end Team Shanklin departing declaring how Erling would be proud of them and the Littlejohns family (2nd and 3rd) maintained Swanage’s reputation for good results in the Go-carting (Steve was the defending champion). The full results were as follows:Final: 1st William Baker (Shanklin), 2nd David Littlejohns (Swanage) 3rd Steve Littlejohns (Swanage), 4th Norman Grum (Carsington) 5th Paul Smith (Beaver) 6th Alex Pierce (Shanklin) 7th Matt Smith (Beaver) 8th Matt Grum (Carsington) 9th Steve Roberts (Dee). Looser’s Final: 1st Matt Grum (Carsington) 2nd Pete Young (Swanage) 3rd David Muir-Rolf (Thornbury) 4th Dave Holyoak (Hollywell) 5th Charlie Pierce (Shanklin) 6th Keith Bartlett (Open Dinghy Club) 7th Stuart Pierce (Shanklin) 8th Bob Carter (Grafham).
Wednesday – Sail to Criccieth
Once again the day was hot and sunny with a 6-8mph SW wind forecast. It was the intention to sail to the Black Rock Café near Porthmadog but it was agreed that if the wind died we would put in to somewhere a little nearer. 11 boats set off initially in a pleaseant breeze but the wind progressively died and so it was agreed after about 2 hours sailing that we would put in to Criccieth, which is about 9 miles east of Pwllheli. The boats pulled up on the beach in front of the castle - a passing yachtsman (Bob Sambrook) later observed in the Pwllheli Club bar what a nice photo it would have made – missed opportunity! The sailors walked up the hill and bought fish and chips for lunch which was eaten in the Sun on Criccieth ‘prom’. The ‘best ice creams in Wales’ was bought from Cadwalliders on the walk back to the boats. The return sail was very slow at first in a very patchy light wind but as we progressed towards Pwllheli the breeze improved. A few of the back markers had to be towed towards the better wind but all boats got back by 5pm and in time for tea.