Dog competition

Wonderwall wins overall after fierce competition at New Quay Regatta

Golwg-y-Môr New Quay Yacht Club Keelboat Regatta 2022

Again this year, the New Quay Yacht Club enjoyed perfect sailing conditions in the idyllic waters of Cardigan Bay for its annual keelboat regatta.

Over the three days, with the exception of just a few hours of overcast clouds and drizzle, competitors enjoyed clear skies, blue seas with white capped waves driven by gusty winds. west constants of force 3-5. Of course the dolphins came to watch too.

Post-Covid the number was 14 entrants, with some notable Aberaeron YC yachts missing for a few years.

These included Tim Greenslade’s Sadler 290, Wib Seren (Welsh for “shooting star”) whose new dayglo pink spinnaker required the use of sunglasses!

Wonderwall breaks free to sneak past Katabatic at spit end (Paul Thomas )

Also joined was Dafydd Hughes’ S&S 34, Bendigedig (Welsh for ‘blessed’), as he prepares for the Global Solo Challenge – a non-stop solo race around the world next September.

The race committee, under the expert eye of Will Best, was kept spellbound by the enthusiasm of the competitors. The start lines and courses were well laid out and the racing was intense and tight at times but mostly sporty – with only a few high voices – normally at the starboard end of the Race 3 start line!

New Dock Regatta 2022

1st Non IRC – Bendegedig – Dafydd Hughes (Mr. Hughes )

The first day started with an inshore race involving a long run from Aberaeron to Cwmtydu and back to New Quay.

Starting in light winds and then ending with more than a blow, this race was, as hoped, a test of the courage and sailing skills of the fleet.

New Dock Regatta 2022

The S&S 34 Bendigedig shines (Peter Thomas )

The only asymmetrical sports boat in wall of wonders (Chris Seal) won 8 first class honors, katabatic (Mark Willis) but both were beaten in handicap by boats finishing later.

Surprisingly, the two Hawk 20s of Bobble (Steve Berry) and Leprechaun (Crawford McLeary) were only a few boat lengths apart after four hours of racing.

However, Leprechaun was slightly ahead and took the overall victory in IRC and Bobblethird, because they were divided by Rodmar, a Fulmar 32 (Christine Willis with Jonathan Abrahams, sailboat – both experienced) which finished second overall. In corrected time, only 14 seconds separate the top three, while only 3 minutes separate the top six boats – indicating the level of skill in the conditions and very impressive after such a long trek!

New Dock Regatta 2022

Best Youth Crew – Thomas Best (Mr. Hughes )

New Sailing Dock 2022

1st Fulmar–Rodmar – Christine Willis (Mr. Hughes )

Day two saw a repeat of near-perfect sailing conditions with the Olympic Triangles and Windward Leeward courses.

wall of wondersan Isis 21 modified and sailed by Chris Seal, Sarah Skinner, Martin Wood and one of Welsh Sailing’s rising stars, Henry Powell, ruled the waves with a bullet and a second. Rodmar, Katabatic and Bobble weren’t far behind in compensated time, with Rodmar winning the last race of the day wall of wonders.

When the results were studied in bar thereafter, wall of wonders and Rodmar tied for the championship, with katabatic and both Bobble and Leprechaun still in contention; so, it was “going to the wire” for the Round the Cans race on Sunday.

New Dock Regatta 2022

Lady Helm – Emma Venner – Rev Band (Mr. Hughes )

The third day, the last day, dawned grey, with a light but steady breeze from the NW and an annoying chop left by the 15 to 20 knot blast from the previous night.

Tidal effects were going to be a major factor with a beating of the club’s infamous ‘Cruiser Northerly’ against a rising tide, followed by a long reach/wide reach to complete Aberaeron Harbour.

Things were tense at the head of the pier for the club’s start line. Firstly, there was a slight hiccup in the race committee’s timing on the first start attempt, which caused nerves and necessitated a restart of the entire streak.

Then there was the drama of a loud, cracking collision between a 20ft Hawk, Vixen and the 32-foot Fulmar, Rodmar. It was a one-sided contest and, as expected, Vixen had to “retreat injured” with a big hole in her side.

Luckily no one was injured, but this reminds all competitors that several tons of fiberglass and metal at 5-6 knots can be very dangerous weapons.

However, in the ensuing restart, the fleet started at a tense pace past the Pier, Rock St and Target Rock.

There were several head changes during the fight to get rid of the tide lapping off New Quay Head and to find flatter water to windward.

At various stages, Katabatic, Bobble, Wonderwall, Rodmar and Rev Band – Andy Evans’ family-crewed Parker 27, helmed by his daughter Emma – were in “pole position” but ultimately, katabatic and wall of wonders managed to evade the fleet and round the mark first.

wall of wonders fished for a few seconds with the spinnaker but after a quick recovery found the wide reach very to the liking of her large kite and she surfed ahead katabatic minutes, claiming both victory and the championship.

Third of the day and therefore second in the general classification, was Rodmarwhile third overall was katabatic which ran a regular series with a new crew.

The NHC/non-IRC fleet was won by Bendigedigthe second was Band Rev and the third was Cara de Menai (Martin Seal) in the other Fulmar. The best dog in the Hawk fleet was Bobble of Leprechaun – but only just – after the coast race countdown. Rodmar was the first Fulmar overall.

The awards ceremony was well attended and much praise went to the event organizers and the many on-water assistants (who had been ably led by Mark Willis and Will Best) and, of course, the ” results machine” which is the Mike and Liz Masters combo!

The other awards were Top Youth Helm – Henry Powell; Best youth team – Thomas Best; First Lady Helm – Emma Venner (Band Rev) and the Spencer De Friend Award (for Corinthian Spirit) – won by the team of Bendigedig.

The support boat crews were also publicly thanked for their efforts.

The Golwg-y-Môr sponsors, who paid the prizes, were thanked for their continued support.

Overall CRI

1st Wonderwall (Mod Isis 21) Chris Seal – NQYC/RAFSA

2nd Rodmar (Mod Fulmar 32) Christine Willis – NQYC/AYC (and First Fulmar)

3rd Katabatic (First Class 8) Mark Willis – NQYC

Non IRC Winner – Bendegedig (Mod S&S 34) Dafydd Hughes – AYC

1st Falcon – Bobble, Steve Berry NQYC

First Lady Helm – Emma Venner (Rev Band – Parker 27)

First Youth Helmet – Henry Powell (Wonderwall)

Best Youth Crew – Thomas Best (Katabatic)

Spencer De Friend Award–Bendegedig Crew

Pictures; Pete Thomas, Sue Rees, Ian Jennings and Dafydd Hughes